UK budget hotels have become bloated with unnecessary amenities presenting an opportunity for a new breed of ‘economy’ accommodation, according to the man behind Premiere Classe.
David Anderson, Lourve Hotels operations director for Northern Europe, has just overseen the launch of the group’s first Premiere Classe hotel in the UK in Coventry.
The French brand, 220 strong in Europe, is offering ensuite rooms with wi-fi and luxury hypnos bed from just £35, beating many larger rivals’ promotional offers.
Anderson believes 'amenity creep' - all the extras that aren't essential, such as a Corby trouser press, toiletries, formal restaurants - at the sector’s large players has kept prices up for services consumers do not want.
Stripping out cost
Premiere Classe Coventry is a 47-bedroom conversion of one of the group’s Campanile hotels, and unlike its siblings on the continent has retained a bar for thirsty Brits.
By stripping ‘costings out of the kitchen’ Anderson claims the price point is sustainable and the offer set to be a big hit with cash-strapped consumers.
“We’ve launched in Coventry, where there is around 12 other budget hotel groups within ten minutes, because we have found in France that when we enter the market with our product we change the dynamic,” Anderson told Big Hospitality.
Getting the word out
Hotel consultant Melvin Gold said while the case for a product at a price-point below the big players made sense, the challenge for any new entrant in the market would be visibility.
“It is an area of the market that is buoyant and the main growth area for hotels in the UK. However, due to their size consumers know Premier Inn and Travelodge and naturally head for their websites.
“The real challenge for Premiere Classe will be how consumers find out about it without any critical mass to the brand in the UK.”
Premiere Classe has not revealed any other UK locations as yet, preferring to asses the performance of the Coventry site first.