The 'Not-So' Grand Hotel Scarborough 16th June 2017
The 'Not-So' Grand Hotel, Scarborough
Just like Julie Andrews said in the Sound of Music, ‘Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.’
Doe, a Deer… It’s a Doh and Dear Me for anyone who stays there. Ray, a drop of golden sun…It’s a ray of hope in the morning so you can leave. Me, a name I call myself…Me stupidly for staying there. Far, a long, long way to run…the further you run away from the hotel, the better. Sew, a needle pulling thread…you need someone who can sew the carpets together. Lah, a note to follow sew...You’re in La La Land if you stay there. Tea, a drink with jam and bread…you’ll need more than a drink of tea to get you through your stay. That will bring us back to Doe. Or Doh.
On check-in at 1.45pm I had to stand in a queue at a reception area with a check-in booth that was smaller than a London underground ticket office. Two staff on board, totally stressed and no wonder with a queue longer than an immigration check-in at Dover.
As you are not permitted to acquire your room key until 2.00pm, for whatever reason that is, I decided not to bother checking in until later. There is absolutely no leeway on this whatsoever. Even at 1.55pm you have to wait until 2.00pm. Why this policy is in place I do not know as by 2.00pm the queue was heading out the door. Rules are rules in The Grand.
I eventually got my keys and headed down and when I say ‘down’ I mean down. There was only one hotel staff member around who I could ask where the room was located. The room was situated down three flights of stairs and was a double room with no door handle and no windows. Let me show you...
Bright sunshine outside, to this. Not only that, being so far down in the basement and with no window if there had been a fire, how could you escape? The nearest exit was three floors up.
To make myself feel better, I ran a bath and look at what I found…
Look closely. Someone else's hair in the bathtub.
Did I have a bath after that? No! Shower for me. I looked for a towel. There was one towel displayed. Bearing in mind I'd booked a double room, why was there only one towel? I found out later from another unsatisfied resident you had to go searching around the wardrobe to find the other towel. Yeah, I love a game of towel hide-and-seek in wardrobes.
I was glad to leave the room. I could have won a world record for getting ready. My Fiance would have passed out in disbelief at the speed I got ready. I ended up doing my make-up in the mirror of the shabby reception toilets, which had a window.
On arrival in the lobby to meet my friends I suggested we would meet in the Cocktail Bar. A bar the hotel are very proud of and advertise on their website. The Cocktail bar was there but it was closed, not just closed, it had no drinks or glasses, tables or chairs in it. In fact there was nothing in it.
I could not, by this point, wait to get out the hotel and went for dinner with my friends to Ask Italian, which I have to say was in a great location, with a terrace over looking the sea and the food was quite sensational.
Talking of sea views, my friends, who were also staying in The Grand informed me over dinner they had paid extra and booked a room with a sea view. Their room was located on the seventh floor on the side of the hotel. This was their sea view. I suppose if you strain your neck enough you can see a bit of sea and that's only if you can ignore the barbed wire restriction. To be fair, the wire probably supports the hotel from falling down.
On arrival back to the hotel I made my way back down the three flights of stairs to the dark, dingy hotel room to call my Fiance. With the room being in the basement, the Wi-Fi did not work and of course there was absolutely no mobile signal. I was to sleep in a dungeon for the night with no contact with the outside world.
The next morning I was woken up with a knock on my door. ‘I’ve come to repair the blocked sink,’ said the voice. ‘I haven’t got a blocked sink,’ I responded and fell back to sleep only to be woken up half an hour later to banging doors, loud voices and the hoover. The cleaners and I use the word 'cleaners' very loosely were out. It was time for me to get up. On packing I noticed the previous occupant's customer satisfaction questionnaire which had been left in the room with all her personal information written on it, including her name, address, telephone number and email. Naturally, I won't disclose her information to you but I will show you what she had written.
Don't worry lady from Peterborough, whose hair was found in my bath, your comments weren't noted by the hotel but they are noted here.
I'd had enough. Packing up all my clothes I headed to the terrace to say goodbye to my friends. Firstly, stopping at the drinks machine for a coca-cola. No such luck.
The hotel were also sorry for any inconvenience with two games machines.
I feel I have to dig deep and find one good thing to say and the only thing I can think of is I knew the way out.
Seriously, the view from the terrace was quite spectacular. Although the terrace looked like it could collapse at any minute.
All in all, this hotel needs some serious rehab. I'm not a hotel snob but can quite frankly say I've stayed in better hostels than this. I paid £65.00 for the night, although 65 pence would seem fairer.
Just to be clear, I'm not writing this review to tell you not to stay at the Britannia Grand Hotel, Scarborough but what I am doing is giving you an honest heads-up of what you're going to get before you get there.