'Disgusted' mum unknowingly books into Viagra Hotel

A mum who booked her family into a respectable-looking Blackpool hotel was horrified to discover she had booked into the re-named the VIAGRA Hotel.

Tuesday, 4th April 2017, 1:22 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:30 pm
Mum-of-two Sammy Jones, 25, opted for the The Vidella Hotel because it looked like a "presentable" family establishment on Booking.com.
Mum-of-two Sammy Jones, 25, opted for the The Vidella Hotel because it looked like a "presentable" family establishment on Booking.com.

Mum-of-two Sammy Jones, 25, opted for the The Vidella Hotel because it looked like a "presentable" family establishment on Booking.com.

But when she arrived she was "disgusted" to find the name had been changed to The Viagra Hotel and says it looked like a "seedy sex den".

What's more, she claims the hotel was "filthy" and there was rubbish everywhere - looking more like a "seedy sex den" than a real hotel.

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After threats of an ASBO from the local council, the hotel's owner Neil Marshall has now changed the name again - to 'The Niagra Hotel: Keeping You Wet All Night'.

Sammy Jones looked the hotel up on Tripadvisor and says there's over 100 complaints from angry customers all saying they were duped into staying there after booking it through reputable online agency, Booking.com.

She called Booking.com and and asked for the £45 refund she'd paid for the family sized room, claiming the hotel was falsely advertised.

She claims they told her the inappropriate hotel name was just a "promotional banner" attached to the original sign.

And that the rooms at The Viagra are "as advertised" on the site.

But the mum has taken a series of pictures inside the hotel which show blood on sheets, rubbish in rooms and filthy surroundings.

Speaking from her home in Cridling Stubbs, Knottingley, West Yorks., she said: "I was gobsmacked when I turned up.

"I was with two young children and it was disgusting they would advertise as a family hotel with a sign up like that.

"We were excited for a weekend away and to go to the seaside but we were crushed when we arrived.

"I couldn't believe my eyes. The name was The Viagra Hotel."

She left hubby, Kohan, 27, and kids, Tristen, six, and Laylor, four, in the car while she went in on her own to sort it out.

She said: "I didn't want my children stepping foot in there. I was appalled and upset as we'd travelled for two hours and now we'd have to find somewhere else to stay.

"When I got to the door there was no handle on it and the lock was broken.

"The manager said he didn't understand what the problem was as my kids were 'too young' to understand the name of the hotel anyway.

"He did say if I wasn't happy he would give me a full refund and he will sort it by the next working day.

"So I left the hotel thinking everything was sorted and searched for another one at short notice.

"I ended up paying more money with it been last minute on a Saturday.

"We had travelled two hours and my children wanted to relax. I couldn't believe what had happened. Luckily we found a nice hotel."

A few days later, she called the manager and asked about her refund.

"Now the owner is saying he can't refund me as it's up to Booking.com," she fumed, "but Booking.com are saying they won't refund the £45 as their advertisement is legitimate and it's the hotel's job to refund.

"I'm at the end of my tether now as no one seems to care this hotel is a complete and utter shambles.

"On google it is marked as permanently closed, which I find odd.

"I'm disappointed most by Booking.com, I use them all the time and they're supposed to be a reputable company.

"The whole experience has upset me and my family, it had ruined most of our day looking for another hotel.

"Not only that I was out of pocket paying for another family room."

The guesthouse only changed names last month - in a bid to stand out over stiff competition.

Defending the name change, landlord and owner Neil said: "You have got to stand out in a town full of hotels and guesthouses.

"The Vidella had a bad name so we changed the name. People know we are a fun place.

"We are a budget hotel and if they don't like what we are they can go elsewhere."

Blackpool councillor Ivan Taylor said: "I think it is inappropriate and in bad taste - we are a family resort and this leaves a bad impression.

"Blackpool does appeal to all sorts of people but there are levels we should not fall below."

Blackpool council officers said the council was considering what enforcement action it could take to get the signs removed.

A spokesman for pharmaceutical company Pfizer has even joined in the quarrel, when they said: "They need our permission to use our drug's name and we have not given it."

The hotel's previous owners John Downer and Neil Williams featured on the Channel Five series The Hotel Inspector In 2014.