Want to unwind at the 'best' hotel chain? Then leave the kids at home

 

Boasting Grade II-listed buildings, extensive grounds and themed activities, it appears to be a typical luxury hotel chain.

But there is something that sets Warner Leisure Hotels apart from the banks of international hotel groups operating in Britain: a no child policy.

For 18 years, the 14-hotel firm has banned any guests under 21 to ensure that adults on a trip away from home enjoy tranquillity at one of its retreats.

And it seems the policy could be paying off, as Warner is today named the best hotel chain in Britain.

Which? Travel gave it a score of 79 per cent, above 33 other chains including Hampton by Hilton, Malmaison, Best Western and Radisson. The most expensive chain surveyed, at £366 a night, it also received top marks for customer service, cleanliness, location and breakfasts.

However there was no direct relationship between price and performance, given that the £97-a-night Premier Inn came fourth while its £63-a-night budget rival, Travelodge, came third from bottom.

Warner Leisure Hotels' distinctive no-child policy – which can only be broken with written permission given in advance – appears to have been a factor in its triumph.

The only one of its guests quoted by Which? said: "We like them because they are child-free and luxurious. We have high expectations and so far they have met these every time."

While some adults clearly relish being away from noisy children, Britain's apparent dislike of under-18s has been much commented on in recent years. In an interview with The Independent two years ago, the outgoing children's commissioner Sir Al Aynsley Green described the UK as "one of the most child unfriendly countries in the world", saying people in other countries asked why we "hate children so much". In his book, Tickling the English, the Irish comedian Dara O Briain mused that the English have "ethnicised" teenagers, treating them like an alien group.

Which? awarded Warner Leisure Hotels the accolade after surveying 6,280 guests, 146 of whom had stayed at its premises.

A spokesman for the chain said that its "child free environment", in place since 1994, allowed adults to "socialise with like-minded people and do as much or as little as they wish.

"Warner Leisure Hotels offer a chance for older people who love life to come and love it all over again with the element of 'me-time' involved," she added. "We are a customer-focused organisation providing breaks that meet the needs of different groups."

Ironically, the group's owner, Bourne Holidays Ltd, also runs two other businesses which positively welcome children: Butlins and Haven holiday camps.

Check in, check out: Customer ratings

Top 5

79% Warner Leisure Hotels

75% Hampton by Hilton

75% Sofitel

74% Premier Inn

73% Q Hotels

Bottom 5

54% Thistle

52% PH Hotels

46% Travelodge

42% Britannia

41% Comfort Inn

Source: Which? Holiday, November 2012

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West found himself at the centre of a critical storm over the weekend after he apparently claimed to be “the next Mandela” during a radio interview
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
Life and Style
Stepping back in time: The Robshaws endured the privations of the 1950s
food + drinkNew BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?