With many travellers expected to take UK short-breaks this summer instead of spending too much money abroad, British hotel groups are ready to challenge their budget rivals for a share of the business.
Leading short-break operator Superbreak has linked up with upmarket De Vere Hotels with a special summer offer of double rooms for £25 per night on its quality portfolio of three and four-star properties.
The offer is open only from May 26 to June 4, for bookings between June 1 and September 12.
The De Vere Venues chain includes hotels in 31 locations from city centres to country houses, including Abingdon, Minster Lovell, Ascot, Bolton, just outside Chester and Manchester, and Barony Castles in Peebles, Scotland.
Superbreak’s latest move followed an earlier offer of discounts up to 50% agreed with other hotel operators, including two nights’ B&B for £46 per person (saving £46) at the three-star Jury’s Inn, Manchester, for arrivals through August (two sharing).
The Jury’s Inn chain, with 19 hotels already open in the UK - including Brighton, Plymouth and Southampton, six in Ireland and four more due in 2010 in Portsmouth, Bradford, Newcastle and Glasgow - promises "sea, sand and suncream" packages from £29.95 per person, B&B, on bookings by the end of May.
Jury’s is trialling a ’staycationers’ special package in Brighton, with a free spraytan for every couple and layer of sand at reception so guests can feel the sand between their toes.
Travelodge has 40,000 rooms - each big enough for two adults and two children - on sale for July/August stays from £19. Breakfast is bookable online for £5.50 per person, with under-16s eating for free and two-course meals cost £6 if booked online.
INFORMATION: Superbreak (0871 222 3055 and www.superbreak.com); Shearings Holidays (01942 823 361 and www.shearings.com); Jury’s Inns (0870 4100 800 and www.jurysinns.com); Forest Holidays (0845 130 8223 and www.forestholidays.co.uk).
Travelodge (www.travelodge.co.uk) takes 87% of reservations online.
Tesco Travel Money (0845 600 6667 and www.tesco.com/finance) is offering 25 Clubcard points for every £250 of overseas currency bought instore.There are Travelodges well-placed for major attractions at Amesbury (for Stonehenge), St Austell (Eden Project), Penrith (for Lakeland), Skipton (Yorkshire Dales), Carlisle (Hadrian’s Wall) and Inverness (Loch Ness).
Travelodges also offer cream teas for 99p at top holiday location hotels, including a large scone, a pot of clotted Cornish cream, jams and a choice of teas.
At 52 Ibis hotels - mainly city centre and airport locations - guests get 30% off the standard online rate by booking 30 days in advance of their stay, which means rooms from £39. A popular destination in this offer will be the Ibis hotel in the heart of Edinburgh.
Shearings Holidays, with 47 locations across the UK, offers good value on midweek breaks for self-drivers: four nights’s dinner, B&B at The Ship & Castle in St Mawes looks tempting at £195, with the same stay on Loch Lomond from £170 and in the Imperial Hotel, Tenby, from £238.
Families ready for outdoor adventure before schools break up might also get a deal from Forest Holidays, with midweek self-catering stays in timber, glass-fronted cabins buried deep in the countryside from £229 for a total of six people - and activities including cycling, pony trekking, canoeing and fishing.
Two more Forest Holidays sites open in July, making a total of five from Scotland to Cornwall.
A survey by Tesco Travel Money claims British holidaymakers will keep holiday spending under tight control this summer: a third will avoid eating out altogether by booking a self-catering break, while 12% say they will spend "significantly less".
Tesco’s survey predicts travellers from the Midlands will keep the tightest grip by spending only £348 per week on holiday, against Yorkshire & Humberside, North-West and North-East (all £401), South East (£408), Scotland £415) and London (£495).