Uncool Britannia: Chain finishes bottom of hotel survey for fifth consecutive year

Disappointing result for chain that didn’t score more than two stars in any category

For the fifth year running, Britannia has come rock bottom in a Which? Travel survey of large hotel brands.

Which? asked its members to rate UK hotel chains on everything from bed comfort to cleanliness. From a total of more than 4,000 responses, the survey found that Britannia, which has 54 hotels across the UK, was judged as the worst.

It failed to muster more than two stars in any category, receiving poor scores in areas including cleanliness, customer service and value for money. It achieved an overall customer score of just 33%, meaning it finished well behind second bottom Days Inn Hotel (49%) and third bottom Old English Inn (55%).

A Which? Travel investigator also went undercover to experience a night at a Britannia hotel themselves. They found run down and dated accommodation ‘with an air of neglect’. The room itself featured a cracked sink and a lumpy mattress, as well as a stained carpet.

Which? asked members how much they paid on average for a Britannia room. They reported that, at £78, the price was £2 more expensive than Premier Inn, which once again finished top of the table with an impressive customer score of 79%.

Guests rated Premier Inn, Britain’s biggest chain, highly in a number of categories, with the bathrooms, bedrooms and comfort of the beds all receiving the maximum five-star rating. The chain finished significantly higher up the table than rival Travelodge, who were given an overall score of 58% and placed in the bottom half of the table.

Ibis Budget finished second with a customer score of 71%, while Radisson Blu, Crowne Plaza and MacDonald shared third place, with a score of 70%.

Which? also carried out a separate survey into small and medium hotel chains. Malmaison, which has 15 locations across the country, came out on top with Which? members, receiving high marks for its bedrooms and an overall customer score of 75%. EasyHotels finished in last place and were given an overall score of 61%.

Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:

“Our survey shows that after five years at the bottom of our survey, Britannia shows no signs of improving the poor experience it offers its guests. Once again, Premier Inn shows the rest how to do it – clean rooms and fantastically comfortable beds all at a reasonable cost, showing you don’t necessarily get higher standards for higher prices”.


  1. In August 2017 we asked Which? members to complete an online survey about their experiences of staying in large UK hotel chains. Customer scores are based on a combination of overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending the chain to a friend, based on 4,255 hotel stays. In addition we asked members of the general public about their experiences of staying in a small or medium-sized hotel chain in the UK. Customer scores are based on 423 experiences.
  2. Hotels rated (sample size in brackets)Hotel survey 3
  3. Using the table: a – Excluding Hampton by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and DoubleTree by Hilton. Star ratings range from one to five. Sample sizes in brackets. WRP = Which? Recommended Provider (highlighted by a red dot). Average price paid Amount paid for a one-night stay, including all room types, by survey respondents. Cleanliness including bedrooms, bathrooms and communal areas. Bedrooms including furniture, air conditioning, heating, facilities. Bathrooms including fixtures and fittings, lighting, towels, toiletries, shower or bath. Bed comfort  including quality of mattress, pillow and duvet. Description matching reality How far the description of the hotel matched the experience. Customer score  Combination of overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending to a friend or family.
  4. Which? Travel’s review of Britannia was carried out in September 2017.  It also reviewed Premier Inn as well as two brands owned by AccorHotels (Ibis Budget and Mercure).

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