I've no idea why this hasn't been mentioned before; but the property/business is a DHSS holding house (where people who are on the council house waiting list get sent when there isn't a property immediately available for them to move in to) this was told to us by a senior member of staff who had to apologise for the fact that we didn't get a wink of sleep on the 1 night we stayed, thanks to some "residents".
We knew we were going to arrive late and communicated this to the staff over the phone, so they left a key in a keysafe box outside the front door and texted us a code so we could retrieve it.
We were grateful at the fact that one of the 4 parking spaces immediately outside of the hotel were available, as we don't know where we would have parked otherwise as all the on-road parking we saw was for permit holders only.
One of the "residents" was stood right outside of the front door having a cigarette and opened the door for us, indicating that anyone could be let in without any security checks at 10pm at night.
The foyer of the house was in desperate need of an overhaul, a lick of paint and some air freshener would have been a start, as the place smelled musty and smoked in.
We stayed in room 1 which is situated at the bottom of the stairs and right at the front of the house. The room wasn't aired and was very hot, we quickly found out that opening the windows invited in cigarette smoke and conversation from the stream of people standing outside, so these were quickly closed again. There was a small table fan available in the room which we put to good use.
We had chosen the suite (family room) so we could have a bit of extra space, but realised that it was a pointless venture and wished we had gone for a smaller room to have saved some money, as there was no real room to speak of, due to the ill placed furniture.
The curtains weren't big enough to close around the box bay window in front of the huge tv, so we had to put up with street lights pouring in all night. The bathroom was adequate but scruffy, cleaned to a standard but in desperate need of several repairs; the shelf was hanging off, the door was dented from the inside and the cupboard doors had evidently had something heavy dropped on them as the tops were smashed, this heavy object had evidently bounced out of the sink as there was a big crack in that. The towels were clean yet threadbare, we didn't venture a shower because of this.
The carpet would benefit from a clean, as could the skirting boards, the doors and the lamps. The bedding was cleaned but ageing stains could be seen. The only benefit was the mattress was quite comfy and the pillows adequate.
The stream of people going outside for a cigarette continued throughout the night, sometimes 2, 3 or 4 people at a time, all male, as they thumped down the stairs, slammed the door on their way out, stood talking for between 20-30 mins at a time, slammed the door on the way back in and thumped back to their rooms, all with raised voices in and outside the property. This happened every 1-2 hours throughout the night, the loudest being at 6am.
We headed for breakfast at 9am, we were told over the phone that there would be a continental buffet breakfast with tea/coffee, cereal and toast as they wouldn't be serving an english breakfast due to COVID19. On arrival at the dining room, there was no chance of being able to social distance from any of the other guests due to the room being so small and the tables being so tightly packed. There were a few heated trays with bacon/sausage/tomatoes/beans, fruit, cereal and bread for toasting. One guest who asked for butter for the toast was told by the member of staff that she didn't understand him as she didn't speak english...
A family arrived at the breakfast room to be told by another member of staff that they were only serving a limited breakfast, and would put more food on if they felt like it!
None of the cutlery or crockery matched (not that that matters but in a hotel that is something you come to expect) there was no alternative for those with allergies and none of the staff were wearing face masks.
We spoke to a member of staff upon our exit and told them about the noise throughout the night, we had seen signs around the house saying that there were no staff on the premises after 9pm or before 8am but were told that we should have rang the emergency number to tell them of the problem... She then proceeded to tell us about the people stopping there from the council waiting list knew they weren't allowed guests and had been told earlier on in the night, that they were not allowed anyone else in their rooms, and to keep the noise down. This had evidently fallen on deaf ears and hadn't been checked on through the night.
If we had known this information then we would have stopped in the Premier Inn up the road and not bothered giving our money to an independent business, as given they are getting handouts from the council they evidently don't need our money, as it's clearly not being spent on the upkeep of the property, And why should they if they are getting a constant stream of DHSS residents having little respect for the place and paying guests?
What they are doing is very brave as they never know what sort of person they will get staying, but they should be honest and tell paying guests that they may have troubled neighbours to contend with, and allow them to make their own decision about staying there.
The only way we can see that this place keeps getting 10 out of 10 reviews is that it's coming from the council residents, as if I was given a bed for the night and food for free; I'd be giving it 10 out of 10 too.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC