Hotel slated for new year ‘nightmare’

The Britannia Hotel, Standish
The Britannia Hotel, Standish

DIRTY rooms, broken furniture, a lack of entertainment, poor food, and the threat of police action were all on a grim holiday checklist compiled by a family staying at a Wigan hotel.

Glynn and Kristalle Bates, 27, say they were appalled at the way they were treated when staying at The Britannia in Standish, on New Year’s Eve.

Hotel chiefs today said it was not policy to comment when confronted with the pair’s list of grievances.

They had booked a three-night New Year package, which included entertainment, but their mini-break, which began on December 30, was hit by an alleged catalogue of disappointments and disasters.

The couple – who brought with them six other family members including children aged four and 14 – say they couldn’t find a decent room and were most displeased to find used sanitary products in one of the bathrooms.

Part of the evening activities were cancelled; they were dissatisfied with customer service and felt intimidated by some of the other guests.

After talking to a manager about the possibility of a partial refund, they say they were then told head office had agreed a full refund but they had to leave by 1pm on New Year’s Eve. If they did not vacate, they allege they were told they would be forced out by the police.

Glynn, 37, of Bolton, said: “We checked in for the three-night New Year’s Eve break package which included entertainment. The daytime entertainment was non-existent and the evening was poor, with the DJ cancelled on December 30, with a piano player to cover.

“Our first few hours were spent trying to find a room that was not falling to pieces, with tiles falling off walls, ceilings bowing through water damage, and children’s bunk beds so bad you wouldn’t let a dog sleep in them for fear of collapse.

“The windows were so full of mould and slime that the health of the children was a worry. One bathroom was found to have used panties and sanitary products left in it along with pubic hairs.

“Foodwise, we were left with basically the scrap ends of a turkey dinner and a fish pie. At least three people in our group had severe stomach cramps and diarrhoea the next day.

“The self-service counters were filthy, staff were preparing and serving food in tracksuit jackets and were very rude and unhelpful.

“All through the time we were there, we were faced with groups of men hanging around the lobby staring at us whenever we walked past. The females in our group felt intimidated by this and we did not feel safe at all especially with a four-year old girl with us.”

The family were then shocked that after complaining the following day they would be refunded in full but would then have to leave - with the threat of police action if they didn’t comply.

Glynn added: “There was no negotiation. We were not happy with this as it was New Year’s Eve and at that point we didn’t think there would be any alternatives, especially with six adults and two children to take care of. Luckily we managed to get places at the Premier Inn across the road and saw the New Year in at Charnley Arms.

“We feel we were treated shockingly by the Britannia and were punished for their failings. We were not the only people to have issues with the hotel, as shown on the Trip Advisor website.

“When we made our booking we only saw the reviews on the hotel’s website, which were not independent.”

A spokesman for Britannia Hotels head office said it takes all complaints seriously and it responds privately to individuals who have grievances but would not issue an official press comment.