UK pubs are attempting to revive the concept of the British inn as a way to boost revenue streams in the wake of the smoking ban and consumer slowdown.
Last week, Marston's unveiled plans to invest £50m in expanding the accommodation offer in its managed pubs operation, while newcomer Urban Inns outlined plans to increase its number of "inn" sites from two to 20 in the next five years.
Marston's Inns and Taverns division is planning to build about 12 new pubs with 40 rooms of accommodation. It is targeting sites in the West Country after spending £1.4m refurbishing the 23-bedroom Red Lion in Wendover, Buckinghamshire.
Meanwhile, London-based Urban Inns is looking to transform the public notion of a pub with rooms. Co-founder David Catling said: "When you think of the inn in its current form you think of something that is very female-unfriendly. We are trying something that is light, airy and open, with a pub that does good wines and good food."
By Christopher Walton
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