Premier Inn Scarborough reviewed, and more!

I spent the weekend playing pitch and putt golf on the Yorkshire coast, with a diversion via South Yorkshire.  Here are three things I discovered along the way:

1.  Top-tier status is not always what its cracked up to be

I have occasionally joked on Head for Points that the benefit of having hotel status, even at the lowest level, is that you will avoid ‘the room overlooking the bins’.

I was therefore unimpressed when I received this room at the Holiday Inn Rotherham Sheffield on Friday night:

Holiday Inn Rotherham 2

It is, indeed, the room overlooking the bins.

There were just two Platinum tier members of IHG Rewards Club in the hotel at the time, including myself …..

That said, it is not a bad hotel.  Very cheap at weekends, with a full fitness club – including a large pool and a separate kids pool.  The rooms are being refurbished with new carpets, TV’s and beds at the moment as well.  Just get rid of the plastic-sealed disposable plastic cups from the bathroom please ….

2.  The East Coast trains First Class Lounge is not what its cracked up to be

I wrote about the East Coast trains new lounge at Kings Cross when it launched.  This is the photograph that they circulated at the time:

East Coast First Class lounge

I checked it out on Friday for the first time, getting entry for just 50 East Coast Rewards points.  It is perfectly pleasant enough, but the food, drink and newspaper offering leaves a lot to be desired.  Fundamentally, you are looking at pre-packed biscuits (the same you get on the train), a bowl of fruit, a coffee machine and a fridge of cold drinks.  Not exactly a life-changing selection.

There were no ‘real’ magazines apart from free promo nonsense, with newspapers limited to the Standard and a few well-thumbed copies of The Times.  Admittedly, for 50 East Coast Rewards points, you can’t complain but it could be so much better.

3.  I stayed at a Premier Inn and I liked it

This is my review of the Premier Inn in Scarborough.

On Saturday night I found myself in a Premier Inn for the first time – the Premier Inn Scarborough to be precise.  And, to be honest, it was more than acceptable.

The room, as you can see below, was perfectly fine.  They even had proper glasses in the bathroom, Holiday Inn Rotherham please note!  (They also had a picture of Lenny Henry in the room though ….)

Premier Inn Scarborough review

Premier Inn Scarborough bathroom review

The only thing that grated was the fact that they treat guests like they are on a Club 18-30 holiday.  They wanted full details of everyone in our party, not just the lead named person, which took an age.  The front door to the hotel is locked at night and you need to be buzzed in.   Lots of signs everywhere telling you to be quiet.

That said, it was exceptionally clean and well maintained, everyone was very friendly and I would stay there again with no worries.  In a coastal town with 500 mediocre guest houses and zero quality hotels, the Premier Inn was just what we needed.

BaxterStorey scores 2/5 hygiene rating for some British Airways lounges
Did you know Lufthansa offers a 25% mileage discount for children?
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Comments

  1. Plenty of hotels around the world of all grades where I’d welcome signs telling guests to STFU. That said, I’m sure the bulk of them would be ignored….

  2. Clearly you’ve never tried a Scotrail First Class Lounge. A few of the cheapest padded seats that exist in Makro, a fridge with Sunpride Orange Juice, bottles of water and a coffee machine. Hilariously, the only people using the lounge are all the Scotrail staff making themselves coffee and sitting down using it as a staff room.

  3. Kings cross, much better idea is to go in the Parcel Yard at Kings cross next to Platforms 9 to 11. Excellent range of real ales, keg beers such as Meantime Pale Ale and the coffee is excellent as well. Free wifi throughtout with ample plug sockets. Sign up to the mailing list and you get offers such as free drinks vouchers.

  4. I stayed at a Premier Inn and I liked it, too.

  5. I’m half-suspecting your Premier Inn experience was more to do with location than brand!
    I’ve stayed in a few & never had to provide all party members details, nor seen SHOOSH signs & if the front door is locked overnight your room keycard unlocked it.

  6. From my experience Premier Inn is the best value hotel chain. I’ve always found it clean and quiet and if you can get a room for £29 it’s often cheaper than a taxi home.

  7. I stayed at a Premier Inn on Christmas Eve, as I was visiting my in-laws.
    The staff were very friendly, when they saw J5a Jr with us, they asked how old he was and his name. On Christmas Day they placed a small gifts (selection box) under the Christmas for all children staying that day. Very nice touch indeed!

  8. Yep no problem with Premier Inn either, we sometimes use one because it’s easier to drive up to the airport the night before when you have an earlyish flight and 3 kids in tow 😉

    Generally clean and well looked-after but if you get one in need of refurbishment, not so brilliant (use Trip Advisor).

    Perfectly possible to fairly comfortably sleep 5 in one room if you smuggle in the extra kid separately lol

  9. Definitely a location policy rather than a company policy. They guarantee your money back if you don’t get a good nights sleep so if you keep a 70 room hotel up half the night I’d imagine your name could end up on a banned list somewhere.

    Out of curiosity were the ‘Shoosh’ sounds the little ones about twice the size of a credit card or were they the big vinyl ones which have a kids face on it saying shoosh? I’m lead to believe that if it is the bigger if the two the hotel has a higher than average payout on the goodnight guarantee.

    Also when I saw your picture of the bins this reminded me of the goodnight guarantee at PI – they have paid me out twice for bin men arriving at 6am in the morning.

    • Both. Little signs on interior doors and some massive ones inside the corridors.

      Interestingly, the hotel emailed me before the stay reminding me it was in the city centre and therefore I could get external disturbance.

      And yet, despite being 2nd floor and overlooking the street, it was totally silent!

      • If the big ones are there usually there has been an issue in the past. They are much better at dealing with noise issues than some of the bigger full service chains in fact I would go as far as say it’s bordering on zero tolerance.

        The few Premier Inn franchise sites that are out there are also very good at maintaining the brand standard. Given that Whitbread are rolling out loyalty schemes to their food sites pretty quickly I think it will only be a matter of time before we see a Premier Inn one tbh, I also had a very in depth questionnaire a few weeks back from them that had a very long section on loyalty schemes and I see to recall I had something similar just before they launched the beefeater card.

  10. Gosh, when I looked at the first photo, I thought you had ended up IN the bin!

  11. Nick Burch says:

    I’ve had a Mercure give me one of the worst rooms in a hotel before, despite being Le Club Platinum and having stayed at that hotel a number of times before! I got a moderately appologetic email from the manager after giving them a slating in the post-stay guest survey (over that and a few other failings), so I’ve given them 6 months on the naughty step before I consider staying there again…

    Did the Holiday Inn Rotherham offer you anything as a Plat? The last couple I’ve been to have given me a choice between a drink or a few hundred points

    • Yes, I was offered 500 points or a drink or bar snack. This is the new pan-Euro elite guest recognition programme in action.

      Took the points as was with the 5-year old, although the drink would have been better value.

      • So this is all we can expect now? Very disappointing. At Hi Edinburgh next to the zoo last year we were handed a bag with no less than 6 small bottles of wine, some water, soft drinks for the kids and a few snacks too … and that was on a £20.12 rate! HI Regents Park gave me free breakfast which was nice. Next 3 stays are HI GLA, HIE HK Soho and HI Patong Beach Resort so will be interesting to see what they come up with.

        • Wow, that’s some pretty amazing HI treatment you had! Prior to the recent change I never received anything as a Plat in the HIs I stayed at in London unless I was lucky and received an upgrade to an ‘Exec’ room that came with a free KitKat!

          A post-stay survey on a recent HIX stay asked if I’d been offered 300 pts or a drink+snack voucher. I said neither were offered and Tweeted IHG Care to ask about it. The gave me the points but said they weren’t meant to be offering either – I pointed out they might want to remove the question from their survey in that case!!

          • Actually it was even better because I as the Plat member didnt even stsy. I just seen the family in and left! It also posted as a qualifying stay! Regents Park was an award redemption. After reading some stuff on FT I emailed the hotel directly to establish which benefits I could expect as Plat and was offered breakfast. Now I do it all the time but so far best I have been offered is gyaranteed or subject to availability room upgrades. HI resort Pstong Beach have always upgraded my room. Will be interestjng to see if anything has changed next time; 500 points or a drink would not be a welcome enhancement.

  12. I think all the “Be Quiet” signs are there because of their sleep promise. If you are kept awake by noise, complain to reception and they will give you a full refund on your stay

  13. From my experience, Premier Inns have always been great.

    From the way you describe the East Coast lounge, it sounds just like the disappointing experience of the Virgin lounge at Euston (based on my one and only visit a couple of years back).

    • The East Coast lounge is a lot quieter than the Virgin lounge, and more attractive. At least Virgin has a bar, though, albeit a paid one.

      • East Coast (and NXEC and GNER before them) used to sell alcoholic drinks and hot food in the lounge. This all went away after they went all complimentary on board. I think it’s probably because they didn’t want to offer complimentary food and alcohol in the lounge, but thought charging for it would look bad.

  14. Having spent the odd hour in Darlo and Newcastle recently the KX one is like heaven. In the others there are no soft drinks and only a water cooler. Darlo normally has the TV blaring also

  15. As I do maintain, the low cost hotels aren’t that bad in the least – set your expectations low, and you will be surprised more than once.

    Put it like this: For UK travel, they compare favorably with the bigger international chains.

    • Agreed. Have stayed in Travelodge Edinburgh Princes Street in a room that was large, clean and had stunning city views from floor to ceiling windows. Paid under £20 and it was bang in centre about 3 minutes walk from both train and bus stations. A previous stay at the Grosvenor Hilton at almost 10x the price was so bad I have stayed at Hiltons only twice since.

    • I agree with this. We all like staying in plush hotels, but to be honest I’m more than happy with a premier inn. I’d rather a chain than an awful b&b. If I’m paying actual cash, then give me a travel lodge over a £200 room at a smarter hotel any day.

  16. Indeed – I got £9 back yesterday from our 3 rooms!

  17. If you’re flying BA from Gatwick and would normally stay in the Hilton I’d recommend the Premer Inn north terminal anytime. It’s just across the road from the terminal and is so much easier than faffing about with the Hilton and its long walk to south terminal followed by monorail.

    • That is *precisely* what I’ll be doing tomorrow evening & look forward to comparing this LGW Premier Inn to the other I’ve used before, as well as the Hilton.

  18. I don’t know if this has been commented yet. I haven’t read through the comments yet.

    Travelodge and Premier Inn ask for the names of each party, because of their fire safety. I presume larger hotels seem to be under a different category. That is the only reason they ask.

    It wasn’t to cause anyone upset.

    • You never get this in more upmarket hotels though. They even insisted that the right person slept in the right room (we had booked 3 rooms and I had randomly picked 3 of the group to have their name on each one).