|image credit: Travelodge Hotels|
Whether you're exploring the Garden of England or looking for a handy stopover en-route to the Channel, the Travelodge at Ashford offers a great value, comfortable overnight stay.
Located close to the M20 (but not so close that you can hear the traffic), it's easy to find and perfect for an early morning getaway the next day without getting snarled up in town centre traffic.
There was ample free car parking for the hotel, and it was easy to find a space near the entrance. Tucked away on the Eureka Retail Park, you'll find loads of eating out options, great for families if you want to dine out rather than eating in the hotel bar - choose from Frankie & Bennys; Nandos; Pizza Hut; Chiquito or takeaways at Burger King; Subway and KFC. There's even a Cineworld on the park, so you could nip out for a family movie before bed.
We arrived at the hotel very late at night as we'd been to a Forest Live concert at Bedgebury. Even at nearly 11:00pm, there were staff on the desk to check us in and we were given our key for the room. We were able to get a glass of wine from the bar and it was a welcome treat to take it up to our room, kick off our soggy shoes and get out of our wet clothes (it had bucketed down earlier in the evening and we got drenched!) Had we not been looking so dishevelled, we'd have probably stayed and enjoyed our drink in the comfy lounge area.
Although there's no air conditioning in the rooms in this hotel, the staff had thoughtfully been in prior to our arrival, closed the curtains and put on a fan in the room for us.
Decorated in the corporate colour scheme, we had a comfortable king size 'Dreamer' bed, a TV and tea and coffee making facilities in our en suite room. The bathroom was roomy and equipped with a bath, a shower over, washbasin and toilet, there was a supply of liquid soap and shower gel/shampoo in pump dispensers. It was all clean and fresh and quiet (even with the window open all night) so we slept like logs.
Our room overlooked a small pond, and it was so peaceful and relaxing looking out onto the wildlife - I spotted rabbits lazily nibbling the grass, a heron swooping over and a family of ducks and ducklings out for a morning swim.
After a refreshing shower in the morning we headed down to breakfast. Buffet style, there was plenty to choose from with unlimited refills of tea; coffee and fruit juice; cereals; fruit; toast; yoghurts and cooked sausages; bacon; scrambled eggs and beans.
If you're travelling with your family, it's worth remembering that kids go free with Travelodge, up to 2 children under 16 can share a family room with no additional charge, and they get free breakfast too.
There is limited free wifi in the hotel (free for first 30 minutes, then £3 for 24 hours), and snack vending machines should you get the midnight munchies.
We had a very comfortable overnight stay. Although I didn't have as much interaction with the staff as I've had at other Travelodge hotels I've stayed in, for a budget hotel I don't think you can do better than a Travelodge for a great value stay. Rooms are available in this location from £67 per night.
Disclosure: We were offered one nights' accommodation and breakfast for the purpose of this review.