I love Glasgow. I studied there so I love Glasgow big style. Visiting with children for the first time I still wanted to be at the heart of the action (I’m in denial) so we booked a family room at the Travelodge’s spanking new hotel on Queen Street – you cannot get more central than that. You can see the Duke of Wellington with the cone on his head within a stone’s throw of the front door, you just cannot be more ‘Glasgow’ than that.
At over 30 years old Travelodge is a brand I know and understand, and I have expectations. The room would be reasonably priced, relatively spacious, it would be clean, the bed would be comfortable (they pride themselves on their Dreamer beds and even sell them) and the walls/soft furnishings would be decorated simply in the blue, reds and greys of the brand. As this hotel only opened in early May 2016 I also knew that everything would be wonderfully shiny and new. I’ve also noticed how Travelodge is positioning itself within the family market and actively working to attract parents to their hotels but is it working? Mr Toddler and Mr Baby fought all the way down in the car to Glasgow to find out.
Check In – Check in is available from 3pm so we’d driven down from Aberdeen in the morning and done our worst at the Science Centre in the afternoon. Any tired parent can imagine we were delighted to be able to park right outside our hotel. The check in staff were efficient and friendly, and there were no queues when we arrived.
The Room – The family rooms can sleep up to two adults and two children, plus a cot. Ours was on the twelfth floor but the lifts are notably quick and efficient, unless a toddler presses every button from ‘1’ through to ’11’. Our room had a king size bed, a small bed for Mr Toddler and a free travel cot for Mr Baby. The children had enough space to play with the carrier bag of meagre toys we’d brought them. The tele was also dutifully switched on in the morning so they could partake of a dose of Milkshake and keep relatively quiet till at least 7am. There was also a bathroom, rather than a shower room, which is ideal for bathing grubby children. Being in the heart of the city I assumed that the hotel would attract everyone – business travellers, families and couples – but at the weekends be a bit party central, but we didn’t hear a sound at night, from the street or from other guests, so maybe the twelfth floor is the place to be.
If you share a family room in any Travelodge with two children under 16, they stay for free. This is a big deal – it cost the same for me to stay with my family (Mr Husband, Mr Toddler and Mr Baby) as it would for me to stay with my mate, because the kids don’t cost a penny. Your kids aren’t just welcome, they’re free.
Food – Over 150 Travelodges have an on-site Bar Café restaurant and the Glasgow Queen Street hotel is one of them. We had our breakfast there, a standard help yourself unlimited buffet affair. These buffets never particularly rock my world but they do the job and Travelodge has admittedly upped the game by including brands such as Yeo yogurt, Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages and Lavazza coffee. And if one adult buys the unlimited breakfast for £7.95 then, you guessed it, two children aged under 16 can tuck into as much as they like for free so you definitely can’t argue with the price. Evening meals are available too, with a kids menu including two courses for £4.95, but with a myriad of restaurants nearby we opted to eat out and see more of Glasgow.
Location – Right, I’ve saved the best bit till last. This is simply an unbeatable location. If you’re catching the train with kids to Queen Street then you only have metres to walk with your cases to reach the hotel. You’re close to SO many restaurants that the biggest problem you’ll face is too much choice. Shops, attractions and public transport are all on your doorstep to experience the sights and sounds of the city. This is a truly wonderful location. For ideas of what to do with kids in Glasgow do click here.
Overall, yes, the new Travelodge does work for families but it also works for business travellers, for party animals, mates or couples. The kids ‘stay for free’ and ‘eat breakfast for free’ policies are winners in my book as not only do they keep costs down they also make you feel welcome.
THE LOWDOWN – We drove from Aberdeen to Glasgow. Parking outside the hotel cost £3 an hour (max 2 hours) till the parking inspectors depart at 6pm, but it’s free on Sunday which is handy for weekend stays. The hotel also has a deal with the nearby Glassford parking of £8 for 24 hours if you wish to dump the car and explore.
The Tots2Travel tribe were guests of the Travelodge for a two night stay with breakfast. Mr Toddler was delighted and especially enjoyed trying to press all the buttons in the lift.
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