Best vs worst UK hotel chain: MailOnline compares top-ranked Premier Inn with bottom-rated Britannia

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Britannia has been named the UK’s worst large hotel chain by Which? for nine years running. This year it scored a miserly 49 per cent in a survey by the consumer champion, far below Premier Inn, which topped the list with a score of 79 per cent.

But what is the difference between the best and the worst? And is the worst really that bad? We decided to find out. With UV torches to sweep for stains packed in our bags, we checked into a Britannia hotel in London and a Premier Inn in Cambridge to put the two chains head to head.

Ailbhe MacMahon checked into the Premier Inn and was impressed by an ‘extremely comfy’ bed, ‘really polite’ staff and ‘brilliant value’ breakfast. Ted Thornhill spent the night in the Britannia and discovered why the chain has such a poor reputation – a huge blue skip marred the entrance, dirty glasses were waiting for him outside his room and in the morning dirty plates and cutlery from the night before tainted the public spaces. Read on for more…

BRITANNIA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL – CANARY WHARF. REVIEWER – TED THORNHILL

Ted Thornhill checked into the Britannia International Hotel (above) in Canary Wharf, London 

Ted reached the Britannia International (brown building above in the centre) by foot from Canary Wharf Tube station

Ted reached the Britannia International (brown building above in the centre) by foot from Canary Wharf Tube station

Ted (above) found the exterior of the Britannia International 'a tad dystopian' - a partly because of a huge skip by the entrance

Ted (above) found the exterior of the Britannia International ‘a tad dystopian’ – a partly because of a huge skip by the entrance

Exterior – first impressions upon arrival

A tad dystopian.

I reached the Britannia International Hotel in Canary Wharf by foot from Canary Wharf Tube station. An eye-opening stroll. You cross the dock the hotel sits beside via a striking arched silver footbridge then saunter along the water amid gleaming skyscrapers until your path is blocked by the property, which struck me as depressing – a murky block of gloom in need of sprucing up. It left me with a slight sense of foreboding. Everything on the outside is a shade of brown – the stonework, the metal window frames, the metal door frames. 

Reaching the main entrance involved walking along the side of the building past the hotel’s pizzeria, which wasn’t open and was in partial darkness, adding to the air of despondency. Plus, I noticed some of the metal frames on the outside were eroded and discoloured.

Ted writes: 'Reaching the main entrance involved walking along the side of the building past the hotel's pizzeria (above), which wasn't open and was in partial darkness, adding to the air of despondency'

Ted writes: ‘Reaching the main entrance involved walking along the side of the building past the hotel’s pizzeria (above), which wasn’t open and was in partial darkness, adding to the air of despondency’

The outside of the Britannia struck Ted as 'a murky block of gloom in need of sprucing up'

Some of the exterior was eroded and discoloured, Ted noticed

The outside of the Britannia struck Ted as ‘a murky block of gloom in need of sprucing up’. Some of the exterior was eroded and discoloured

Then the piece de resistance of the dystopian look appeared – a giant blue skip right by the main entrance. 

Not a reassuring omen. 

But move past the skip and you’re treated to a bit of glam. In fact, screw your eyes up and you could be at The Savoy. There are shiny polished brass handrails, a couple of statues, ‘The International’ is emblazoned in gold lettering on (what looks like) black marble, and you enter via a golden revolving door.

The skip standing sentinel by the Britannia International entrance, as seen by Ted on the approach from Canary Wharf Tube

The skip standing sentinel by the Britannia International entrance, as seen by Ted on the approach from Canary Wharf Tube

Move past the skip, and you're 'treated to a bit of glam', says Ted, with The International emblazoned in gold lettering on (what looks like) black marble

You enter the Britannia International via a golden revolving door

Move past the skip, and you’re ‘treated to a bit of glam’, says Ted, adding: ‘In fact, screw your eyes up and you could be at The Savoy. There are shiny polished brass handrails, a couple of statues, “The International” is emblazoned in gold lettering on (what looks like) black marble, and you enter via a golden revolving door’

The lobby, pictured, is 'half-way to glamorous', says Ted

The lobby, pictured, is ‘half-way to glamorous’, says Ted

The lobby

Half-way to glamorous. There are chandeliers, more statues (some metal, some plastic), mirrors with ornate gold frames, fancy plaster work on the ceilings and plush jade-coloured sofas. 

But the luxury vibe was marred somewhat by garish warnings on the cheap-looking tables that ‘food and drink’ are forbidden.

Checking in

I queued to check in between classic red ropes in front of the reception desk. The task of getting my room keycard was straightforward enough, though I was surprised I had to pay upfront for the room and £13.50 for an evening meal at ‘Jenny’s’ restaurant. No explanation, either. The card machine being pushed towards me was apparently ‘the explanation’. 

The receptionist wasn’t rude, but wasn’t exactly welcoming either. It felt like she was going through the motions. As I was signing in, a guest rushed up to the desk to declare that water was leaking through his bedroom ceiling. It felt a bit Fawlty Towers at this point. Perhaps the skip outside belonged to O’Reilly.

Journey to the room

Ted noted 'some haphazard interior design' on the way to his room (above)

Ted noted ‘some haphazard interior design’ on the way to his room (above)

Plastic statues mark the entrance to one of the lifts in the Britannia lobby

Plastic statues mark the entrance to one of the lifts in the Britannia lobby

Two dirty glasses (pictured) from previous guests greeted Ted when he arrived at his room - No 844

Two dirty glasses (pictured) from previous guests greeted Ted when he arrived at his room – No 844

My room was No 844 and I took one of three lifts to get there. In the space in front of the lift on the ground floor I noted some haphazard interior design, with three large oriental metal statues placed between two fire extinguishers and a Covid hand-sanitising station.

The corridor to my room had a musty odour mixed with the whiff of air freshener and cigarettes. It’s a no-smoking hotel, but one of the guests had clearly gone rogue and lit up. Dispiriting to see dirty glasses and cups outside some of the rooms – including mine.

Room

The bedroom style Britannia seemed to be going for – ‘mildly depressing hotel room… anywhere’. Slightly dreary, careworn and unremarkable. I suspect the late great Peter Cook would have said it filled him with inertia. There was a desk with drawers, two chairs on either side of a table, two bedside drawer units, a wardrobe with sliding doors and a bathroom in various shades of brown and grey with a bath and shower hose attached to the taps, and Britannia-branded toiletries.

Ted describes his bedroom at the Britannia as 'slightly dreary, careworn and unremarkable', but notes that it's clean and that 'a chandelier provided some continuity with the (partial) glam of the lobby'

Ted describes his bedroom at the Britannia as ‘slightly dreary, careworn and unremarkable’, but notes that it’s clean and that ‘a chandelier provided some continuity with the (partial) glam of the lobby’

The bed (above) in Ted's room is 'not luxurious, but fine', though his night's sleep was disturbed by a nearby guest slamming a door on and off

The bed (above) in Ted’s room is ‘not luxurious, but fine’, though his night’s sleep was disturbed by a nearby guest slamming a door on and off

Furniture dark brown wood. A chandelier provided some continuity with the (partial) glam of the lobby. Air con efficient with a simple-to-use control panel.

Any extras?

A flat-screen TV; a kettle with teabags and coffee and sachets of milk; a hairdryer; an ironing board.

Bed comfy?

Not luxurious, but fine.

Ted's bathroom came in 'various shades of brown and grey'

The bath and shower in Ted's room

The bathroom came in ‘various shades of brown and grey with a bath and shower hose attached to the taps’

The Britannia branded toiletries

The Britannia branded toiletries

Room clean?

Spotless – except for some brown stains on the wall by the bin, slightly dirty windows and a paint handprint on the bathroom door frame. The other bits of the room had been meticulously cleaned.

Did the UV torch reveal anything?

Nothing sinister.

Anything broken?

Yes. A shoddy old phone. The socket was partially ripped off the wall. 

Plus, the seat covers were both ripped, part of the wardrobe frame was broken and there were a couple of major scratches on one of the bedside tables.

Britannia was deducted points for a broken phone socket

A handprint on a door frame in Ted's room

Britannia was deducted points for bedroom shoddiness and stains that included a broken phone socket (left) and a handprint (right)

Ted found unsightly scratches on a bedroom table

The wardrobe was in a state of disrepair

Ted found unsightly scratches on a bedroom table (left) and the wardrobe was in a state of disrepair (right)

The view from Ted's bedroom was 'not bad'

The room's tea and coffee-making facilities

The view from Ted’s bedroom was ‘not bad’ (left). Pictured right are the room’s tea and coffee-making facilities

View – any good?

Not bad. Mostly of a skyscraper opposite, but I could clearly see the dock and Heron Quays DLR station.

Dinner – the food and the dining space

Dine o'clock: Ted paid £13.50 for an evening meal at Jenny's Restaurant (pictured above)

Dine o’clock: Ted paid £13.50 for an evening meal at Jenny’s Restaurant (pictured above)

Some of the seating at Jenny's had been placed in a 'charmless and pokey space' by the fire escape (above)

Some of the seating at Jenny’s had been placed in a ‘charmless and pokey space’ by the fire escape (above)

At Jenny's guests help themselves to a drink from a table by the entrance on the way in (above)

At Jenny’s guests help themselves to a drink from a table by the entrance on the way in (above)

The protocol at Jenny’s was simple: you told the staff member at the entrance your room number, helped yourself to a glass of wine, water or juice from a nearby table – business-function-style – then picked a table and helped yourself to the buffet.

Britannia has put some effort into the decor here – there were bright yellow pillars, vibrant photos of London and an old rowing boat complete with oars hanging from the ceiling. But it wasn’t quite enough to lift the look of the space beyond ramped-up school canteen. And it was let down by dirty windows and being too hot.

Plus, some of the tables had been placed in a charmless, pokey space at the end of the room by the fire escape.

Ted describes the food at Jenny's (above) as 'pretty good' considering the price of £13.50

Ted describes the food at Jenny’s (above) as ‘pretty good’ considering the price of £13.50

Ted's main course of salmon and rice

Ted's apple crumble

Pictured left is Ted’s main course of salmon and rice. Pictured right is his apple crumble. Both were ‘pleasing’

Ted gives the crackers and cheese a thumbs up

Ted gives the crackers and cheese a thumbs up

On the upside, for a budget fare of £13.50, the food was pretty good. I had salmon and rice, and noted that the fish was tasty and fresh and the rice nice and fluffy. For dessert, apple crumble and custard, which was pleasing. And crackers and cheese. Again, a thumbs up.

My glass of red wine, not so good – too warm and sharp. I’d love to name the culprit, but Britannia only lists its wine as ‘house red’ and ‘house white’.

A good night’s sleep afterwards?

Not bad, though the fire alarm briefly went off at around 10pm. A bit disconcerting. And guests in a nearby room were slamming a door on and off until the early hours, which woke me up a couple of times.

Breakfast

Breakfast was served at Jenny's Restaurant. Ted noted that Britannia has 'put some effort into the decor here'

Breakfast was served at Jenny’s Restaurant. Ted noted that Britannia has ‘put some effort into the decor here’

The breakfast spread was big

Sausages, bacon and beans were on offer in the morning

The breakfast spread was big, with egg options, plus sausages, bacon and beans on offer

The Britannia International breakfast liquid refreshments

The toast options at the Britannia

These photos show the Britannia International breakfast liquid refreshment and toast options

Ted said of his breakfast: 'I was happy with my pain au chocolat; fried egg, beans and sausage (though the sausage tasted processed); orange juice and machine coffee'

Ted said of his breakfast: ‘I was happy with my pain au chocolat; fried egg, beans and sausage (though the sausage tasted processed); orange juice and machine coffee’

One of the unhelpful sockets in Ted's bedroom

One of the unhelpful sockets in Ted’s bedroom

Good morning, Jenny’s. Still too warm, but again, the food was pretty good. I was happy with my pain au chocolat; fried egg, beans and sausage (though the sausage tasted processed); orange juice and machine coffee.

Wi-Fi

Ridiculous Wi-Fi policy for this day and age. Guests get two free 20-minute sessions or pay £7 for 24 hours access. I paid £7, reluctantly, but once I was signed on, it was fast and trouble-free.

Connections in the bedroom

Infuriating. The only plug sockets for laptops/phones by the bed were used by the lamps, and they were not regular plug sockets, but European-style interfaces.

There was a spare one in this style in a corner, so also useless. The TV and the kettle on the wall opposite the bed used regular plugs, so I unplugged the former to charge my phone.

Overall appearance

In the morning Ted discovered that dirty plates, glasses and rubbish had been left in public spaces from the night before

In the morning Ted discovered that dirty plates, glasses and rubbish had been left in public spaces from the night before

In the morning Ted spotted an empty bottle of vodka on one of the tables near the breakfast restaurant

Dirty plates left overnight by the bar

In the morning Ted spotted an empty bottle of vodka on one of the tables near the breakfast restaurant (left). Pictured right – dirty plates left overnight by the bar

The Britannia is just a few minutes by foot from the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), the Tube and the Elizabeth line

The Britannia is just a few minutes by foot from the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), the Tube and the Elizabeth line

The outside was gloomy, the skip a monstrosity and while the décor was, on the one hand, sometimes glamorous, Britannia cheapened the effect with garish, often peeling, notices and warnings.

And dirty plates, glasses and rubbish had been left in public spaces from the night before. And not just in the corridors outside rooms. I sauntered around the bar and foyer before and after breakfast at just past 7am and spotted an empty vodka bottle on a table, plus dirty plates and glasses in numerous spots.

Checking out – straightforward?

Extremely straightforward. I just had to leave my keycard at the desk and skip out to the skip.

Anything about the hotel that worried you?

Nothing, though I did find the atmosphere at night a bit unnerving, what with the slamming door and the fire alarm.

Any memorable extra touches?

None.

Clientele – who was in there with you?

American students and their teachers, workmen, a couple of businessmen, and a few others who seemed a bit… edgy.

Staff – friendly?

All courteous.

Location

Ted paid £101 for a double room with a view, including breakfast. Who was there with him? 'American students and their teachers, workmen, a couple of businessmen, and a few others who seemed a bit... edgy'

Ted paid £101 for a double room with a view, including breakfast. Who was there with him? ‘American students and their teachers, workmen, a couple of businessmen, and a few others who seemed a bit… edgy’

The hotel is just a few minutes by foot from the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), the Tube and the Elizabeth line. And there are plenty of options for entertainment and dining in Canary Wharf.

SCORES OUT OF FIVE: Appearance – 2. Cleanliness – 2. Facilities – 2. Customer service – 3. Communal areas – 2. Bedroom – 3. Dining and drinks – 3. Wi-Fi – 2. Value for money – 3. Overall score – 49 per cent. 

Ted paid £101 for a double room with a view, which included breakfast. With dinner, his bill came to £114.50. Visit www.britanniahotels.com/hotels/the-international-hotel for more.

PREMIER INN CAMBRIDGE EAST. REVIEWER – AILBHE MACMAHON

Ailbhe MacMahon checked into Premier Inn Cambridge East, pictured, which lies around a 20-minute walk from the heart of Cambridge

Ailbhe MacMahon checked into Premier Inn Cambridge East, pictured, which lies around a 20-minute walk from the heart of Cambridge

Ailbhe, pictured, stayed in a Premier Plus double room

Ailbhe, pictured, stayed in a Premier Plus double room

Exterior – first impressions upon arrival?

I approached the building from the River Cam, so my initial sighting of it was from across the relatively busy A1134 ring road. 

The first thing I noticed was that it’s directly opposite a Travelodge (a hotel chain that came 17th in the Which? survey). The building itself is made of light stone and looks modern.

The lobby

Lots of natural light, clean and filled with Premier Inn’s signature purple branding. 

There was a nod made to the hotel’s setting in Cambridge with a mural of graduates throwing off their hats, with a message saying: ‘Walk in the footsteps of some of the greatest minds in history before discovering a great night’s sleep.’ Nice lounge space with low chairs by the check-in desk.

In the lobby, there was a nod made to the hotel's setting in Cambridge with a mural of graduates throwing off their hats

In the lobby, there was a nod made to the hotel’s setting in Cambridge with a mural of graduates throwing off their hats 

The view of the closed bar area at the entrance

The lobby was filled with Premier Inn's signature purple branding, Ailbhe reveals

On the left is the view of the closed bar area at the entrance. The lobby was filled with Premier Inn’s signature purple branding, Ailbhe reveals

'The staff were pleasant and booked me in for dinner,' Ailbhe says of her check-in process

A  lounge space with low chairs by the check-in desk

‘The staff were pleasant and booked me in for dinner,’ Ailbhe says of her check-in process. On the right is a lounge space with low chairs by the check-in desk

Ailbhe found that the hallways smelled nice - there was a machine installed in the ceiling that was expelling some kind of fragrance

Ailbhe found that the hallways smelled nice – there was a machine installed in the ceiling that was expelling some kind of fragrance

Checking in

No problems. The staff were pleasant and booked me in for dinner.

Journey to the room

The hallways smelled nice – there was a machine installed in the ceiling that was expelling some kind of fragrance. Spotted some dust balls in the blinds at the very end of the hall.

Room

Spacious and quite stylish. It had a grey-and-blue colour scheme with pops of purple. A strip of purple lighting behind the bed gave the room a nice moody effect. There was a colourful print by the painter Sam Smith on the wall, an armchair with an ottoman, a vanity table with a Hollywood-style light-up mirror, a desk, and a big flat-screen TV. The floor-to-ceiling windows filled the room with light. Bathroom was bright and white with a bath and a rainfall shower.

Ailbhe's Premier Plus room. A strip of purple lighting behind the bed gave the room a nice moody effect, she says. On the wall was a colourful print by the painter Sam Smith

Ailbhe’s Premier Plus room. A strip of purple lighting behind the bed gave the room a nice moody effect, she says. On the wall was a colourful print by the painter Sam Smith

Pictured is a view of the desk. The floor-to-ceiling windows filled the room with light, Ailbhe writes

Pictured is a view of the desk. The floor-to-ceiling windows filled the room with light, Ailbhe writes

'Everything seemed brand new,' Ailbhe says

The vanity table with a Hollywood-style light-up mirror

‘Everything seemed brand new,’ Ailbhe says. To the left of the image on the right is the vanity table with a Hollywood-style light-up mirror 

An armchair with an ottoman in the corner of the room

Miniature Green & Black's chocolate bars and a Nespresso machine were among the perks in the room

An armchair with an ottoman in the corner of the room (left). Miniature Green & Black’s chocolate bars and a Nespresso machine were among the perks in the room (right)

'The bathroom was bright and white with a bath and a rainfall shower,' says Ailbhe

‘The bathroom was bright and white with a bath and a rainfall shower,’ says Ailbhe 

Ailbhe's 'not great' view of a rival hotel -  Travelodge, which came 17th in the Which? survey

Ailbhe’s ‘not great’ view of a rival hotel –  Travelodge, which came 17th in the Which? survey

Any extras?

Miniature Green & Black’s chocolate bars, a Nespresso machine, toiletries by the British brand Damana and an ironing board.

Bed comfy?

Extremely comfy. The bedding was high quality and the mattress was of good firmness, plus the bed itself was really wide.

And how clean was the room?

Super clean, though the windows looked like they could do with a wash.

Did the UV torch reveal anything?

Nothing.

Anything broken?

No – in fact, everything seemed brand new.

View – any good?

Not great. A direct view of a rival – Travelodge.

Dinner – the food and the dining space

The bar and dining space were cosy with lots of hanging lights and patterned wallpaper

The bar and dining space were cosy with lots of hanging lights and patterned wallpaper

Framed prints on the walls and a generous scattering of cushions gave the bar and restaurant a cheerful, homely atmosphere

Framed prints on the walls and a generous scattering of cushions gave the bar and restaurant a cheerful, homely atmosphere

Ailbhe's 'filling and flavoursome' vegetarian sweet potato and spinach curry, with a slightly disappointing naan bread under the poppadom

A  'chocolate brownie sundae' dessert. Guests can get a two-course dinner, plus a drink, plus breakfast the following morning for £24.99

Left is Ailbhe’s ‘filling and flavoursome’ vegetarian sweet potato and spinach curry, with a slightly disappointing naan bread under the poppadom. Pictured right is a ‘chocolate brownie sundae’ dessert. Guests can get a two-course dinner, plus a drink, plus breakfast the following morning for £24.99

Prints and mirrors hanging up on the restaurant's wall

Prints and mirrors hanging up on the restaurant’s wall 

The bar and dining space were cosy with lots of hanging lights and patterned wallpaper. Framed prints on the walls and a generous scattering of cushions gave it a cheerful, homely atmosphere. However, the carpet looked a bit tired – there was a large dark stain on it. 

During dinner, the usual chef was on holiday, apparently, so there was a limited menu, but there was still a good breadth of dishes available for vegetarians, vegans and kids. The restaurant seemed understaffed – there was over a 20-minute wait between ordering a drink and it being delivered to my table. That said, the waiting staff were really polite, checked in on me and apologised for the wait.

I ordered a (huge) serving of vegetarian sweet potato and spinach curry and a ‘chocolate brownie sundae’ dessert – everything was filling and flavoursome, thought the curry was let down a bit by the naan bread, which tasted like it was from a packet. No complaints about my drink – a glass of Steammaker Malbec from Argentina.

Overall, it was value for money. You can get a two-course dinner, plus a drink, plus breakfast the following morning for £24.99.

A good night’s sleep afterwards?

Slept very soundly. Woke up once to lower the room temperature using the air conditioning panel on the wall, which was easy to do. The room was very well sound-proofed too – I didn’t hear a peep from any other guests, though the hotel was apparently fully booked.

Breakfast

Premier Inn's breakfast offers a 'good spread of dishes'. Above are hot dishes such as eggs, sausages, rashers, hash brown and tomato

Premier Inn’s breakfast offers a ‘good spread of dishes’. Above are hot dishes such as eggs, sausages, rashers, hash brown and tomato

Bowls of red berries and chopped fruit salad with organic yoghurts

A mix of breakfast cereals to choose from

Left are bowls of red berries and chopped fruit salad with organic yoghurts. Pictured right is a mix of breakfast cereals to choose from

Pictured are the baskets of pastries that can be warmed upon request

Ailbhe got a coffee from the machine, pictured

Pictured left are the baskets of pastries that can be warmed upon request. Ailbhe got a coffee from the machine, pictured right 

Ailbhe's breakfast - fried egg with beans, tomato and mushrooms. 'For £9.50 for an unlimited breakfast, you could fill yourself up for the day,' she says

Ailbhe’s breakfast – fried egg with beans, tomato and mushrooms. ‘For £9.50 for an unlimited breakfast, you could fill yourself up for the day,’ she says

Good value and a good spread of dishes – hot dishes such as eggs, sausages, rashers, hash brown and tomato; pastries that can be warmed upon request; fresh bagels and a mix of cereals. There was also a bowl of red berries and chopped fruit salad, organic yoghurts, and dairy-free milk for vegans too.

I had a coffee from the machine, some orange juice and some Yeo Valley Greek yoghurt, followed by a fried egg with beans, tomato and mushrooms. The hot food could have been hotter but everything tasted perfectly nice. Again, it was brilliant value – for £9.50 for an unlimited breakfast, you could fill yourself up for the day.

Wi-Fi

There was free Wi-Fi available for all guests. I used the upgraded ‘Ultimate Wi-Fi’ that was part of the package with Premier Plus rooms and costs £5 for 24 hours. It was fast enough but not super speedy – it took just under a minute to download an app (Netflix) onto my phone – usually, with a strong connection, it would take me around 15 seconds to download the same app.

Connections

Really good. Handily, there were USB ports next to the bed for charging your phone. Several plug sockets were installed both next to the bed and around the room.

Overall appearance

Ailbhe says that the  restaurant carpet looked a bit tired – there was a large dark stain on it

Ailbhe spotted some dust balls in the blinds at the very end of a hallway

Ailbhe says that the restaurant carpet (left) looked a bit tired – there was a large dark stain on it. On the right are some dust balls that she spotted in the blinds at the very end of a hallway

Crumbs left on the floor and on a table at breakfast

Crumbs left on the floor and on a table at breakfast

Communal areas were neat and pleasant. I did spot a mess of crumbs on the floor at breakfast, the stain on the restaurant carpet and the dust in the hallways – but these were all small housekeeping issues that could have been down to understaffing. Premier Inn’s real strength is in the bedrooms, which are attractive, comfortable and considered.

Checking out – straightforward?

Just popped my room key into a plastic box by the door. Very handy.

Anything about the hotel that worries you?

Nothing.

Any memorable extra touches?

The waitress at dinner kindly offered tips on where to go in Cambridge, recommending different bars for live music.

Clientele – who was in there with you?

The majority were families with young kids, some older couples, a few lone travellers, and one priest.

Staff – friendly on the whole?

Very friendly but seemed stretched a bit thin.

Location

Convenient enough. It’s around a 20-minute walk to the heart of Cambridge – plus another five minutes if you take the scenic route by the river – or a 10-minute bus ride.

SCORES OUT OF FIVE: Appearance – 4. Cleanliness – 4. Facilities – 5. Customer service – 4. Communal areas – 4. Bedroom – 5. Dining and drinks – 4. Wi-Fi – 3. Value for money – 4. Score – 82 per cent. 

Price for a Premier Plus double room – from £35. With breakfast and dinner, from £59.99. To visit, go to www.premierinn.com

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