Premier Inn

Premier Inn
Industry Hospitality
Founded 1987
Founder Whitbread
Headquarters Dunstable, United Kingdom
Area served
United Kingdom
United Arab Emirates
Key people
Alison Brittain (CEO)
Parent Whitbread

Premier Inn is a British hotel chain and the UK's largest hotel brand, with more than 50,000 rooms and 700 hotels. It operates hotels in a variety of locations including city centres, suburbs and airports competing with the likes of Travelodge and Ibis hotels.

The company was established by Whitbread as Travel Inn in 1987, to compete with Travelodge. Whitbread bought Premier Lodge in 2004 and merged it with Travel Inn to form the current business under the name "Premier Travel inn" which was then shortened to "Premier Inn". Premier Inn accounts for 70% of Whitbread's earnings.


The chain started trading in 1987 as Travel Inn. The first site to open was next to "The Watermill" Beefeater restaurant in Basildon.

In 2004, Whitbread acquired another hotel chain, Premier Lodge, for £536 million.[1] This added 141 hotels to the portfolio. Whitbread renamed every hotel "Premier Travel Inn".[2]

In 2005 Premier Travel Inn opened its 500th hotel in Hemel Hempstead.

In early 2006, Premier Inn purchased 11 Holiday Inn hotels in England and Wales. These sites kept their leisure facilities such as a swimming pool and gym, except the hotel situated at Norman Cross. Premier Travel Inn started to launch a new bedroom design during this year to move away from the differences of "Travel Inn" and "Premier Lodge". Until then rooms had remained as they had been before and new hotels were designed as "Travel Inns".

Whitbread shortened the name to "Premier Inn" in 2007;[3] by 2009 the business accounted for more than 70% of Whitbread's earnings.[4]

In September 2007, Whitbread announced the purchase of Golden Tulip UK including six hotels trading in the UK under the Tulip Inn and Golden Tulip brands. The hotels were converted to Premier Inns.[5]

In April 2008, Whitbread announced a £100 million expansion of Premier Inn in London over the following three years.[6]

In July 2008, Whitbread bought 21 Express by Holiday Inn Hotels in exchange for 44 Beefeater & Brewers Fayre restaurants where it was not possible to build a Premier Inn.[7] In 2011 the 600th hotel was opened in Stratford-upon-Avon. In July 2015, the 700th Premier Inn was opened in Kingston-upon-Thames, London.[8][9]

Hotel locations

United Kingdom

A suburban Premier Inn in Orchard Park, Cambridge

The Premier Inn chain can be found from Elgin in the north of Scotland to Helston, Cornwall in the south of England. Hotels are found either in city centres or on the outskirts near to major A roads and Motorways. In October 2010 the Premier Inn hotels located at Roadchef and Moto Motorway Service Stations were sold to Days Inn after the franchise agreement was terminated.[10] Hotels vary in size with many smaller inns and large purpose-built city centre hotels.

Premier Inn in a former office building in Leeds (2012)

Most Premier Inn hotels are newly built, although many of the chain's inner city locations in the UK are housed within redeveloped office buildings which would otherwise have been demolished. Some hotels such as "Bristol Airport" in Sidcot are housed in older buildings.


A Premier Inn in Swords near Dublin Airport

In 2007, Premier Inn entered Ireland, when it took over the Tulip Inn in Swords. Premier Inn offer bus transfers to and from Dublin Airport, which is nearby.[11]

United Arab Emirates

In 2006, Premier Inn announced that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Emirates Group to launch in the Gulf region. This is the first move to expand the brand beyond the UK. The joint venture has identified three sites in Dubai, creating more than 800 new rooms. Room rates are expected to cost in the range of £50 or AED 400. The first Premier Inn in Dubai to open was a 300-room hotel at Dubai Investment Park. A similar size hotel at Dubai Airport, and a 220-room hotel at Dubai Silicon Oasis on Emirates Road, were opened. There is also a Premier Inn located in the Abu Dhabi Capital Centre, and the new Premier Inn located in Abu Dhabi International Airport which opened on 19 November 2013.


In 2007, Premier Inn announced that it has entered into a 50:50 joint venture agreement with Emaar-MGF – one of India’s leading real estate developers, to develop Premier Inn in India. This will be Premier Inn’s third international market following the joint venture with Emirates announced in 2006.

A total equity investment of up to £300m was to be invested in the joint venture over the following 10 years of which Whitbread's share was to be 50%. Over the 10-year period, the venture was to create some 80 hotels and over 12,000 rooms. The sites were targeted in the Delhi Region (National Capital Region), Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad and Chandigarh.


All Premier Inns have an on-site restaurant that serve breakfasts to guests at the neighbouring hotels with the exception of hotels which were Holiday Inn Express where kitchen facilities were added onto the hotel for breakfasts only. Most hotels are accompanied by a Whitbread restaurant such as Whitbread Inns, Table Table, Brewers Fayre or Beefeater. The majority of town/city centre hotels have an in-house restaurant called Thyme. (City centre hotels used to have a Slice or BarEst restaurant, whose design and menus were very similar.) Hotels that used to be Premier Lodges have a range of different restaurants, operated by Spirit Pub Company such as Chef & Brewer or Fayre & Square. Former Express by Holiday Inn sites have a Mitchells & Butlers restaurant, either Harvester, Toby Carvery or Vintage Inns. Some hotels have a third party restaurant that used to be owned by Whitbread such as TGI Fridays. Newer inner city Premier Inns which have been built in smaller spaces have a restaurant called The Kitchen.


Premier Inn was the first major budget hotel chain in the UK to invest in prime time television advertising. After Travel Inn and Premier Lodge merged, animated adverts were used to advertise the merge. In late 2007 comedian Lenny Henry became the face of the campaign and is now in every advert.

In May 2011, the BBC's consumer television programme Watchdog criticised its widely advertised £29 promotion, having received complaints from viewers that it was almost impossible to book for that price because very few promotional rooms were available. Premier Inn stated that this was due to its rooms being "popular". It also showed a story where Premier Inn misspelt many city and town names such as naming Livingston, "Livingstone", and Aberdeen, "Aberdion".[12]

Online and digital promotion now drive a significant proportion of bookings made for the brand. Premier Inn have made substantial investments in both its main website and mobile app for smartphone bookings, and these are further complemented by affiliate marketing, whereby third party websites drive bookings onto the site.[13]

See also


  1. Osborne, Alistair (24 July 2004). "Whitbread wins Premier title". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  2. "Premier Travel Inn unveils rebrand after hotels merger". Brand Republic. 3 September 2004. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  3. "Premier Travel Inn to rebrand". Marketing Magazine. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  4. "Downturn hits Premier Inn sales". BBC News. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  5. Druce, Chris (26 September 2007). "Whitbread's Premier Travel Inn buys Golden Tulip UK". The Caterer. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  6. Prosser, David (8 April 2008). "Whitbread to consolidate lead in London with £100m expansion of Premier Inn". The Independent. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  7. Scuffham, Matthew (31 July 2008). "M&B and Whitbread confirm details of asset swap". Reuters. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  10. Archived March 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. "Premier Inn Dublin Airport".
  12. Archived May 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.

External links

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