Couple slams Eastbourne hotel after ‘stay from hell’

Congress Hotel & Apartments in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-191209-101253008
Congress Hotel & Apartments in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-191209-101253008

A Gloucestershire couple said they experienced the ‘stay from hell’ in Eastbourne which cost £520 and left them outraged with the entire experience.

Rianna Allen, 26, a company director, spent five days in August at the Congress Apartments and Hotel in Carlisle Road, celebrating her partner’s birthday, but they were left fuming with hotel management after the whole ordeal.

Photos of the room taken by Rianna

Photos of the room taken by Rianna

She said, “We paid £520 to have the stay from hell. The room was disgusting, there was flies in the shower, lots of mould, sealant in places grout should be, a strong smell of cats urine in the room and a big dent in the wall.”

Rianna spoke to management and said she was promised the room would be fixed, but she requested no staff should enter the room while she was out as her business laptop was in there and would have preferred it if staff could wait until she was back.

Rianna said her request was ignored.

She said, “The bed and towels had been changed and our dishes in the sink had disappeared.

Photos taken of the room by Rianna

Photos taken of the room by Rianna

“We expressed our anger with them entering without our permission and they replied saying that they checked the CCTV and no one went into our room.

“I took photos to prove they had even hidden their dirty gloves underneath my clothes.”

Rianna said hotel management claimed her and her partner had caused damage to the property and were to be charged extra.

She said, “The manager emailed back saying he wasn’t going to refund us and he thinks he should charge us nearly £200 for the damage we apparently caused to the property, which wasn’t the case at all.”

Photos taken of the room by Rianna

Photos taken of the room by Rianna

Miss Allen said she sent the manager a response email saying she didn’t leave the room in a state and she had taken photos of the room in a good condition when she left.

Rianna thought the matter had been settled. She said, “He then said he would give us a refund and even sent a refund confirmation through saying he had issued it.

“I asked for a 10 per cent refund and for the £20 we had to pay for wifi returned. He agreed but then changed his mind without even telling us.

“I have now waited over four weeks for the refund to go into my bank account.”

She said she tried to contact the management via email “numerous times” and telephoned them “God knows how many times” but says she has received no response and no refund.

Rianna’s next step was to get in touch with booking.com, the online hotel booking company she used.

She said, “Booking.com waited days for a reply from the manager. He told them he wasn’t going to issue a refund because apparently he found drugs left in the room, burn marks on the curtains, and said we were aggressive.

“I am absolutely appalled by his accusations. I have never smoked or taken drugs in my life and I am very offended by this.

“I gave him numerous chances to put things right but now this is the final straw. I really don’t want others going through the same experience.”

In an email sent in to the Herald from another unhappy customer, Hannah Addington, 38, from Colchester, said, “I think the owner has a habit of cancelling people’s bookings on their arrival day as he has been able to book in other guests and presumably charge them more.

“It almost happened to us several months ago. We had a six-week-old baby at the time and almost had nowhere to stay. The hotel put us in a smaller room which we could only just fit into and I feel the manager lied to my face when I questioned him.

“In the end he told me he could have rented the room out for a lot more money as it was a bank holiday and we could go somewhere else if we didn’t like it.

“I did look into complaining about the manager at the time but as he appears to be the owner, I was quite stuck with who else could stop them behaving in this way.

“Some of the staff were lovely and I felt they were embarrassed to be associated with the manager and the way he treated them.”

Adam, the hotel supervisor, said, “We do not force guests to stay at the hotel.

“I do not imagine you would stay in a room you are unhappy you paid for.

“We are not here to rip off guests. We just run a business.”

Adam said he has worked at 10 hotels including four and five star ones and has been in the hotel business a long time. He said he started at the Congress Apartments and Hotel in January.

The 37-year-old said, “A lot of money is being spent on the property and we would like to keep it clean and presentable for other guests.

“I think it is just down to spite from guests.”