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Five hotel chains rated the worst for food

Want to avoid a breakfast buffet disappointment? We reveal the UK hotel chains rated poorest for the quality of food and drink

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, or so they say. But most of us have experienced that bitter start to the day when confronted with a dodgy hotel buffet.

Overcooked eggs and fatty sausages are sure to take the shine off any stay. Particularly if, despite wilting under heat lamps, our full English is already cold by the time it reaches our plate. Dinner options at the in-house restaurant can also be a hit and miss affair.

To save you from disappointment, we asked more than 7,000 Which? members to rate their experiences of staying at 32 of the UK’s largest hotel chains.

If you’re simply looking for a functional night’s sleep at a good price, these brands may fit the bill. But if you're after a decent coffee and a leisurely breakfast with the morning papers, you may want to look elsewhere.  

Here we reveal the five hotel chains with the worst food, as rated by members.

  Bed comfort WRP Customer score Average price paid

 Britannia hotels

Britannia

*   35% £82
Not only was the Britannia rated the worst hotel chain for the sixth year running, it also clinched the lowest score for the quality of its food and drink. One disappointed member described the dining room as ‘run down’ and the croissants as ‘soggy and pale’ after paying an extra £7.50 for the breakfast buffet. Another struggled to get their knife through a 'hard' chicken breast when they plumped for the evening carvery.
  Food & drink WRP Customer score Average price paid

 Travelodge

Travelodge

*   63% £63
Breakfast at the Travelodge is a postcode lottery. If you're staying at one of its properties without a restaurant, you’ll have to make do with a grab and go breakfast – or, as one member summed it up, ‘a cardboard box with Cornflakes and Nescafe powder’. However, even the full English - when available - failed to impress. Guests described it as ‘dried up’ and ‘congealed’ with anaemic-looking bacon. Bon appetit.
  Food & drink WRP Customer score Average price paid

 ibis budget table

Ibis Budget

**   64% £57
Ibis Budget was the cheapest chain in our survey, according to members. But the old adage that 'you get what you pay for' rings true if its two-star rating for food and drink is anything to go by. The main bugbear for members was the lack of choice at breakfast, with only continental options – like cereals, fruits and yoghurts – available. Otherwise you can grab a coffee from the vending machine in the foyer.
  Food & drink WRP Customer score Average price paid

 Hampton

Hampton by Hilton

**   72% £93
The no-frills arm of Hilton hotels largely offers a functional night’s stay near the airport. Breakfast is available from the ungodly hour of 4.30am and is included in the price, which may be a blessing or a curse - depending on which side of the fence you fall. While some loved its DIY pancake and waffle machines, others complained about the ‘scramble’ and long queues at peak times of the morning.
  Food & drink WRP Customer score Average price paid

  Ibis 

Ibis

**   67% £69
The Ibis nudged ahead of its budget sister with its food and drink offering, but only just. The chain promises ‘creative, colourful cuisine’, along with round-the-clock snacks and drinks from its 24-hour bar. But one member declared that its evening meals were ‘hopeless – unless you like pizza'. Meanwhile, opinion was split on its breakfast buffet – with comments ranging from ‘good value’ to ‘appalling’.
Table notes: Average price paid Amount paid for a one-night stay, including all room types, by survey respondents. Customer score Combination of overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending to friend or family. Which? members were surveyed in July 2018, based on 8,157 experiences. WRP Which? Recommended Provider

Want to find out which brands ranked highest for food and drink? See the full results of our best and worst hotel chains.

Five tips for your next short break

1. Best UK city breaks

Need inspiration for your next weekend break? We asked readers to rate the food, accommodation, sights and value for money at destinations across Britain. See our best UK city breaks.

2. Best Euro city breaks

Travelling further afield? Whether you’re looking for culture, history or good places to eat and drink, see Europe’s best cites - as voted by members.

3. Find cheap hotel rooms

Hotels often drop their prices if rooms are still empty at the last minute. If you have free cancellation and this happens within the permitted window (usually up to 48 hours before check-in) you’ll be able to cancel and re-book at the new price without any nasty penalty fees. Get more money-saving tips with ways to save on your hotel booking.

4. Check comparison sites

Metasearch engines can be a great way to compare prices side by side. See how members rated 12 popular companies including Tripadvisor, Skyscanner, Kayak and Trivago in our best and worst travel comparison sites.

5. Best hotel booking sites

Want to know which sites you can trust with your next booking? We've rated 14 - including Booking.com, Hotels.com, Airbnb and Expedia. See the results of our best and worst hotel booking sites survey.

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