Budget hotel chain bids to open in Lake District in £5m move - but small B&Bs fear price war

The Hilltop site

The Hilltop site

First published in News

BUDGET hotel chain is looking to open a new £5 million property in the Lake District – sparking fears it could drive small B&Bs to the wall.

Premier Inn plans to open a 64-bedroom family hotel at a former University of Cumbria property on The Struggle in Ambleside (pictured), bringing 30 full and part-time jobs.

But B&B owners fear the chain will slash room rates in the off-season – cutting a vital source of income which keeps many afloat during winter.

Tourism bodies are divided with Cumbria Tourism saying the new jobs should be welcomed and that a national hotel chain would help lure more visitors.

But the Lakes Hospitality Association believes national budget brands could harm the ‘character’ of the area and that a price war would be unwelcome at the cheaper end of the market.

Company representatives insist its ‘small on-site restaurant’ will be ‘predominantly aimed at providing guests with breakfasts and light meals but would not compete with existing restaurants and pubs in Ambleside'.

Residents on The Struggle fear ‘horrendous’ access problems up the steep hill leading on to Kirkstone Pass, because 65 car parking spaces are planned.

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Premier Inn offers cut-price rooms starting from £29-a-night and confirmed to the Gazette it has purchased Hilltop, a significant former University property – dependent on planning permission.

It has held preliminary talks with the Lake District National Park Authority ahead of tabling a full planning application.

It will unveil the plans on March 28-29 at The Parish Centre in Ambleside.

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Nick Johnston, of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants – owners of Premier Inn – said: “We understand the beautiful environment that is Ambleside and the need for a sensitive design and operation of the hotel. We ensure our hotels are fitting of their locations and we manage all of our hotels very intensively.”

Tony Blaney, chair of the 200-member Lakes Hospitality Association, said: “There’s no reason to fear new hotels but we know these big groups can slash prices to sell rooms and that will seriously affect the independents who don’t have their buying power and low overheads.

Paul McDougall, who runs B&B Elder Grove, said: “Adding so many more bed spaces to the town could be detrimental to the small independent accommodation provider - especially during the quieter periods of the year where chain organisations can undercut prices with national offers and subsidise their lettings.”

“Chain accommodation providers do not look at local purchasing and the sustainability of the town community as we and many others do - thus causing a knock-on effect to the local shops, those providing our eggs and bacon, bread and butter or the local tradesmen helping to maintain all the individual properties the area provides.”

Terry Davey, who owns the 26-bed Queen’s Hotel in Ambleside, said: “It’s not brilliant news for the smaller B&Bs. The vast majority of tourists come to the Lake District to stay somewhere appropriate to the area - not a chain hotel. But at the end of the day - the newness, parking and price is going to be a factor.”

Ian Stephens, of Cumbria Tourism, embraced new hotel developments and said: “As well as providing employment opportunities, any additional Premier Inn properties will add to rather than detract from the wide range of high quality accommodation provision that already exists.”

Harry Manning, of Ambleside Civic Trust, said it was likely to object on the grounds of traffic, loss of a potential housing site in Ambleside and the impact on residents.

Ambleside councillor, Heidi Halliday said: “A Premier Inn would be a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul - taking business away from our smaller establishments who simply cannot compete.”

The Lake District National Park Authority confirmed that a formal application had not yet been submitted but would be considered in due course.

Meanwhile, Travelodge have denied rumours circulating in the village that it is behind the purchase of the Kelsick House and Grammar School on Stockghyll Lane, which was recently on the market for £1 million.

Agents for the sale, Kendal-based Michael CL Hodgson said the sale had not yet been completed and in any event, it could not reveal the identity of any purchasers.

Comments (46)

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7:34pm Thu 20 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

Mmmm, just what we need! It's not as if there aren't enough hotels, guest houses and B&Bs here of all shapes, sizes and prices. That type of big chain budget hotel also attracts the sort of guests who aren't going to support the local economy here. So it is more than just local B&Bs that it will affect, but the knock on for other small, local businesses too. Shame on the Council if it agrees to it.
Mmmm, just what we need! It's not as if there aren't enough hotels, guest houses and B&Bs here of all shapes, sizes and prices. That type of big chain budget hotel also attracts the sort of guests who aren't going to support the local economy here. So it is more than just local B&Bs that it will affect, but the knock on for other small, local businesses too. Shame on the Council if it agrees to it. jazzactivist
  • Score: -72

7:50pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

If you read reviews of hotels and guesthouses on Tripadvisor, you'll see that some local businesses are dirty, overpriced and with unhelpful staff. If those places go out of business, tourism will be the winner.
If you read reviews of hotels and guesthouses on Tripadvisor, you'll see that some local businesses are dirty, overpriced and with unhelpful staff. If those places go out of business, tourism will be the winner. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 23

8:25pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Kendal lad says...

I for one welcome this.
I stay at Premier Inn regularly with work and always find them a good standard, with friendly staff and good quality facilities.
Maybe this will force the owners of poor quality, highly priced B & B's to sharpen up their acts or shut down.
BTW jazzactivist, what are the wrong sort of people, who wouldn't support the local economy? When I stay away I always make a point of eating out, shopping in local shops and buying local goods (if they are priced correctly). Its time the Lake District work up to the 21st century and started offering high quality, reasonably priced goods and services.
I for one welcome this. I stay at Premier Inn regularly with work and always find them a good standard, with friendly staff and good quality facilities. Maybe this will force the owners of poor quality, highly priced B & B's to sharpen up their acts or shut down. BTW jazzactivist, what are the wrong sort of people, who wouldn't support the local economy? When I stay away I always make a point of eating out, shopping in local shops and buying local goods (if they are priced correctly). Its time the Lake District work up to the 21st century and started offering high quality, reasonably priced goods and services. Kendal lad
  • Score: 50

10:28pm Thu 20 Mar 14

hevonly says...

Whats the point in creating 30 full and part time jobs, if you're going to put other hotel and B&B owners out of business, surely one would outweigh the other? All the big chain hotels, chain fast food, chain supermarkets should really be kept out of our Lake District villages, if you're the sort that want all that, then go stay in Manchester or London or just about any other town across the country! This illusion of choice by allowing them, will mean in the end, that that is all we have. Do you really want Premier Inn, TravelLodge, Sainsburys, Tesco's, McDonalds, Pizza Hut...in Ambleside, Windermere, Grasmere? allowing Premier Inn or the likes to come here would open the gates to all the chains being here, then our towns and villages would just be generic versions of everywhere else :-(

The notion that we have poor quality, high priced B&B and Hotels is a myth. We have some fantastic, unique, family owned, excellent quality choices in Ambleside. I can understand using Premier Inn in it's place, cheap when you're in the city or away with work, but is it really the right thing for Ambleside? Is that going to be a good location, up passed the appropriately named 'Struggle' (a narrow hair pin bend).

And don't get me started on Trip Advisors unverified reviews......
Whats the point in creating 30 full and part time jobs, if you're going to put other hotel and B&B owners out of business, surely one would outweigh the other? All the big chain hotels, chain fast food, chain supermarkets should really be kept out of our Lake District villages, if you're the sort that want all that, then go stay in Manchester or London or just about any other town across the country! This illusion of choice by allowing them, will mean in the end, that that is all we have. Do you really want Premier Inn, TravelLodge, Sainsburys, Tesco's, McDonalds, Pizza Hut...in Ambleside, Windermere, Grasmere? allowing Premier Inn or the likes to come here would open the gates to all the chains being here, then our towns and villages would just be generic versions of everywhere else :-( The notion that we have poor quality, high priced B&B and Hotels is a myth. We have some fantastic, unique, family owned, excellent quality choices in Ambleside. I can understand using Premier Inn in it's place, cheap when you're in the city or away with work, but is it really the right thing for Ambleside? Is that going to be a good location, up passed the appropriately named 'Struggle' (a narrow hair pin bend). And don't get me started on Trip Advisors unverified reviews...... hevonly
  • Score: -32

7:25am Fri 21 Mar 14

Moonbase says...

They could buy the Burnside and save 2.5 m...
They could buy the Burnside and save 2.5 m... Moonbase
  • Score: 12

7:31am Fri 21 Mar 14

furthersouth says...

We WILL be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
We WILL be assimilated. Resistance is futile. furthersouth
  • Score: 1

9:09am Fri 21 Mar 14

Kendal lad says...

hevonly wrote:
Whats the point in creating 30 full and part time jobs, if you're going to put other hotel and B&B owners out of business, surely one would outweigh the other? All the big chain hotels, chain fast food, chain supermarkets should really be kept out of our Lake District villages, if you're the sort that want all that, then go stay in Manchester or London or just about any other town across the country! This illusion of choice by allowing them, will mean in the end, that that is all we have. Do you really want Premier Inn, TravelLodge, Sainsburys, Tesco's, McDonalds, Pizza Hut...in Ambleside, Windermere, Grasmere? allowing Premier Inn or the likes to come here would open the gates to all the chains being here, then our towns and villages would just be generic versions of everywhere else :-(

The notion that we have poor quality, high priced B&B and Hotels is a myth. We have some fantastic, unique, family owned, excellent quality choices in Ambleside. I can understand using Premier Inn in it's place, cheap when you're in the city or away with work, but is it really the right thing for Ambleside? Is that going to be a good location, up passed the appropriately named 'Struggle' (a narrow hair pin bend).

And don't get me started on Trip Advisors unverified reviews......
It has nothing to do with choice, it is simply business.
If you offer poor quality, with the expectation that because you are in the Lake District and therefore should like it whatever you are given, you are wrong.
This is a call to arms for the local B & B community, along with the restaurants, cafe's etc for the whole area to sharpen up their acts.
I have found it cheaper to eat out in London, at good, named restaurants than at places in the Lakes. We are often treated to poor quality here simply because we are a captive market.
You are right, I for one don't want to have a bland high street, with the same shops, restaurants and hotels as everywhere else.
But neither do I want to be treated with contempt and a 'Put up or shut up' attitude.
[quote][p][bold]hevonly[/bold] wrote: Whats the point in creating 30 full and part time jobs, if you're going to put other hotel and B&B owners out of business, surely one would outweigh the other? All the big chain hotels, chain fast food, chain supermarkets should really be kept out of our Lake District villages, if you're the sort that want all that, then go stay in Manchester or London or just about any other town across the country! This illusion of choice by allowing them, will mean in the end, that that is all we have. Do you really want Premier Inn, TravelLodge, Sainsburys, Tesco's, McDonalds, Pizza Hut...in Ambleside, Windermere, Grasmere? allowing Premier Inn or the likes to come here would open the gates to all the chains being here, then our towns and villages would just be generic versions of everywhere else :-( The notion that we have poor quality, high priced B&B and Hotels is a myth. We have some fantastic, unique, family owned, excellent quality choices in Ambleside. I can understand using Premier Inn in it's place, cheap when you're in the city or away with work, but is it really the right thing for Ambleside? Is that going to be a good location, up passed the appropriately named 'Struggle' (a narrow hair pin bend). And don't get me started on Trip Advisors unverified reviews......[/p][/quote]It has nothing to do with choice, it is simply business. If you offer poor quality, with the expectation that because you are in the Lake District and therefore should like it whatever you are given, you are wrong. This is a call to arms for the local B & B community, along with the restaurants, cafe's etc for the whole area to sharpen up their acts. I have found it cheaper to eat out in London, at good, named restaurants than at places in the Lakes. We are often treated to poor quality here simply because we are a captive market. You are right, I for one don't want to have a bland high street, with the same shops, restaurants and hotels as everywhere else. But neither do I want to be treated with contempt and a 'Put up or shut up' attitude. Kendal lad
  • Score: 23

10:23am Fri 21 Mar 14

hevonly says...

Kendal lad: We don't have to have everything, just because as you say, 'it's business', we have a choice at this stage. The business we're talking about here, doesn't care about the sensitive local balance, it's just looking at a spreadsheet with numbers on. Will they be using local tradesmen to build it or will they bring in some company from the city? How much of their profit will go back into the local community? Yes it's business, but is it good for Ambleside as a whole?

What makes you so sure Premier Inn are going to be any better at quality and customer service than what we already have, it'll be the same people / locals working there as around the rest of Ambleside? People are getting so they will only go in places with a recognised corporate logo, no longer giving the independent places a try. They want what is familiar, what they recognise, no longer daring to try something they don't know.

I'd be interested to know the restaurants, cafe's, b&b's and hotels in Ambleside you've had such bad experiences in? We must eat and stay in different places as I can only applaud the ones we've used.
Kendal lad: We don't have to have everything, just because as you say, 'it's business', we have a choice at this stage. The business we're talking about here, doesn't care about the sensitive local balance, it's just looking at a spreadsheet with numbers on. Will they be using local tradesmen to build it or will they bring in some company from the city? How much of their profit will go back into the local community? Yes it's business, but is it good for Ambleside as a whole? What makes you so sure Premier Inn are going to be any better at quality and customer service than what we already have, it'll be the same people / locals working there as around the rest of Ambleside? People are getting so they will only go in places with a recognised corporate logo, no longer giving the independent places a try. They want what is familiar, what they recognise, no longer daring to try something they don't know. I'd be interested to know the restaurants, cafe's, b&b's and hotels in Ambleside you've had such bad experiences in? We must eat and stay in different places as I can only applaud the ones we've used. hevonly
  • Score: -4

11:08am Fri 21 Mar 14

bantambelle says...

Personally I think Premier Inn serves a different audience to B&Bs. This audience don't always like 'making polite conversation with the owners' or 'sharing their breakfast table'.

People like Premier Inn as they know what they are getting - I see this development bringing new people to the lakes, not affecting the number of visitors here already. If B&B owners offer a quality product, top customer service and competitive pricing then they have nothing to fear.

The development will be up to the National Park planners. I think the Burnside Hotel would be an easier option for Premier Inn though.
Personally I think Premier Inn serves a different audience to B&Bs. This audience don't always like 'making polite conversation with the owners' or 'sharing their breakfast table'. People like Premier Inn as they know what they are getting - I see this development bringing new people to the lakes, not affecting the number of visitors here already. If B&B owners offer a quality product, top customer service and competitive pricing then they have nothing to fear. The development will be up to the National Park planners. I think the Burnside Hotel would be an easier option for Premier Inn though. bantambelle
  • Score: 28

11:59am Fri 21 Mar 14

Keeping_it_real says...

I think it's a great plan! Not everyone visiting the area wants to stay in a B&B, cramped into a tiny breakfast room. B&B's charge really high prices to take advantage of the limited accommodation in the area, so it's about time this was addressed. Let’s face it, even if the new hotel has 64 rooms, and each is a double occupancy, that’s only 120 guests. Ambleside will see many MANY more visitors than this, who will still need somewhere to stay and probably turn to the B&B’s, so I don't think the B&B's will be put out of business as a result of the Hotel. That said, this will be a wake up call for B&B’s that you need to up your game somewhat. People (in general) demand more for their money these days.
I think it's a great plan! Not everyone visiting the area wants to stay in a B&B, cramped into a tiny breakfast room. B&B's charge really high prices to take advantage of the limited accommodation in the area, so it's about time this was addressed. Let’s face it, even if the new hotel has 64 rooms, and each is a double occupancy, that’s only 120 guests. Ambleside will see many MANY more visitors than this, who will still need somewhere to stay and probably turn to the B&B’s, so I don't think the B&B's will be put out of business as a result of the Hotel. That said, this will be a wake up call for B&B’s that you need to up your game somewhat. People (in general) demand more for their money these days. Keeping_it_real
  • Score: 23

12:42pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Kendal lad says...

hevonly wrote:
Kendal lad: We don't have to have everything, just because as you say, 'it's business', we have a choice at this stage. The business we're talking about here, doesn't care about the sensitive local balance, it's just looking at a spreadsheet with numbers on. Will they be using local tradesmen to build it or will they bring in some company from the city? How much of their profit will go back into the local community? Yes it's business, but is it good for Ambleside as a whole?

What makes you so sure Premier Inn are going to be any better at quality and customer service than what we already have, it'll be the same people / locals working there as around the rest of Ambleside? People are getting so they will only go in places with a recognised corporate logo, no longer giving the independent places a try. They want what is familiar, what they recognise, no longer daring to try something they don't know.

I'd be interested to know the restaurants, cafe's, b&b's and hotels in Ambleside you've had such bad experiences in? We must eat and stay in different places as I can only applaud the ones we've used.
Clearly naming and shaming the establishments I refer to would be unfair as they would not have a chance to respond. That said, instances I personally have had to endure include:-

1, Being told I can't bring my young daughter into a town centre restaurant after 18.00hrs as 'It disturbs the other diners'.
2, Being made to wait for over 3/4 hour for a table at a town centre restaurant, only to be served by sullen staff, who get the order wrong and when the food turned up it was just about warm and swimming in oil.
3, Chips with everything. And not hand cut chips triple cooked in goose fat. Oven chips from a packet.
4, Stood for ten minutes in the doorway of a town centre establishment looking to get a table, only to be ignored by all the staff and to watch them have an argument between each other in front of us.
5, Being made to get up at a certain time as 'That is when breakfast is served'.
6, Having to endure the worst coffee known to human kind.
7, Watching some of the worst food handling and hygiene practices ever.

I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture.

I take your point regards the local trades. They may well employ companies from outside the area, I don't know. But lets not set the Lake District in aspic. Change happens.

The reason people opt for the chains is that they know that they come up to certain standard and that they will get that standard no matter where it is in the country.
[quote][p][bold]hevonly[/bold] wrote: Kendal lad: We don't have to have everything, just because as you say, 'it's business', we have a choice at this stage. The business we're talking about here, doesn't care about the sensitive local balance, it's just looking at a spreadsheet with numbers on. Will they be using local tradesmen to build it or will they bring in some company from the city? How much of their profit will go back into the local community? Yes it's business, but is it good for Ambleside as a whole? What makes you so sure Premier Inn are going to be any better at quality and customer service than what we already have, it'll be the same people / locals working there as around the rest of Ambleside? People are getting so they will only go in places with a recognised corporate logo, no longer giving the independent places a try. They want what is familiar, what they recognise, no longer daring to try something they don't know. I'd be interested to know the restaurants, cafe's, b&b's and hotels in Ambleside you've had such bad experiences in? We must eat and stay in different places as I can only applaud the ones we've used.[/p][/quote]Clearly naming and shaming the establishments I refer to would be unfair as they would not have a chance to respond. That said, instances I personally have had to endure include:- 1, Being told I can't bring my young daughter into a town centre restaurant after 18.00hrs as 'It disturbs the other diners'. 2, Being made to wait for over 3/4 hour for a table at a town centre restaurant, only to be served by sullen staff, who get the order wrong and when the food turned up it was just about warm and swimming in oil. 3, Chips with everything. And not hand cut chips triple cooked in goose fat. Oven chips from a packet. 4, Stood for ten minutes in the doorway of a town centre establishment looking to get a table, only to be ignored by all the staff and to watch them have an argument between each other in front of us. 5, Being made to get up at a certain time as 'That is when breakfast is served'. 6, Having to endure the worst coffee known to human kind. 7, Watching some of the worst food handling and hygiene practices ever. I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture. I take your point regards the local trades. They may well employ companies from outside the area, I don't know. But lets not set the Lake District in aspic. Change happens. The reason people opt for the chains is that they know that they come up to certain standard and that they will get that standard no matter where it is in the country. Kendal lad
  • Score: 15

1:44pm Fri 21 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

I don't know where you go to eat and stay Kendal Lad, but I have never had any of those experiences in the Lakes. It was the range of good, local businesses of all kinds that attracted us to holiday here and then move here. On the other hand, when I have had to stay in hotels like the Premier Inn for work I have found the experience to be bog-standard boring with low quality food, disinterested staff, and other guests that I didn't want to share a breakfast room with because the were noisy and inconsiderate! I think there is a difference between the sort of people who value local economies and think a holiday / trip spent doing that is enjoyable and ethical, and people who want a similar experience to one they can have at home using only big, cheap, anonymous companies for everything. Here, we have mainly small local businesses that cater for a wide range of niche markets. It's possible to come here for a holiday and tailor it to suit your needs and interests, and that's what gives Cumbria its charm and desirability. The incursion of multinational companies will attract lots of people who only like that type of thing, thus pushing out smaller ones and the people who come here to enjoy those.

There are Premier Inns all over the UK, so the people who want to stay in them could go to any of those places for a holiday / weekend. In fact, one of the main comments used by people who like those hotels, and in the advertising blurb, is that you can go to any Premier Inn and know exactly what you are getting as they are all the same. So why bother to holiday in a specific area if that's all you want?
I don't know where you go to eat and stay Kendal Lad, but I have never had any of those experiences in the Lakes. It was the range of good, local businesses of all kinds that attracted us to holiday here and then move here. On the other hand, when I have had to stay in hotels like the Premier Inn for work I have found the experience to be bog-standard boring with low quality food, disinterested staff, and other guests that I didn't want to share a breakfast room with because the were noisy and inconsiderate! I think there is a difference between the sort of people who value local economies and think a holiday / trip spent doing that is enjoyable and ethical, and people who want a similar experience to one they can have at home using only big, cheap, anonymous companies for everything. Here, we have mainly small local businesses that cater for a wide range of niche markets. It's possible to come here for a holiday and tailor it to suit your needs and interests, and that's what gives Cumbria its charm and desirability. The incursion of multinational companies will attract lots of people who only like that type of thing, thus pushing out smaller ones and the people who come here to enjoy those. There are Premier Inns all over the UK, so the people who want to stay in them could go to any of those places for a holiday / weekend. In fact, one of the main comments used by people who like those hotels, and in the advertising blurb, is that you can go to any Premier Inn and know exactly what you are getting as they are all the same. So why bother to holiday in a specific area if that's all you want? jazzactivist
  • Score: -42

2:06pm Fri 21 Mar 14

ab oatman says...

As someone who purports to believe in equality, fairness and protection of the less fortunate Jazzactivist you are incredibly hypocritical and snobbish.
There are good B&B's and there are bad ones, as in all walks of life. What they all have in common in the Lake District is thier high prices.
For a family of 4 to spend a night in a B&B in the Lakes during summer will cost well over £100 where as the same could be had in a Premier Inn or Travelodge for half the price.
Or do you believe those who cannot afford to stay in a B&B should have no business staying in your Lake District (as you first comment clearly alludes to)?
A family who can just about afford a break in the Lakes could have a choice, take a gamble on an expensive guesthouse and hope that it is ok, or book a tried and tested chain at an affordable price in with the assurance that everything will be as it should.

Your comments would seem to suggest that you do wish others to have that choice, despite your "caring,sharing persona!

If you have not had bad experiences of guesthouses or restaurants in the local area, does that by definition mean that nobody else has, or is your opinion the only correct one?

Guest houses in the Lake District are expensive, hit & miss quality-wise and invariably plastered in garish signs and hoardings designed to attract customers to their establishment with offers on cheap rooms and good deals. How hypocritical to suggest that another business has no right to do the same.

What exactly is the "local economy", is it all of us who llive and work here (including ordinary working folk employed by businesses large and small), or is a handful of artisan bakers, boutique B&B's and mddle class arts & crafts purveyors as favoured by well-to-do off comers?


If there are concerns from residents in the direct area regarding access, parking etc then they should be given full consideration.

But those who object on competetive or snobbish grounds...pah!
As someone who purports to believe in equality, fairness and protection of the less fortunate Jazzactivist you are incredibly hypocritical and snobbish. There are good B&B's and there are bad ones, as in all walks of life. What they all have in common in the Lake District is thier high prices. For a family of 4 to spend a night in a B&B in the Lakes during summer will cost well over £100 where as the same could be had in a Premier Inn or Travelodge for half the price. Or do you believe those who cannot afford to stay in a B&B should have no business staying in your Lake District (as you first comment clearly alludes to)? A family who can just about afford a break in the Lakes could have a choice, take a gamble on an expensive guesthouse and hope that it is ok, or book a tried and tested chain at an affordable price in with the assurance that everything will be as it should. Your comments would seem to suggest that you do wish others to have that choice, despite your "caring,sharing persona! If you have not had bad experiences of guesthouses or restaurants in the local area, does that by definition mean that nobody else has, or is your opinion the only correct one? Guest houses in the Lake District are expensive, hit & miss quality-wise and invariably plastered in garish signs and hoardings designed to attract customers to their establishment with offers on cheap rooms and good deals. How hypocritical to suggest that another business has no right to do the same. What exactly is the "local economy", is it all of us who llive and work here (including ordinary working folk employed by businesses large and small), or is a handful of artisan bakers, boutique B&B's and mddle class arts & crafts purveyors as favoured by well-to-do off comers? If there are concerns from residents in the direct area regarding access, parking etc then they should be given full consideration. But those who object on competetive or snobbish grounds...pah! ab oatman
  • Score: 38

2:32pm Fri 21 Mar 14

ab oatman says...

Your comments would seem to suggest that you do wish others to have that choice, despite your "caring,sharing persona!

Whoops, should read "your comments would seem to suggest that you do NOT wish other to have that choice"

Your last comment
"There are Premier Inns all over the UK, so the people who want to stay in them could go to any of those places for a holiday / weekend. In fact, one of the main comments used by people who like those hotels, and in the advertising blurb, is that you can go to any Premier Inn and know exactly what you are getting as they are all the same. So why bother to holiday in a specific area if that's all you want?"

This sums up the snobbish, patronising & elitist attitude that is destroying the Lake District.
The reason people choose to stay at Premier Inn & Travelodge is because it is affordable and not a gamble, unlike an expensive B&B.

All you poor people, keep out of my Lake District!
Your comments would seem to suggest that you do wish others to have that choice, despite your "caring,sharing persona! Whoops, should read "your comments would seem to suggest that you do NOT wish other to have that choice" Your last comment "There are Premier Inns all over the UK, so the people who want to stay in them could go to any of those places for a holiday / weekend. In fact, one of the main comments used by people who like those hotels, and in the advertising blurb, is that you can go to any Premier Inn and know exactly what you are getting as they are all the same. So why bother to holiday in a specific area if that's all you want?" This sums up the snobbish, patronising & elitist attitude that is destroying the Lake District. The reason people choose to stay at Premier Inn & Travelodge is because it is affordable and not a gamble, unlike an expensive B&B. All you poor people, keep out of my Lake District! ab oatman
  • Score: 28

4:15pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Kendal lad says...

I'm with ab oatman.

I want the Lake District to be open to as many people as possible, so they can sample and enjoy where we are lucky enough to live. It may come as a shock to you, but not everyone can afford the high prices charged by local B & B's and hotels

A quick look at a selection of B & B's and hotels in the Ambleside area and the prices are frightening. For a mid week break next week (mid-March) we are talking over £100.00 a night ! Central Manchester for the same dates at Premier Inn- £78.00.

Lets not let the grockles in, we must keep this county all to ourselves !!

However, that then does mean we also have to accept the lack of diversity, poor service, high prices, sullen faces, miserable attitudes etc.
I'm with ab oatman. I want the Lake District to be open to as many people as possible, so they can sample and enjoy where we are lucky enough to live. It may come as a shock to you, but not everyone can afford the high prices charged by local B & B's and hotels A quick look at a selection of B & B's and hotels in the Ambleside area and the prices are frightening. For a mid week break next week (mid-March) we are talking over £100.00 a night ! Central Manchester for the same dates at Premier Inn- £78.00. Lets not let the grockles in, we must keep this county all to ourselves !! However, that then does mean we also have to accept the lack of diversity, poor service, high prices, sullen faces, miserable attitudes etc. Kendal lad
  • Score: 12

4:41pm Fri 21 Mar 14

ajwheeldon says...

Premier Inn belongs to the nasty Whitbread chain. This means its employees will be paid the lowest possible wages, whilst customers are overcharged for accommodation - you can almost always find a much better deal in a non-Whitbread hotel if you look on one of the hotel comparison websites. Good B&Bs should have nothing to fear - what they offer is far superior to Premier Inn.
Premier Inn belongs to the nasty Whitbread chain. This means its employees will be paid the lowest possible wages, whilst customers are overcharged for accommodation - you can almost always find a much better deal in a non-Whitbread hotel if you look on one of the hotel comparison websites. Good B&Bs should have nothing to fear - what they offer is far superior to Premier Inn. ajwheeldon
  • Score: -24

4:47pm Fri 21 Mar 14

ab oatman says...

ajwheeldon wrote:
Premier Inn belongs to the nasty Whitbread chain. This means its employees will be paid the lowest possible wages, whilst customers are overcharged for accommodation - you can almost always find a much better deal in a non-Whitbread hotel if you look on one of the hotel comparison websites. Good B&Bs should have nothing to fear - what they offer is far superior to Premier Inn.
And B&B's are not over-priced or employ cleaners/chamber maids (mostly cash in hand) on very low wages?

Your last comment is totally valid , Good businesses should not be scared of competition!
[quote][p][bold]ajwheeldon[/bold] wrote: Premier Inn belongs to the nasty Whitbread chain. This means its employees will be paid the lowest possible wages, whilst customers are overcharged for accommodation - you can almost always find a much better deal in a non-Whitbread hotel if you look on one of the hotel comparison websites. Good B&Bs should have nothing to fear - what they offer is far superior to Premier Inn.[/p][/quote]And B&B's are not over-priced or employ cleaners/chamber maids (mostly cash in hand) on very low wages? Your last comment is totally valid , Good businesses should not be scared of competition! ab oatman
  • Score: 11

6:38pm Fri 21 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

I think you have my views a bit wrong ab oatman. I AM all for equality and supporting the poorest in society to have a decent quality of life. However, I don't think that giving money to big, anonymous chains that syphon money out of the area does that, even if they are supposedly cheap. I've stayed at a range of places in the Lakes, from camping to top hotels, and it is easy to find places to stay that are reasonably priced. Cheap isn't good, as it means that corners are being cut - low pay for local staff, cheap ingredients in the breakfast from who knows where etc. Of course it costs over £100 for a family of four to stay for one night in a Lakes B&B - that's only £25 per person to sleep in a clean and warm room with fresh bedding and a nice bathroom, TV and Wifi, and a decent breakfast from locally sourced ingredients. A bargain if you ask me.

I prefer a Lake District where there are lots of thriving independent businesses that charge reasonable prices and pay decent wages, where there is lots to do and see, and the people are interesting and pleasant. What's wrong with that?
I think you have my views a bit wrong ab oatman. I AM all for equality and supporting the poorest in society to have a decent quality of life. However, I don't think that giving money to big, anonymous chains that syphon money out of the area does that, even if they are supposedly cheap. I've stayed at a range of places in the Lakes, from camping to top hotels, and it is easy to find places to stay that are reasonably priced. Cheap isn't good, as it means that corners are being cut - low pay for local staff, cheap ingredients in the breakfast from who knows where etc. Of course it costs over £100 for a family of four to stay for one night in a Lakes B&B - that's only £25 per person to sleep in a clean and warm room with fresh bedding and a nice bathroom, TV and Wifi, and a decent breakfast from locally sourced ingredients. A bargain if you ask me. I prefer a Lake District where there are lots of thriving independent businesses that charge reasonable prices and pay decent wages, where there is lots to do and see, and the people are interesting and pleasant. What's wrong with that? jazzactivist
  • Score: -32

6:38pm Fri 21 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

I think you have my views a bit wrong ab oatman. I AM all for equality and supporting the poorest in society to have a decent quality of life. However, I don't think that giving money to big, anonymous chains that syphon money out of the area does that, even if they are supposedly cheap. I've stayed at a range of places in the Lakes, from camping to top hotels, and it is easy to find places to stay that are reasonably priced. Cheap isn't good, as it means that corners are being cut - low pay for local staff, cheap ingredients in the breakfast from who knows where etc. Of course it costs over £100 for a family of four to stay for one night in a Lakes B&B - that's only £25 per person to sleep in a clean and warm room with fresh bedding and a nice bathroom, TV and Wifi, and a decent breakfast from locally sourced ingredients. A bargain if you ask me.

I prefer a Lake District where there are lots of thriving independent businesses that charge reasonable prices and pay decent wages, where there is lots to do and see, and the people are interesting and pleasant. What's wrong with that?
I think you have my views a bit wrong ab oatman. I AM all for equality and supporting the poorest in society to have a decent quality of life. However, I don't think that giving money to big, anonymous chains that syphon money out of the area does that, even if they are supposedly cheap. I've stayed at a range of places in the Lakes, from camping to top hotels, and it is easy to find places to stay that are reasonably priced. Cheap isn't good, as it means that corners are being cut - low pay for local staff, cheap ingredients in the breakfast from who knows where etc. Of course it costs over £100 for a family of four to stay for one night in a Lakes B&B - that's only £25 per person to sleep in a clean and warm room with fresh bedding and a nice bathroom, TV and Wifi, and a decent breakfast from locally sourced ingredients. A bargain if you ask me. I prefer a Lake District where there are lots of thriving independent businesses that charge reasonable prices and pay decent wages, where there is lots to do and see, and the people are interesting and pleasant. What's wrong with that? jazzactivist
  • Score: -30

7:01pm Fri 21 Mar 14

furthersouth says...

it will never happen, its in the conservation area and there are core strategy usage clauses on the land and buildings. If it can't be used as an educational resource then it has to be used to benefit the local community i.e. local affordable housing. If it does go ahead then I am applying for a McDonalds franchise to be sited at the Market Cross in one of the empty units there or the old HSBC bank site. Winner. Come on LDNPA I dare you to open the floodgates.
it will never happen, its in the conservation area and there are core strategy usage clauses on the land and buildings. If it can't be used as an educational resource then it has to be used to benefit the local community i.e. local affordable housing. If it does go ahead then I am applying for a McDonalds franchise to be sited at the Market Cross in one of the empty units there or the old HSBC bank site. Winner. Come on LDNPA I dare you to open the floodgates. furthersouth
  • Score: 7

7:04pm Fri 21 Mar 14

ab oatman says...

Yet again you are expressing a desire to ban something that does not fit it to your rose tinted view of the world.
You don't like like chains? Fine, that's your opinion and you are welcome to it, but does this mean that the thousands of people who do like them should be unable to use them? Very tolerant and equal!
You have a preferred view of the Lake District, but time and again on these pages we see that your method of maintaining that view is to block and ban those that have a different view. Very tolerant and equal!
You consider over £100 per night for a family reasonable? Good for you. What about those who cannot afford that? By refusing to allow chains into the area you are excluding those less well off from the Lake District. Very tolerant and equal!

You think the Lake District is for all, but on your terms. Very tolerant and equal.
Yet again you are expressing a desire to ban something that does not fit it to your rose tinted view of the world. You don't like like chains? Fine, that's your opinion and you are welcome to it, but does this mean that the thousands of people who do like them should be unable to use them? Very tolerant and equal! You have a preferred view of the Lake District, but time and again on these pages we see that your method of maintaining that view is to block and ban those that have a different view. Very tolerant and equal! You consider over £100 per night for a family reasonable? Good for you. What about those who cannot afford that? By refusing to allow chains into the area you are excluding those less well off from the Lake District. Very tolerant and equal! You think the Lake District is for all, but on your terms. Very tolerant and equal. ab oatman
  • Score: 17

7:19pm Fri 21 Mar 14

ab oatman says...

I've spent 15 minutes on the 2 leading booking sites searching for a guest house in Ambleside that can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children for one night next weekend (also tried first weekend in June).

Result?

None.
I've spent 15 minutes on the 2 leading booking sites searching for a guest house in Ambleside that can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children for one night next weekend (also tried first weekend in June). Result? None. ab oatman
  • Score: 11

7:54pm Fri 21 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

Most smaller hotels and B&Bs can't afford to be on those main bookings portals oatman, so you are stoking your own anger. I do think £100 for a family of four for one night in a lovely area is good value, especially if it includes a locally produced full-English breakfast to set them up for the day. The ingredients for the breakfast would cost around £7 per person. Then there are the overheads and the wages for the cleaner etc. So it isn't possible to do it for less than £25 per head. The solution to families not being able to afford a holiday isn't to introduce chains that drive down prices. In that way they force a downward spiral so that everything in the area becomes cheap and nasty. Is that really what people want for their children?

For families that really can't afford a local hotel / B&B then being more creative is the answer. Surely a camping holiday on one of the lovely campsites around would be more fun than a chain hotel anyway. It only costs £25 per night on the best ones, and a reasonable family tent can be bought for around £50 (I've got one). Or join up with another family to rent a holiday cottage / caravan for the week. Poverty can't be cured by driving down prices to make them ever cheaper, so that people are paid less for their products and their work, so that they can't afford a family holiday... It's a vicious cycle. It has to be the other way around - everything priced reasonably and wages increased to match that.
Most smaller hotels and B&Bs can't afford to be on those main bookings portals oatman, so you are stoking your own anger. I do think £100 for a family of four for one night in a lovely area is good value, especially if it includes a locally produced full-English breakfast to set them up for the day. The ingredients for the breakfast would cost around £7 per person. Then there are the overheads and the wages for the cleaner etc. So it isn't possible to do it for less than £25 per head. The solution to families not being able to afford a holiday isn't to introduce chains that drive down prices. In that way they force a downward spiral so that everything in the area becomes cheap and nasty. Is that really what people want for their children? For families that really can't afford a local hotel / B&B then being more creative is the answer. Surely a camping holiday on one of the lovely campsites around would be more fun than a chain hotel anyway. It only costs £25 per night on the best ones, and a reasonable family tent can be bought for around £50 (I've got one). Or join up with another family to rent a holiday cottage / caravan for the week. Poverty can't be cured by driving down prices to make them ever cheaper, so that people are paid less for their products and their work, so that they can't afford a family holiday... It's a vicious cycle. It has to be the other way around - everything priced reasonably and wages increased to match that. jazzactivist
  • Score: -33

8:06pm Fri 21 Mar 14

ab oatman says...

jazzactivist wrote:
Most smaller hotels and B&Bs can't afford to be on those main bookings portals oatman, so you are stoking your own anger. I do think £100 for a family of four for one night in a lovely area is good value, especially if it includes a locally produced full-English breakfast to set them up for the day. The ingredients for the breakfast would cost around £7 per person. Then there are the overheads and the wages for the cleaner etc. So it isn't possible to do it for less than £25 per head. The solution to families not being able to afford a holiday isn't to introduce chains that drive down prices. In that way they force a downward spiral so that everything in the area becomes cheap and nasty. Is that really what people want for their children?

For families that really can't afford a local hotel / B&B then being more creative is the answer. Surely a camping holiday on one of the lovely campsites around would be more fun than a chain hotel anyway. It only costs £25 per night on the best ones, and a reasonable family tent can be bought for around £50 (I've got one). Or join up with another family to rent a holiday cottage / caravan for the week. Poverty can't be cured by driving down prices to make them ever cheaper, so that people are paid less for their products and their work, so that they can't afford a family holiday... It's a vicious cycle. It has to be the other way around - everything priced reasonably and wages increased to match that.
Yet again you expect everybody else to do as you say!
Every B&B uses local produced fare do they, where do the baked beans come from!!
No B&B will accommodate a family of 4 for £100, my original comment stated well over that amount.if it isn't possible to provide accommodation for less than expensive guest houses then how do the chains manage it?

And I just love the suggestion that poor people should buy a cheap tent! Fantastically middle class snobbishness ( incidentally, which tent manufacturers produce cheap tents? Would it be the mass producing corporate brands?)

Those that can afford nice cosy accommodation can suck on thier locally produced sausages safe in the knowledge that the great unwashed are hidden away in caravan parks and campsites!
[quote][p][bold]jazzactivist[/bold] wrote: Most smaller hotels and B&Bs can't afford to be on those main bookings portals oatman, so you are stoking your own anger. I do think £100 for a family of four for one night in a lovely area is good value, especially if it includes a locally produced full-English breakfast to set them up for the day. The ingredients for the breakfast would cost around £7 per person. Then there are the overheads and the wages for the cleaner etc. So it isn't possible to do it for less than £25 per head. The solution to families not being able to afford a holiday isn't to introduce chains that drive down prices. In that way they force a downward spiral so that everything in the area becomes cheap and nasty. Is that really what people want for their children? For families that really can't afford a local hotel / B&B then being more creative is the answer. Surely a camping holiday on one of the lovely campsites around would be more fun than a chain hotel anyway. It only costs £25 per night on the best ones, and a reasonable family tent can be bought for around £50 (I've got one). Or join up with another family to rent a holiday cottage / caravan for the week. Poverty can't be cured by driving down prices to make them ever cheaper, so that people are paid less for their products and their work, so that they can't afford a family holiday... It's a vicious cycle. It has to be the other way around - everything priced reasonably and wages increased to match that.[/p][/quote]Yet again you expect everybody else to do as you say! Every B&B uses local produced fare do they, where do the baked beans come from!! No B&B will accommodate a family of 4 for £100, my original comment stated well over that amount.if it isn't possible to provide accommodation for less than expensive guest houses then how do the chains manage it? And I just love the suggestion that poor people should buy a cheap tent! Fantastically middle class snobbishness ( incidentally, which tent manufacturers produce cheap tents? Would it be the mass producing corporate brands?) Those that can afford nice cosy accommodation can suck on thier locally produced sausages safe in the knowledge that the great unwashed are hidden away in caravan parks and campsites! ab oatman
  • Score: 14

8:55pm Fri 21 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

I don't think wanting a decent quality of life for everyone is "snobbish", oatman. There is nothing wrong with a camping holiday - I've been on quite a few, in my German-made cheap tent! I think it's a red herring to be debating whether a Premier Inn will offer cheap family holidays, or not. I've stayed in quite a few Premier Inns for work, and I've only once seen two children (staying with their dad for his weekend access visit). These hotels are usually on the outskirts of cities or large towns and provide overnight accommodation for business people and hen / stag parties etc who just want a cheap night and don't care what it's like. The breakfast is the cheapest mass catering, usually accompanied by business people yakking loudly on their mobile phones and hungover parties. Hardly the right environment for children.

There is such a wide choice in and around the Lakes already that I am sure there is something for absolutely everyone to have nice holiday, whatever their budget. I'm not saying every B&B in the Lakes offers local produce, but most do if they want the customers BTW there are different qualities of baked beans - from wholefood hand baked in the UK to big vats of imported cheapo ones! It's just a matter of whether this area, with its focus on family and couples holidays, is the most appropriate place for a big chain hotel. There's no harm in being aspirational and wanting nice holidays for everyone.
I don't think wanting a decent quality of life for everyone is "snobbish", oatman. There is nothing wrong with a camping holiday - I've been on quite a few, in my German-made cheap tent! I think it's a red herring to be debating whether a Premier Inn will offer cheap family holidays, or not. I've stayed in quite a few Premier Inns for work, and I've only once seen two children (staying with their dad for his weekend access visit). These hotels are usually on the outskirts of cities or large towns and provide overnight accommodation for business people and hen / stag parties etc who just want a cheap night and don't care what it's like. The breakfast is the cheapest mass catering, usually accompanied by business people yakking loudly on their mobile phones and hungover parties. Hardly the right environment for children. There is such a wide choice in and around the Lakes already that I am sure there is something for absolutely everyone to have nice holiday, whatever their budget. I'm not saying every B&B in the Lakes offers local produce, but most do if they want the customers BTW there are different qualities of baked beans - from wholefood hand baked in the UK to big vats of imported cheapo ones! It's just a matter of whether this area, with its focus on family and couples holidays, is the most appropriate place for a big chain hotel. There's no harm in being aspirational and wanting nice holidays for everyone. jazzactivist
  • Score: -26

9:31pm Fri 21 Mar 14

ab oatman says...

"Whole food hand baked" beans....

I give up
"Whole food hand baked" beans.... I give up ab oatman
  • Score: 20

10:43am Sat 22 Mar 14

Rainyjoe says...

I am a disabled pensioner who is unable/ unwilling to stay in a tent. When I go on holiday I frequently want a short cheap break and only wish to go with my partner. Using Premier Inns I have stayed at Edinburgh, Cardiff, Lincoln, Manchester, Southport etc and have rarely paid more than £49 per night per room. On the very odd night when I have had a bad night's sleep I have claimed a refund under their good night's sleep policy. The staff are usually very helpul and friendly because they are,trained to be so and it is expected of them.

We always visit local attractions, cafes etc - otherwise why be on holiday?

Prior to Premier Inns we stayed in B & B all over the country. I usually found the owner polite but there was no doubt i was staying in their home and under their rules and frequently felt very uncomfortable. I don't want to make polite conversation with other guests, I don't want to eat breakfast before 9.00 am and I don't want to have to book out by 10.00 am.

I really hope this Premier Inn gets accepted. It will be great news for local pubs, cinemas, restaurants and attractions. I agree not so great news for B and B owners but then I and many others would choose never to stay in a B and B so perhaps the impact wont be so great. Simply more people staying in a differnt type of establishment.
I am a disabled pensioner who is unable/ unwilling to stay in a tent. When I go on holiday I frequently want a short cheap break and only wish to go with my partner. Using Premier Inns I have stayed at Edinburgh, Cardiff, Lincoln, Manchester, Southport etc and have rarely paid more than £49 per night per room. On the very odd night when I have had a bad night's sleep I have claimed a refund under their good night's sleep policy. The staff are usually very helpul and friendly because they are,trained to be so and it is expected of them. We always visit local attractions, cafes etc - otherwise why be on holiday? Prior to Premier Inns we stayed in B & B all over the country. I usually found the owner polite but there was no doubt i was staying in their home and under their rules and frequently felt very uncomfortable. I don't want to make polite conversation with other guests, I don't want to eat breakfast before 9.00 am and I don't want to have to book out by 10.00 am. I really hope this Premier Inn gets accepted. It will be great news for local pubs, cinemas, restaurants and attractions. I agree not so great news for B and B owners but then I and many others would choose never to stay in a B and B so perhaps the impact wont be so great. Simply more people staying in a differnt type of establishment. Rainyjoe
  • Score: 17

3:09pm Sat 22 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

Don't you think it's a bit strange to not want to be friendly towards other people though, Rainyjoe? A smile doesn't hurt, and you ARE on holiday! As for breakfast before 9am, most people who come to the Lakes want to get out and enjoy it, and you need to be out by 10am so that the room can be cleaned. Premier Inn type hotels are fine for the city breaks you mention, but we are talking about a largely rural area where the great outdoors, small businesses, art and craft, friendliness, localness etc are its character. It's why people come here rather than holiday elsewhere. Introducing a soulless big hotel into it would change that character. If people want the impersonal experience then there are lots of other areas that offer it.

85p a tin at a health shop near you, ab oatman. That's only around 20p per portion as part of a full English breakfast. Very nice they are too - real flavour, more beans than sauce, organic and fair trade. Worth a try.
Don't you think it's a bit strange to not want to be friendly towards other people though, Rainyjoe? A smile doesn't hurt, and you ARE on holiday! As for breakfast before 9am, most people who come to the Lakes want to get out and enjoy it, and you need to be out by 10am so that the room can be cleaned. Premier Inn type hotels are fine for the city breaks you mention, but we are talking about a largely rural area where the great outdoors, small businesses, art and craft, friendliness, localness etc are its character. It's why people come here rather than holiday elsewhere. Introducing a soulless big hotel into it would change that character. If people want the impersonal experience then there are lots of other areas that offer it. 85p a tin at a health shop near you, ab oatman. That's only around 20p per portion as part of a full English breakfast. Very nice they are too - real flavour, more beans than sauce, organic and fair trade. Worth a try. jazzactivist
  • Score: -26

3:32pm Sat 22 Mar 14

furthersouth says...

I look forward to the Winter, when it snows. I live here and have driven that hill probably every day since forever. It is fantastic to watch panicky tourists try and ascend and descend that hill when it is thick with ice and snow. Have more than once seen cars sideways down the slope. Better than the olympic bobsleigh. The extra traffic generated by Premier Inn on the hill will be disastrous and an accident waiting to happen. There are much better places to build one. Why not the car park at Waterhead or Borrans Park. Even the college playing field would be a better place. less disruptive for traffic.
I look forward to the Winter, when it snows. I live here and have driven that hill probably every day since forever. It is fantastic to watch panicky tourists try and ascend and descend that hill when it is thick with ice and snow. Have more than once seen cars sideways down the slope. Better than the olympic bobsleigh. The extra traffic generated by Premier Inn on the hill will be disastrous and an accident waiting to happen. There are much better places to build one. Why not the car park at Waterhead or Borrans Park. Even the college playing field would be a better place. less disruptive for traffic. furthersouth
  • Score: 2

3:59pm Sat 22 Mar 14

newcmr says...

We often use a cheap chain hotel if we are trying a new area and if we like that area we go back and then usually stay in a B n B or small local hotel. If we stay in a chain place we will often spend more on meals in local cafes/pubs/restauran
ts than we could afford if accommodation cost us more. In other words the local economy still gets a fair whack out of our overall spend. I don't think that we are the only ones who have this approach.
Does any body have (real) figures about how many local B n B's went out of business when Premier opened here in Kendal after all the fuss that was created then?
We often use a cheap chain hotel if we are trying a new area and if we like that area we go back and then usually stay in a B n B or small local hotel. If we stay in a chain place we will often spend more on meals in local cafes/pubs/restauran ts than we could afford if accommodation cost us more. In other words the local economy still gets a fair whack out of our overall spend. I don't think that we are the only ones who have this approach. Does any body have (real) figures about how many local B n B's went out of business when Premier opened here in Kendal after all the fuss that was created then? newcmr
  • Score: 6

5:00pm Sat 22 Mar 14

ab oatman says...

Unfortunately no amount of facts or figures will dissuade the anti brigade from stifling progress in the Lakes.
Issued raised here ranging from disabled access, families struggling to afford holidays and lack of suitable family rooms have garnered the following response-

"Go camping and buy wholefood hand baked beans"

There is no point trying to debate with people like Jazz activist, she simply cannot hear nor comprehend points of view that differ from her own, look at her response to the valid point raised by Rainyjoe regarding disabled access accommodation, everything would be alright if people smiled more!!!
Unfortunately no amount of facts or figures will dissuade the anti brigade from stifling progress in the Lakes. Issued raised here ranging from disabled access, families struggling to afford holidays and lack of suitable family rooms have garnered the following response- "Go camping and buy wholefood hand baked beans" There is no point trying to debate with people like Jazz activist, she simply cannot hear nor comprehend points of view that differ from her own, look at her response to the valid point raised by Rainyjoe regarding disabled access accommodation, everything would be alright if people smiled more!!! ab oatman
  • Score: 12

5:45pm Sat 22 Mar 14

jazzactivist says...

Your comments are just deliberately undermining, ab oatman. You seem to be trying to argue for the sake of it, and you are coming across as saying that families deserve the worst - a hangar-like, cheap, chain hotel. What I am saying is that there are already so many options for holiday accommodation in and around the Lakes that a bottom-grade chain hotel isn't necessary. No one is excluded from holidaying here, it's a brilliant area for accommodation, good food and activities for people in all income groups and with all needs. If anyone really, really does want to stay in a chain hotel then there is already one on the duel carriageway next to a petrol station outside Kendal!

I would never stay in a chain hotel out of choice, let alone for a holiday when you are supposed to be relaxing and enjoying life and, usually, paying for the best you can afford. And I am on a very limited budget too. I hope local hoteliers and B&B owners manage to shake this application off.
Your comments are just deliberately undermining, ab oatman. You seem to be trying to argue for the sake of it, and you are coming across as saying that families deserve the worst - a hangar-like, cheap, chain hotel. What I am saying is that there are already so many options for holiday accommodation in and around the Lakes that a bottom-grade chain hotel isn't necessary. No one is excluded from holidaying here, it's a brilliant area for accommodation, good food and activities for people in all income groups and with all needs. If anyone really, really does want to stay in a chain hotel then there is already one on the duel carriageway next to a petrol station outside Kendal! I would never stay in a chain hotel out of choice, let alone for a holiday when you are supposed to be relaxing and enjoying life and, usually, paying for the best you can afford. And I am on a very limited budget too. I hope local hoteliers and B&B owners manage to shake this application off. jazzactivist
  • Score: -24

5:56pm Sat 22 Mar 14

churchy66 says...

I am hoping it is going to be open in June, was trying to book one night's stay as we are attending a family get together and the rule appears - NO ONE NIGHT STAYS - MINIMUM TWO - in over 20 establishments I have phoned or emailed in Ambleside. It might make the local establishments re-evaluate the way they run their businesses
I am hoping it is going to be open in June, was trying to book one night's stay as we are attending a family get together and the rule appears - NO ONE NIGHT STAYS - MINIMUM TWO - in over 20 establishments I have phoned or emailed in Ambleside. It might make the local establishments re-evaluate the way they run their businesses churchy66
  • Score: 12

6:09pm Sat 22 Mar 14

hevonly says...

So do I Jazzactivist, Ab Oatman doesn't seem to understand there will always be two sides to something as contentious as this, and that being unpleasant and rather bullish isn't the way to do things.

There are numerous reasons why not to have a Premier Inn in Ambleside, there are numerous reasons why we should have one (in some peoples opinions, not mine I might add). Thats what a debate is about. To me it would make sense to have the Premier Inn (if we have to have another one) in Bowness where the Burneside Hotel is, it's about the right size, is already a hotel, has plenty of parking, good access and is more suited to that type of establishment.

Someone mentioned the Kendal Premier Inn in comparison, to my mind you can't compare the two, Kendal isn't in the National Park for one and Kendal is a much bigger and I think, less touristy area of Cumbria. I can't imagine coming to stay in it for a holiday (looking at where it is down a narrow ginnel), but I could see the practicalities in staying there if I was visiting the area for work.

Hopefully the planners will see the sense that regardless of what we all think of Premier Inn, that particular location in Ambleside isn't suitable due to access and limited parking if nothing else.
So do I Jazzactivist, Ab Oatman doesn't seem to understand there will always be two sides to something as contentious as this, and that being unpleasant and rather bullish isn't the way to do things. There are numerous reasons why not to have a Premier Inn in Ambleside, there are numerous reasons why we should have one (in some peoples opinions, not mine I might add). Thats what a debate is about. To me it would make sense to have the Premier Inn (if we have to have another one) in Bowness where the Burneside Hotel is, it's about the right size, is already a hotel, has plenty of parking, good access and is more suited to that type of establishment. Someone mentioned the Kendal Premier Inn in comparison, to my mind you can't compare the two, Kendal isn't in the National Park for one and Kendal is a much bigger and I think, less touristy area of Cumbria. I can't imagine coming to stay in it for a holiday (looking at where it is down a narrow ginnel), but I could see the practicalities in staying there if I was visiting the area for work. Hopefully the planners will see the sense that regardless of what we all think of Premier Inn, that particular location in Ambleside isn't suitable due to access and limited parking if nothing else. hevonly
  • Score: -11

7:31pm Sat 22 Mar 14

furthersouth says...

tourists and holiday makers are to be milked for their cash at every opportunity. If someone decides not to come, someone else will. The rooms will be filled whatever the state of the place, the price or the welcome. Where the real money is, the foreign market , that will be targeted by Premier, folk will stay in one in London, then near to Old Trafford, the the Lakes, then Edinburgh. where they will be milked for their cash at every opportunity. Look at restaurants, taxis, buses, you even have to pay 20p for a **** in Ambleside. Think of how many anoraks can be sold to unsuspecting visitors, lets hope it rains some more.
tourists and holiday makers are to be milked for their cash at every opportunity. If someone decides not to come, someone else will. The rooms will be filled whatever the state of the place, the price or the welcome. Where the real money is, the foreign market , that will be targeted by Premier, folk will stay in one in London, then near to Old Trafford, the the Lakes, then Edinburgh. where they will be milked for their cash at every opportunity. Look at restaurants, taxis, buses, you even have to pay 20p for a **** in Ambleside. Think of how many anoraks can be sold to unsuspecting visitors, lets hope it rains some more. furthersouth
  • Score: 4

7:39pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Cumbria FELLWALKER says...

Oh dear we not want this type of place to open the the Lake Distrct do we?

Well considering that most B&B's are over priced & offer poor services then maybe the type of place is needed.
Oh dear we not want this type of place to open the the Lake Distrct do we? Well considering that most B&B's are over priced & offer poor services then maybe the type of place is needed. Cumbria FELLWALKER
  • Score: 8

7:48pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Cumbria FELLWALKER says...

churchy66 wrote:
I am hoping it is going to be open in June, was trying to book one night's stay as we are attending a family get together and the rule appears - NO ONE NIGHT STAYS - MINIMUM TWO - in over 20 establishments I have phoned or emailed in Ambleside. It might make the local establishments re-evaluate the way they run their businesses
Totally agree the local B&B's have a monopoly they need some competition.
[quote][p][bold]churchy66[/bold] wrote: I am hoping it is going to be open in June, was trying to book one night's stay as we are attending a family get together and the rule appears - NO ONE NIGHT STAYS - MINIMUM TWO - in over 20 establishments I have phoned or emailed in Ambleside. It might make the local establishments re-evaluate the way they run their businesses[/p][/quote]Totally agree the local B&B's have a monopoly they need some competition. Cumbria FELLWALKER
  • Score: 12

7:51pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Cumbria FELLWALKER says...

jazzactivist wrote:
I think you have my views a bit wrong ab oatman. I AM all for equality and supporting the poorest in society to have a decent quality of life. However, I don't think that giving money to big, anonymous chains that syphon money out of the area does that, even if they are supposedly cheap. I've stayed at a range of places in the Lakes, from camping to top hotels, and it is easy to find places to stay that are reasonably priced. Cheap isn't good, as it means that corners are being cut - low pay for local staff, cheap ingredients in the breakfast from who knows where etc. Of course it costs over £100 for a family of four to stay for one night in a Lakes B&B - that's only £25 per person to sleep in a clean and warm room with fresh bedding and a nice bathroom, TV and Wifi, and a decent breakfast from locally sourced ingredients. A bargain if you ask me.

I prefer a Lake District where there are lots of thriving independent businesses that charge reasonable prices and pay decent wages, where there is lots to do and see, and the people are interesting and pleasant. What's wrong with that?
This is nonsense most folk can't afford £100 per night.
[quote][p][bold]jazzactivist[/bold] wrote: I think you have my views a bit wrong ab oatman. I AM all for equality and supporting the poorest in society to have a decent quality of life. However, I don't think that giving money to big, anonymous chains that syphon money out of the area does that, even if they are supposedly cheap. I've stayed at a range of places in the Lakes, from camping to top hotels, and it is easy to find places to stay that are reasonably priced. Cheap isn't good, as it means that corners are being cut - low pay for local staff, cheap ingredients in the breakfast from who knows where etc. Of course it costs over £100 for a family of four to stay for one night in a Lakes B&B - that's only £25 per person to sleep in a clean and warm room with fresh bedding and a nice bathroom, TV and Wifi, and a decent breakfast from locally sourced ingredients. A bargain if you ask me. I prefer a Lake District where there are lots of thriving independent businesses that charge reasonable prices and pay decent wages, where there is lots to do and see, and the people are interesting and pleasant. What's wrong with that?[/p][/quote]This is nonsense most folk can't afford £100 per night. Cumbria FELLWALKER
  • Score: 10

7:34am Sun 23 Mar 14

fellsman says...

I see that Jazz Activist is on a tight budget - she won't be coming to the Lakes then having to pay the rip off prices in Hotels. B&B's, Pubs and Restaurants - best go to other parts of the country - this years we've stayed in various locations where you can get a room for a family of 3 for just over £50 (with private facilities - crisp & clean) we've eaten in Restaurants where you can get a great meal for a fraction of the price you have to pay up here - we've been in pubs where great real ales are priced reasonably (anything from £2 to £2.50 a pint compared with the £3.60 plus that you have to pay in Lake District pubs - often for the same beer) - where you can often park for free (all day) - if Premier Inns come here, perhaps it will shake things up and perhaps then locals and visitors can start getting a fair deal!!
I see that Jazz Activist is on a tight budget - she won't be coming to the Lakes then having to pay the rip off prices in Hotels. B&B's, Pubs and Restaurants - best go to other parts of the country - this years we've stayed in various locations where you can get a room for a family of 3 for just over £50 (with private facilities - crisp & clean) we've eaten in Restaurants where you can get a great meal for a fraction of the price you have to pay up here - we've been in pubs where great real ales are priced reasonably (anything from £2 to £2.50 a pint compared with the £3.60 plus that you have to pay in Lake District pubs - often for the same beer) - where you can often park for free (all day) - if Premier Inns come here, perhaps it will shake things up and perhaps then locals and visitors can start getting a fair deal!! fellsman
  • Score: 25

2:16pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Spotty Fish says...

You couldn't make it up. I'm sat in a shop in Ambleside right now, and outside is a big purple Premier Inn lorry! The colour just clashes so much with the surrounding slate!
You couldn't make it up. I'm sat in a shop in Ambleside right now, and outside is a big purple Premier Inn lorry! The colour just clashes so much with the surrounding slate! Spotty Fish
  • Score: -4

11:28am Mon 24 Mar 14

Keeping_it_real says...

After reading all the comments, I really am struggling to understand what planet JazzActivist comes from? Judging by the comment votes, it would seem other readers may tend to agree!

AB Oatman makes very valid points, which I agree with, and feel better reflect the needs and wants of the people, both local and visitors. JazzActivist, you should read your comments again, you come across as a snob. I really do hope you don’t run a B&B!! Your views, whilst you are entitled to them, clearly do not represent those of the readers, so really it’s a pointless debate.

READERS: If you agree: +1 if you don’t -1
After reading all the comments, I really am struggling to understand what planet JazzActivist comes from? Judging by the comment votes, it would seem other readers may tend to agree! AB Oatman makes very valid points, which I agree with, and feel better reflect the needs and wants of the people, both local and visitors. JazzActivist, you should read your comments again, you come across as a snob. I really do hope you don’t run a B&B!! Your views, whilst you are entitled to them, clearly do not represent those of the readers, so really it’s a pointless debate. READERS: If you agree: +1 if you don’t -1 Keeping_it_real
  • Score: 27

4:34pm Mon 24 Mar 14

Gingery says...

I think the competition will be a good thing, and won't necessarily mean a loss in trade. Comparing PI with the local hotels, B&Bs is like comparing apples with pears. Yes some visitors don't give a stuff and will book the cheapest deal, however PI isn't always the cheapest - the Travellodge outside Kendal never seems to be at the usual national rock bottom prices, if anything it's often a similar price to staying in town in a homely, cosy B&B. They don't need to reduce their prices to attract folk, they know there's a tranche of people who just want the same offering, and who will probably assume they are being offered the best deal. Start adding in wifi, fact you have to ring an 0845 number for reception, and nothing thrown in then it's not such a great deal. I predict that the PI rooms will be at the same rate as other options locally, and they'll simply provide another option for those that are that way inclined.
I think the competition will be a good thing, and won't necessarily mean a loss in trade. Comparing PI with the local hotels, B&Bs is like comparing apples with pears. Yes some visitors don't give a stuff and will book the cheapest deal, however PI isn't always the cheapest - the Travellodge outside Kendal never seems to be at the usual national rock bottom prices, if anything it's often a similar price to staying in town in a homely, cosy B&B. They don't need to reduce their prices to attract folk, they know there's a tranche of people who just want the same offering, and who will probably assume they are being offered the best deal. Start adding in wifi, fact you have to ring an 0845 number for reception, and nothing thrown in then it's not such a great deal. I predict that the PI rooms will be at the same rate as other options locally, and they'll simply provide another option for those that are that way inclined. Gingery
  • Score: 1

5:05pm Mon 24 Mar 14

churchy66 says...

Spotty Fish wrote:
You couldn't make it up. I'm sat in a shop in Ambleside right now, and outside is a big purple Premier Inn lorry! The colour just clashes so much with the surrounding slate!
Oh I don't know, purple and dark grey go together very nicely :-)
[quote][p][bold]Spotty Fish[/bold] wrote: You couldn't make it up. I'm sat in a shop in Ambleside right now, and outside is a big purple Premier Inn lorry! The colour just clashes so much with the surrounding slate![/p][/quote]Oh I don't know, purple and dark grey go together very nicely :-) churchy66
  • Score: 3

10:07am Wed 26 Mar 14

PeterRogerson says...

Premier Inns are fantastic establishments no matter what 'class' you are. A family room for four for under £30 on some occasions is ideal for those of us who may be able to afford more, but see no reason to pay more for perhaps a few extra luxuries. On top of that the breakfasts are fab...yes i doubt its local produce, but who really cares anyway? If i can get a night away with breakfast for a family of four for between £50 - £60 a night, then why go anywhere else?
Premier Inns are fantastic establishments no matter what 'class' you are. A family room for four for under £30 on some occasions is ideal for those of us who may be able to afford more, but see no reason to pay more for perhaps a few extra luxuries. On top of that the breakfasts are fab...yes i doubt its local produce, but who really cares anyway? If i can get a night away with breakfast for a family of four for between £50 - £60 a night, then why go anywhere else? PeterRogerson
  • Score: 7

11:23am Wed 26 Mar 14

Cumbria FELLWALKER says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
Premier Inns are fantastic establishments no matter what 'class' you are. A family room for four for under £30 on some occasions is ideal for those of us who may be able to afford more, but see no reason to pay more for perhaps a few extra luxuries. On top of that the breakfasts are fab...yes i doubt its local produce, but who really cares anyway? If i can get a night away with breakfast for a family of four for between £50 - £60 a night, then why go anywhere else?
Totally agree, local B&B's are over priced..
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: Premier Inns are fantastic establishments no matter what 'class' you are. A family room for four for under £30 on some occasions is ideal for those of us who may be able to afford more, but see no reason to pay more for perhaps a few extra luxuries. On top of that the breakfasts are fab...yes i doubt its local produce, but who really cares anyway? If i can get a night away with breakfast for a family of four for between £50 - £60 a night, then why go anywhere else?[/p][/quote]Totally agree, local B&B's are over priced.. Cumbria FELLWALKER
  • Score: 5

8:29am Fri 28 Mar 14

Peterkins says...

Some really sad, snobby comments here!

Premier Inns deliver consistent quality accommodation and decent breakfasts, often (though not always) at reasonable prices. In a location such as Ambleside they are unlikely to be offering exceptionally cheap rooms on most dates as they operate a dynamic pricing model favouring early booking, such as that employed by Easyjet and Virgin Trains; sometimes their prices will match those of the area's top hotels - B&B for tomorrow night at their fabulous new hotel in Barrow, for example, is £97.50

The Lakes needs more of these hotels to widen its tourist offering
What they will do is liven up the offer of other providers and perhaps eliminate some of the lazy, long-standing B&B providers (a small minority, I know, but a group that does terrible damage to the quality image that the Lakes Counties need to promote further).

As for the snob who suggested that Premier Inn guests are not likely to support local businesses, does (s)he seriously believe that? Perhaps in her/his parallel universe these people will stay in Ambleside and head to Aldi at Cockermouth or McDonalds at Penrith for their requirements?
Some really sad, snobby comments here! Premier Inns deliver consistent quality accommodation and decent breakfasts, often (though not always) at reasonable prices. In a location such as Ambleside they are unlikely to be offering exceptionally cheap rooms on most dates as they operate a dynamic pricing model favouring early booking, such as that employed by Easyjet and Virgin Trains; sometimes their prices will match those of the area's top hotels - B&B for tomorrow night at their fabulous new hotel in Barrow, for example, is £97.50 The Lakes needs more of these hotels to widen its tourist offering What they will do is liven up the offer of other providers and perhaps eliminate some of the lazy, long-standing B&B providers (a small minority, I know, but a group that does terrible damage to the quality image that the Lakes Counties need to promote further). As for the snob who suggested that Premier Inn guests are not likely to support local businesses, does (s)he seriously believe that? Perhaps in her/his parallel universe these people will stay in Ambleside and head to Aldi at Cockermouth or McDonalds at Penrith for their requirements? Peterkins
  • Score: 6

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