Overnight stays-why so expensive? - PhilW
There must be a lot of you here who require overnight accommodation when on business so where do you stay which is reasonably priced? Reason I ask is because my wife and I were helping our daughter to move flats in Cambridge on Saturday and thought it would just take the day. However, by about 8 pm we realised that it would take all of Sunday as well and thought that, rather than drive 100 miles home and back again, we would stay overnight in Cambridge. Having spent many a night in France in motel type places (anything from £20 to £40 for a double room) and celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in a wonderful chateau in a room which had a shower room, sitting room and bedroom with view over the moat and beautiful parkland for £120 a night we were somewhat taken aback (after Sleep Inn said they had no rooms left at about £50 a night) to be quoted £128 by one large chain and £160 by another. Now I realise that we may have been able to get B&B much cheaper, but at that time we didn't want to gamble and just wanted a basic room with en-suite and a decent breakfast. Most French towns would have a whole range of Formula One (rather basic), Premier, Kyriad,Etap, B&B, IBIS etc hotels all offering reasonable double rooms with en suite all for less than £50 (even in Paris). Are these not available here? We were offered Travelodge (or something) in Peterborough and other places miles away but even that seemed expensive when the choice for breakfast is McDonalds or Little Chef. In the end we drove home and then back again today.
Where do you stay when travelling and why do British hotels seem about twice as expensive as French (or German, Belgian etc?)
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - CMark {P}
Hi Phil, I cannot answer your question as to why accomodation in the UK is so expensive but, indeed I agree that it is. When travelling around UK I always use B&Bs. I have a couple of good guide books which invariably produce charming and good value results.

I just checked on the website I often use when travelling in Europe www.viamichelin.com . This produced 30 Red Guide hotel entries within 15 miles of Cambridge city centre so there does not seem to be a shortage of quality accomodation but at first glance I could not say that these establishments were particularly good value for money. (Holiday Inn at £91 for a double room today).
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - No Do$h
There is, shock horror, a Formule 1 in Peterborough at £19.95 per night and you will also find a Sleep inn (Junction of A1M and A605) for between £40-£50. When I was working in Peterborough earlier this year I opted for the latter. The rooms were excellent fo my purpose and I was able to negotiate a discount as I was staying 4 nights a week for about 12 weeks.

I agree that the rates in the UK are just not acceptable. Accor Hotels (owners of Ibis, Formule 1 and Etap, amongst others) are gradually spreading around the UK but even these tend to be much more expensive than their French counterparts.

Accor's website has an interactive map search that shows a total of 84 hotels in the UK. www.accorhotels.com/accorhotels/reservez/fr_top.js...e
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - Dwight Van Driver
Expensive place:


Overnight stays-why so expensive? - Stuartli
You obviously only enjoy an overnight stay on an occasional basis, but the accommodation's management has to provide the facility 24 hours a day and 52 weeks of the year.

So overheads are fixed or, more likely, gradually rising, but the number of people who use the accommodation will vary from day to day, week to week and year to year.

There are thousands of low cost places to stay across the UK and finding a suitable one should not have been too difficult.

You are also perfectly free to negotiate a price with any hotel - I once stayed at a Best Western hotel in Durham that charged, at the time, £50 pp per night.

After negotiating a price of £40 pp for my wife and I per night for two nights over the 'phone I naturally thought the bill would be £160; to my astonishment I discovered that the hotel had actually dropped the cost to £20 pp per night.

So I was very happy to cough up just £80 - even better was the fact that the hotel owned pub next door charged the same prices as anywhere, unlike the inflated beer and spirit charges found in most hotels.

Hotels have long worked on the basis that filling rooms even at half the normal price is far better than empty ones - it's the British hatred of haggling that they play on....:-)

Overnight stays-why so expensive? - mab23

Cambridge alas is difficult to find cheap accomodation, unless it's a grotty B&B. Or you can stay in a guest room at a Cambridge college.

Travelodge, Travel Inn, Sleep Inn, Formula 1 etc are all cheapish but I can't recall really near to Cambridge.

www.sleeperz.com/ is at Cambridge railway station, has tiny rooms but is clean and cheap at Travel Inn-like prices.

Overnight stays-why so expensive? - THe Growler
This subject was aired a while back and I contributed by saying I visit UK about 3 X annually and always use B & B.

I started by booking online using www.beduk.co.uk/ and have now developed a few "regular" ports of call in the areas I visit in the SE and EM, where I do quite a lot of motoring. I appreciate forward planning may not be that easy for the traveller on a schedule and that is why the motel concept is positioned where it is. But even myself having been caught out say at 8 p.m. somewhere looking for a bed for the night, I've more often than not found somewhere -- if in doubt ask at the local pub.

The UK is very good at B & B. It is totally hopeless at the US concept of cheap convenient motel type accommodation. Not only is that overpriced but you end up trying to deal with (IME) some Croatian with broken English at 2 a.m. on reception who hasn't a clue, or else some Bolshie guy with a football haircut who've you've just woken up or interrupted his reading of the latest FHM and to whom the arrival of a customer is not only an intrusion but an opportunity to exercise his moment of power to make your life a misery.

By contrast B & B at pubs or private guest houses is, as we know, owner run and managed. It may have a few idiosyncrasies, like that of the farmhouse run by the New Age lady in Norfolk where I stayed last year offering communal meditation at dawn, temperamental plumbing, no hope of air-conditioning on a hot summer's night, being right above the public bar on Cup Final night, and so on.

To balance this I have never paid (IIRC) more than 34 pounds a night, have always enjoyed a hearty breakfast, and often on the evening previous, congenial company and conversation in the bar till all hours. Not much of which you get at the Kumfy Inne.

Overnight stays-why so expensive? - Dipstick
Could the reason for the expense be the same as Honest John often quotes when asked why servicing in the UK is so expensive; property prices?
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - Mark (RLBS)
>>Where do you stay when travelling


Frequently if all I want is a bed for the night before continuing what I was doing, then Travelodges work out fine for me.

If I am looking for something more relaxing and enjoyable, then I use the Good Pub Guide and just look up something in the area I want.

I used to do it before when I lived in England, and now I do it again. I've probably stayed in 50-odd places and as far as I remember only once or twice was a place not excellent.
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - bradgate
In answer to the specific question of why cheap French hotels are cheaper than cheap British hotels may i suggest a few factors:

1, The £ is still overvalued against the Euro. The gap is no longer as large as it has been in recent years but is still significant. Because of this everything in France is cheaper, including hotel rooms.

2, Competition. Budget chain hotels are ubiquitous in France, and local competition is fierce, hence lower prices.

3, Land. France is a much bigger and far less overcrowded country than Britain. Land is, therefore, much cheaper and hotel companies need to charge less to cover their overheads.
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - BB
I have always managed to get myself cheap accomodation throughout the country, but I have always booked a couple of weeks on advance.

First come first served.
Last come, pay an arm and a leg.

Same as booking an airplane seat.
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - Doc

I have used this chain and they are very good.

The above is £48 per room.
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - Colin M
I found it often easier to get a hefty last minute discount at one of the larger hotel chains (Hilton etc) that brings it below the price of a Travelodge although my preference is for the more quirky individual hotels.

One annoying UK habit is charging per person rather than per room. How much extra can it cost to wash another towel?

Overnight stays-why so expensive? - PhilW
Some excellent points and much to bear in mind. I think our problem stemmed from thinking we would finish the move on Saturday and then finding we had another day's work which dawned on us about 8 pm! Because we couldn't face driving round Cambridge to find a decent B&B we thought the chains would be best but Sleep-Inn had just let their last room. Holiday Inn would not bargain on price - it was £120 or nothing as was the other chain at £160 ish. Travelodges all seemed to be too far away to make it worthwhile. Next time I shall take one of those guide books mentioned above. On another tack - any enterprising entrepreneaurs fancy opening a Formula 1, Etap and Ibis near Cambridge offering good clean accommodation at prices from £25 - £50 a night or would land cost and rates here double those prices?
thanks for replies
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - M.M

Land and property values are staggering in Cambridge and have been spreading by the mile over ten years or more. Any enterprise needs very good returns.

Funnily enough we are not to far away and, in keeping with the time of year, would not turn away a couple who were unable to find room at the inn when there was a nice warm stable to spare.

Overnight stays-why so expensive? - Paul Robinson
As M.M. says property values are obscene in Cambridge, also it's interview season at the colleges so all accommodation places are in peak period mode! Another time of the year may have been rather different.
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - Stargazer {P}
I used to visit Cambridge a lot in a former job when the Royal Greenwich Observatory were based there. I built up a list of 4 or 5 good but cheap B+Bs and I would work through them in turn if they were available. I have always found the Cambridge travel lodges to be very busy and usually fully booked if you try and arrange a nights stay at short (<48 hours) notice.

Ian L.
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - Wilco {P}
Get yourself a pub guide and a B&B guide. You can sometimes also get some surprisingly good deals on mainstream hotels by pitching up and negotiating direct, or alternatively use a late booking facility like www.lastminute.com
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - helicopter
Been there ,done that with Helicopter Jr.

I think you maybe just hit Cambridge at the wrong time of year. The University candidate interviews etc at this time do mean that any city centre bed is likely to be taken by anxious parents and students from around the world.

Also there always seem to be more Japanese and other tourists than you can shake a stick at who all want a bed for the night.

As to the price of property, the colleges are so rich that they buy up any property that comes on the market for their student accommodation.That said you can sometimes get a guest room cheap from the various colleges if you ask at the Porters lodge.

But IMO you'd have to go a long way to find a more beautiful sight than Kings college chapel from a punt on the Cam on a summer afternoon

Overnight stays-why so expensive? - NitroBurner
Why is EVERYTHING so expensive here you should have said...

Not for nothing is GB known as "Treasure Island"!
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - hxj

When staying in Cambridge I stop at the Crowne Plaza in the centre of town.

Book an Internet Saver for £88 a night room only but fit upto four people, plus £7.50 parking, on the Crowne Plaza Website.

Found no else as nice.
Overnight stays-why so expensive? - DavidHM
Agree with HXJ; my parents, especially my father, are regulars there and has been for six years since I started university and now my sister's in her fourth year there.

It's more than they'd usually spend on a hotel but it's not bad value for what you get; the location is excellent, you can have a drink and a choice of restaurants, the breakfast is fantastic and the rooms are large, quiet, comfortable and well specified.

Best of all, you don't have to worry about a taxi or parking in the centre of town. If you can get the Crowne Plaza for less than about £100 it makes more sense than spending £60 on a Travelodge and then most of the difference on taxis to and from the centre if you are going out.

It is expensive, but with the university Cambridge is a conference centre, plus you get all the tourists and visitors for students - plus there's no room at all to build in the centre, so you're pretty much stuck with one of the three 4* plus hotels, or something very nearly as expensive and not as good, or something much further out.


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