Travelodge room revamp gathers pace

8 May 2014

Two-thirds of Travelodge's guestrooms now feature the budget chain's new look.

New chief executive Peter Gowers told Business Traveller that by September 80 per cent of rooms would have it, and by mid-2015 all would.

Travelodge started rolling out its £57 million room refurbishment programme last year (see news, January 2013). It has been designed to create a "lighter, fresher look and feel", Gowers said.

"We're on a journey to build a new Travelodge," he said. "Right now, we're spending £1 million a week upgrading hotels across the country."

Upgrades include the installation of king-size "Travelodge Dreamer”"beds made by Sleepeezee, which come with four pillows. Every room would have the new bed by September, Gowers said.

Behind the bed is a bespoke artwork and "tranquil blue" feature wall with uplighting, designed to aid sleep. Liquid body wash is also being introduced.

Gowers said: "We want to grow our share of the business travel market... We want to be there for business customers, we want to be in the big cities, we want to offer them a room that feels good to be in and work in, and we want to offer them great value for money."

Last month, the brand cut the cost of wifi in all hotels to 30 minutes' free access and £3 for 24 hours.

Gowers added: "We've got 1,000 rooms in our pipeline right now and we're opening 15 in total this year." These include a new flagship Manchester property in Piccadilly Gardens, which opened in March. It will launch another Glasgow hotel later this year.

Earlier this year, the chain opened its first hotel in Crawley, about five miles from Gatwick airport (see news, February 2014), and last September it opened its sixth Spanish hotel in Madrid (see news, September 2013).

Gowers said: "[Spain] is a good base for us. I wouldn’t rule out expanding further internationally but our big focus at the moment is the UK."

Michelle Harbi

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