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The trouble with booking a British hotel room

Premier Inn

Premier Inn

I’ve been investigating hotels in the U.K. for our upcoming trip. Sounds simple, right?

I assumed my biggest challenge would be finding a room available, and maybe finding something in my price range (after all, the current exchange rate is 1.49, which means that a gorgeous room at the Savoy for £330 pounds converts to $494 and is decidedly out of our price range). And so it goes …

But no. The real challenge has been finding  a hotel willing to accommodate a family of four. I’ve discovered that many nice hotels have a person limit and two adults and two children exceed capacity, unless you’d like to book a second adjoining room. I’ve realized that I’ve taken for granted the all-suite family hotel options that are a dime-a-dozen in the U.S. (with Embassy Suites being my #1 pick, particularly when Manager’s Reception comes around) but really it’s a concept that is sorely lacking in the U.K.

Which isn’t to say that there aren’t any “family rooms” available in the U.K. Some are available for a steep price. Others seem to get booked up months in advance. But thankfully I have tracked down larger family rooms with the Premier Inn hotel group, which have worked well for our needs. It’s still one big room (usually two double beds and a sofa bed, along with the option of adding a crib) instead of the suite-style option so it isn’t perfect, but we stayed at a Premier Inn near Heathrow Airport at our last visit in 2010 and it was very easy to book a family room for four (at a very good rate of under £200, as well). I’ve also read good things about Base2Stay, which has locations in Liverpool and Kensington. And of course, there’s always, and any of the other vacation rental sites if you’re looking for some extra space.

Do you know of a good family-friendly hotel in the U.K.? Please share!