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Travelodge hotels on the camino francés

A

Anonymous

Guest
#1
It is reported today, "Travelodge are considering building hotels along the camino francés. They had some initial meetings with the Xunta in Galicia recently.... I wonder if some of the spirit of the camino will be gone if pilgrims sleep in Travelodges instead of the local albergue?"

Excellent opportunity here, folks! If Travelodge really want to do this, let's give them some real guidance on how to make an authentic environment. I'll start the ball rolling. Please add your suggestions! :D

1. Staff in these Travelodges should be unpaid volunteers, dedicated to peregrinos and refuse all tips.
2. All hotel guests must be pushed out the door by 9.30 a.m. at the latest.
3. Loudspeakers in the hotel rooms will play the sound of three people snoring, all through the night.
4. No sink or bath plugs will be provided in the bathrooms and an old (navy blue) sock will always be left in the corner.
5. A dog-eared copy of "Wild Flowers of Scandinavia" - in Norwegian - will be provided as the sole reading material in the hotel bedrooms, in case a pilgrim gets bored.
6. At about three o'clock in the morning, a member of the Travelodge staff will enter the room and accidentally step on the guest's nose, while whispering "Sorry," before falling over noisily and knocking over some walking sticks.
7. The hotel manager should gratefully accept a donation, instead of the 35 Euros room charge, as a sign of her full commitment to the spirit of the Camino.
8. The Travelodge company should send all their staff for training days and client communication seminars with Tomas el Templario at Manjarin, including instruction on how to encourage guests to crap in the hotel garden without being closed down as a health hazard by the local ayuntamiento.
9. The hotel manager should be qualified in shiatsu Zen crystal-gazing Hindu vegan caffeine-free Tibetan astro-karmic windsurfing, a dedicated opposer of Opus Dei, and able to give foot massage while simultaneously cooking sopa de ajo.
10. The Travelodge will always stay open in the winter, even if there are only two guests a week.

:wink:

Gareth
 

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ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese May "08" Camino Frances May/June "11" del Norte Sept/Oct "14"/Camino Invierno May 2016/ Camino Ingles Oct 2017
#2
Gareth, I love you!! I'll happily hand deliver...nay, read aloud your list to the folks at Travel lodge!! and for absolutely no fee either send you the video (taken w/stealth camera like one of these docudramas they have on the news) of their faces esp. when I read them article number 8!!

I saw that note on the front page of the website and although it might make the rooming situation easy, somehow staying in sanitized little boxes...that's not what I'm heading over there for, hell I hardly ever do that here !...Another antiseptic "Disneyfied" experience...no thank you.

It would be a Camino on par with those who go to Epcot in Disney and tell me they don't need to go to Europe...they've been there! Ewwww! Give me the real deal or give me nothing...I'll stay home and hike in the forest near me!

Buen Camino, Karin

PS perhaps the can have certain film stars who've written about it previously do themes for the rooms!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#3
I think its a brilliant move - and it should also benefit the local economy.
One thing I have learned since I started on this Way is that there are all types of peoples on the caminos and none are 'right or wrong' - only different.
I have done a number of walks with a friend who loves long distance walks, is passionate about history and art, gets completely involved in the food in different countries, but also likes to sleep in comfortable places and is not into the the whole "I am a pilgrim" mindset. I'm sure this is the market the Travelodge is aiming at and I wish them luck.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese May "08" Camino Frances May/June "11" del Norte Sept/Oct "14"/Camino Invierno May 2016/ Camino Ingles Oct 2017
#5
OK Sil & Johnnie...you both have a very good point, but it still seems like something that would need careful oversight..to keep the real local flavor. And as Gareth mentioned in his first post...what about the off season?? Or perhaps a solid new well insulated construction every few k would allow for more winter pilgrims...hard to say..but I know here in the US...you can go from one town to the next and sometimes quite frankly have NO clue where you are! Why..because they all have the same chain stores, restaurants and hotels too! The same strip malls, the same Big malls..you have to fight to find the true local flavor and culture...and I just wouldn't want to see that happen elsewhere. My 2 cents!
 

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JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#6
Ksam - you make a very valid point but alas the market rules and I fear there is no way of stopping change - the Camino Frances is very different now from what it was 10 or 20 years ago....not only is there more support by way of albergues but a whole private albergue industry has grown up...the staff of bars and restaurants speak different languages - I saw signs offering bacon and egg breakfasts!Not quite Benidorm - but getting there :(

But I also believe that pilgrims will keep walking and keep being pilgrims no matter what - perhaps that is what will keep the fragile equilibrium.
 
#7
Here in the states we see that homogeneous world that you may not see in Europe. I know when I was in Germany and saw a WalMart sign I thought "Oh no.... it's happening.... the whole world is becoming the same" little by little. So you may understand that those of us that travel elsewhere and see something that doesn't look just like the city next door feel sad to see these same enterprises creeping in.
One of the differences that I saw when traveling back to Spain is that some stores do not close at 2 pm like they used to. Stores are now open on sundays. McDonald's is available. Eventually, why travel?
Go to Disney World and see the world/
Travelodge is a chain, WalMart is a chain. And although it is great for free enterprise, know that eventually the money gets into the pockets of these huge companies and little by little......
grrrrrr
Lillian, with love
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#8
I agree with you Lillian. I read the article and it seems that they are targeting Galicia at this stage so lets hope they stay there!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#9
It´s "anything goes" in Galicia any more. Very sad. All those medieval villages now have glowing Coke machines in the Plaza Mayor, and paved pathways leading on to the next one.

But the guy who owns the machine probably now can afford a car to get outta town with, and a vacation now and then... to Benidorm!
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese May "08" Camino Frances May/June "11" del Norte Sept/Oct "14"/Camino Invierno May 2016/ Camino Ingles Oct 2017
#10
Ok...enlighten me ! Benidorm???? :shock: Wass ist den dass? Never heard the term before...somehow...it don't sound good???

karin
 
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