Whitbread secures two Travelodge sites for Premier Inn

Whitbread, the owner of the UK’s Premier Inn, has signed contracts to secure two trading Travelodge hotels for Premier Inn.

The agreements with separate private property owners will see the Travelodge Bury St Edmunds hotel and Travelodge London Uxbridge hotel convert into Premier Inns. The conversions will meet Premier Inn’s demand for additional bedrooms in the two prime locations.

Mark Anderson, Managing Director for Property and International at Whitbread, said: ‘Securing new Premier Inn hotels in Bury St Edmunds and Uxbridge is a strategic investment by Whitbread in popular markets for business and leisure travel. It’s part of our ongoing strategy of growing market share, through Whitbread’s strong balance sheet and financial flexibility and resilience, in locations where we are underrepresented and where we see opportunities to create long-term value for our shareholders and guests.’

The Travelodge Bury St Edmunds hotel, which opened in 2018, is located to the north of the town centre, close to transport connections and leading local employers such as British Sugar. Premier Inn’s existing hotel is located to the south, within Bury St Edmunds town centre.

The Travelodge Uxbridge hotel is located on Bakers Road adjacent to Uxbridge underground station. Premier Inn has been actively pursuing a site in Uxbridge town centre to complement its existing 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel on Riverside Way, west of the town centre, which opened in February 2016.

The time schedule for the conversion of the hotels into Premier Inns is yet to been confirmed.

Whitbread PLC is the owner of Premier Inn with over 800 hotels comprising over 78,000 rooms and restaurant brands including Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table, Bar + Block, Whitbread Inns and Cookhouse + Pub. Whitbread currently operates a 75-bedroom Premier Inn hotel on Reingate Street in Bury St Edmunds Town Centre which opened in 2015. The Travelodge Bury St Edmunds hotel is located on Etna Road in the town.

Premier Inn to launch compact ‘hub’ hotels

UK’s Premier Inn is set to launch a new hotel chain with cheaper compact rooms in major UK city centres including London and Edinburgh.

The ‘hub by Premier Inn’ (‘Hub’) will appeal to people who value price, location and design over space, said parent company, Whitbread.

The ‘Hub’ will offer its customers one of the most high-tech and space-efficient rooms currently available in the UK. ‘Hub’ bedrooms will be 11.4 square meters with a desk that folds into the bed, luggage storage under the bed, an en suite bathroom with power shower and wardrobe, free wi-fi and a 40-inch smart screen TV. Rooms will cost 25 to 30 percent less than current Premier Inn rates.

The ‘Hub’ will be the UK’s first hotel chain where the rooms can be remote controlled using a smart phone app. Guests will be able to check in online and then control the room’s lighting, temperature and also operate the TV or radio using their phone. Each hotel will have its own deli-style restaurant and guests will be able to pre-order breakfast using the Hub app.

‘Hub is all about giving customers more choice. It will provide great quality, contemporary room design in the heart of a major city at an outstanding price,’ says Patrick Dempsey, managing director of hotel group Whitbread.

‘With space at a premium, each aspect of the design has been aimed at optimising every single centimetre of space from the desk that folds up and disappears into the bed to a convenient under the bed space for luggage,’ he added.

The first 167-room ‘hub by Premier Inn’ is scheduled to open on St Martin’s Lane in London by mid 2014. Three more central London properties will then follow in 2015, and another in 2016. Whitbread is looking for around 40 Hub by Premier Inn hotels opened or in the pipeline by 2018.

 

Premier Inn reports healthy quarter’s sales growth

Whitbread-owned Premier Inn, a budget hotel chain with its headquarters in Luton, UK, has reported strong sales growth in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.

The hotel brand reported sales growth of 14 percent during the 11 weeks to February 14, Whitbread’s fourth quarter. Total room nights sold by the brand in the first 50 weeks of the year were up by 11.2 percent to 13 million.

Revenue per available room (revPAR) grew by 1.6 percent, and occupancy grew by 1.1 percent, to 77.4 percent. The company’s UK regional revPAR was only down by 0.3 percent for the quarter, compared to a comparable industry average reduction of 0.9 percent. Meanwhile, the company’s London revPAR was up by 2.2 percent, compared to a decline for the sector as a whole of 5 percent.

Andy Harrison, the chief executive of Whitbread, commented, ‘For the financial year to date, Whitbread has again delivered outstanding organic growth in a flat consumer market, growing total sales by 14.8 percent. Our strong brands continue to win market share, supported by our highest ever guest satisfaction scores and rapid expansion of our network.

During the fourth quarter, we maintained our strong momentum with total sales growth of 16.9 percent, although the headline like-for-like sales growth of 2.7 percent was slightly suppressed by adverse weather conditions in January, particularly affecting the restaurants business.

Premier Inn continued to outperform its competitive set and delivered total sales growth of 14.1 percent, together with like-for-like sales growth of 2.9 percent.

We see no change to market conditions, although we expect a more competitive environment. We shall continue to deliver good organic growth and are on track to achieve our 2016 growth milestones.’

 

Christmas, a Time of Lost Gifts at Premier Inn

Even as the Christmas celebrations come to an end, at Premier Inn, a UK-based hotel brand from Whitbread PLC, gifts are still very much on the agenda as the group collates its annual list of left or lost gifts at its branded properties across the country.

Travel Inn has collated a list of forgotten Christmas gifts, left in rooms by its guests, which includes 18 Christmas jumpers, a pair of tickets to VIVA Forever, a set of diamond earrings, a set of Little Mix dolls, a Bradley Wiggins’ autobiography, a Furby, a One Direction fan t-shirt, and 17 copies of one of the best-selling books of 2012, Fifty Shades of Grey.

The company has also reported finding around 25 rolls of leftover wrapping paper, 137 blank Christmas cards and two homemade Christmas cakes.

Claire Haigh, the head of communications for Premier Inn, said, ‘We are surprised at the variety of gifts that our team members have discovered in the hotels this festive season. Christmas day may be over, but we will continue to spread the festive joy by going the extra mile to ensure that these presents are returned to their rightful owners.’

Premier Inn will be re-launching its Premier Inn Gifts Reunited Service at its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/premierinn, where guests may post a comment if they have lost a Christmas present, and it will be shipped back to them as soon as possible.

The brand is offering room nights priced at £29 for the winter season, for popular locations that include Exeter, Bournemouth, Liverpool, York and others in the UK. For an extra payment of £22.99 per person, the hotel group is also offering a three-course meal, a drink of choice, and a Premier breakfast the next day.

The group, with around 600 hotels across the UK and Ireland, has Recently won the Best Leisure Hotel Chain award at the British Travel Awards 2012.