Halifax might not be an obvious choice for a weekend break but, then, Himself and I are hardly your average tourists. We like to think that we are within grasping distance of our permanent move to Slovenia and, aware that there are some parts of our own country we don’t know that well, we’ve been trying over the last year or so to fill in some of the gaps before we leave.
I wanted to see Halifax because I love Victorian architecture; being a city that had its heyday in the Victorian era, Halifax is crammed with wonderful civic and industrial buildings, many of which have been given a new lease of life in recent years. The Dean Clough Mills are just one example of how Halifax’s industrial heritage has been rescued and re-purposed and one part of it has been converted into the Halifax Central Travelodge, so not only did we get to see Halifax’s wonderful buildings, we got to stay in one too.
The Dean Clough Mills are situated about ten minutes walk from Halifax train station and fifteen from the town’s main shopping area. A frequent bus service passes through the complex and runs until quite late, however a taxi from the town centre would cost you only a couple of pounds.
The magnificent industrial buildings have been given a good sand blasting and a good makeover. Some contain residential property, some office space, and others contain, variously, a museum, an art space, a restaurant and a theatre. I had imagined that this area would be something like Liverpool’s Albert Dock with bars and restaurants but there’s very little of that type of thing and, during the weekend at least, very few people wandering round. If you are interested in British industrial heritage, however, I would strongly recommend you take a walk round this part of Halifax.
The Travelodge is one of the last buildings in the complex and is, unfortunately, situated beside a flyover which takes traffic behind the Mills; as soon as I saw it my heart sank and I anticipated a noisy night but actually the windows kept the noise down to a gentle drone and, besides, there was a lot less traffic than I’d expected (perhaps because it was a weekend stay). There is free parking outside for overnight guests of Travelodge.
Reception was not staffed when we arrived and a message advised guests to ring the bell attached to the ‘phone cradle; this we did three times before somebody came to attend to us. It was difficult to be cross as the staff member who came along was very pleasant and friendly.
First impressions are good. This is a very simple place with little in the way of frills but everything was immaculately clean and in good repair. In the corridors it was very obvious where marks on the walls had been painted over, but at least these things are being attended to on a regular basis. A small seating area adjoining reception comprised only of a couple of tiny bistro tables and matching chairs as well as a television and vending machines; it about as extensive as ‘facilities’ get in this hotel but the area looked cosy and welcoming.
We had booked a standard double room and were allocated one on the fourth floor. As Travelodge rooms go this was fairly standard although the rooms do have one stone wall which lends a little personality to the rooms. It was a small room but adequate for our needs for one night.
Although the public areas were pristine, there were one or two issues in the rooms. The veneer on the bedside table on one side of the bed was chipped all the way round while there were a few suspect drips on the tiles in the bathroom. A bathmat would have been much appreciated
As usual the room contained a flat screen television with the five terrestrial channels and a handful of Freeview extras, and the necessary items to make hot drinks (I’ll never understand why Travelodge give two teabags and four coffees).
The worst thing about this room was the mattress which was not only far too soft but bowed horribly in the middle, causing you to plummet towards a chasm in the middle of the bed when you turned over. The thin pillows were another bone of contention; we could have requested more but forgot to do that until we were too tired to really care.
A ‘packed breakfast’ can be ordered for an additional cost when booking, or later when checking in; as there were a number of potential breakfast options within not too far a walk from the hotel, we declined. According to posters displayed in the public areas you can get a bacon and egg muffin at any time of the day; if you don’t want that, you can buy snacks and soft drinks from the vending machines. There’s a large Sainsbury’s store within ten minutes walk, or two minutes drive.
Other than the slightly uncomfortable bed and the minor house keeping issues we were pretty happy with our stay. The location is good and you are close enough to the town centre without having the rowdy weekend groups that often frequent budget hotel chains on Saturday nights (it also helps that Halifax isn’t on the stags and hens map). It’s a shame there’s not more in the way of bars and restaurants on the Dean Clough site but it does mean that it’s a fairly peaceful location. This location also has the advantage of free parking which not all town centre locations can boast.
A star knocked off my rating for the bed and the slight cleaning issues, otherwise this nets a solid four stars for comfort and value.
We paid £19 on a Saturday night in May, booking in advance.
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