Couple ‘eaten alive by bed bugs’ on Blackpool trip but owner defends hotel

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Roberto, owner of the Roker Hotel, said “everything is in order” at the B&B

 

The Roker Hotel in Blackpool said "people are always looking for an excuse not to pay"
The Roker Hotel in Blackpool said “people are always looking for an excuse not to pay”

The owner of a Blackpool hotel has responded after a couple claim they were ‘eaten alive’ by bed bugs.

The Roker Hotel on the New South Promenade is rated as #845 of 898 B&Bs in Blackpool.

The two-star hotel averages at around £30 per night, with breakfast and Wifi included. It is a family-run hotel, which also has free parking and an Italian restaurant. It is just a two-minute walk from Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

 

Of its 267 reviews, only 19 of them rate the B&B as ‘Excellent’ whilst 32 of them rate it as ‘Very Good’. 175 reviews, however, brand the B&B as ‘Terrible’.

In a ‘Blackpool Nightmare Holidays’ group, Charlotte May recently shared her experience of a stay at The Roker Hotel last week (November 14).

She said that both her and her family were “eaten alive” during their stay, and raised concerns about the standard of cleanliness to the owner.

A wall inside the Roker Hotel
A wall inside the Roker Hotel

Charlotte said: “The hazards were not any issue to other guests, but all rooms propped open with towels. Beds were just remade for next arrivals not changed, dirty towels and bedding, food on floor, bedbugs and god knows (sic) what else but covid probably wouldn’t even have entered that building! Nor has a bottle of bleach or washing powder!”

She added that the family was charged at the start of the stay, but were refunded by the owner.

Photographs shared by Charlotte show food behind the bed, mould on the walls, brown stains on the bed sheets, out of date PAT tests and doors propped open by towels on the floor.

In a video also recorded and shared by Charlotte, small black bugs are seen to have gathered beneath the buttons on the mattress.

Charlotte said "they're jumping" as she lifted the button on the mattress
Charlotte said “they’re jumping” as she lifted the button on the mattress

As she lifts the button, Charlotte can be heard saying: “Today’s date is the 14th of November, and they’re jumping. But there’s no bed bugs here at all, is there? And this is what we’ve all been bitten by.”

She also shared a photograph of her partner’s stomach, which was covered in bite marks.

Charlotte would not be the first to allege the hotel of having bed bugs.

Another guest who left a review on TripAdvisor in November said: “The morning after we got there me and my wife were bitten by bed bugs and so too were our friends who went with us. They were in a different room on a different floor. When the owner was approached about the bed bug issues he said it’s not bed bugs it’s an allergy to the bedding which we said was unlikely not for all 4 of us to have the same issue. The owner said he would go and check the rooms.”

Alison M, a second guest who left a review on TripAdvisor, said: “Supposed to stay 2 nights. Could only stay 1. Room cold, felt damp, poor condition. Bed bugs found first morning – fortunately hadn’t slept in that bed (family room with 3 beds, only 2 of us). Owner rude when sent emails since.”

Food was found behind the bed at The Roker Hotel
Food was found behind the bed at The Roker Hotel

Charlotte told LancsLive she had reported the hotel to both Environmental Health and Trading Standards.

The manager of the Roker Hotel, Roberto, told LancsLive: “You could see at the beginning, they were just looking for an excuse not to pay, people are always looking for an excuse not to pay.

“It was very obvious they just wanted to stay for free. We have been here for 20 years in this business, we are confident, we have regular customers that come in quite often.”

Charlotte found that the electrics had not received a PAT test since 2015
Charlotte found that the electrics had not received a PAT test since 2015

Roberto believed guests were “making excuses” not to pay the cost of their stay. He said “otherwise everything is in order.”

The Roker confirmed that Charlotte received a refund for her stay and added: “The reality is we are a two star hotel and we charge very cheap. In this hotel we give them everything, breakfast and parking, for £30. We’re not saying we are the Hilton or something, we are a two-star hotel.”

When asked about the alleged bed bugs, Roberto said they had faced problems “a long time ago” and spent over £1,200 to “make sure everything was perfectly fine”. He denied the evidence of any bed bugs on the premises at present.

Blackpool accommodation has been under scrutiny over the past few months following a ‘never-ending stream of holiday disasters’ during the summer season.

As the winter season continues and tourists head to the resort to enjoy the Illuminations and events hosted across the Promenade, Blackpool B&B’s are still seeing visitors from across the country come to stay.

Blackpool Council were contacted for comment but we did not receive a response before the deadline.