Monday, March 23, 2009

Travelodge tells me to bring a tent

My sister is coming over from Australia to visit us in May along with her husband and my sweet niece. She wanted to rent an apartment but I convinced her to save money and stay in the Travelodge Hotel here in Coventry.

As students we are always on a budget and discovered Travelodge after talking to other Malaysians who have been here in the UK for a while. The first thing that comes to mind when we say "budget hotel" are dirty sheets, bare and tiny rooms and we were really surprised the first time we stayed in a Travelodge because their service quality was quite high. The rooms were neat and tidy, well maintained with clean sheets. They even provide TV and kettle with tea and coffee. You can even get extra pillows, sheets and baby cot if travelling with a baby. Like Air Asia, the budget Malaysian airline, you can get some great deals if you book early with them.

Anyway, we never knew that there was a Travelodge in Coventry until we ran a search and quickly booked the rooms. Later on we found out that the hotel was still under construction.

Screenshot of their website

Naturally we were quite worried and I called up their customer service. The guy I talked to, convinced me that the hotel would be up by the time my sister's family arrived. He also added "You better bring along a tent mate!"

It was quite funny and I laughed - an example of a typical English joke where you don't know whether the guy is being sarcastic or actually trying to be funny with a lame joke. I was narrating this incident to my friend who's in the hotel industry (he prefers to call it "the hospitality industry") and he was shocked. "They actually said that".

According to him, if any of his customer service staff made a remark like that, they would be fired immediately.

I was not offended but they better get the hotel ready in time.

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