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British Couple's 22-Year Motel Stop

A British couple have shacked up in a budget roadside motel for more than 20 years because they love never having to do the laundry or cooking, they said Tuesday.

David Davidson, 79, and his wife, Jean, 70, first tried out a Travelodge hotel while visiting a sick aunt in 1985, and were instantly hooked.

Their room near Grantham, east central England off the A1 trunk road from London to Edinburgh overlooks a car park, but is also within sight of a slip road that trucks rumble down day and night, jazzing up the view.

"We get great rates because we book well in advance and we even have our own personal housekeeper. All our bed linen is laundered, too. It doesn't get much better than that, does it?" said former Royal Navy sailor David Davidson.

The couple have spent around 100,000 pounds (200,000 dollars, 150,000 euros) renting rooms which cost them as little as 15 pounds (30 dollars, 22 euros) a night.

The motel is renaming their room The Davidsons' Suite and mounting a plaque in the reception to mark their 10-year anniversary.

The couple, who initially lived in a Travelodge in nearby Newark before moving in 1997, have kept their old flat in Sheffield, northern England, and return every fortnight to collect the post.

The Davidsons exchange Christmas presents with the staff, dine out at a roadside eaterie across the car park and watch the traffic go by.

"There is always something outside our window. Our room looks out to the car park and a busy slip road where lorries pass through the night," David Davidson said.

"We do have to be a bit choosy about what we keep in our room as it can fill up easily."

His wife added, "We don't get hit with huge heating bills over the winter and it’s safer than a lot of places these days."

The couple do go for trips abroad, but stay in a Travelodge.

"Some will think David and Jean Davidson bonkers to have spent the last 22 years living in a hotel," said the Daily Express in its editorial.

But their room rates are "not more than many people's mortgage payments, the housework is done for them and they do not pay utility bills. What's not to like?"


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