Blackpool hotel guests set up support group with dozens of members after ‘holiday from hell’

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“I wouldn’t even let an animal sleep in there, a rat couldn’t even sleep in there.”

 

Royal Windsor Hotel
Royal Windsor Hotel

Blackpool Promenade is lined with countless hotels housing thousands of tourists every year.

After the lifting of restrictions across the UK, many have travelled to the popular tourist destination for a ‘staycation’ or just to get out after the past year at home.

Carly Denham, from East Derby, travelled two hours with her partner, children, friend and friend’s children to do exactly that.

Their weekend away, taking place on August 13 – August 15, was left “absolutely ruined” according to Carly after they checked-in the The Royal Windsor Hotel on the Prom.

The incensed mum has since set up a support group on Facebook, which has gained 70 members, many of whom have stories of their own.

Talking of her stay, Carly said: “My mistake really, I should have read the reviews beforehand” but Carly saw photographs of the hotel and thought that it looked “nice.”

Carly told LancsLive that their stay at The Royal Windsor Hotel was a “holiday from hell” that left her in tears, apologising to her children for ever taking them there.

Arriving at their holiday destination, Carly and her family parked in the hotel carpark which she described as “abysmal”

She said: “The minute we walked through I just thought ‘oh my god’, I turned to my friend and we both just thought, what is this?”

The two families quickly searched through Booking.com to find somewhere else to stay, but due to the season, had no luck. They committed to staying at the hotel to try and enjoy their holiday.

The New Windsor Hotel Kettle
The New Windsor Hotel Kettle

The families reportedly paid for their rooms before being told their rooms would not be ready at the allotted check-in time.

Carly explained: “They said that one room had a smashed mirror because the room had been smashed up the night before, so due to health and safety, we had to wait for them to replace the mirror.”

The two families said they were “fine” to wait as one room was ready, so they would all wait there until the second room was ready.

“My heart sank,” Carly said, “I was thinking, oh my god, what have I done? I can’t believe I’m going to let my children sleep in here.”

When Carly’s friend’s room became available, they said the formerly “broken mirror” had “just been chucked out the window, there was broken glass everywhere.”

Carly said her friend then went to the toilet to find no toilet roll was left for her to use. She then turned on the light when “the electricity blew in the entire room.”

Carly said: “She went downstairs to report it, he’d come up and said to her that the room had been smashed up and it wasn’t his fault. If she wanted to move the children into separate rooms -as if that is something you would do- then she would have to pay £50, even though she had just paid £300 for the room.

Carly’s friend’s asked the hotel if they “were having a laugh” and said they were met with “threats” to remove them from the property.

Finally leaving the hotel at 6pm, Carly felt that the day had been “wasted” trying to sort out their accommodation.

The New Windsor Hotel Window
The New Windsor Hotel Window

She said: “I boiled the kettle on the floor and washed my toddler in the sink.”

“Due to the horrific experience we tried to spend as much time out of the hotel as possible.”

The two families went to the pier where Carly tried to pay for something on her card, then finding that there was no money there for her to pay.

After checking her mobile banking, she reportedly found that she had been charged a further £50 by the hotel.

Carly said that her partner then returned to the hotel to ask why they had been charged. They were allegedly told that they had “extra people in the room” to which they replied “we have two children, why would we do that?”

Carly claims that the mirror was thrown out of the window
Carly claims that the mirror was thrown out of the window

Carly then said they were accused of smoking in their room, which she denies.

Carly’s partner demanded a refund and they said it would be refunded tomorrow, but the money is reportedly yet to be refunded.

Carly said: “I came home and I was just crying, I felt so bad for my children – I was apologising to my own children because I’m thinking what have I just taken my children to?

“I wouldn’t even let an animal sleep in there, a rat couldn’t even sleep in there.”

Since returning home, Carly claims she hasn’t heard back from the hotel. She said that had she been refunded, she may have “let it go” and reported it to the appropriate authorities, but Carly decided she would make a Facebook support group to see if anyone else had a similar situation.

The New Windsor Hotel Switches
The New Windsor Hotel Switches

She said: “My children have been in a pandemic, they’ve not been allowed out, they were looking forward to getting out, seeing our family, having a good time and these people have absolutely ruined it. We had to stay out all day and not take our children back.

“They think it’s okay to just charge people’s cards and just take what they like.”

Carly said she held back tears as she stepped into the hotel room wondering if she was a “mug” or whether or not she had “done something wrong.”

Carly isn’t alone in her experience at The Royal Windsor Hotel. The hotel has two stars on TripAdvisor, with over 300 ‘Terrible’ reviews – with several from August and July.

One guest wrote: “I’ve been brought up with if you’ve got nothing nice to say keep quiet… but this hotel is a major exception! Please don’t book this hotel. It’s filthy everywhere, rude staff, horrendous breakfast. I’ve stayed in many budget hotels but there is just no excuse for these standards.”

A second guest wrote: “The worst hotel ever. service very bad . cleanliness zero. room is disgusting . bathroom stinks . sink was broken and blocked and the lights were dimmed where you hardly see. no TV remote . never book again in this hotel.”

A third guest wrote that they were “gutted” to have stayed at the hotel, describing the room as “dirty” and “smelly”.

They continued to write: “You expect a certain level of noise from entertainment, which we were prepared for, however this was a joke. The karaoke finished at 12am, so you think, fine, now we can get some sleep. But then the night staff decided to carry the party on and have the music blasting until 4am, singing the same songs over again.”

“I was surprised when I went down to see what all the noise was that it was staff of the hotel that were playing the music, there were no other residents in the bar area.”

The New Windsor Hotel Ceiling
The New Windsor Hotel Ceiling

The guest continued to say they were left “fuming” and wrote: “I wouldn’t stay there for free.”

A fourth guest wrote “I would not do it again.”

They said: “The rooms are exceptionally small, we had issues with the shower not working and throughout our stay they continuously told us they would fix it but never did. The shower was either scorching hot or freezing and could not get it to a safe standard to shower.

“There was no Wi-Fi access in the rooms, and we were told that we would need to go down to the reception area should we need it, which was frustrating as the phone signal in the Blackpool area is poor.”

“At night it sounds like a zoo, walls are paper thin. Continuously seen people complaining about their rooms. Definitely not worth the money that you pay for the stay. Unless you are out to party then, the plus side is that the bar is 24 hours. Don’t expect big things if you stay here.”

Blackpool Council confirmed that it has received a complaint about the New Royal Windsor Hotel, saying: “We have only recently received one complaint and if a customer of any business has a concern we will look into it.”

The Royal Windsor Hotel has since contacted the guests to apologise and offer an explanation.

It said: “We do apologise and are very sorry to hear that our other guests were upset. We are trying our best to improve the standard and service this hotel provides. Our hotel is already in the process of ongoing refurbishment, which with ongoing staff training will improve our standard and service considerably over the winter period.

“Please bear in mind a lot of our staff continue on furlough and as with other hospitality venues we are unable to recruit staff from anywhere in UK.”

Management also addressed the main points put forward by the group.