Revealed: the worst hotel chain in the UK

A new Which? survey claims the worst hotel chain breakfast is served up by Travelodge - which Which? says also achieved rotten scores for customer service.

In contrast Marriott, Warner Leisure and Puma Hotels' Collection all serve up a terrific breakfast while Hampton by Hilton was judged best value UK hotel chain. How reliable is the Which? information?

Cold Comfort Inn

It looks solid enough with a 6,280 sample size, of which 1,384 responded directly about Travelodge. Hotel names that come out well include Premier Inn (top marks for cleanliness and customer service, with 641 responding) and the Sofitel chain (though Sofitel is pricey, along with Warner Leisure).

In contrast, Britannia Hotels - it scored lowest for cleanliness - and Comfort Inn joined Travelodge at the bottom of the pile. Travelodge scored an overall 46% satisfaction rating but Britannia sank even lower (42% rating) while it's cold comfort for the 20-strong chain Comfort Inn which scored a miserable 41% overall rating from the Which? survey, which took place over the summer.

For Location, Warner, Q Hotels and Sofitel all scored highly while DoubleTree by Hilton (just 20 hotels) was judged to have the best decor. "Only hotel chains and star rating categories that received at least 30 responses are included in this report," says Which? "Where a chain doesn't have a hotel in central London we chose the nearest, which in some cases was up to 50 miles away."

Rotten eggs?

Meanwhile Which? estimates 13 million people endured a stay in a Travelodge last year. "Its poor customer score of 46% is matched by meagre one-star ratings for the décor and quality of breakfast. The company will be less ubiquitous after it agreed to offload 49 hotels under a financial restructuring deal in August 2012."

Travelodge will also start major refurbishments to 175 hotels from early 2013. Highest achieving Warner Leisure Hotels, in contrast, saw an overall 79% rating. "We like them because they are child-free and luxurious," one Which? respondent said. "We have high expectations and so far they have met these every time."

What is your experience? Is the Travelodge breakfast buffet really that bad? Let us know in the comments.

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