Britannia has been rated the worst hotel chain in the UK, with almost a quarter of guests making an official complaint about their stay.
The budget brand was left languishing in bottom spot for the sixth year running in an annual survey by Which? Travel.
More than 7,000 previous guests told Which? about their recent experiences of staying in the UK’s most visited hotel chains. With a customer score of just 35%, Britannia mustered one star in most categories – including value for money, and the quality of its food and drink.
Some 42% of Britannia guests said they had a problem with their stay, while almost a quarter (23%) said they had made an official complaint. To make matters worse, the majority (71%) were left dissatisfied with the outcome. One customer even went as far as to describe the property they stayed in as a ‘filthy hovel’.
Which? went undercover to see for itself the conditions of one of the hotels and its services. The firm stated, 'We were equally stunned when we visited the chain’s Royal Albion hotel in Brighton [pictured], which we found to be rundown and hopelessly neglected.
'While the Grade II-listed seafront property initially impressed from the outside, inside we found stained carpets, cracked walls and peeling wallpaper in communal areas – where the smell of stale smoke hung in the air.
'Discarded gum was stuck to a banister and a ripped leather armchair had been hastily repaired with black gaffer tape.
'Breakfast also lived down to its one-star rating, with bitter coffee and anaemic-looking, watery scrambled eggs. It was also no surprise that the quality of its bedrooms was panned with a rock-hard bed and paper-thin, grubby towels.'
Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, said, ‘Britannia has superb locations, fabulous buildings, but terrible hotels. Guests looking for a safe bet, with no nasty surprises, should opt for a no-nonsense option like Premier Inn.
‘Anyone looking for a cheap and cheerful hotel could do worse than booking a stay at a Wetherspoons complete with an added bonus of only a staircase separating you and your bed after a slap-up meal and a glass or two of wine.’