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Whitbread taps into island life with 600 Premier Inn rooms on island communities

1 Jul 2019 Estate

Jersey Bath Street

Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, is responding to increased demand for Premier Inn bedrooms in island locations across the UK, as it announces two new acquisitions and a pipeline of 600 bedrooms beyond the UK mainland.

The growth of the ‘staycation’ market, and strong year-round business demand, has encouraged Whitbread to build a network of 604 Premier Inn bedrooms in UK island locations.  The new rooms are either under construction, in the secured development pipeline or have recently opened in locations across the Channel Islands, the Isle of Wight and the Scottish islands.

Commenting on the expansion, Alex Flach, UK Development Director for Whitbread, said:

“The way in which people are using ‘budget’ hotels like Premier Inn is evolving. The staycation market is growing and we are seeing increased demand for Premier Inn hotels in island locations around the UK.  This growth, alongside year-round demand from business travellers, has given us the confidence to invest and secure six new Premier Inn hotels beyond the UK mainland.”

In the Channel Islands, Whitbread opened its first hotel in in St Helier, Jersey in July 2018.  The popularity of the hotel encouraged Whitbread to commit to a second 122-bedroom Premier Inn at Bath Street in St Helier and invest in its first hotel on the Isle of Guernsey. The 100-bedroom Premier Inn at Admiral Park, Saint Peter Port, was announced by development partner Comprop on Thursday 27th June.

Alex continued: “Most UK islands have a below average supply of branded hotel accommodation, so there’s a real opportunity for Premier Inn to bring a different style of accommodation to these places and diversify the hotel offer for visitors.  As we do so, we are creating new permanent jobs and supporting the island economies by attracting Premier Inn customers to visit. Local businesses also benefit from our presence as many of our guests visit local attractions and eat and drink out when they stay with us.

As well as the Channel Islands, new Premier Inn hotels are coming to other popular island markets including a third hotel on the Isle of Wight, a 100-bedroom hotel on Shetland and Whitbread’s first hotel in Douglas, the Isle of Man, which opened on 24th June.   Whitbread’s property acquisition team are also in discussions to bring Premier Inn to other UK islands.  

The six sites are a mix of freehold and leasehold developments, which together will create more than 200 new permanent jobs on opening.

Latest figures from tourism agencies for the UK islands show a consistent growth in tourism numbers.  Visit Guernsey reported that overnight leisure visits to the island were up by 22% in the first quarter of 2019 [1] whilst in Jersey, more than 410,000 overnight trips were made to the island in 2018 – the highest number since 2001 – with more than half of the holiday visitors being first time visitors to the island [2].

Data from the Isle of Man and the Isle of White also show a growth in visitor numbers and spending in 2018, with total visitor spending on the islands increasing by 7% [3] and 9% [4] respectively.

Whitbread is investing in six Premier Inn hotels on UK island locations as it grows the Premier Inn estate to 110,000 UK and Ireland bedrooms. The secured island locations include:

  • Jersey St Helier (Charing Cross) – open
  • Jersey St Helier (Bath Street) – planning application submitted
  • Guernsey St Peter’s Port – leasehold secured
  • Sandown, Isle of White – under construction
  • Douglas, Isle of Man – open
  • Lerwick, Shetland – planning application submitted
For more information, please contact:
Notes to editors
  • Whitbread currently operates two Premier Inn hotels on the Isle of Wight at Sandown (Merrie Gardens) and Newport (148 rooms in total).
  • Premier Inn Douglas, Isle of Man, was opened by Minister Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for the Department for Enterprise, at the Isle of Man Government on Thursday 27th July.
  • In Shetland, a planning application has been submitted to redevelop the site of Brevik House in Lerwick into a 100-bedroom Premier Inn hotel.The development site benefits from outline planning consent and detailed plsnning permission is being sought for the proposed Premier Inn.
  • Construction of the 100-bedroom Premier Inn in St Peter’s Port, Guernsey, is due to commence in autumn 2019 with a targeted opening date of the end of 2021.
About Premier Inn

Premier Inn was named the UK’s top-rated hotel chain for 2018 according to Which? With almost 800 hotels and more than 75,000 rooms across the UK and Ireland, Premier Inn guests are never far from a great night’s sleep at fantastic value rates. Premier Inn hotels are in more locations than any other UK hotel brand for the ease and convenience of leisure and business travellers alike.

All Premier Inn bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms, a luxurious Hypnos® bed, a choice of pillows, TV with Freeview and free Wi-Fi. A bar and restaurant is situated either on-site or next door to each hotel, offering a wide range of food and drink including a delicious all-you-can-eat breakfast.

Across the estate, the average Trip Advisor score for Premier Inn hotels is 4.2. Premier Inn has been awarded the Best UK Family Hotel in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, Best UK Hotel Group in the Silver Travel Awards and the Business In The Community Environmental Leadership Award. In 2018 Premier Inn was also named the UK’s top-rated hotel chain for the fourth year in a row by Which?

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is the National Charity partner of Premier Inn and to date team members, guests and suppliers have reached the milestone of £10 million, which formed part of the funding towards the Premier Inn Clinical Building, officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in January 2018.

Outside of the UK, Premier Inn’s expansion plans are focused on Germany.  Premier Inn opened its first hotel in Frankfurt in 2016 and has more than 6,000 Premier Inn bedrooms in its secured pipeline in Germany.

[1] Guernsey media release 2nd May 2019:

[2] Jersey visitor statistics:

[3] Isle of Man Passenger Survey:

[4] Tourism South East research:

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