A hotel in one of the city’s prime locations has changed overnight into a budget Travelodge - without even warning its guests.
The three star Ramada Encore hotel in The Hub sold out to the Travelodge chain last week without even the knowledge of neighbouring businesses.
Guests who had booked to stay at the prestigious-sounding Ramada found themselves in a Travelodge – and many of them vented their feeling on popular review site TripAdvisor.
“We were told our rooms were cancelled, but we did not cancel. In fact this hotel was taken over by Travelodge but no one thought to inform us,” wrote one visitor.
He claimed: “The rooms are really basic and breakfast was not worth the 20 minute wait.”
But Travelodge, which operates 500 hotels nationally, is confident it can turn the venue into a success story.
They plan to rename it ‘Milton Keynes Travelodge at The Hub’ and invest £1.2 million to modernise it to fit a new ‘contemporary brand design’.
The hotel has 159 bedrooms, a 70-seat restaurant, meeting rooms and parking for 70 cars.
A Travelodge spokesman said: “A private investor sold its freehold interest at a net interest yield of 5.74 per cent to a pension fund client of La Salle Investment Management. Travelodge has taken a 25 year lease to operate the hotel.”
It is not known whether all Ramada staff have kept their jobs but Travelodge has transferred 18 employees to the new venue.
The Citizen tried to contact Ramada, which is owned by Wyndham Worldwide, on its customer service number.
But numerous requests for a press office number were met with the response: “Do you wish to make a reservation.”
Meanwhile The Hub representatives said: “While the change has happened quickly, we are excited to welcome Travelodge to The Hub as another great offering for visitors to Milton Keynes.“