Worst (and best) UK hotel chains revealed

By Neal Baldwin
Home » Worst (and best) UK hotel chains revealed

Dodgy toilets, smelly rooms and lumpy mattresses have seen Britannia Hotels crowned as Britain’s worst accommodation provider – for the tenth consecutive year.

In a poll ranking4,500 guest stays, the chain scored a measly two stars across 10 key categories, including cleanliness, bed comfort, food, customer service and value for money.

Britannia operates more than 60 properties across the UK, with many of them boasting a glittering past. For example, the majestic Adelphi in Liverpool welcomed some of the Titanic’s wealthiest guests ahead of the ship’s departure from the city in 1912.

However, guests today said stays there left them with a sinking feeling, and described the chain as ‘tired and tatty’, with a ‘rough and ready’ feel.

As many as 28% of those who stayed at a Britannia hotel had a gripe about their stay, with over half of those (54%) noting issues with cleanliness. One guest described their room as ‘absolutely dire, drab and smelly’, while another complained of dirt and mould. Plumbing concerns such as faulty toilets and lack of hot water were also common.

Overall, Britannia recorded a 56% satisfaction score, putting the company bottom of the league table ranking 35 chains. The survey was conducted by Which? Travel.

Mercure and Jurys Inn/Leonardo Hotels also performed poorly, each receiving a 58% satisfaction score. Both were praised for their convenient locations and helpful staff, but criticised for their ‘basic’ facilities.

Which is the best UK hotel chain?

Premier Inn took top spot with a 78% score, grabbing five stars for cleanliness and room descriptions. Beds, customer service and wifi all scored four stars.

Warner Hotels came top among small chains with a customer score of 77%. Achieving five stars for cleanliness, quality of the bedrooms and room descriptions, guests praised the “modern, comfortable” rooms and “friendly welcome” offered by staff. Although one of the pricier hotel chains in the survey, with an average room rate of £173 per night, it scored four stars for value for money, with multiple guests claiming that the inclusion of entertainment, breakfast and dinner made the stay worth its higher price tag.

Malmaison also fared well among smaller chains, with a score of 76%. Guests praised the “fantastic service” and “pure luxury” experience, giving it five stars for cleanliness, quality of the rooms, and how well the experience lived up to the description.

Guy Hobbs, Editor of Which? Travel, said: “With a decade of dismal reviews cementing its place as one of the UK’s worst hotel chains, our results suggest that Britannia should be avoided at all costs.

“With the average price of a UK hotel stay now costing a fifth more than it did last year, travellers want to be sure they are getting the best possible experience for their money. Our results show that price isn’t necessarily an indicator of quality and many respondents reported fantastic stays with brands including Premier Inn and smaller chains like Warner Hotels.”

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