By Rick Steves
Hotel chains — popular with budget tour groups — offer predictably comfortable, no-frills accommodations at reasonable prices. These hotels are popping up in big cities in Britain. Some are located near the train station, on major arterials, and outside the city center. What you lose in charm, you gain in savings.
These hotels are ideal for families, offering simple, clean, and modern rooms for up to four people (two adults/two children) for a good price, depending on the location. Note that couples or families (up to four) pay the same price for a room. Most rooms have a double bed, single bed, five-foot trundle bed, private shower, WC, and TV. Hotels usually have an attached restaurant, good security, an elevator, and a 24-hour staffed reception desk. Of course, they're as cozy as a Motel 6, but many travelers love them. You can book over the phone (or online) with a credit card, then pay when you check in. When you check out, just drop off the key, Lee.
If you choose to stay in these, book through their websites, as the room rates are often dramatically less for online bookings. The biggies areTravelodge and Premier Inn. The Irish chain Jurys Inn also has some hotels in Britain.
Couples could also consider Holiday Inn Express, spreading throughout Britain. These are like a Holiday Inn Lite, with cheaper prices and no restaurant. Many of their hotels allow only two per room, but some take up to four (make sure Express is part of the name or you'll pay more for a regular Holiday Inn).