The owner at the Somerville Hotel said they were ‘only being friendly’
The owner of a Blackpool hotel has hit back at a TripAdvisor reviewer who claimed they ‘do not understand personal space whatsoever’.
The guest, who stayed at the Somerville Hotel in June, decided to leave a review about their stay two months later. The user, Lizzy21, rated the hotel as ‘poor’ and said ‘Avoid! They sit with you constantly at breakfast! Don’t give Keith your car keys!’
The Station Road hotel, co-owned by Sheila and Keith, is a licensed hotel that hosts en-suite rooms and caters for families.
Sheila told LancsLive that this year has been ‘the hardest season’ as a hotelier in Blackpool, with tourists heading to the resort due to travel restrictions.
She said that both herself and her husband, Keith, ‘try and help people’ as much as they can and do the ‘best’ they can to make sure guests have a comfortable stay.
User, Lizzy21, said they had ‘thought extremely long and hard’ before writing the review about their stay from Wednesday through to Sunday.
They said the hotel was ‘ok’ although the bar ‘never seems to be open’ and is ‘filled with clothes, toys and other bits and bobs’. They also said their room was ‘clean’ and ‘fine’, although they ‘managed’ with it being on the top floor of the hotel.
Lizzy21 added that co-owners Shelia and Keith “do not understand personal space whatsoever!”
They wrote: “Every morning when I went to go have a cigarette before breakfast, they would be right beside me and after it, would actually sit beside me and my family all throughout breakfast!
“It felt extremely strange even my sons found it extremely odd! At breakfast we want peace to eat not to sit and talk politics at 9am!”
The review went on to claim that co-owner Keith ‘went on and on’ about the guests giving him their car keys, ‘to the point it was as if he was demanding them’.
They explained that Keith wanted to move their car from the back of the hotel to the front once a space became available.
Lizzy21 wrote: “And guess what happened? We got a HUGE nail stuck in our tyre!”
They claimed Keith was ‘the last to drive’ the car and parked the vehicle ‘to avoid’ them seeing the flat tyre.
Lizzy21 wrote: “When confronted he completely acted dumb and never offered any help whatsoever!! £178 we had to pay for a new tyre just to get home! I will never ever stay here again and don’t recommend anyone else staying!
“You are basically living in someone’s house, Sheila constantly tells you how she hates what she does and can’t wait to quit as she’s fed up with guests! And to sit constantly every morning with us at breakfast is just down right weird! Then the tyre was just the icing on the cake and to offer absolutely NO help whatsoever after you caused it!”
Co-owner of the Somerville Hotel, Sheila Cassells, responded to the review.
Sheila wrote: “Thank you for your review, we are sorry if we spoke to you as we were only being friendly. We did not speak to you every day as you said you was not the only guest in.”
Sheila explained that the ‘mess everywhere’ was caused by ‘folding washing up’ in the bar during the day. She said: “But (it) was moved because I ironed it and put it away, and as for the toys up the corner, it is for the children.”
Sheila continued: “If we frightened you and our hotel is as bad as you’re trying to make out, why didn’t you book out sooner because you did not pay until you left. As for the tyre, you can not blame Keith, it could have happened on the way down because he told you you had a slow punch (sic) when he moved it.”
Sheila then said: “As for you moaning about the mess round the hotel, my towel had to be thrown away with thick black make up. Our cleaner asked you if you had any rubbish in the bedroom, you said NO. We had 3 black bags of pizza boxes and take away food.”
The Somerville Hotel is rated #323 out of 893 B&Bs in Blackpool. They are rated ‘Excellent’ overall on TripAdvisor, from 93 reviews left by guests.
Sheila and Keith have been labelled as ‘fabulous hosts’ by another guest who visited in August, with another saying they are ‘welcoming and friendly from the get go’.