Book your stay at Premier Inn Skegness Seafront from £35* for a double room at www.premierinn.com. Breakfast deal £9.50 per person
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside… but would we enjoy a seaside stay in a Premier Inn?
Every year thousands of us head to Skegness, in Lincolnshire, in search of exactly the kind of British seaside holiday that people from the East Midlands and beyond have been enjoying since Victorian times.
The town has plenty of small, family-run hotels, so when national chain Premier Inn announced it had permission to build a hotel on the town’s seafront the whole town sat up and took notice.
Perhaps understandably there were a fair few objections, particularly from the owners of nearby B&Bs whose premises have a sea view, concerned the new hotel opposite would block their own guests’ view. But when we arrived at the Skegness Seafront Premier Inn for our overnight stay it was clear that the hotel’s design was sympathetic to local hoteliers’ needs. As the hotel is built ‘side on’ the impact on the view of those hotels across the road is minimal and none of the Premier Inn rooms have a sea view, so the family-run hotels across the road can still use this as their unique selling point.
We stayed at the Premier Inn over May half term and my first impression was that the size of the building is deceptive, it fits a lot into a small space with five floors of accommodation plus parking and a stylish and modern restaurant on the ground floor.
Our stay gave us exactly what we expected from a Premier Inn hotel - a spacious room, cosy bed (as advertised by Lenny Henry!), thick towels and not a speck of dust in the bedroom or ensuite bathroom. Cleanliness is a major bugbear in my book but I’ve always found Premier Inn to have the highest standards. It is true to say, however, that a brand new bathroom is a lot easier to keep clean and maintain than one built in the Seventies or Eighties where grouting and old tiles can cause issues.
The hotel is built next door to Skegness’s main attraction, the Pleasure Beach, pier and Bottons’ fair, great for a fun day out but not so great noise-wise… However, our room was so well insulated we didn’t hear a peep! Parking and the wifi were free - we just had to register our details.
They say that the customer service experience makes all the difference (this can go both ways!) and on this occasion the best thing about our stay was the attentiveness of the staff, both in the hotel and restaurant.
We had a lovely two-course dinner in the hotel’s Steamboat restaurant and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. In our experience, Premier Inn’s restaurants consistently provide good food in a stylish setting. The restaurant was very busy both with visitors and locals but the very professional staff were more than equal to the challenge. There’s a special dinner/breakfast deal for hotel customers and you get to eat as much as you like from the self-service cooked and continental breakfast options, plus unlimited tea, coffee (including cappuccino) and juice. Just what you need before heading out onto the beach!
As for the controversy around this new hotel opening in a very traditional seaside town, my feeling is that visitors who prefer to stay in a small, more personal, family-run hotel will continue to do just that. The new Premier Inn will attract extra people, not steal the customers of local B&Bs, and make it much easier for people coming for just one night to find a room - perhaps because they are visiting the Embassy theatre or attending events that run through the year when accommodation is at a premium.
Those visiting family and friends who travel frequently and expect a quality stay at a good price as standard will often head to a chain such as Premier Inn rather than an unfamiliar B&B - because they know what they’re getting. A clean room, the most comfortable bed imaginable and air-conditioning. However, it is true that local hotels and B&Bs will need to raise their game and modernise their facilities where needed. In my opinion, that’s no bad thing.
*Prices vary, subject to availability