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Worst Hotel in the World

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
all the posts re Britannias - they are all absolute shitholes and as @Ryder02 says, a tragedy. (the one in central manchester is an amazing building). I worked for them a couple of times in the 90s (more fool me for going back for a second time) and the story as I was led to understand it is that the people who had come to be owners at that point in time were brickies who'd acquired the chain in part payment for money owed by the previous owners, so were coming at it from the idea of setting a budget first and telling the staff they had to provide a 3/4 star (they wished!) service - rather than setting the level of service and then working back from that to decide the money that was to be spent.

their management philosophy was that if they threatened and shouted at the staff that would make up for any shortfall in quality or availability of resources, and doing everything as cheaply as possible. with the inevitable result that morale was constantly at rock bottom, and anyone with anything about themselves or wanted to make a serious career out of hospitality moved on and got a better job asap. with the result that the management were constantly scratching their heads wondering why they were always left with the dreck staff wise, but never asking themselves why. afaics, they've stayed in business (and even, god help us, expanded) by having the locations and being realtively cheaper than any surrounding, better quality places. I've never heard anyone - staff or customers - report a positive experience with them.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
A few years back I did a course at UCL as part of my resettlement.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, there is a massive fiddle with how the resettlement grants work regarding food and accom charges.

I forget the exact figures but I got something like 800 quid towards the cost of the actual course, but something like 2 grand towards food and accom for the course.

The course providers lump it all in as a package, making their profits on inflated food and accom charges.

Anyway so I’m doing this course. Despite living about 5 stops away from UCL on the tube, I have to take the accom provided (see above regarding profit).

They put me up in the Lonsdale Hotel just off Russel Square. Sounds grand enough and I’m sure lots of yank tourists are taken in by its grand name and reasonably nice Georgian facade out front.

A bloke in painters and decorators overalls showed me to room, which had someone else’s stuff in and hadn’t been made up.

He helpfully just hoofed it all out into the hallway, no change of bedding or anything. I opted not to sleep there but just use it as a base to keep my course notes and shit.

Breakfast was served the next day by the same bloke, in the same painter’s overalls. It had also been cooked by him.

Place was an absolute shit hole. Everything was broken, filthy, bed bugs everywhere. I’ve seen more luxurious crack dens.

I did find some hardcore porn mags in my bedside table which is always a bonus though.

This was pre Tripadvisor, but I’ve since checked it out. At one point it held the proud accolade of being the lowest rated hotel in London.
 
A few years back I did a course at UCL as part of my resettlement.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, there is a massive fiddle with how the resettlement grants work regarding food and accom charges.

I forget the exact figures but I got something like 800 quid towards the cost of the actual course, but something like 2 grand towards food and accom for the course.

The course providers lump it all in as a package, making their profits on inflated food and accom charges.

Anyway so I’m doing this course. Despite living about 5 stops away from UCL on the tube, I have to take the accom provided (see above regarding profit).

They put me up in the Lonsdale Hotel just off Russel Square. Sounds grand enough and I’m sure lots of yank tourists are taken in by its grand name and reasonably nice Georgian facade out front.

A bloke in painters and decorators overalls showed me to room, which had someone else’s stuff in and hadn’t been made up.

He helpfully just hoofed it all out into the hallway, no change of bedding or anything. I opted not to sleep there but just use it as a base to keep my course notes and shit.

Breakfast was served the next day by the same bloke, in the same painter’s overalls. It had also been cooked by him.

Place was an absolute shit hole. Everything was broken, filthy, bed bugs everywhere. I’ve seen more luxurious crack dens.

I did find some hardcore porn mags in my bedside table which is always a bonus though.

This was pre Tripadvisor, but I’ve since checked it out. At one point it held the proud accolade of being the lowest rated hotel in London.

The few times I’ve had to stay in a hotel in London I’ve found it overpriced for what you get.

I’d rather stay at the Heathrow Abyss and get the Express into town.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
The few times I’ve had to stay in a hotel in London I’ve found it overpriced for what you get.

I’d rather stay at the Heathrow Abyss and get the Express into town.

As a born and bred Londoner there haven’t been too many occasions when I’ve had to book a hotel in town. If I’m by myself I can crash with mates / family.

The few times we’ve been back with the kids in tow, we’ve variously crashed at Novotels or Crowne Plazas which do forces discount and are a step up from Travel Lodge / Premier Inn.

Kings Cross still seems to be where the cheapest hotels are in central London.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
The few times I’ve had to stay in a hotel in London I’ve found it overpriced for what you get.

I’d rather stay at the Heathrow Abyss and get the Express into town.

we usually get a travelodge if we're staying in town for whatever reason - never anything special, but clean and secure. if we've been to a gig or whatever and just need a place to sleep, they're fine.
 
A few years back I did a course at UCL as part of my resettlement.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, there is a massive fiddle with how the resettlement grants work regarding food and accom charges.

I forget the exact figures but I got something like 800 quid towards the cost of the actual course, but something like 2 grand towards food and accom for the course.

The course providers lump it all in as a package, making their profits on inflated food and accom charges.

Anyway so I’m doing this course. Despite living about 5 stops away from UCL on the tube, I have to take the accom provided (see above regarding profit).

They put me up in the Lonsdale Hotel just off Russel Square. Sounds grand enough and I’m sure lots of yank tourists are taken in by its grand name and reasonably nice Georgian facade out front.

A bloke in painters and decorators overalls showed me to room, which had someone else’s stuff in and hadn’t been made up.

He helpfully just hoofed it all out into the hallway, no change of bedding or anything. I opted not to sleep there but just use it as a base to keep my course notes and shit.

Breakfast was served the next day by the same bloke, in the same painter’s overalls. It had also been cooked by him.

Place was an absolute shit hole. Everything was broken, filthy, bed bugs everywhere. I’ve seen more luxurious crack dens.

I did find some hardcore porn mags in my bedside table which is always a bonus though.

This was pre Tripadvisor, but I’ve since checked it out. At one point it held the proud accolade of being the lowest rated hotel in London.
Wow, I recommend to all checking the reviews out!!!
 
The strains of Robert Farnon's classic '70s tv theme ringing in my ears should've been a clue - as should've been the watchtowers, searchlights, guards, dogs... and a glider made out of bog roll tied to the roof. We arrived on a cold, wet, bleak evening in the month of November.

Through the rain-streaked windscreen Stalag Luft Norbreck towered above. Its faux medieval turrets and seemingly endless bulk visually polluting an otherwise empty seafront. A monstrous carbuncle, like an outsize child's sandcastle, albeit one constructed by the offspring of the Dark Lord himself in an act to appease those from the savage North who visit in droves.

Inside I was catapulted back to 1973 - or thereabouts. The decor was identifiable to several iconic eras, alas not the one I was inhabiting at the time. It was tired... better make that exhausted. Peeling paint, flaking plaster, worn & sticky carpets: it was all there. Like a grand, mad old lady in a house full of cats who was once a bit of a looker, Norbreck has long had its day.

The rooms were surprisingly acceptable - albeit rather basic: five star... compared to a Turkish prison. Knock four off and you have a truer rating. Think Scarborough circa 1975 and you have it. The water wasn't very hot and the heating wasn't doing its job either. The view from the room I was incarcerated in was unforgettable (see image).

Facilities-wise the hotel provides food (of sorts... their hamburguesa mit frites proving popular) and the bar is fit-for-purpose - as one would expect on the Scottish Riviera. The lifts didn't work and one needs a map and an altimeter to find one's cell. Still, it keeps yer fit, eh? The staff seemed embarrassed, but were polite and most helpful at roll call. I'm sure they had an Escape Committee. If not then they really need one.

Norbreck Castle obviously fulfills a role - otherwise it would have long since been bulldozed. However, I feel that particular option is the best, as no amount of industrial-strength turd polish can put a gloss on this exhausted shadow of a bygone era. Sad really. At least it has a pool & jacuzzi.

The above (rather entertaining & factually accurate) TripAdvisor review* pretty much sums up my experience of Blackpool's notorious state penitentiary otherwise known as the Norbreck Castle Hotel. How this place has escaped demolition is a mystery. Don't ask why I was there, but it was under extreme duress. I suspect it is now full of Iraqis. If not then it ******* should be, because if word of being incarcerated in this place ever got out then Serco would be out of a job.

Edit: I've just realised why it's a dump. It's a Britannia!

*Alas not mine.

40501938814_61de46ff8d_b.jpg

Some of the Trip Advisor reviews are superb.
 
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Ahh I stayed in a Brittania hotel in Manchester couple of years ago. Roasting hot day, melting and no aircon. I’d to go down canal st to escape the filthy hovel.
I stayed - with my family- at Hotel Britannica on Lake Como (Northern Italy). All you can stuff in your cake hole buffet and free bar after dinner. Full of Northern pensioners with tattoos and an electric organ playing 'Roll out the barrel' etc. Retured to room and daughter (then 6) gets a massive jolt from the bedside lamp in the family suite (balcony situated over the kitchen ventilation system). Meanwhile, at a discreet distance, insufferably elegant Italian families were staying in better (and much cheaper) hotels, languidly playing with their prima piatta. I have never ever allowed to forget going cheap. Even though I didn't.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
I go to a convention thing every 6 months or so at this place. We are local and only do "day trips" and stay at home. We used to be able to get food dropped off and eat take away or pack meals. New management have moves in relatively recently and now convention terms are no outside food. We therefore booked a cheap room, and got food delivered and ate in the room. Or started to. We relocated to the car as the room was so filthy...

We didn't stay over.

The summer convention was cancelled due to covid, and there is a duty rumour locally that the hotel might be going out of business... we can but hope.
a mate of mine works in the hospitality industry, hes a clever bloke, Brittania group asked him to come up for an interview
he asked where it was and said laughing, not a chance, ( oop North) but he said they are very consistent and every year win the prize for the worst hotels in the UK
 
The two uk hotels that are the worst I have stayed in are Britannia’s. One was a stop over near Manchester on a long drive from Cornwall to Scotland with the wife and kids. It was filthy, foul and the breakfast was gopping.
Vowed never to stay in the chain again.
Flew back into Manchester in the small hours and the travel agent had booked the hotel. On arrival realised it was another Britannia.
Never mind only there for a couple of hours before picking the car up and heading north.
The room was dirty with strange marks on the carpet and spreading damp from the toilet.
The sheets were grey and may have been ironed since the last guest but definitely not washed that week.
The reception had a strange mix of persons circulating round the absolutely appalled new arrivals.
We slept in our clothes and left as soon as possible, getting a breakfast at a motorwAy service station. Which at least was clean.
I don’t wish any business ill with the exception of Britannia which I hope doesn’t reopen and it’s hotels are taken over by a company who at least want to operate a hotel and not a doss house.
Britannia have taken over many formally beautiful hotels and run them into the ground. A real shame really.
For a little effort, soap and water and investment in staff they could have been a reasonable business.
The Britannia on Portland Street in Manchester? I stayed there for one night as well. It was better than Old Mother Mac's, if only on the grounds I didn't share the room with a rat. Well, not that I was aware of anyway. Surly staff, grubby room and a decidedly iffy breakfast.

Personally I enjoyed staying at the Motel One on London Road, opposite Piccadilly Station. Part of a Hun chain I think. Standard hotel room, friendly staff, decent internet, tele in the room that worked, tea/coffee facility in the room and a nice buffet breakfast. The office I worked at was the other side of the station, so I never had to go more than 100m away from the station in any direction and thus avoided most of the pondlife that infests the city centre.
 
Oh, yeah, my other nomination.

The Ledra Palace Hotel, Cyprus. Neither a Palace nor a hotel. No longer used to house UN Forces...
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Not sure it belongs in here because I had a ******* brilliant time there, but when my ship docked in Goa, we got a few days off and decided to book into what was described as “a beachside resort.”

It was dirt cheap, something like 25 quid for 3 nights.

That’s 25 quid for a 4 bedroom chalet / apartment. Not per person.

Given the price I certainly can’t complain, but it was very cheap for a reason.

There was a nice big pool next to a filthy beach and situated around the pool were the chalets.

They were basically just unfinished concrete houses.

Unpainted inside, bare concrete walls, bare concrete floor, no doors, no windows just mozzie curtains. Bog was a hole in the ground, shower was a hose. I don’t even recall if there was electricity or lighting.

On the second day there was a massive wedding. The full Indian works, a buffet that was a mile long, about 1000 people and the bride and groom came in on a ******* elephant. They invited us to join in, for no other reason than we happened to be there.

But yeah, the accommodation was certainly less than luxurious.
 
The Britannia on Portland Street in Manchester? I stayed there for one night as well. It was better than Old Mother Mac's, if only on the grounds I didn't share the room with a rat. Well, not that I was aware of anyway. Surly staff, grubby room and a decidedly iffy breakfast.

Personally I enjoyed staying at the Motel One on London Road, opposite Piccadilly Station. Part of a Hun chain I think. Standard hotel room, friendly staff, decent internet, tele in the room that worked, tea/coffee facility in the room and a nice buffet breakfast. The office I worked at was the other side of the station, so I never had to go more than 100m away from the station in any direction and thus avoided most of the pondlife that infests the city centre.
Jocks asking you for a "fiver 'fer a cup o tea" you mean.
 

In_Twists

Old-Salt
we usually get a travelodge if we're staying in town for whatever reason - never anything special, but clean and secure. if we've been to a gig or whatever and just need a place to sleep, they're fine.

UJ Club all the way!
 
Jocks asking you for a "fiver 'fer a cup o tea" you mean.
I took a stroll into Piccadilly Gardens one evening after work not long after I'd started working in Manchester. I thought I'd wandered onto the set of Lord of the Rings. The place was full of what seemed to be Orcs. Hot-footed it back to the hotel.

It always amused me to see beggars sat either side of the Jehovah's Witnesses just outside the station. Both were given a firm ignoring by all passers-by.
 
Brittania Hotel Birmingham

Horrible on every level. In, out and en route elsewhere within 15 minutes
Famous as one of the worst Britannias in Britania land. They got a warning as well because the tarts using the rooms were not only trafficked but underage too.
 
Famous as one of the worst Britannias in Britania land. They got a warning as well because the tarts using the rooms were not only trafficked but underage too.
I've a vague recollection that the Manchester one is known for swingers parties. Which might explain the state of the mattresses and carpets.
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
New Dawn hotel in Bayswater. I was there on a snowy evening. Arrived late on as I travel from the north east. No heating. Window would not shut. Complained to no effect. Actually got snow on the bed! Put a tesco bag on the window to stop it. During the night there was a drugs bust and some hairy arsed coppers brayed on the door. I explained and they were quite reasonable but suggested I leave as soon as I could. I could not agree more. I refused to pay the next morning and the manager got aggressive. I just dialled 999. He stopped me and just asked me to leave before I got to the call. Good thing too.
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
Britannia Portland St Manchester? I dont mind it. Me and my step son stay there. One abiding memory is a very tall transvestite with unfeasibly long eyelashes and shoes splayed out on the staircase having his photo taken.
 

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