Travelodge UK

Travelodge UK

Infobox Company
company_name = Travelodge
company_type = Private
foundation = 1985
location = Thame, England, UK
key_people = Grant Hearn, CEO
Guy Parsons COO
Keith Hamill Chairman
area_served = United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Spain
industry = Hospitality
products =
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees = 4,896
parent = Dubai International Capital
subsid =
homepage = [ Travelodge]
footnotes =

Travelodge is the second largest budget hotel brand (behind Premier Inn) and third biggest hotel chain (by bedroom numbers - approximately 20,000) in the United Kingdom. It is under separate ownership from the Travelodge chain of the United States.



In the 1980s, Lord Forte bought the US Travelodge brand and established it in Britain. He attached them to many of his Little Chefs as "Little Chef Lodge" hotels before later rebranding them as Travelodges.

Travelodge was formerly a division of Forte Hotels, and was known as Forte Travelodge. Since then, it has become a company in its own right and has over three hundred Travelodge hotels, mainly located beside motorways and major roads, although more and more hotels are being opened in city centres. The first hotel was opened in 1985 at Barton Under Needwood on the A38 near Lichfield.


In 1995, it was bought by Granada, when Trust House Forte had a very unharmonious hostile takeover. In 2001, when Granada de-merged (creating Moto), it became owned by Compass Group. In 2003, it was acquired by Permira under the name of TLLC Group Holdings Ltd (113 Little Chefs, owned by TLLC, were nextdoor to Travelodges), moving its headquarters from Toddington to Thame in June 2003. [cite web|url =|title = Compass sells Little Chef and Travelodge|date = 2002-12-18|accessdate = 2008-02-19|publisher = BBC] In August 2006, it was sold to Dubai International Capital for £675m.

Travelodge has recently been the subject of bid interest from Whitbread who own the rival Premier Inn chain.


A new room design has been introduced in new buildings, featuring a new colour scheme and plasma TVs. In most hotels, there are double rooms, family rooms and disabled rooms. All rooms feature en-suite bathroom, free tea & coffee, digital TV. Wireless internet connection is now available in all hotels.

Facilities for business people are also available, for example meeting rooms.

Eating and drinking facilities vary at locations a great deal. Many hotels are located beside a Little Chef, although this is becoming less common. Virtually all Moto service stations have a Travelodge attached, and some hotels may be close to a pub or family restaurant.

In town and city centre locations, 'Bar Cafes' within the hotel are common. Breakfast and evening meals are available and drinks can be purchased from the licensed bar.

Commercial strategy

In 2004, it bought the "Drury Lane" Moat House hotel for £11m, and the "London Farringdon" and "London Islington" Thistle hotels. [cite web|url =|title = Press release: Travelodge brings up the curtain at its new Covent Garden hotel|accessdate = 2008-02-19|date = 2004-03-29|oublisher = Travelodge] . In July of that year, it decided to sell 136 of its hotels for £400m, then lease them back. [ [] ]

Travelodge UK also operate nine hotels in the Republic of Ireland and three hotels in Spain.

80% of bookings are now made online.Fact|date=August 2008

Booking policy

On 24 October 2006 the BBC One Watchdog programme highlighted Travelodge's policy of overbooking their hotels, turning guests away even when they have booked against a credit card. [cite web
title = Travelodge
work = Consumer - Reports
publisher =
date = 2006-10-24
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-18
quote = Watchdog researchers booked three rooms at a Travelodge in London. Each went to check in late at night but well within Travelodge's terms and conditions. All were told the hotel was full and that, despite their bookings, there were no rooms available.
] When a whistleblower revealed that overbooking comes before anything else, Travelodge admitted to this practice and updated their website to confirm this. Guests who are found in this position are found accommodation nearby at no cost to them, but if no rooms are available nearby the reservation is cancelled and the customer is refunded. Travelodge say that overbooking is so more guests can make use of rooms that would otherwise be empty, however the whistleblower programme contained footage of an internal travelodge training video which stated that their business model required them to run all their hotels at maximum capacity, and that a 'last man standing' policy would ensure this always occurred.

Recyclable hotel

Early in 2008, Travelodge introduced the world's first recyclable hotel that can be built for temporary use at a location, and dismantled when the need has finished. With the appearance of a normal hotel, the pieces are transported to the location and bolted together. [ [ UK National News - Travelodge To Build Recyclable Hotel ] ]

David and Jean Davidson stay

In 2007, media around the world reported that David and Jean Davidson, a retired couple originally from Sheffield, stayed at a Newark, Nottinghamshire & a Grantham, Lincolnshire location for a combined total of 22 years, making the lodge their home. [cite web
title = Telegraph
work = News
publisher =
date = 2007-09-12
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-03
quote = Pensioners David and Jean Davidson found living in a Travelodge hotel was a cheaper option than an old people's home and have never looked back.
] The retired navy sailor and his wheelchair-bound wife found the cost of their stay comparable with living in a house, but with the benefits of maid service and meals. [cite web
title = Daily Mail
work = News
publisher =
date = 2007-09-11
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-03
quote = "We have everything we need here - and the staff are like family now. We only have to walk across the car park for meals"
] Following their departure, the motel named their room "The David and Jean Davidson Suite."


External links

* [ Travelodge UK]
* [ Travelodge Ireland]
* [ Travelodge at motorway services]
* [ Reviews on "DooYoo"]
* [ Reviews at "Ciao!"]

News items

* [ Marketing campaign upsets hotel owners in 2004]

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