Premier Inn (formerly Premier Travel Inn) is the UK's biggest hotel brand, with over 32,500 rooms and more than 500 hotels and motels. Originally opened under the "Travel Inn" brand name in 1987, it has been owned by Whitbread during its entire operation and was set up to compete with the Travelodge brand which was at the time owned by Forte.
Since 1987 the hotel company has since grown to become the largest hotel chain in the United Kingdom with more than 500 hotels across the UK including two in Northern Ireland and one in the Republic of Ireland
Like Travelodge it has a policy of mostly using new build hotels where all rooms are identical. However over the years and due to purchases of other properties, such as Holiday Inns, late 2007 Tulip Inns and mid 2008 over 20 Express by holiday inn this policy has been somewhat diluted, however most rooms are remarkably similar.
Premier Lodge was a chain of 141 hotels owned by the Spirit Group. In 2004 Whitbread acquired Premier Lodge for the sum of £505 million. This added an additional 141 hotels to the existing Travel Inn company and henceforth Whitbread re-branded all hotels as "Premier Travel Inn". The move to change the name partly resulted from consumer confusion with Travelodge and a desire of Whitbread to utilise the 'Premier' name.
Hotels which were originally built as Premier Lodge feature slightly smaller rooms to other Premier Inn's, however they also had wider beds. This was a marketing tool used by Premier Lodge before its acquisition by Whitbread.
From 1st January 2008, all rooms are non-smoking.
All hotels have two different rates, a Monday-Thursday and a Friday to Sunday rate (prices are generally higher on weekday nights than at weekends due to the demand from business travellers on those nights). Unlike Travelodge (their closest competitor), Premier Inn do not offer discounts for early bookings. Breakfast is available either in the attached restaurant or pub, but not included in the room rate.
Breakfasts usually consist of two options. A full fried breakfast with all you can eat from the full English selection of bacon, eggs, beans etc. for £7.50, or the continental buffet selection only for £5.25. Up to two children, aged 15 or under, can eat breakfast for free when one adult purchases a full breakfast. However, at some Premier Inns, there is a full buffet breakfast option available, where the customer can get a self-service meal, in an "All you can eat" style. The pricing is similar to that of the standard breakfasts. This is usually found in the larger Hotels, such as 'London Heathrow (Bath Road)', and 'London Docklands (ExCel)'.