Damp mattresses and broken toilets: blind group's holiday nightmare in Wales

Damp mattresses and broken toilets: blind group's holiday nightmare in Wales

A group of 15 blind and partially-sighted people endured the "holiday from hell" when they stayed at Coleg Harlech's student accommodation in Wales.

The group, who travelled with 10 staff from Teesside and District Society for the Blind, paid £1,500 for their accommodation. Upon arrival, they were shocked to discover damp mattresses, windows jammed open with cutlery, broken toilets, a broken lift and poor lighting.

Gazette Live reports that two members of the group also got locked in their rooms: one of the group's drivers had to struggle with a broken lock to free an 87-year-old blind woman, while another member of the group had to break down a bedroom door to release an 83-year-old woman who had been shut inside for 30 minutes.

The group's manager, Rona Aston, said that the accommodation was described in the brochure as 'basic but clean.'

She said: "Imagine my horror on arrival at finding it to be dirty and broken down. They're very upset."

The Daily Post reports that the group stayed at Plas Amherst for a week at the start of September.

Mrs Aston told the Post: "Coleg Harlech should be ashamed of what they have done - they have given Wales a very bad impression to a lot of people who feel they have been ripped off."

The group took photographs of their accommodation and sent them, along with a letter of complaint, to the college.

As a result, the college has refunded a damage deposit, but the group are now asking for a refund of "a large proportion of the money paid."

Related articles:

Prince William and Kate's Anglesey cottage up for rent

Vomiting bug hits 130 holidaymakers on luxury cruise ship

You know you've booked the wrong hotel when...
See Gallery
Damp mattresses and broken toilets: blind group's holiday nightmare in Wales

Hen and stag dos are great when you're actually on them, but for innocent bystanders caught in the vortex, they can be a living nightmare. A guest at the Andalucia Plaza hotel in Marbella described on TripAdvisor 'drunk men, shouting, swearing and shameful behaviour. The security guard dragged one male away after he was waving his little friend around at the pool side cafe.' It's enough to put you off your chorizo boccadillo. Avoid.

Worse still, a hell-raiser like Charlie Sheen on the same floor could cause you a sleepless night. At a 2010 visit to the Plaza Hotel, he hit the headlines for going on a drink-and-drug fuelled rampage involving a porn star and a trashed hotel room... Nice.

For some of us (especially those of us escaping from our children), a night in a hotel is the only chance we get for a good night's sleep, so it's annoying enough to be disturbed by any noise, but when you're being kept awake by sounds of screaming and/or gunshots, it's definitely time for an early check-out. One hapless traveller staying in a US hotel was woken by the sound of voices screaming 'Open that exit! Open that exit!'. She gathered her things and fled, only to find a class of flight attendants practising emergency drills in the corridor.

Organised murder mystery weekends at country house hotels are one thing, but when you turn up at a remote hotel and the manager proudly tells you about the famous ghost that haunts the premises, you might want to pack your bags. Although, according to paranormal database.com (and we'll leave it to you to decide how reliable a source of information that is), there's a hotel in Amersham in Buckinghamshire where the ghost of an old maid will actually pack your bags for you...

Ah, the wonders of Photoshop... Many an innocent traveller has been lured into booking in to a stunning new hotel based on pictures that have conveniently erased all traces of the cranes and diggers which still surround it. One such guest recently stayed at the Ganjeli Plaza Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan (of recent Eurovision fame) to find it 'still being built, complete with drilling at odd hours' and 'terrifying electrics'. Our top tip? Check out Google Earth to see how it really looks.

Obviously, we don't mean actual limbs (although this would, without doubt, be an indicator of a bad hotel), but when you can tell the previous guest's hair colour, nail length and type of contact lens from physical clues left in the room, leave. And don't get us started on hair. There are things that are meant to be hairy: cute dogs, Tom Jones' chest, Highland cows... and then there are things that just shouldn't. The bar of soap in your hotel bathroom is one of them.

I once stayed in a five star hotel in India to find a massive (small dog-sized) rat crouching behind my pillow. The fact that the complimentary fruit and chocolates had been nibbled by someone other than me should have been a warning. Eventually, housekeeping caught the gigantic rodent, but it didn't make for a great night's sleep.

It tells you a lot about a hotel's clientele when the establishment has obviously learnt by experience that anything not nailed down will be nicked. Like that they're probably more used to the environs of a prison cell than a hotel room. But even the best hotels are susceptible to the klepto customers - The Scotsman in Edinburgh reports clocks off the wall and coffee makers going walkabout...

Staying in the same hotel as both Rihanna and Justin Beiber (who recently stayed in the same hotel in Sydney) may sound like a pretty thrilling prospect if you're a teenage girl or boy, but for the average guest sharing a roof with a huge celebrity, it just means manic security, hassled staff, crowds of screaming press and pre-pubescents - and the certain knowledge that someone else has bagged the best rooms.

When you arrive and the leering receptionist asks you how many hours you'd like the room for, you can be pretty sure it's not the classiest hotel in the area.

Read Full Story