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UK's worst hotel chains revealed

Llandudno, UK: Jan 25, 2020: The Grand Hotel is owned by Britannia Hotels since 2004. Once the largest hotel in wales, it occupies a commanding site at the foot of Great Orme, adjacent to the pier.
Britannia's Grand Hotel in Llandudno, Wales. Britannia has been named the UK's worst large hotel chain by consumer group Which? for the tenth year running. Photo: Getty

Being named the worst hotel in the UK is not a title any establishment aims for, but this year’s winner has done it 10 times in a row now, cementing its status as the hotel to avoid.

Britannia has been named the UK's worst large hotel chain by consumer group Which? for the tenth year running.

It scored just two out of five stars in every category, including cleanliness, food, and value for money, and it achieved an overall customer satisfaction score of 56%, according to Which?.

One guest described their room as “absolutely dire, drab and smelly”, while another complained of dirt and mould. Plumbing concerns such as faulty toilets and lack of hot water were also common, with one in five (19%) of those who encountered an issue reporting a complaint of this nature.

Almost one in three (28%) of those who stayed at a Britannia hotel reported an issue with their stay, with over half of those (54%) noting issues with cleanliness.

Hotel customers rated their stay across 10 key categories, including cleanliness, bed comfort, food, customer service and value for money.

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Premier Inn was once again voted Britain's favourite hotel chain, with a customer score of 78%. It was given five stars for cleanliness and comfort of beds.

Multiple travellers praised the chain for offering a “reliable” and “quality service”, with many respondents sharing that they are return guests owing to the consistency on offer across the brand’s sites.

Despite being the second cheapest chain in the table, an average night’s stay at the Premier Inn has risen by a staggering 35% compared with 2021 – significantly more than the national average (21%). The increase has been noted by guests, who awarded it just two stars for value for money.

Travelodge was the cheapest chain in the survey with an average room rate of £78. It also rated just 2 stars for value for money.

But you do get what you pay for as one customer said their room was “very run down”, while others remarked on “cramped” and “tired” bathrooms and breakfasts that were “not worth the money”.

Overall, the chain scored one star for food and drink, and just two stars for the bedrooms, bathrooms, customer service, communal facilities and how well the description of the rooms matched the reality.

Hotel chains rated. Table: Which?
Hotel chains rated. Table: Which?

Mercure and Jurys Inn/Leonardo Hotels also performed poorly in the survey, both earning a customer satisfaction score of 58%.

While many guests praised Mercure for “conveniently located” hotels with “helpful staff”, facilities were described as “basic”. Summing up their experience, one guest said: “Not that bad but definitely not good. Avoid if possible.”

Jurys Inn/Leonardo Hotels had a similar feedback, with one guest describing their stay as “good, but nothing special for the price”.

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Guy Hobbs, editor of Which? Travel, said: “With a decade of dismal reviews cementing its place as one of the UK’s worst hotel chains, our results suggest that Britannia should be avoided at all costs.

“With the average price of a UK hotel stay now costing a fifth more than it did last year, travellers want to be sure they are getting the best possible experience for their money. Our results show that price isn’t necessarily an indicator of quality and many respondents reported fantastic stays with brands including Premier Inn and smaller chains like Warner Hotels.”

Among small hotel chains, Warner Hotels came up trumps, with a customer score of 77%. In this category, Malmaison also fared well, with a customer score of 76%.

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