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1 Feb 2022

The results are in: this is the best large hotel chain in the UK - and rooms cost £66 on average

The worst hotels in our survey charged much more

The best and worst hotel chains in the UK have been revealed in our latest survey, and Premier Inn is one of the cheapest - as well as best.

That's according to guests who took part in Which? Travel's latest survey. Over a thousand Which? members stayed at what must be Britain's favourite hotel chain and they gave it a customer score of 79% - higher than any of its rivals.

It was given five stars for cleanliness and comfort of beds, as well as for the measures it put in place to deal with Covid-19.

This is despite the fact that the average price paid was just £66 - less than any other chain in our table except Travelodge.

You can book a hotel room via Premier Inn's homepage.

Travelodge was two pounds cheaper on average at £64, but its customer rating was 64%, and it had mediocre, two star ratings for rooms, bathrooms and communal areas.

See our recommended hotels and the full list of the best and worst hotel chains in the UK here.

Which? Recommended hotel chains

Which? recommended four large chains in our survey, all of which received customer scores of over 70%, five stars for cleanliness and at least three stars in every other category.

We looked at all of the biggest chains including Best Western, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Ibis, Novotel and Wetherspoons.

Wetherspoons came close to becoming a Which? Recommended Provider, with a customer score of 74%, but it only received three stars for cleanliness, which wasn't enough to secure it a recommendation.

Best small hotel chains

We also looked at smaller, more exclusive hotel chains - recommending two of them, the outstanding Hotel du Vin and Warner Leisure.

Hotel du Vin received 80% and Warner Leisure 75% - with both receiving at least four-stars in every category except value for money where they got three.

At Hotel du Vin guests paid £150 on average, while at Warner Leisure it was £171. You can read more about both hotels and book rooms via the Hotel du Vin website and the Warner Leisure Hotels website.

You can see how Hotel du Vin's sister chain Malmaison and other small hotel chains did with our best and worst small hotel chains survey in the same place.

Britannia Hotel voted UK's worst big hotel chain again

The worst big hotel chain in our survey was, as it has been for nine years, Britannia. Britannia received 49%, two stars in most categories - including cleanliness - and just one star for bathrooms.

Yet guests paid far more (£99 on average) than to stay at the cleaner, more comfortable Premier Inn.

Britannia was also the chain where guests were most likely to say they'd had a problem. Over half of its guests in our survey - 51% - said they'd had a problem or issue during their stay. The most common issue was cleanliness.

One guest complained: 'It was terrible. The room was dirty. The bathroom was dirty. The carpet was terrible, stains everywhere.'

Others said that the hotels, many of which are in prime locations in city centres, were 'tired' or 'in need of a make-over'.

Are UK hotel chains now cheaper than self-catering?

While British hotels can be expensive, they have become much better value in comparison with self-catering in the last couple of years. We revealed in the summer that private holiday accommodation was costing 41% more than for the same period in 2019 - an average of £300 a week more.

UK hotel prices were also among the highest in Europe but they dropped by 13% in the same period.

During the pandemic many travellers, nervous about sharing communal spaces such as lifts with other travelers, chose self-catering - pushing up demand and prices.

Which? Travel annual hotel chain survey

In October 2021, we asked 2,603 Which? members and members of the general public to complete an online survey about their experience of staying in small and large UK hotel chains in the past 15 months.

To be considered a chain hotel, the hotel group must have a minimum of five UK properties. Large hotel chains have 31 or more properties in the group worldwide, while small chains have a maximum of 30 properties in the group worldwide.