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Travelodge vs Premier Inn: who wins? (part 1)

by Rajul on January 9, 2010

Which is the king of UK budget brands?

Which is the king of UK budget brands?

Recognising how expensive it can be to find decent accommodation in London, this blog often likes to focus on value for money.

Whether it’s to help you identify London’s best B&B, cheap budget hotels, special £1 sales, the best-value rooms or “luxury budget” options further up the scale, we want to help you find real value for money.  Not to mention our free hotel WiFi campaign which is rapidly gaining momentum.

It is the hunger for value in the current climate that is also driving the expansion of the two main budget chains – Travelodge and Premier Inn.  The former is even paying people to help it find new sites.

Check the best rate for Travelodge in London from 30+ hotel booking sites

To add further spice, there is fierce cut-throat competition between the companies.  Travelodge for example recently filed a complaint against Premier Inn’s price-led advertising, which often mimics its own.

So it seems appropriate to run a head-to-head comparison to identify which offers you better value.  We did a similar analysis at the opposite end of the market in our popular Claridge’s versus the Dorchester article.

To whet your appetite, here are some of the two companies’ similarities:

  • Both Travelodge and Premier Inn are unashamedly “budget” brands that aim to keep costs and “frills” at a minimum.

  • Both companies compete aggressively on price through regular price promotions and “flash sales”.

  • Both are keen to grow as fast as possible (in London this is also being driven by the 2012 Olympics).

  • Both currently have around 20 hotels scattered throughout London.  You can pretty much find one anywhere you need in the city.

How then do you choose between them?  For one thing, Premier Inn seems a bit less price-obsessed than Travelodge.

Check best rate for Premier Inn County Hall from 30+ hotel booking sites

Premier Inn offers a money-back "good night guarantee" as a result of its extensively-researched "Premier Dream" beds

Premier Inn offers a money-back "good night guarantee" as a result of its extensively-researched "Premier Dream" beds

Whereas Travelodge focuses mostly on publicising its low prices, Premier Inn tends to take a broader tack by emphasising “a good night’s sleep”.

Check best rate for Premier Inn Kings Cross from 30+ hotel booking sites

Premier Inn is also a bit larger than Travelodge at the current time, with around 500 UK hotels compared to around 380 Travelodges.

Check the best rate for Travelodge in London from 30+ hotel booking sites

Which one offers better value for money overall?

London Hotels Insight checked some TripAdvisor reviews and found some interesting results.  All will be revealed in part 2 of this feature.

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Photo credits: Travelodge, Premier Inn.

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