Whitbread is a British hotel and restaurant group operating more than 770 hotels, mainly in the UK, under its Premier Inn and Hub by Premier Inn brands. After consolidating its domestic market presence, the group has begun to expand in India, the Middle East and Continental Europe.
Founded in 1742 in London by Samuel Whitbread and Thomas Shewell, the company was for a long time a brewery, before gradually shifting to hotels and restaurants from the late 1980s.
It opened its first Travel Inn hotel in 1987, then bought the Costa Coffee chain in 1995. In the 2000s, it sold its breweries and brewing activities, and in 2004 took over the hotel chain Premier Lodge Hotels, which it merged with Travel Inn to form Premier Travel Inn, which became Premier Inn in 2007. The group announced the same year the acquisition of Golden Tulip UK, which included six UK hotels under the Tulip Inn and Golden Tulip brands, to be converted into Premier Inns. It continued its development the following year, with the opening of its first hotel outside the United Kingdom in Dubai and the acquisition of 21 Express by Holiday Inn hotels. In 2014, it unveiled the Hub by Premier Inn brand, an urban hotel brand enabling its guests to control all the different aspects of their stay through an application.
A solid leader in the British market, Whitbread recently entered India and continental Europe, with a strong focus on Germany: after opening its first hotel in Frankfurt, the chain has a 930-room pipeline under development in Germany by 2020.
Whitbread currently operates a portfolio of 776 hotels in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, India and Germany. With 67,734 rooms, the hotel group ranks 20th in the world and 6th in Europe.