Travelodge Hotels ltd is currently under a different ownership to the US chain of Travelodge. However, they started out as the same brand when Lord Forte decided to establish a British chain of the US Travelodge brand in the 1980s. The first branch was located on the A38 at Barton under Needlewood and it has been growing steadily ever since. It has gone through various changes, such as being a division of Forte Hotels as Forte Travelodge, being bought out by Granada in 1995, under the Permira name of TLLC Group Holdings Ltd in 2003, and sold to Dubai International Capital in August 2006 for £675 million.
Nowadays, the company is known as the second largest budget hotel chain just behind Premier Inn, and comes in as the third biggest hotel chain in the United Kingdom when going by bedrooms, with more than 37,000. There are now more than 500 hotels nationwide, and they have expanded from being roadside hotels to being a well renowned and highly recognised hotel chain with many branches now open in city centres too. Over 80% of Travelodge hotels are based in cities, towns and tourist hotspots. Many of the Travelodge hotels are based in uniquely designed buildings including grade II listed buildings, office conversions and purpose built hotels.
During 2013, the firm opened 14 new hotels, with a total of 1742 new rooms. They also opened hotels in Spanish locations, Barcelona and Madrid, bringing their total room stock in Spain to 700.
In the past year, more than 16.5 million people stayed in a Travelodge. Travelodge.co.uk, the UK’s most visited hotel website, currently attracts more than 1.1 million visits per week, and 90% of all bookings are made through it.
The company is currently working on a nationwide refurbishment programme costing £57 million to give the chain a new look. They have carried out 12 months of extensive research towards this project which will include upgrading beds to luxury king size, with a calming blue colour scheme. The new rooms will feel lighter and more airy and will benefit from extra truckle beds underneath the main bed for families.
Travelodge currently employs more than 600 staff around the UK, Ireland and Spain. It also benefits young people and unemployment with the Local Employment Partnership (LEP) through Job Centre Plus which allows all entry-level jobs at the hotel chain to be made available to those who are in long-term unemployment.