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Monday, August 24, 2009

Tales From the Trip: #3 Premier Inns

Blighty's Blog recently spent a fortnight in the United Queendom. We came back with some great "tales from the trip". Here's another one.

Where to Stay in Britain?
She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed and I spent two weeks touring England in August. A few nights were spent with family and friends but the rest of the time we had to find our own accomodation.

Bed & Very Big Breakfast
During previous trips we had used bed & breakfast establishments and were reasonably happy with the arrangement. This year, we took a serious look at the economics of staying at B&Bs and made a different decision.

B&Bs can vary a lot in quality and comfort and the cost includes the famous "full English breakfast". SWMBO and I rarely eat a cooked breakfast at home so we questioned why we should pay for a meal we don't want when travelling.

A little research on the Whirled Wild Web produced a handy alternative that we decided to try this year. We chose Britain's largest chain of budget priced hotels - Premier Inns.

Premier Inns Outnumber Pubs?
There are so many Premier Inns in Britain that they will soon outnumber pubs (which, we learned, are closing at the rate of 40 per week). Behind the familiar sign on the front lawn nearly all Premier Inns are strikingly similar. The rooms are all so alike that we felt a strong sense of deja-vu as we moved from town to town.

Our double rooms each had a king-size bed with phone, TV and a room heater. One thing that is missing though is air-conditioning. One or two nights were quite warm and our room was stuffy and humid.

Gastronomically Good
Most Premier Inns are co-located with a gastropub in which meals can be purchased. The quality of food was excellent and the prices were very reasonable. Two can eat for £9.95 if you take advantage of the early evening special.

Get Online for a Couple of Quid
Every Premier Inn features two computers in the lobby. You can purchase 40 minutes of high-speed Internet use for just £2 to catch up on your email. Payment is by credit card or you can buy vouchers at reception.

Inn and Out
Premier Inns can become very busy so you would be well-advised to book ahead. We showed up without a reservation and found a fully-booked hotel on two occasions. Every Premier Inn has access to a booking database for every other Premier Inn. Just ask at reception at any Inn and they are very happy to make reservations for you in another city.

High Marks
Blighty's Blog gives the Premier Inn chain an overall rating of 8 out of 10 and will be using Premier Inns again on our next trip.

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