Travelodge, the second-biggest budget hotel operator after Whitbread’s Premier Travel Inn chain, attempted to take the wind out of its rival’s sails by cutting room prices to only £26 a night yesterday.

As PTI reported a 5.8 per cent increase in the average achieved room rate to £45.13 from £42.66 for its 458 hotels, and a 7.7 per cent increase in like-for-like sales, Travelodge announced plans to “reverse the Whitbread trend towards price increases” by cutting rates on at least 13,000 rooms.

The £26 rate, available throughout next month, is the latest salvo in Travelodge’s strategy of pitching itself as the hotel equivalent of low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet. The 270-strong chain is owned by Permira, the private equity firm.

A spokeswoman for Whitbread pointed out that PTI had just reported room occupancy of 81.2 per cent, which was the highest of any British hotel chain and well ahead of Travelodge. “Customers appreciate our transparent pricing and value for money,” she said.

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