A woman has branded her stay at a British hotel with more than 4,000 “Terrible” reviews on TripAdvisor as “the worst”.
Poppy Kennedy reviewed The Grand in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, for Teesside Live after reading countless awful critiques online. She too was unimpressed, claiming the room was “bloodstained”, walls “dirty” and black body hair was found on the bedding.
It is operated by Britannia, which has been named the UK’s worst hotel chain for the past 10 years.
Poppy wrote: “It could be a phenomenal place to stay but it keeps busy as a cheap and not so cheerful clifftop destination. Will I be going back to The Grand? Certainly not.”
The room for two at The Grand, an enormous building that dominates the South Bay skyline, cost £50 on a Friday night in the run-up to Christmas.
But Poppy, a journalist for Teesside Live, called her stay “an experience [she’ll] never be able to wash off.”
Writing for the publication, the reporter said: “The first sign of trouble was the one-star food hygiene rating slapped on the entrance – in that moment I was very grateful I’d booked a room only. I’d been warned in an email previously that I could expect queues at the check-in desk which opened at 4pm.
“I have to admit, I scoffed. Surely with the 4.7/10 Booking.com rating there wouldn’t be guests flooding through the doors – how wrong I was.
“We stood for 20 minutes waiting to check in – although there were only four people in front of us and three very pleasant receptionists behind the desk. I’m not quite sure why it took so long when we managed to pay and receive our key in a matter of seconds.
“Our time in the admittedly ‘grand’ lobby was… eye-opening. The clientele was a mixture of raring-to-go revellers and pensioners on a bus trip enjoying a relaxed drink from the bar.
“A well-decorated Christmas tree stood tall and fairy lights hung across the lobby to mark the festive season. The architecture is stunning with huge archways and a signature staircase but it was spoilt by old-fashioned and bland décor – it’s what you’d expect from a cliff-top guest house that hadn’t seen a paintbrush in 30 years.
“The lovely and pleasant receptionist upgraded our room (to one with a window) and was extremely helpful and thorough – in fact, the interaction with her was single-handedly the best 60 seconds of our trip.
“Following her directions, we squeezed into the lift, along with two workmen scoffing a greasy kebab, and headed to our room. The place is like a maze so the maps on the dreary walls came in handy. But heading down the wide, empty corridor, I wouldn’t have been surprised if two eerie twins in blue dresses appeared at the end. Its likeness to the few clips I’ve seen of The Shining is uncanny.
“Heaving open the large bedroom door (which didn’t really close properly) we flicked on the light switch – nothing. My partner – who I’d dragged along with me – groaned as I fumbled to put the torch from my phone on and eventually found a ‘wall light switch’ above the bed.
“Looking up, there wasn’t actually a bulb or any light fixture on the ceiling – so what the switch by the door is for is beyond me. At first look it was basic. Dark carpets, white sheets, plain walls. The wooden desk had tea and coffee – but the spoon and tray were dirty and I really didn’t trust the cleanliness of the mugs.”
She added: “Now, the bathroom. The floor was dirty and a dingy purple and the ceiling was littered with what looked like mould. There was a stained, crumpled A4 sign sellotaped to the toilet reminding guests to only flush human waste and toilet roll – oh and the loo roared whenever you turned on the tap or shower.
“There was what looked like blood smeared into one of the walls and I gagged at the thought of the off-white shower curtain sticking to me. We were heading out and I needed to shower after a hike around Hayburn Wyke, north of Scarborough, so I put on a brave face. The towels (to their credit, I guess) did appear properly cleaned although they were as rough as sandpaper.
“And it was on walking back into the carpeted bedroom, barefoot, that I spotted a needle on the ground. On closer inspection, it must have been a sewing pin of some form but still not something I’d like piercing my sole.
“We rushed out and headed to catch up with old friends so it was on our return that I took a closer inspection – Four in a Bed style. Personal highlights were the wiry, black bodily hair (possibly pubic) I found on the bedding, and the gut-turning stain on the bed sheets, which also looked like blood.
“Now, I admit I could have gone downstairs and asked for new bedding but the reception desk was STILL busy at 11.30pm. So I donned my full-length PJs, switched on the square telly and accepted my fate.
“There were spiders in the bathroom, spilt sugar on the dressing table, and piling dust in most of the crevices of the hotel room. But, fear not, the hotel had plastic-wrapped the TV remote for extra clean, Covid-safe fun. My partner drifted off to sleep on the hard mattress, secretly cursing me, as I lay reading my book when it began to rain outside.
“I can only assume there was some broken guttering above our room as the floods of water hammered into a growing puddle directly under our window – our special, upgraded window. When I eventually got to look out in the morning, it turns out we faced a lower roof of the hotel which was littered with hot water bottles, vapes, pizza boxes and more.
“The night sleep wasn’t great – the rooms weren’t soundproof – but thankfully once I’m out, I’m dead to the world. Check-out was at 10am and I don’t think either of us could have got out any quicker.”
Concluding her critique, Poppy wrote: “Scarborough has always held a special place in my heart. Growing up my parents took us every year, I have fond memories of sunny days spent at Kinderland in the late 90s or building sandcastles on North Bay beach.
“And having lived and worked in the seaside town in my early 20s, I’ve seen first-hand just how much Scarborough has going for it. It’s definitely seen more and more investment in the last decade.
“The Grand Hotel is operated by Britannia, which has been named the UK’s worst hotel chain for the past 10 years. So it’s no surprise that the Scarborough hotel no longer lives up to its name – which is, genuinely, a real shame.
“It could be a phenomenal place to stay but it keeps busy as a cheap and not-so-cheerful clifftop destination. Will I be going back to The Grand? Certainly not. But I’ll always keep returning to Scarborough.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Britannia for comment.