We are getting used to seeing e-bikes whizzing around in towns and cities when undertaking a tourist tour or just commuting to a weekday job (covid dependent) but they are becoming more noticeable as part of add ons available with your holiday accommodation.
Center Parcs Villages
For anyone who has ever stayed at a UK Centre Parcs you will know the emphasis placed on hiring a bike as part of your holiday. This has been in existence as long as the brand has, but have you ever tried to get hold of one of their electric bikes? Almost impossible unless you booked the minute your holiday dates became available. There is huge demand for these, and the hire price reflects it, as well as the cost of purchasing the bike in the first place.
For some people this is a great way to test out an e-bike in a safe environment with no traffic and their suitability for purchasing one at home. It would be interesting to see how much people search the internet for ‘e-bike’ when they are staying in the villages.
In covid times we have also seen the e-bikes re-purposed as Center Parcs delivery vehicles, providing meals from the village restaurants direct to your lodge address. At least this way the delivery driver doesn’t arrive sweating into your chow mein.
On one of our last trips to Bowness in the Lake District we were pleasantly surprised to see that our hotel had a brand new bike shed packed full of e-bikes for use by their customers. This is a welcome addition to The Burnside hotel due to the hotel being situated on top of an extremely steep hill that is an interesting walk after a day on the lake or dining in a local restaurant.
This was a brand new installation, but an example of adding that level of luxury, especially as prices for holidays in the UK have been increasing as demand has soared in between covid lockdowns. Will more hotels follow suit and add e-bikes as a complimentary use or for hire in areas suitable for travelling by bike?
Our searching uncovered that there are complete holidays based around e-bikes. National Forest e-bike holidays plan you a route from BnB to hotel in a particular area. Your bike is delivered to your first accommodation and your luggage is delivered to each stop along the way. A great idea for those who have longed for a bike holiday but perhaps don’t have the fitness to or the urge to be exhausted at the end of every day.
Holiday Cottages / Air bnbs
Our searches also brought up amazing collaboration between e-bike hiring companies in the UK and local holiday cottages and Air BnBs. e-bikes can be booked in advance as part of your stay, often with a discount negotiated by the vendor, or you are at least signposted to hire one when you arrive. It’s a great way to keep sight seeing options open and for local businesses to engage with tourists.
So will e-bikes become the next level of luxury for hotel accommodation in the UK? Or is the risk of damage too much to sustain for the hotels? As we emerge from covid it will be interesting how many people take up opportunities to test out e-bikes and if these equate to an increase in sales.