Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Travel Inn, London Road, Nottingham

What a swiz!

Hang on, let me start from the beginning.

Having arrived too late at Birmingham New Street station to make my connection I go up to the main concourse, only to find that the next Nottingham train was arriving at the platform I just left; still no need to hunt for the platform and it wasn't that far away, in fact the Virgin train I got off was still at the platform I was so quick.

The trip to Nottingham was fine. There was only a small table in the section I was sitting in and a chap hogged it with his laptop but I checked out alternatives and this keyboard and Axim setup fitted fine on the flat back of my little backpack, (a present from my wife, who knows of my tendency to go kitted up, it folds into it's own pocket for carrying discretely when I don't need it).

Getting into Nottingham station, a fine red bricked building, I'll post a picture of the entrance later, the first of two streets on the route to my hotel was clearly sign posted along the Way Out route.

Something that really caught my eye, apart from the plethora of red brick buildings seen through various windows, was a sign for Trams. That is something novel for a chap from West Cornwall. You hear about these things but it's only when they crop up in the context of what is normal for the locals that they really register.

Anyway, finding the hotel was made even easier when I passed a building under construction that had an aerial photograph of the area mounted on one of it's screens along the street. I turned a corner, crossed the road and could see the Travel Inn, right next to Nottingham's BBC station (this only has significance as it made me think of Rebecca, a BBC reporter whom I'm related to - in that convoluted Cornish method of reckoning).

I went in to the hotel and was dealt with by a very helpful young lady, from her badge it said in training and I could see that she was new enough not to be jaded unlike her colleague. I asked if they had wifi, as their website said all their hotels would have it by end of July. What he said rang faint alarm bells but I put it down to tiredness or a lack of understanding on his part - I was wrong.

When I got into my room and fired up this Axim the alarm bells rang loud and clear. I have been dipping into the world of roaming and making use of the monthly deal I have to get onto T-Mobile and The Cloud hotspots. Travel Inns have their own setup in partnership with a company called Spectrum. The deal is you select the amount of time you want to pay for and then give your credit card info; no roaming option, just ?4 for 30 minutes, ?6 for 1 hour, ?qw for a day, ?24 for a week and I forget what the other offer was.

The moral of the above is, if you are hoping to roam on a hotel's wifi, it will not always be possible. Maybe Travel Inns are an exeception but I know I will take more care in future. Research, research, research will be my watchwords. (I realised after that last November I stayed in a Travelodge, where they had a Swisscom hotspot that had roaming partners).

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Cornwall, United Kingdom
A married Cornishman who is getting an inkling of what he wants to be when he grows up. I currently work for the NHS. [See bottom of page for Blog Archive and Links.]

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