Motorway Services Online

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Travelodge

Travelodge
Locations:37 motorway sites
Associated names:Little Chef
Introduced:1987
Predecessors:Forte Travelodge, Granada Lodge, Innkeepers Lodge, Purple Hotel, Little Chef Lodge
Successors:Days Inn, Welcome Lodge, Redwing Lodge

Travelodge is a budget accommodation chain which spread to roadsides across the country, and can now be found at most Moto services.

It is based on the US brand of the same name, which is now totally separate but was once owned by Trusthouse Forte. Having owned the American brand since 1973, in 1985 Forte opened hotels in the UK named Forte Travelodge. These were advertised as the UK's first cheap hotel options, primarily aimed at road users. These then spread to city centres, and to Ireland and Spain. The new Forte Travelodge received a boost when the recession hit in the late 1980s, as businessmen were looking for cheaper accommodation and became loyal Travelodge customers.

When Forte and their brands were purchased by Granada, their own Granada Lodges became Travelodges. Welcome Break was sold shortly afterwards, and those partner motels were changed to Welcome Lodge. Whereas Forte had lost interest in Travelodge and wanted to sell it, Granada thought it was a very desirable part of the Forte empire.

Now owned by Dubai International Capital, Travelodge customers usually book in advance, which means its hotels tend fill up even if they are in isolated locations. Since the advent of hotel comparison websites, some people have been caught out as they didn't realise many Travelodges are traditional motels and can't be safely accessed without a car.

Despite this, some hotels have closed, usually due to changes in the road network or changes to the neighbouring restaurants. These have then been bought by other names such as Redwing Lodge or Rivington Lodge. As Travelodge is no longer owned by a motorway service area operator, there is no guarantee that any more motorway sites will open.

As Travelodge provides the hotel only, in most locations dining is limited to any facilities nearby.

Little Chef Lodge

Little Chef Lodge.
The Little Chef Lodge logo.

The first Forte hotel opened under the name Little Chef Lodge at Gretna in 1972. A further 27 branches opened. They played on the popularity of the Little Chef name, allowing them to advertise their cheap rates and the availability of a Little Chef breakfast in the morning. It was also able to share resources with the restaurant, keeping costs low. Prices started at £19.50 for a single room and £24.50 for a family room. They claimed this "new concept" was unique because of its simplicity.

As the Forte Travelodge began to appear on the roadside, this replaced all the Little Chef Lodges in 1988. However, Little Chef and Travelodge continued to be opened in pairs across the country, with each one bringing more trade to the other.

Opened in 2001, the Peterborough Eye branch has a Little Chef inside the motel, where you may expect to find the bar in other establishments. At most others, the two were either next door to each other or connected by a corridor. Little Chef menus would be provided in the rooms, usually with discounts available.

Travelodge and Little Chef remained very closely interlinked. In 1995, Forte looked at selling the pair to Whitbread, so that Forte could focus on upmarket hotels. They were eventually sold by Granada to Permira of Canada in 2003. The rumour was that Permira were only interested in Travelodge, but had to purchase them both. Permira spent a year separating Little Chef before selling it in 2005. This ended what had become a famous partnership.

Locations

Travelodge operate at almost all Moto services. They are: [view on a map -  Download KMLrefine search]

A-road Services

Travelodge can be found at many A-road services:

Former Locations

Travelodge no longer operates at the following locations:

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