Hotel owner's Basil Fawlty-style row over TripAdvisor review

Guest began 1,000 word review with 'welcome to hell'

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Credits: Press Association

A hotel owner left a Basil Fawlty-style reply to an unhappy guest who posted a hilarious 1,000-word review of his time at the guesthouse.

In an online spat, worthy of something straight from comedy classic Fawlty Towers, the reviewer branded his room a "cellblock" and went as far to begin the review with "welcome to hell".

See also: Video: Hotel manager's Basil Fawlty-style attack on waiter

See also: Restaurant owner lashes out over bad TripAdvisor review

Reviewer Davey W500, from Warrington, was hoping for a relaxing night away at the Grand Ash Hotel in Llandudno, north Wales, - but his lengthy review painted a picture of anything but.

He continued: "I wouldn't wish this place on my worst enemy. We took two young people from our care home for a relaxing night away and wished that we'd slept on the beach.

He went on to say the owner had "less warmth than Basil Fawlty himself" and compared the £75-pound a night hotel to an "Adam's family residence".

He added: "We were greeted by a bedroom that only a New Orleans resident - post hurricane - would have been pleased with....

Credits: Daily Post Wales

"Unfortunately, we were left with no option but to return to Fawlty Towers where we were ushered to our rooms, presumably just in case we dared to enter the prohibited promise land of the lounge that was obviously Basil's office, where we were not welcome.

"Why the owner posts pics of his lounge, I don't know because they seem to protect it more vigilantly than the Dettol in their cleaning cupboard.

"We returned to our rooms, with the soundtrack of the worst rendition of Robbie Williams' Angels I've ever heard resonating from the local karaoke bar. After Elton Johns 'Don't let the sun go down on me,' I wanted to hurl myself out of the 5th floor window.."

But owner John Humberstone went into full Fawlty mode when he hit back, saying: "You've got a very high opinion of yourself which is ill deserved.

"To be honest I wished you had slept on the beach, that way I wouldn't be wasting my time writing in response to this garbage. Is the care home you come from manned by frustrated paper book writers or is it the Mills & Boon's retirement home.

"You made no grave error alright, you took on me and I more than a match for you pal, you were looking for trouble from the moment you arrived with your cocky little comments at reception!"

He continued: "Frankly people like you really shouldn't be let out on their own, you've clearly got issues with humanity by the looks of it, you seem to watch far too much TV, that evidently when your not staring at the wallpaper.

"You've obviously got a lot of time on your hands, you must have to write this nonsense on Tripeadvisor and if we never saw you again it wouldn't be any great loss, I am intrigued however about the wallpaper comment, we've rolls of it in our store do you draw on the reverse side, a sort of therapy, if so we would be happy to donate a few rolls??"

He added: "You don't seriously think anyone is going to take a recommendation from you seriously, you urgently need some sort of help. Doesn't the care home you stay at have a duty of care to send some sort of escort or responsible person with you?"

The hotel, which has a three out of five rating on Trip Advisor, bills itself as a 'perfect example' of Victorian architecture. It ranked 59th out of 60 Llandudno hotels on the review site, and is currently on sale for £495,000.

Mr Humberstone is no stranger to plain-speaking. On the hotel's website, he has written: "We are steadily moving into our new home and hopefully restoring the Grand Ash (or One Ash as its was originally known) back to its former glory.

Credits: TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

"We are older, but wiser, I am determined not to give in to the blackmailing freebie hunters who shouldn't be let within a 100 feet of a keyboard. We will offer a no frills, clean, comfortable and friendly hotel, I am not allowed to put the sign I really wanted in reception a) because it's not PC, (how I hate being PC) b) Because it may offend the delicate ones who I'd rather stay away c) my other partners wont let me!

"Suffice to say my last sign which read 'Everyone brings joy to this hotel, some when they arrive and some when they leave' rankled one busybody who photographed it and anything else that stood still enough for her to point her iphone at.

"We then had the moaner who complained about tinned tomatos - get a life! Anyway here's to a new start at the Grand Ash Hotel and hopefully some nice new - and some of the old guests - the ones who have respect for our commonsense rules and my sense of humour, both of which won't change."

The full trip advisor review:

Welcome to Hell! I wouldn't wish this place on my worst enemy. We took two young people from our care home for a relaxing night away and wished that we'd slept on the beach.

As we arrived , we were met by the owner who had less warmth and welcome than Basil Fawlty himself. Immediately, he questioned us as to how we had booked and kept fumbling around on his PC with a frown upon his face muttering to himself.

Whilst he was attempting to confirm our existence, I decided to have a look around the Adam's family residence. I made the grave error of strolling into the lounge (stupidly I thought at £75 a night, we may be welcome there) and was informed that this was not open to us.

We were then told the breakfast timings and given our room keys. I'd like to add here that there was no mention of the check out time here and I ridiculously presumed that it was 11am. Our 2 young people were given their rooms (31 and 9) and my colleague and I were given the cell block, labelled Room 21. To be fair to her majesty, she wouldn't allow any human to reside at her pleasure in there.

Anyway, off we trudged up the stairs of doom to our rooms. By the way , I've never been good at maths but how room 21 is on the top floor, room 9 in the middle and room 31 is on the bottom , I have no idea! Maybe Mr Fawlty has discalcula?

Credits: BBC

BBC

Room 21 - We were greeted by a bedroom that only a New Orleans resident - post hurricane - would have been pleased with. The smell of damp was atrocious , the "free" wifi didn't reach cell 21 and even the wall paper didn't want to stay. I've never seen a room that was obviously so disappointed in itself. I shut the curtains and the dust left me feeling like I had Dot Cottons lungs. Horrific. £75 and there was a travelodge only 15 yards away!

We left for a meal and the arcades and were told that we had to leave our key in a bucket by Cryton , a computerised system that had better customer service skills than the employees. We complied and left with glee, asking every homeless man on the way if he had space in his sleeping bag.

Unfortunately, we were left with no option but to return to Fawlty Towers where we were ushered to our rooms , presumably just in case we dared to enter the prohibited promise land of the lounge that was obviously Basil's office , where we were not welcome. Why the owner posts pics of his lounge, I don't know because they seem to protect it more vigilantly than the Dettol in their cleaning cupboard.

We returned to our rooms, with the soundtrack of the worst rendition of Robbie Williams' Angels I've ever heard resonating from the local karaoke bar. After Elton Johns 'Don't let the sun go down on me,' I wanted to hurl myself out of the 5th floor window, which I may add would be our fire escape in the event of a fire.

I watched a bit of TV through my magnified glass because the tv was as small as my 80p bottle of water (see photos below) and tried to go to bed. My colleague put his coat on the floor and then picked it back up because he didn't want to wear it again and contract meningitis in the morning.

I awoke at 6am, thinking I was on the set of Finding Nemo, as an army of seagulls were screaming abuse at each other; maybe they were pleading with me to escape whilst I still had some dignity left? I don't know. Time for a shower...Of course the shower didn't work, I mean what do you expect for £75 a night? No Wifi, no wallpaper, no visible TV but at least we had an abundance of damp. If there was a fire , at least we were safe.

At 10.20am, the young girl we took with us knocked on my door complaining that the cleaner just opener her door and basically barged in. She was getting changed and was really embarrassed. To further consolidate the obvious error , a male thought he'd swan neck his way in to check the room shortly after. This wasn't the owner but his sidekick who did try to make some sort of apology later.

We decided enough was enough and left ASAP. As we checked out we thought "surely it can't get any worse?". It did. We suggested that maybe they should knock in future and we're told that it was because check out time was 10am and it was now 10.30 and we were on "their time"

I explained that nobody told us we should check out at 10am and presumed it was 11am like other humanist hotels. The owner then pointed at a chalk board that made my tv look like a cinemaplex and stated that "check out is written here and you're lucky we haven't charged you another £20 because that's what we do when you leave late normally".

So, no lounge, no wallpaper,no wifi, no shower, no tv, no sleep and no privacy...for £75 ! And you want to charge us more!

Please, if you have any dignity, do not book here. It should be closed down.

Mr Humberstone's response:

You've got a very high opinion of yourself which is ill deserved, to be honest I wished you had slept on the beach that way I wouldn't be wasting my time writing in response to this garbage, is the care home you come from manned by frustrated paper book writers or is it the "Mills & Boon's" retirement home.

You made no grave error alright, you took on me and I more than a match for you pal, you were looking for trouble from the moment you arrived with your cocky little comments at reception!

You go on (and on) blaming everything and everybody for your total lack of logical reasoning, the music and singing from the hotel next door gets the Simon Cowell treatment from you and even the poor old seagulls get it in the neck for making bird noises.

You had no right to go charging into a closed area of the hotel, supposing one of my staff was changing in there, I would have been able to complain how embarrassed they were then, if you had vacated the rooms on time instead of an hour after check out, it wouldn't have happened, the Lady Housekeeper mistakenly thought everyone had gone from that floor and apologised and my colleague didn't enter the room and saw nothing, the fact is you walked around the hotel looking for trouble and ignoring the real information, for instance our check out time, which if you had taken your eyes of me, was starring you in the face every time you walked past reception, the time is not dissimilar from loads of other hotels in Llandudno.

Which brings me more or less to the conclusion which is frankly people like you really shouldn't be let out on their own, you've clearly got issues with humanity by the looks of it, you seem to watch far too much TV, that evidently when your not staring at the wallpaper, you've obviously got a lot of time on your hands, you must have to write this nonsense on TripAdvisor and if we never saw you again it wouldn't be any great loss, I am intrigued however about the wallpaper comment, we've rolls of it in our store do you draw on the reverse side, a sort of therapy, if so we would be happy to donate a few rolls??

You don't seriously think anyone is going to take a recommendation from you seriously you urgently need some sort of help, doesn't the care home you stay at have a duty of care to send some sort of escort or responsible person with you?

The no WiFi comment is a bit rich, we've a perfectly good and free infinity WiFi, but I wouldn't for one moment think you noticed the information telling you it was confined to public areas.

People of your ilk find reading difficult, presumably that is why you've written enough to start a small novel, you don't have to read it!

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