Hotel chain retains its title as worst in the UK, for eighth consecutive year

The Adelphi Hotel

Manchester-based hotels chain, Britannia, has been ranked the UK’s worst for the eighth consecutive year.

The privately-owned Britannia Group, which includes The Britannia and Sacha Hotel in Manchester city centre and the Adelphi in Liverpool, was vilified by guests for its poor cleanliness, with venues being described as “filthy”.

The group was the only firm to receive just one star out of five for cleanliness following the survey of more than 4,000 people by consumer group Which?

And, although recognised as one of the UK’s cheapest chains, with rooms costing an average of £58 per night, guests still only gave the group one star for value for money.

One customer described a Britannia venue as a “filthy hovel”, while another claimed it was “by far the dirtiest hotel room I have ever stayed in”.

When Which? visited the Folkestone Britannia as part of a separate probe into hotel hygiene, it found stray hairs and stained towels.

Britannia received an overall customer score of 37%, putting it in last place.

In a statement, the chain said: “We are totally committed to providing a safe environment for visitors.

“We have, so far, spent around £2m on COVID-19 precautions, but we accept there is more to do.”

Mercure scored the second lowest overall score at 60%, with Days Inn Hotels at 62%.

Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “It appears that not even a global pandemic could force Britannia to clean up its act.

“At best, it’s drab and dated, and at worst it’s downright filthy – and after eight years at the bottom of our survey, our message is loud and clear: avoid these hotels.”

Britannia Hotels was founded in 1976 with the purchase of the Britannia Country House Hotel in Didsbury.

Its chief executive, founder, and largest shareholder remains Alex Langsam.

Langsam is a non-domiciled taxpayer, registered as living in Austria for tax-purposes since 1999.

Britannia’s head office is based in the old town hall in Hale.

In January this year it reported its latest annual figures which showed that turnover had risen from £96.9m in 2018 to £115.4m in the year to March 31, 2019 – an increase of around 19%.

The firm made £75m gross profit in 2019, up more than £10m from 2018’s £64.4m.

In its statement of accounts filed at Companies House, it said: “The hotel industry in the UK is becoming increasingly competitive and this brings an increased risk of losing major sales accounts to competitors.

“The group manages to control this risk by adding improved services whilst retaining highly competitive prices and maintaining good customer relationships.”