Blackpool hotel owner responds to Manchester guest’s ‘unfair’ review that compared room to ‘murder scene’

A Blackpool hotel owner has responded to a Manchester holidaymaker’s ‘unfair’ review which compared one room to a ‘murder scene’.

Vicky Ford, a 36-year-old administrator from Manchester, stayed at the New Oxford Hotel on Albert Road last week, LancsLive reports.

She says her mum Noreen had booked four rooms from October 27 to 29 for her daughter, grandchildren and two friends and their children.

But when they arrived they were ‘absolutely horrified’ at the condition of the rooms.

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Vicky told LancsLive: “We did read a couple of bad reviews however we weren’t expecting a five star hotel or anything as it was just a couple of days away in Blackpool but this was falling to pieces.

“We were all absolutely horrified at our rooms when we got to them.”

New owner Paul insists that he just taken over the hotel in the last couple of weeks and does acknowledge that some work is still needed. However he can’t understand some aspects of the latest negative review.

He said: “The hotel is in the process of being renovated and aspects such as the carpet and various other things are in the process of being replaced.

The window in one of the rooms which Vicky claims would not close

“We had plenty of double, twin and single rooms available on those dates so we would have happily have moved them into those. We actually own another hotel on the promenade which they could have even have been moved to.

“The complaints weren’t logged with us at the time so we can’t do anything about it if we don’t know about it but everything goes in our maintenance book.”

Vicky added: “The window in my mum’s friend’s hotel room wouldn’t close. I had my two children in with me and the plug lead for the kettle was too small to reach the plug socket so I had to keep the kids away while I boiled the kettle on the floor.

“There was a soggy toilet roll on the window sill because it was all damp and there was no hot water coming from the sink.

A door handle in Vicky’s room at the New Oxford Hotel, Blackpool

“The kettle in my friend’s room was on a massive tray on a small shelf so it could fall off.

“The shower door was broken and there were dents in the walls and doors, not to mention red marks which looked liked what can only be described as a murder scene.

“It’s only that the carpet was so old I presumed nobody had been killed there.

“The PA testing was out of date on the electrics in our room and my friend took pictures of stains where there’d been a leak in the ceiling.

“The shower door also came off when I tried to close it.”

A photo of out of date Portable appliance testing (PAT) allegedly taken at the New Oxford Hotel

Vicky also claims that when they went to explore the rest of the hotel she discovered further causes for concern such as a mirror held together with masking tape, threadbare carpets, binbags left in front of the fire escape and food still on tables in the dining area at around midnight.

She said: “We didn’t approach them about the issues as we had children with us didn’t want to cause drama while we were there.

“When we said we were disappointed about the bar and no entertainment as advertised however the woman we spoke to just went on about free tickets for Elf she had got because cast members were staying.”

A ceiling tile in Vicky’s friend’s room that appears to show a previous leak

“We just wanted to try and prevent anyone else’s stay from being ruined. We paid £600 for these rooms and we just put up with it and sought refuge at the hotel across the road at the Ruskin Hotel in the bar in the evenings.

“Some people may not be able to afford that kind of money and have their holidays completely ruined.

“We don’t want that to happen to anyone else.”

The last eight TripAdvisor reviews dating back to August have been rated as ‘Terrible’ however 42 excellent reviews have been left in total out of 65.

Soggy toilet roll Vicky says she discovered on her window ledge due to the damp

A review left by a woman called Shaz in September of this year – before Paul says he took over – said: “This is not suitable accommodation for holiday makers, more like a hostel. On arrival there was no introduction or welcome from man at reception. Was asked for payment which was explained had been done via Made way up threadbare stairs and after a search we found the room which had no door number. The room was dark and claustrophobic facing onto a brick wall and littered flat roof below.

“The curtains and carpet were dirty, stained wallpaper, plastic bag hanging from drawer handle as bin, shabby furniture, no bedside cabinet/lamp, no tv, no kettle, faulty cistern, dirty pan seat, musty smell.

“Felt unsafe due to group of non-residents loitering at entrance and in the reception foyer. Decided we couldn’t stay even if it meant going home again. Explained to reception man the room the room was not expected standard and cistern was faulty. He offered up no solution or apology on handing over the key.

“Meanwhile another passing by resident agreed the hotel was a dump but he had no option, had to stay for the sake of not unsettling his child. Was already late afternoon and unable to find another room we made long journey home, exhausted! made contact with hotel but unable to provide refund as we didn’t take photos.

The binbags that Vicky claims were blocking the fire escape

“The limited response from hotel is that they are not responsible for the website photos which belong to the previous owners, so why are they still being displayed! Please book somewhere else and don’t be fooled by the website photos. Wish I’d read recent and accurate Tripadvisor reviews first!!!

A review left on in October 2021 acknowledged the new take over: “Bit run down , but the new management are addressing this, look forward to see it when complete. Need card payments back in ASAP though.” and as a plus said: “Staff friendly and fabulous.”

Owner Paul added: “The shower door is lift on and lift off so she must have taken that off. The door lock pictured is actually a laundry cupboard door not a main door and the PA testing – I’m going to make enquiries about as when we took over the rest of them had been done.

“In terms of entertainment we usually put this on the at the weekend and those guests stayed through the week.

The food that Vicky claims was left on the table at around midnight

“We’ve just had the entire cast of Elf stay here and we have plenty of good reviews on so we have plenty of people who have been happy when they’ve stayed here.

“We’ve ordered new windows which includes the one the guest is saying about in one of the rooms.

“As far marks and stains we have only taken over recently and there is still work to be done. If we’d have known about these complaints we would have logged it straight away in our maintenance book.

“The mirror the guest took a picture of has now been replaced. In terms of food left, it depends what time the picture was taken but we always wait for tables to finish before clearing away.

“The photo of the binbags must have been taken at 10am as we put all rubbish their at that time ready to take to the rubbish bins that are located at the bottom by the fire escape.

“This is the reason the liners are there around this time daily.

“Every room in our hotel has hot water so perhaps when she tried to use the tap someone else may have been using theirs at the same time.

“It’s difficult because we are in the process or renovating so to not tell us about the issues you had with your room and then to go around and take photos of the rest of the hotel feels a bit unfair.

“I’m willing to sort this out with the guests directly if they’d be willing.”

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