Which? magazine has brought back one of its regular highlights – the best and worst UK hotel chains, as voted for by its readers.
You can see the full article on the Which? website here.
There is, of course, no surprise over the winner of the UK’s worst hotel chain. It may be 18 months since the last set of awards but nothing ever changes here ….
Yes, yet again Britannia Hotels has won (or lost).
Based, admittedly, on a relatively small sample size, Britannia was rated one star out of five for bathrooms, bedrooms and wi-fi, and two stars for categories such as cleanliness, customer service and value for money. This is a poorer showing than February 2022 when it only scored one star in one category.
(What I don’t quite understand is how Which? finds anyone to vote for Britannia. Surely all of their readership must have been put off by now, given that Britannia has won this title multiple times?!)
Travelodge came second from bottom, which is not surprising. Whilst it is pushing ahead with selected refurbishments – and recent openings look quite smart – much of the estate is in a bad way.
More surprising is who came third from bottom – Accor’s Mercure brand. Mercure was actually 2nd from bottom in February 2022 so this counts as an improvement. This is probably because my view is coloured by the Sheffield property (below, website here) which is arguably the best large hotel in the city centre. Perhaps it should be rebranded before it is dragged down by its siblings?
Who was voted the UK’s best hotel chain?
The UK’s best large hotel chain
The ‘large chain’ winner was Hotel Indigo, part of IHG One Rewards.
This is not hugely surprising. I have often said that a Hotel Indigo is usually the best branded hotel in a regional city, and new openings such as Bath which I reviewed here are impressive.
Second and third spots were taken by Premier Inn Hub (the city centre variant with smaller rooms) and Premier Inn respectively.
I am a big fan of Premier Inn – ‘consistent’ is the best way to describe them – and happy to use them if I’m in a town with no high end options. Premier Inn actually won the overall title in 2022.
Crowne Plaza, which came 4th in February 2022, dropped to 14th! I predicted this in 2022, as the best London hotels were leaving (Kensington, The City) and some dubious additions had been made (eg Sheffield).
From fourth onwards we have Wetherspoon Hotels, Ibis Styles, Sofitel, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton, Holiday Inn Express and Marriott.
(Sofitel should arguably not have been on the ‘large chain’ list given that it only has three UK hotels. One of these is a smart property in St James whilst the other two are at Heathrow and at Gatwick.)
The UK’s best small or medium hotel chain
In the ‘small and medium chains’ category, the winner was Brend. This is a name I didn’t know, but it is a group of resort hotels in Devon and Cornwall, including the Saunton Sands Hotel.
Second was Coaching Inn and third was Inn Collection Group. It’s worth noting that all three of these scored higher than the winner of the ‘best large chain’ title.
Hotel du Vin, website here, dropped to fourth after winning in February 2022.
Warner Leisure – not really aimed at the HfP demographic, but arguably closer to the typical Which? subscriber – came fifth. I was a little surprised to see Q Hotels and De Vere following on, ahead of Malmaison.
You can read the full article on the Which? website here.
Hotel offers update – February 2024:
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Want to buy hotel points?
- Hilton Honors is offering an 80% to 100% bonus when you buy points by 12th March 2024. Click here.
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- Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 35% to 40% bonus when you buy points by 31st March 2024. Click here.
- World of Hyatt is offering a 20% discount when you buy points by 9th April 2024. Click here.