When it comes to travelling abroad, challenges still remain. Strikes, flight cancellations, and Covid still hanging around, are just some of the reasons people are still a bit cagey about hopping on a plane right now.
There are plenty of staycation destinations across the UK that make for a great home-based alternative instead. And if you’re planning a holiday sometime soon, or even if travelling is just part of your job, resting up and getting your head down in a comfortable, quiet hotel is an absolute must.
For those swapping far-flung for somewhere more local this year, we’re here to help. We’ve ranked the UK’s best and worst motorway hotels, including by region, to make your decision making a little easier.
Keep reading to see what Prestone found out…
How we carried out our research
To find out the best and worst motorway hotels across the UK, we analysed 90 hotels in detail, taking review data from Trip Advisor and Google, as well as the hotel’s own sites to amalgamate average customer review ratings. In our findings, we paid close attention to things like noise from nearby motorways, the overall cleanliness, staff attitudes and room décor.
The UK’s Best Motorway Hotels
Taking the top spot, the Westmorland Hotel in Tebay is the best-rated motorway hotel that we came across, and when the reviews are positively gushing, it’s easy to see why. “This hotel is honestly a game changer” wrote one reviewer. With an average score of 4.55, the hotel is more akin to “a posh London hotel on the M6 – but you don’t know you’re even near the M6.”
With friendly, charming staff who are genuinely passionate about their hotel to boot, the Westmorland is the motorway hotel for anyone looking to avoid, as the review puts it, “sticky carpets and noisy dysfunctional guests.”
The Moto hotel in Kinross, Scotland took second place. Interestingly, Moto was the operator that had the majority of the best hotels in our top 10, accounting for six of them alone. Third place, meanwhile, went to the Premier Inn found at Glews Services on the M62.
The UK’s Worst Motorway Hotels
With an average score of just 2.8, the Rivington Lodge at Rivington services is the worst motorway hotel in the UK. And from the review below, it’s clear that there’s a laundry list of issues.
“Booked on Late Rooms and printed out the confirmation”, starts the review. “We drove down from the highlands of Scotland and arrived around 11pm (Remember, this particular hotel is based in the North West). There was no reception, just a shady character telling us to go to the spar. We got there to find a locked door and a sign saying go round the back through a dark alleyway.”
Tired after the long drive, the couple was met by a “very rude and cold” member of staff. After informing him of their booking, the staff member stated that they had no record of the booking. The review continues “[he said] I needed to use the cash machine to give him money. He quickly changed his tune when my wife produced the printed-out confirmation.
“Exhausted by this point, me and my wife couldn’t sleep because people were coming into the building all night long in 10-minute intervals, slamming the heavy door in the process.
Taking third place, guests at The Days Inn in Magor Wales didn’t fare much better either. Despite previous stays being pleasant, one reviewer was upset by their most recent stay. “Without any previous warnings we [were] told that we will have to leave if my children were noisy again. Stressful for us, both as parents and my children who overheard the conversation and kept asking us if they will have to sleep outdoors. Families avoid.”
And while it didn’t make the top 10, perhaps the worst review was saved for the Ramada by Wyndham London Stansted Airport. In an absolute scathing critique, one reviewer said: “I would never recommend this hotel to anyone who expects to sleep at a hotel. The entire experience was ghastly. The room smelt of urine and I was woken up at 01:30AM by the room making electrical mechanical noises. The staff did assist with moving to another room. But at half one in the morning, this isn’t much of a resolution.” Ouch.
As for the worst operator, Roadchef ‘wins’ by a clear margin. As well as its Days Inn in Taunton Deane being responsible for second place (“Beds were like sleeping on soft wobbly jelly. Cheap but not worth it”), the operator appears four other times on the list, spread out across various locations throughout the UK.
The Best Motorway Hotels by Region
Whether you’re passing through a particular region and need a break or you’re stopping off on a staycation, below you’ll find the best motorway hotels for each region of the United Kingdom:
It’s another good showing for Moto, with the operator making six appearances across the country, with an average score of 4.2. The only other operator to make more than one appearance was Extra, in both Greater London and the East of England.
We hope our findings make booking that staycation hotel a little easier. For more motoring guides and features, click here for the Prestone blog. Or to browse our complete range of high-performance car maintenance tools and products, visit the homepage.