Our children were 'petrified' of filthy 'drugs den' room at Orchid Hotel during a nightmare stay in Blackpool
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Courtney and Brian had brought their young children for two nights in the resort, so they could see the Illuminations.
But the accommodation they had found looked ‘nothing like’ it did on Booking.com.
Courtney Thai said her three children were ‘petrified’ when they saw the rooms inside Orchid Hotel, on Palatine Road.
“It felt more like a drugs den. All of the beds had mould, blood stains and pubic hairs in them.
They were travelling with other extended members of family, and had three rooms booked between them.
Each room had something different. My mum was offered a replacement duvet cover, but was told she’d have to make the bed herself.
One room had no lock, meaning someone could easily walk in. One of the bathrooms had no light and it was pitch black.”
The family say they had to spend all their holiday money on finding another hotel to stay in.
They were advised to use Booking.com to get a refund, but were told that as the hotel won't respond to calls they couldn’t help.
But since Blackpool Gazette approached Booking.com, a refund has been issued.
A spokesperson said: “If a customer ever shows up to a property and it does not meet their expectations, our customer service team is on hand 24/7 to advocate on their behalf. In this instance, to apologise for this experience, we have offered the guest a full refund as a gesture of goodwill.”
Where can I get advice about poor accommodation?
StayBlackpool is the resort’s Hotel & Guest House Association, and they encourage anyone negatively affected to reach out to them.
Ian White, a director of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said: “While Blackpool has many amazing places to stay, sadly there are some which are very borderline as to whether they should be open or not. Sadly while there are minimal regulations for the short stay accommodation sector the booker must do their homework, especially when using the big name booking sites that just list all properties.”
VisitBlackpool, and Trading Standards (in the town they pay council tax) can also offer support.
However where the accommodation is booked through a service such as Booking.com, Expedia or other company that must be the first port of call.
Reviews can be misleading
But Mr White warns consumers that online reviews systems can be used to mislead the public.
“For this property, the review people see first is 19 months old and is significantly different from any recent reviews. Despite government legislation to hold “online intermediaries” to account, the legislation which was introduced in 2020 has not really been tested and some companies continue to mislead the booking public."