Travelodge Inverness City Centre Review: The Best Cheap Hotel in Inverness?

Inverness, the ‘Capital of the Highlands’, is the perfect base from which to explore Loch Ness, the Speyside whisky region and beyond, especially if you are visiting Scotland without a car. However, accommodation can be pricey, especially if you are visiting in high season.

So which is the best cheap hotel in Inverness?

On my last visit, I stayed at the Travelodge but is this a good choice for a budget hotel in Inverness? Find out in thisTravelodge Inverness City Centre review.

wide river in inverness in scotland with bridge and lined by buuildings

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>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES AT TRAVELODGE INVERNESS CITY CENTRE

Where is theTravelodge Inverness City Centre Located?

Travelodge Inverness City Centre is on Academy Street, a five-minute walk to the train station and closer still to the bus station. Perfect for taking day trips from Inverness.

There is a good selection of shops, cafes and restaurants close by and the river is a five-minute walk.

Travelodge Inverness City Centre Review: Is it the Best Cheap Hotel in Inverness?

Check-in

This Travelodge hasn’t gone down the road of self-service check-in and a friendly human being did the deed efficiently.

The earliest check-in time is 3 pm. Check-out is by midday on your departure date. Earlier check-in or later check available for an additional charge, subject to availability.

Travelodge does not encourage luggage storage. Instead, it suggests that guests purchase an early check (or late check-out) if they anticipate an early arrival or late departure. Hmm.

Public areas

If you picture yourself curled up with a book in a comfortable hotel lobby, forget it. The public area in the Travelodge Inverness City Centre is functional and is not designed for lingering.

This cafe/bar area serves breakfast and dinner as well as light snacks and drinks.

cafe area with wooden tables and red chairs
Travelodge Inverness City Centre, cafe / bar area

The room

My room was quiet, at the end of the corridor on the top floor. No stomping feet overhead.

To say that it was compact is putting it mildly. I’ve had cruise ship cabins with more square footage. Decorated in the chain’s corporate red, blue and grey tones, it had good lighting throughout.

Storage space was minimal. There was a hanging rail with two lonely hangers and no shelves or drawers.

The king-sized bed was comfortable but had cheap linen and foam pillows. Instead of bedside tables, there were two cubbyholes on either side of the bed.

room at Travelodge Inverness City Centre with bed and desk which may be the best cheap hotel in inverness

There were two vinyl armchairs and a small desk area.

A kettle was provided along with limited supplies for making hot drinks: sachets of instant coffee, tea bags, UHT milk and sugar/sweetener. Further supplies were available on request.

Cups were in the room but no glasses.

desk with red chair

Power points were plentiful and included USB charging points at either side of the bed (although one of these didn’t work during my stay. There was no safe, fridge, hairdryer, iron or ironing board in the room. Hairdryers and irons were available from reception, subject to availability.

A wall-mounted TV hung opposite the bed.

There was no air-conditioning. This was an issue as the room did feel very stuffy, despite the less-than-tropical temperatures outside, and the small desk fan provided was ineffective.

The bathroom was clean and functional with good lighting. It had a shower cubicle with a nylon curtain. The shower was powerful.

Don’t expect to sink into the towels but they were of reasonable quality.

white bathroom with shower cubicle and sink

Hair and body gel in wall-mounted dispensers were provided as was a soap dispenser by the sink.

Wi-Fi

Complimentary Wi-Fi was very mean. I had 30 minutes free access per day, upgradable to 24-hour for a fee.

Eating and drinking at the Travelodge Inverness City Centre

Breakfast and dinner, as well as snacks and drinks, are served in the hotel’s cafe/bar area.

I had breakfast there on a Sunday when I struggled to find other places that were open. Once was enough.

Their Unlimited Breakfast is yours for £9.75. Here’s what they have to say about it:

Join us for our unlimited breakfast and wake up to Lavazza coffee, our cooked breakfast items from the grill, pastries from the bakery, plus healthier and plant based delights. It’s a great breakfast on your doorstep. Literally.

Sounds good, yes? The reality was undercooked hash browns, cold mushrooms, rubbery scrambled eggs and limp toast. This was served with a cup of hot water and a tea bag.

cooked breakfast with bowl of baked beans and mug of tea
Tragic breakfast at Travelodge Inverness City Centre

Not once during my five-night stay did I see anyone eating dinner at the Travelodge Inverness City Centre.

How Much Does It Cost to Stay at the Travelodge Inverness City Centre?

Room rates in 2024 range from an extremely modest £31 to well in excess of £100, depending on cancellation terms and season. Book well in advance for the best rates.

Travelodge offers two base room rates:

  • Saver: Non-refundable. The arrival date can be amended subject to availability and change fee.
  • Flexible rate: Fully refundable excluding WiFi. Free to amend or cancel up until noon on arrival date.

Payment is needed upfront for both room rates.

>>> CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER TRAVELLERS’ REVIEWS & CHECK RATES

The Bottom Line: Is the Travelodge Inverness City Centre the Best Cheap Hotel in Inverness?

The Travelodge Inverness City Centre puts the “no” back into no-frills.

Whilst clean and functional, the rooms are cosy, to say the least. Fine for single travellers like myself, but two people may struggle.

Forcing guests into paying an extra tenner for early check-in / late check-out so that they can store their luggage is irksome, as is the complimentary stingy Wi-Fi access.

That said, the Travelodge is in an excellent location, particularly if you are taking day trips out of town by bus or train. It is also a clean hotel, essential during a global viral pandemic. And let’s face it; when you are visiting Inverness, you are not likely to be spending very much time in your hotel or guest house.

But does the Travelodge Inverness City Centre offer good budget accommodation in Inverness? Maybe.

Price point won the day. When I booked a room for my July visit,at an average rate of £56 a night, it was considerably cheaper than other mid-range accommodation options in Inverness.

Prices being more or less equal, I would have opted for Inverness’s riverfront Premier Inn.

Not having stayed there, in fairness I cannot directly compare the two hotels. However, I have had good experiences with Premier Inn, their complimentary Wi-Fi access is more generous and they offer free luggage storage. They have also won multiple awards, including the 2022 Business Traveller Awards.

Other Places to Stay in Inverness

Don’t fancy the Travelodge Inverness City Centre? Then take a look at these other places to stay in Inverness.

Mid-range: Premier Inn Inverness Centre (River Ness)

In all honesty, this is my preferred budget hotel chain but was more expensive than the Travelodge when I booked. This Premier Inn has a riverside setting – some of its rooms overlook the river and Inverness Castle – and has garnered great reviews.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK A ROOM

Budget: Black Isle Hostel

If you are travelling on a tight budget, take a look at this hostel which was recommended to me by someone who had a long-term stay there. Whilst the Black Isle Hostel isn’t much to look at from the outside, it’s reportedly clean and comfortable and in a central location.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK A ROOM

Splurge: Bluebell House

Another centrally located accommodation choice, Bluebell House has attracted stellar reviews for its service, cleanliness and breakfasts.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK A ROOM

>>> SEARCH FOR OTHER INVERNESS HOTELS HERE

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About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at hello@theflashpacker.net or follow her on social media.