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Steppenpig

Simple Hotels

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Does anyone have any good strategies for finding good, modest, simple, cheap hotel accomodation in the UK? I am actually actively opposed to any hotels with any pretence of luxury. I don't really plan to spend much time in the hotels, but on the other hand, i don't want to end up anywhere too depressing. I have stayed in premier inns a few times, and they are quite dreary.

I am aware of expedia, ebookers, premier inn etc, but I get depressed and worn out after about 5 minutes of searching. Is there a simple strategy to minimise the effort and cost I have to put into it?

(I plan to don my dragon resistant outerwear and make a few forays into the north, probably staying in urban centres and exploring the regions by rail or public transport)

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Each to their own. I've always liked Premier Inns but had stopped staying in Travelodges as they tended to be tatty.

Travelodge now seem now to have had a big refurbishment programme running so the last few that I've stayed in have been decent.

They have also both greatly improved the value and quality of their food; I have gone from automatically not eating in the associated / in-house restuarant of each to usually opting for it on at least one evening.

I suppose it's a question of what you're looking for, whether staying for work or leisure I'm generally out all day so I don't want (and so don't want to pay for) a hotel with loads of facilities for guests as I won't be using them unless it absolutely pours down.

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Hostelworld can be very good for finding reasonbale smaller hotels/guesthouses abroad. Not sure about in the UK though.

Their reviews seem to be pretty decent and valid from experience so far as well.

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Have you looked at trip adviser?

Be sure to have adblock and noscript set to take no nonsense before going there.

It's been quite a few years since tripadvisor fell victim to a form of Goodhart's law that makes the ratings largely useless.

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Be sure to have adblock and noscript set to take no nonsense before going there.

It's been quite a few years since tripadvisor fell victim to a form of Goodhart's law that makes the ratings largely useless.

I said look...not touch. ;)

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Wander around deprived areas and someone might take pity and invite you in to stay, offer you tea and local delicacies. The types most likely to offer will sometimes say, "Got any spare change?" or "Can I lend 10p for a tab/bus fare?".

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+1 for Premier Inn. As good as anywhere in my opinion. I too refuse to spend big money on a hotel - anything over £100 gets really difficult for me to justify. As you say, it's just somewhere to sleep.

I've done Travelodge in the past when there was £20 deals on rooms going, but in general they were a bit too grimy and depressing, and now fall into the category (along with hostels) that if they're all I can afford, I'm better off staying at home ;)

Of course the new entry to the market in recent years is AirBnb so that might be worth having a squint at too.

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+1 for travelodge

Used to avoid them for being really run down and grimey, but as others have said, In the past year or so they have really improved.

I wouldn't hesitate, I doubt there's better value for money in the budget hotel area.

I've actually stayed in Hiltons that were worse.

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What's wrong with a good old BnB?

Much friendlier than any chain hotel and usually nicer rooms too (at least not so bland and corporate) and you support real people with your money, not some minimum wage paying faceless corporation.

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Am I the only one that sleeps on top of the bedsheets fully clothed at these sort of hotels?

Not always due to passing out drunk.

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ibis and best western are other chain places, plenty of them, nothing wrong with that.......but sometimes you can find a small comfortable non-pretentious B&B/hotel that will be just that little bit different, but a whole lot better. ;)

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What's wrong with a good old BnB?

Good call.

For pleasure I'd definitely consider it.. for work it's not always as convenient. They don't always appreciate you turning up late, not making conversation and then finding the Internet doesn't work.

Oh, and the hand written non-VAT receipt you have to wait 30 mins for in the morning!

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I joined every Casino in London once thinking it would save me a fortune on Hotels if I was down there late and missed the last train. Most of them are open until 4am, some 6am.

Free coffee and sandwiches all night.

Stagger to the tube with bloodshot eyes having saved £100 on a hotel...

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Stagger to the tube with bloodshot eyes having saved £100 on a hotel...

And how much did you lose at the black jack table instead? :huh:

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What's wrong with a good old BnB?

Much friendlier than any chain hotel and usually nicer rooms too (at least not so bland and corporate) and you support real people with your money, not some minimum wage paying faceless corporation.

If you're travelling on your own often the single rooms at B&Bs are the worst, pokiest attic rooms with sloping walls. Hotels on the other hand charge by the room so you end up with the same standard of room as everyone else.

I'd also put a vote in for Holiday Inn Express which these days are pretty decent rooms and with a free not-bad breakfast.

Premier Inn have started a new cheap "Hub" chain - Japanese style pod hotels. Very cheap and not a bad idea if you're a midget.

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If you're travelling on your own often the single rooms at B&Bs are the worst, pokiest attic rooms with sloping walls. Hotels on the other hand charge by the room so you end up with the same standard of room as everyone else.

I'd also put a vote in for Holiday Inn Express which these days are pretty decent rooms and with a free not-bad breakfast.

Premier Inn have started a new cheap "Hub" chain - Japanese style pod hotels. Very cheap and not a bad idea if you're a midget.

B&B is lock of the draw: they can be anything from the best to the worst. But IME no longer significantly cheaper than a regular hotel.

My experience of Holiday Inn Express is somewhere intermediate between the shoddy (Travelodge or Best Western) and the solid midrange (Premier Inns).

As it happens, I have just this evening booked for a weekend away next month (I'm in a concert on the Saturday night with rehearsal on the Friday, so making a weekend of it). A hotel described as "luxury", and featuring such goodies as a swimming pool. Yet the price was within a tenner of the basic hotels in the area (Premier Inn, Jurys) and a couple of B&Bs I've experienced, one of which was truly dire.

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Out of interest, have any of the people who are slamming Travelodge stayed in one in the past year or two?

Previous to the new management and upgrade program I would have completely agreed, but the ones I've stayed in recently have been just as good as any of the other chains and generally at a fraction of the price.

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Stayed in central Bristol one within last few years. Thought it was OK but rate premier inn better.

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Stayed in central Bristol one within last few years. Thought it was OK but rate premier inn better.

Picking a random day and comparing the prices in Bristol the two of them are about the same price (£100).

I must admit I expected Travelodge would be cheaper (that's usually my experience). For the same price I'd probably agree that Premier Inn has the edge.

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Out of interest, have any of the people who are slamming Travelodge stayed in one in the past year or two?

Previous to the new management and upgrade program I would have completely agreed, but the ones I've stayed in recently have been just as good as any of the other chains and generally at a fraction of the price.

I stayed in one in London Marylebone in the summer, and it was dire but very cheap for the location, so maybe not a realistic comparison to other parts of the country (I ended up in a room with a single bed where I could touch the opposite walls at the same time!!!).

To be fair in the rest of the country Travelodge was one of the original budget hotels and fairly solid, however 7 / 8 years ago it really went down hill with really obviously used bed clothes and frayed upholstery on the chairs. I guess it could have turned itself round, maybe I will give it a second chance (but not the one in Marylebone)

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I stayed in one in London Marylebone in the summer, and it was dire but very cheap for the location, so maybe not a realistic comparison to other parts of the country (I ended up in a room with a single bed where I could touch the opposite walls at the same time!!!).

To be fair in the rest of the country Travelodge was one of the original budget hotels and fairly solid, however 7 / 8 years ago it really went down hill with really obviously used bed clothes and frayed upholstery on the chairs. I guess it could have turned itself round, maybe I will give it a second chance (but not the one in Marylebone)

I stayed in one in Euston, spitting distance of the station and courtesy of work, last year.

My most recent Travelodge experience prior to that was some M4 service about three years ago, ?Totteridge, which was shabby.

The one at Euston was immaculate, quiet, and the in-house restaurant was great. They've sorted themselves out.

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