Britannia and Travelodge named Britain's worst hotel chains


Britannia Hotels has been voted the worst hotel chain in the UK by consumer rights group Which?, after receiving low marks for cleanliness, room fixtures and value for money.

Which? asked its members to vote on UK hotel stays they had undertaken in the last year and rated 36 hotel chains on cleanliness, customer service, quality of breakfast, bed comfort and value for money.

Britannia came bottom of the survey, receiving an overall customer score of 36%. Which? members said that some rooms at Britannia hotels didn't have windows, with one person claiming they were asked to pay £10 extra for one. Other members described its hotels and rooms as 'shabby' and 'run-down'.

Second from bottom of the survey was Travelodge, which gained only a single star for the quality of its breakfast, and just two stars for cleanliness, room fixtures and bed comfort.

Overall, the survey indicates that there are huge gaps in standards between hotel groups, with Q Hotels scoring the highest rating of 78%, followed by Radisson Blu Edwardian (77%) and Premier Inn (76%).

Q Hotels was awarded full five-star ratings for its cleanliness and room fixtures, with one Which? member remarking that a stay at a Q Hotel was "excellent in every department".

Arguably the most surprising result was budget hotel chain Premier Inn coming third in the survey. With more than 52,000 rooms in 650 UK hotels, some available for as little as £29 a night, Premier Inn emerged as Which? members' most-used hotel. They praised its cleanliness and good customer service. One said: "Total reliability in quality and cleanliness is Premier Inn's biggest asset."

Which? editor Richard Headland said: "Our survey has revealed a king-sized bed gap between the best and worst hotel chains in the UK and shows you don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent overnight stay."

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W must be very strange as we prefer travelodge to Premier Inn, the ones we stayed in were clean and very modern, do you really like the garish purple of Premier inns and the tiny rooms ?

My husband and I have stayed in Travelodges up and down the UK, including airports.  While they are no frills stays, we have always found them to be immaculately clean and superb value for money.  The staff have been friendly and helpful and we will continue to use them.  If you want luxury, you must be prepared to pay a premium charge.  Our only let-down was in New Jersey, U.S., where they are franchised and that one was the absolute pits.

When staying at Premier Inns you need to be choosey.
Premier Lodge and Travel Inn amalgamated a few years ago to become Premier Inn.
The old Premier Lodges were excellent with large rooms.
Unfortunately I do not know how to determine which of the group are the old Premier Lodges.

Tony T
I was really surprised to see such negative comments about Travelodge. My wife and I use Travelodge regularly and have always found them clean and comfortable. We normally pay £19 for a night in a family room but have paid as little as £12 in the past. 
Recently Travelodge have excelled themselves with their completely refurbished rooms and brand new beds. 
Our experience of Travelodge is completely different to that of the Which readers surveyed.

Stayed in a Travelodge this week.  We needed somewhere for me and my two teenage kids to sleep after a football match so knew we were arriving late and leaving early to travel a couple of hundred miles home the next morning.  All we needed was a clean room, comfy beds, a quiet environment where we could sleep and bathroom/shower facilities. We got them for a total of £25 for the night for all 3 of us.  No breakfast, no gym, no swimming pool, no bar, no lounge and lots of other things not included that we wouldn't have used but paid for.  For a holiday not going to use this but for a simple cheap overnight they make trips like this one possible. 

The only one I use is TRAVELODGE!
Always very clean and a comfortabe bed, great shower, nothing else apart from Tea/Coffee.
Why pay at leat double this price for shower gel?

Stayed at Travelodge Heathrow Terminal 5 recently.  Room (£26 double) was clean, quiet, and comfortable.  The tea, coffee, and milk provided were a little parsimonious, there being only two tea bags and four milk capsules, but not a big issue and no doubt I could have obtained more from reception had I asked.  The dining area was busy and popular (there being nothing else nearby) and the food was reasonably-priced and satisfactory, although the staff were having difficulty matching orders to customers.
Used Travelodge Uxbridge last year, and again this was perfectly satisfactory.

I am sure that Which magazine are an upright bunch and emphatically NOT taking money from one national chain to give them a high vote and point a finger at their rival chain (who had donated nothing!)
That said however, it has always mystified me how Which have any subscribers at all, so bonkers are they in so many of their assessments.
I have stayed in over 150 different Travelodges in the UK.  I have found the staff outstanding: never grovelling for tips like some I encountered in a 5 star hotel in central London two months.ago.
The Travelodge prices have always been fantastic too.  Rooms spotlessly clean.
My only complaint re Travelodge is their stupidly limited number of TV and radio channels in their guest rooms.  It is aimed at lowest-common-denominator stuff.
Thus you can get ITV2 and ITV3, with their non-stop diet of inane game shows and witless sitcoms, but no BBC4 where the best documentaries are found.   And no ITV4 for the Europa Cup soccer.
Why cannot they give us the whole set of Freeview channels, like the most humble B&B can?  Infuriating.
But that is my only complaint after over 20 years of Travelodging!
And BTW Traveloge USA is not related to Travelodge UK.  So the person who talked about a "franchise" in an earlier comment is incorrect.
For the record, last year I spent two months driving nearly the length and breadth of the USA.  Every night - bar none - I spent in the TRUE Travelodge UK equivalent there: a brilliant chain called Motel 6 (owned the last time I checked by Accor Hotels). Like Travelodge in the UK, Motel 6 is the cheapest national hotel chain in the USA.
The staff are paid a pittance, but are fantastic.  Really as fine a bunch as Travelodge employ in the UK.
Which magazine is a essentially a bogus rag preaching to the trendy chattering classes of NW1 and leafy suburbia.
I won't shed a tear if it goes the way of Readers Digest in the UK.
Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, UK.

We recently stayed in 2 different Travelodges one in Whitstable and one in Hastings the rooms were spotless and the staff were extremely pleasant and friendly. Whistable had no restaurant facilities but there were snacks you could order if you wanted to. I agree with Dai that their limit on tv channels is ridiculous but apart from that you couldn't fault them for the price.

I cannot believe all these wonderful reports. The last Travelodge we stayed at was not clean, the kettle didn't work and had to be replaced, the remote control for the TV wasn't working and worst of all, the duvet had a huge stain on it, over a foot wide, which looked like either dried blood or faeces. This was visible through the duvet cover, so must have been seen by the staff who put it on. Fortunately it was very hot, so although we had the duvet replaced by the poor receptionist who nearly threw up when he saw it, we opted to sleep without a cover. Though we were booked for 2 nights, we left the following morning and were lucky enough to get all our money back. The staff themselves were lovely (although the manager didn't turn up the next morning at 7am when expected and no-one knew where she was. My daughter stayed at a different one about a year ago and there was so much rubbish on the floor at the side of the bed, it looked like a rubbish dump.
I have never yet stayed at a Premier Inn with small rooms so I have probably been lucky, but, even though they are more expensive, I would never stay in a Travelodge again

I'm glad it's not just me then being unlucky with several pretty awful experiences of Travelodge (AND Britannia!)
I used to regularly use Travelodge if we just needed a bolt hole but the last time (in Grantham) was truly awful. We were there for a two day stay. There wasn't even a little bar of soap (reception said they'd run out of soap) and only one towel between two of us for the whole of our stay! It was a sizeable room but due to cut backs the chairs and sofa had been removed, so the room was empty and depressing (blue and grey too) and not even a chair to put one's clothes on - we had to put our things on the floor! Never again! Even a letter of complaint received nothing helpful but a curt reply effectively telling me sorry but that's how it is! Premier Inn are streets ahead in knowing what people want and taking pride in their service.