Having stayed at many Premier Inns over the years I’m confused by claims made during anti-Premier Inn rhetoric currently bandied about.
Over the years Keswick has seen a steady decline in the number of hotels as some revert to private residences while others convert to private apartments. Would Premier Inn be the first new hotel in Keswick for over 50 years? Surely this can only benefit the town’s economy. Though with over 5,000 visitor beds in the area it won’t be a significant benefit, but Premier Inn would, unlike Airbnb, pay UK business tax.
I share concerns of a Keswick and Lake District swamped by international hoteliers and tour operators. Unfortunately this is inevitable with World Heritage status. We must rely on and plead with the Lake District National Park Authority to ensure the natural and historical beauty of the Lake District and the quaintness of its towns and villages are maintained.
Regarding claims made in the rhetoric:
- Congestion at breakfast due to non-resident custom – Not in my experience, there being sufficient tables available at peak times. Breakfasts are an adequate pick your own buffet of cooked and cold dishes with no portion control.
- No help with luggage – All the Premier Inns I’ve visited had 24-hour reception with friendly staff willing to help with luggage. All had lifts and ground floor rooms prioritised by need.
- Insufficient Parking – The planning application shows some 30 on-site parking spots and there’s a large adjacent public car park.
- Excessive noise – I’ve always found Premier Inns free of rowdiness with no noticeable hotel activity created, external noise.
- It’s on a flood plain – True. Would this be the first building in Keswick designed and organised to cope with flooding from the onset?
- It’s not a family business – True. But then many of the Keswick area’s larger hotels belong to conglomerates, many of the town centre businesses are national and international, and most of the accommodation providers receive many of their guests from international booking agencies.
- They’re budget hotels – Really? Spacious bedrooms, thoughtfully designed to meet the aspirations of the modern visitor, comfy beds, great showers, lovely towels, scrupulously clean. Attractive dining room, come bar areas, with efficient, caring staff.
- Consistent standards across all the Inns I’ve visited – They do have a competitive pricing system based on demand so there are bargains to be had for early booking and penalties to be paid at popular times. (Keswick, by enlarge, doesn’t have higher popular time rates)
- It’s not an appropriate building for this site – I agree.
And, yes, I’m a fan of Premier Inns. Yes, I’m biased. Yes, I’d like to see one in Keswick.
And, no, I’m not in their employ. No, I would not support a rag tag of international companies flooding Keswick.