There’s definitely some snobbery in the travel world when it comes to Premier Inn. I don’t think that’s particularly helped by the name, which – let’s be honest – just slightly screams “budget hotel” at you.
But give it a try. I have lost count of the number of people I have recommended Premier Inn to, only for them to thank me profusely afterwards and question whether they will ever stay anywhere else.
And you don’t need to just take my word for it – Premier Inn consistently performs extremely well on the likes of Tripadvisor. The Premier Inn London St Pancras, for example, is ranked number 39 of all the hotels in London, sitting above the Conrad St James, the Langham and the Dorchester. While that’s of course based on an assessment of hotels on their relative promises and merits, it’s nevertheless a pretty encouraging sign.
While I’m not necessarily expecting you to book it for your Silver Wedding Anniversary (you can leave that to me), that’s a pretty impressive achievement.
But what is it that is just so great about Premier Inn? I hear you ask. Well let me condense my love for this chain into five neat points:
1 The rooms
Ok, so you’re not going to get elegantly-styled boutique class with Premier Inn. What you will get however, is comfortable, functional, clean rooms which are generally a delight to stay in.
My overriding thought during my stays with Premier Inn has been how clearly the experience is designed for comfort and ease of sleep. From tasteful interior designs to well-functioning bathrooms and full black-out curtains, Premier Inn may not aim to indulge you in extravagance, but it will try very hard to give you an entirely pleasant room for the night.
To ensure this, all Premier Inn rooms include, as standard:
- A luxury double or king-size Hypnos bed
- A choice of firm and soft pillows
- A power shower (and bath in most rooms)
- Freeview TV with 80 channels
- Free Wi-Fi 24/7
- Tea and coffee-making facilities
You also don’t spend 20 minutes looking for all the light switches, as is my standard experience in the average high-end hotel.
In short, Premier Inn is a budget hotel that provides anything but a cheap experience. It’s a genuinely good quality room, in every aspect.
2 The price
Even booking well in advance, you can easily pay upwards of £150 a night for a “big name” hotel in places like central London, only to be massively underwhelmed.
Using central London again as a marker, provided that you book reasonably in advance, you should easily be able to find a central London Premier Inn (with all the room comforts noted above) for well under £100.
I am also not limiting my comments here to the room alone. The food, which I have always found to be of a good standard, is very well-priced.
You can add a full buffet breakfast to your stay for £8.99, while a continental breakfast will cost you £6.99. Plus, per the graphic above, a buffet breakfast, 2 course meal and drink is yours for £23.99. That’s also not including the bargain options for kids, which are discussed below.
3 The regular offers
I’ve already talked above about the standard rates at Premier Inn being pretty good value. However, Premier Inn also regularly discounts its hotels:
These sales are obviously time-limited and subject to availability, but the general approach is for them to slash London prices to around £60, and prices elsewhere to as little as £35. When that includes up to four people (see further point 4 below), it can offer comically good value.
4 The fantastic value families get
If you’re travelling as a family, the good value provided by Premier Inn as standard is likely to move to outstanding.
First of all, the standard room rate at a Premier Inn includes up to 2 adults and 2 children (15 and under). Crucially, that’s not just on the basis that you cram yourself in like sardines: most family rooms include a double or king-size bed, plus a single sofa bed and a pull-out bed. Cots are then also provided at no extra cost.
So that room rate you’ve paid is potentially for four people to sleep comfortably on individual beds.
But that is not all. Up to two under-16s will also get their breakfast free when one adult orders the buffet breakfast (or Meal Deal outlined above).
5 The good night’s sleep guarantee
In their own words, Premier Inn are so confident you’ll have a great night’s sleep that, if you don’t, they will give you your money back.
Full terms of the Good Night Guarantee are available here, with the key points as follows:
- You have up to seven days from check-out to claim.
- The Good Night Guarantee doesn’t apply to “circumstances beyond Premier Inn’s reasonable control as hoteliers”.
- You can’t claim if you have breached the terms and conditions applying to your booking, e.g. by causing damage or abusing staff.
- Individuals who are deemed to be abusing the Good Night Guarantee by making excessive claims can be rejected.
I remain unclear as to how exactly Premier Inn handle insomniacs and this guarantee, but I suppose the final bullet point above helps…
So that’s 5 reasons to love Premier Inn. Any negatives?
A couple. Unlike most hotel chains, there’s no loyalty scheme, and you can’t earn cashback on stays.
The only other point I should make here is that while I have stayed in a variety of Premier Inns across the UK and never had a bad experience – indeed, I have had a consistently good experience – hotels, and their staff, will of course vary. As such, I can’t guarantee that the particular Premier Inn you stay in won’t be, for whatever reason, an exception to my overridingly positive experience.
However, do your research, take comfort in the points I have made above about the general standard and if all else fails don’t forget, of course, the Good Night Guarantee.