The Travelodge brand started life in the US, established in 1939 with a chain of motels in Southern California. The first Travelodge opened in San Diego in 1940. Travelodge arrived in the UK in the 1980s, established by Lord Forte of Forte Hotels. The hotels started life as Little Chef Lodge - attached to that most beloved of institutions, the Little Chef. They were later rebranded as Travelodge. Travelodge is now the second largest budget hotel brand and third biggest hotel chain (20,000+ bedrooms) in the UK.