Top chains under the covers

Top chains under the covers

Whether you’re looking for a last-minute hotel close to the motorway, a convenient one-night stay at the airport or in the city centre, or a longer break at a rustic retreat, a hotel chain won’t be far away.

But a recent survey by Which? has revealed there can be a big difference in the quality between companies, and that isn’t necessarily down to how much you’ve paid.

In June 2012, 6,280 Which? members gave their views on up to three UK hotel chains they had stayed in over the past 12 months, whether for business or leisure reasons and their research enabled them to report on 34 companies.

And Our Place can reveal the highest customer score was awarded to Warner Leisure Hotels, with Hampton by Hilton and Sofitel close behind. Meanwhile the lowest were given to the Comfort Inn, Britannia Hotels and Travelodge.

Here, Our Place reveal more about the five hotel chains that achieved the highest customer scores in the Which? survey.

Warner Leisure Hotels

Warner Leisure scored an impressive 79% in the survey. Located either on the coast or deep in the countryside of England and North Wales, its adult-only hotels are suited to people looking for a relaxing leisure break. Each hotel offers varied activities, from golf, bowls and archery to nightly music and comedy shows in large auditoriums.

The hotels’ facilities and entertainment were widely praised by Which? members. One summed up: “We like them because they are child-free and luxurious. We have high expectations and, so far, they have met these every time.” Prices start at around £150 per person in low season.

Hampton by Hilton

This cut-price Hilton offshoot appears in urban areas such as Birmingham, Derby and Liverpool, and at a few airports. Hampton by Hilton’s customer score of 75% is much higher than the average score of 65% across all Hilton brands, and it was rated highly for value for money.

A hot breakfast is included in the room price, as is high-speed internet access and an in-house gym. One member lauded the “excellent beds and facilities, helpful staff – everything you could want from a hotel for a short stay.”


Two of Sofitel’s three UK hotels are at Gatwick and by Heathrow’s Terminal Five (the other is in central London), and most respondents who rated the company had chosen it because they wanted a pre-flight overnight stay. This luxury French brand has high prices to match, though, and it got only two stars for value for money despite getting an overall customer score of 75%.

Premier Inn

Premier Inn, which is the UK’s most prolific chain, achieved a customer score of 74% and has hotels in locations as widespread as Cornwall, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff. Nightly rates per room can be as low as £29 (£49 in London) if booked well in advance. On average, expect to pay £50-£70 outside London – two children under 16 can stay in the same room as two adults at no extra cost.

Q Hotels

Q Hotels has hotels in major cities, country retreats and near tourist centres such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Cambridge. Five of the hotels have golf courses, while almost all have leisure clubs with spa facilities, and all have free wi-fi. According to Which? members, you can expect clean rooms and attentive, approachable staff.t by pit cage down the mine shaft, equipped with helmets and cap lamps; or you can opt to take a new virtual tour of a modern coal mine. The original winding engine house, blacksmith’s forge and fan house are open to visitors. And, as an added bonus this is a great free day out

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