The UK's worst hotel chain revealed – and it has several branches in Lancashire

·4-min read
Britannia has been ranked as the worst hotel chain in the UK, according to a Which? survey (Photo: Pat Hurst/PA, Google Maps)
Britannia has been ranked as the worst hotel chain in the UK, according to a Which? survey (Photo: Pat Hurst/PA, Google Maps)

A hotel chain with several sites in Lancashire has been named as the UK’s worst for the ninth year running.

According to the survey of more than 2,600 people by consumer group, Which?, Britannia has been ranked as the bottom of the leaderboard for guest satisfaction.

It received an average customer score of only 49 per cent and was rated poorly for categories such as cleanliness, bathrooms and value for money.

More than half (51 per cent) of Britannia guests surveyed said they ran into a problem during their stay, with cleanliness being the most common issue.

The chain was rated one star out of five for bathrooms, and two stars for seven other categories such as cleanliness, customer service and value for money.

The chain has 61 hotels across Britain, including four near in Blackpool: Norbreck Castle, the Grand Hotel, the Metropole and the Savoy.

These hotels have received mixed Google reviews and ratings from customers.

According to reviewers, The Grand Hotel has the best average rating (3.5) with the other hotel’s ranging from 2.8 to 3.0 out of five.

Some of the reviews left have called out the hotels' cleanliness and “dated” furnishings.

One person wrote about Norbreck Castle: “What a dirty disgusting hotel. We stayed just long enough to see the room. It was dated very dirty and mouldy.”

Another said: “I don't expect everything to be first class. My bedside lamp was dodgy, and I had no towels. However, they have are all the facilities you need, very local shops, staff do their very best and mostly are helpful.”

One reviewer said the Metropole Hotel was the “worst [they] have ever visited”.

They added: “Everything is old, worn and falling apart. Its rude and incompetent staff did not help.

“Literally wouldn’t stay here if you paid me!”

Another reviewer said their room at the Grand Hotel was “filthy”.

They added: “Carpet and walls were stained everywhere and smelt really bad.

“Stagnant water in the kettle and very poor facilities, heard everything from the rooms around us. Pictures are completely deceiving, wish I read the reviews first.”

Mercure was also ranked poorly in the Which? survey.

The average customer score was only slightly better than Britannia’s at 52 per cent, with many guests observing that its standards have fallen.

One consumer said the chain’s hotels are “not as smart as they used to be” and it has “some poor quality properties”.

It was rated just two stars for cleanliness, rooms, bathrooms, communal areas and value for money.

Mercure guests surveyed paid an average of £114 for one night.

A spokesperson for Mercure said: “We are surprised to see our position in this survey, it does not reflect the high standard of guest experience which we strive for and we will take action to address these comments.

“The experience and wellbeing of our guests at each and every property is our highest priority. The BDRC Hotel Guest Survey in 2021 ranks Mercure amongst the top midscale brands for excellent cleanliness and safety standards, superior quality of bedding and a brand that values its customers.

“We pride ourselves for delivering consistent quality and standards and providing a great night’s sleep, whilst offering great value for money, as your reader notes.”

While not specifically mentioned in the report, Mercure has a hotel branch in East Lancashire: Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa in Clayton-le-Moors.

This hotel has a 4.1 rating on Google Reviews.

Lancashire Telegraph:  Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa in Clayton-le-Moors
Lancashire Telegraph: Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa in Clayton-le-Moors

Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa in Clayton-le-Moors

One person wrote: “The place is falling down. Riddled with damp. Finally got a room that we felt was safe to stay in.”

Another said: “Stayed at a few Mercure hotels over the years but never had as bad experience as this one.

“Good size room and large comfy bed but photos show the shower damaged, ceiling paint coming off and a busted door lock.

“All over the hotel there were damp patches on ceilings and walls which was a little worrying too.”

However, other reviewers had more positive things to say.

One person said: “The room was wonderfully designed and decorated.

“The radiator was not working, but they happily brought a portable heater to the room as the staff on the desk didn't know how to work them.”

Another said: “Absolutely fantastic hotel! Me and the girls had the spa with treatment, dinner in the hotel restaurant and bed and breakfast, we could not fault one single thing. The hotel is beautiful, the rooms were lovely very clean and everything”

Speaking about the Dunkenhalgh, a spokesperson said: In 2020 a significant multi-million pound investment was made at Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh, completely redesigning the hotel, with 175 new bedrooms, 14 meeting rooms, a new impressive restaurant, bar and reception area. Guest feedback has been incredibly positive.”

View the full list of best and worst rated hotels on the Which? website

Britannia Hotels has been approached for comment.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting