Laws trump contracts pretty much everywhere and in every circumstance.
Yes, but the laws need to exist first. UK, EU, Australia etc. tend to have stronger consumer protection laws than the US (which, AFAIK, vary state by state) and often have authorities that enforce them rather than leaving it up to individuals to sue. You'll notice that big firms like Apple are often getting slapped by the authorities in these countries (e.g. for selling extended warranties that partly duplicate statutory rights) c.f. in the US (where they get hit with class-action lawsuits instead).
NB, looks like Trading Standards have had a little chat with the hotel in TFA.