|Headquarters||Dunstable, United Kingdom|
United Arab Emirates
Republic of Ireland
Republic of India
|Andy Harrison (CEO)|
Premier Inn is a British budget hotel chain and the UK's largest hotel brand, with more than 50,000 rooms and 700 hotels. LSE-listed Whitbread launched the chain under the "Travel Inn" brand name in 1987 to compete with Travelodges (which were at the time owned by Forte). Travel Inn was merged with Premier Lodge to form the current business, solely owned by Whitbread. The subsidiary today accounts for 70% of Whitbread's earnings. Premier Inn operates hotels at a variety of locations including city centres, suburbs and airports.
The chain started trading in 1987 as 'Travel Inn'. In 2004, Whitbread acquired another hotel chain, Premier Lodge for £505 million. This added an additional 141 hotels to the existing portfolio and Whitbread re-branded every hotel as "Premier Travel Inn", which was shortened to "Premier Inn" later in 2007, by which time it accounted for more than 70% of the parent company's earnings.
In the UK
The Premier Inn chain can be found from Elgin in the north of Scotland to Helston, Cornwall in the south. 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 new-build, although many of the chain's inner city locations in the UK are housed within redeveloped office buildings which would otherwise have faced demolition. Some hotels such as "Bristol Airport" in Sidcot are housed in older buildings.
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, near to Stilton and Yaxley, just off the A1(M).
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 and the hotels were all re-branded and integrated into Premier Inn's.
In summer 2008, Whitbread bought 21 Express by Holiday Inn Hotels in exchange for 44 Beefeater & Brewers Fayre restaurants. where it wasn't possible to build a Premier Inn.
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All Premier Inns have an on-site restaurant. Most are accompanied by a Whitbread brand chain 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 (originally city centre hotels had a Slice or BarEst restaurant, whose design and menus were very similar). Hotels that were formerly Premier Lodge have a range of different restaurants, operated by Spirit Pub Company such as Chef & Brewer or Fayre & Square. Former Express by Holiday Inn sites feature a Mitchells & Butlers restaurant, either Harvester, Toby Carvery or Vintage inns. A selection of hotels have a third party restaurant formerly 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.
Outside the UK
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 initially identified three sites in Dubai, creating more than 800 new rooms. Room rates are expected to be in the region 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 also opened. There is also a Premier inn Located in the Abu Dhabi Capital Centre as well as the new Premier Inn located in Abu Dhabi International Airport which opened on the 20th of 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 the UK’s largest budget hotel brand, 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 will be invested in the joint venture over the next 10 years of which Whitbread's share will be 50%. Over the 10-year period the venture will create some 80 hotels and over 12,000 rooms for business and leisure travellers seeking high quality branded budget hotel accommodation. The initial sites are targeted in the Delhi Region (National Capital Region), Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad and Chandigarh.
Republic of Ireland
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 now features in every advert.
In May 2011, BBC Watchdog criticised its widely advertised £29 promotion, having received complaints from viewers that it was almost impossible to book for that price, due to very low quotes of promotional rooms being allocated. Premier Inn stated that this was due to its rooms being "popular". It also showed a story where Premier Inn misspelt many cities and town's names such as naming Livingston, "Livingstone" and Aberdeen, "Aberdion".
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