Private Limited Company
|Headquarters||Dunstable, United Kingdom|
United Arab Emirates
Republic of Ireland
Isle of Man
|Alison Brittain (CEO)|
Premier Inn is a British hotel chain and the UK's largest hotel brand, with more than 72,000 rooms and 800 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.
In 2005, Premier Travel Inn opened its 500th hotel in Hemel Hempstead.
In early 2006, Premier Travel 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".
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.
In April 2008, Whitbread announced a £100 million expansion of Premier Inn in London over the following three years.
In 2011, the 600th hotel was opened in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Premier Inn have sold off some of their smaller hotels (which had fewer than 30 rooms) to Good Night Inns. Most of these were Premier Lodge sites in less prominent locations.
The Premier Inn chain can be found from Inverness in the north of Scotland to Helston, Cornwall in south-west 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. Hotels vary in size, with many smaller inns and large purpose-built city centre hotels.
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.
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. As of 2019, Premier Inn is currently pursuing an expansion in Dublin and has bought three sites in the city centre and Docklands area.
In 2006, Premier Inn announced that it had entered into a joint venture agreement with Emirates Group to launch in the Gulf Cooperation Council region. This was the first move to expand the brand beyond the UK. The joint venture identified three sites in Dubai, creating more than 800 new rooms. 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. Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall Hotel has also been opened, connected to Ibn Battuta Mall. There is also a Premier Inn located in the Abu Dhabi Capital Centre, and another Premier Inn located in Abu Dhabi International Airport which opened on 19 November 2013.
Next to Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), there is Doha Education City Hotel.
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.
In 2016, Premier Inn launched its first hotel in the German market - Frankfurt Messe. Since then two further sites have been secured in Essen and Freiburg with plans to launch hotels across the principal German cities.
As well as the standard Premier Inns, there are two sub-brands. Hub by Premier Inn is a city centre format with in-room technology such as tablets.Zip by Premier Inn is lower-priced. Some rooms do not have windows and there is a simplified food and drink service. The first Zip hotel opened in Roath, Cardiff in 2019.
All Premier Inns have an on-site restaurant, with the exception of hotels which were formerly Holiday Inn Express, where kitchen facilities were added to 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 and 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 merger. 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".
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 Premier Inn website.