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“Filthy hovel, rude staff, no refund policy, avoid at all costs”

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Central Hotel Cheltenham
Ranked #22 of 22 Hotels in Cheltenham
Harpenden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Filthy hovel, rude staff, no refund policy, avoid at all costs”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2013 via mobile

This is possibly the most disgusting hotel I have ever had the misfortune of staying at, run by the most unreasonable company I have come across for years. Allow me to explain.

In need of a room in Cheltenham, I made a telephonic booking on a Sunday afternoon for the following Saturday, provided my credit card details and thought all was OK. Imagine my surprise when the confirmation email arrived, saying "By making a reservation with us you enter an agreement to accept our terms and conditions. To view them please CLICK HERE". The email effective says you have made a reservation and now you are bound by our terms, even if we didn't explain them at the time - I.e. we've got your money and it's tough if you don't like our policy because it it's now too late.

Unlike reputable hotels, they took payment from my card immediately. Oh well, I thought, just the way it is.

Turns out the following day (Monday) we no longer needed to go to Cheltenham, so I phoned asking to cancel. Imagine my surprise when I was told the there was a no refund policy!

I then spent the week making call after call and sending email after email, the majority of which were not responded to. I appealed to their sense of reasonableness and decency and even addressed a number emails to their MD, Mr. Anthony Clark. He didn't even bother to respond, just hid behind his staff.

So, on the Saturday in question, with no response about the refund despite a promise by the manager to come back to me, my family and I decided to make the best of a bad situation, drive to Cheltenham, spend the day and stay over. Part of the decision was motivated by my refusal to let them keep my money and not provide me with a service. The other part is that Cheltenham really is a beautiful town!

Well, when we arrived, I found the hotel to be possibly the most disgusting, filthy, smelly dump I had ever stayed in. It was so bad that we actually went down the road to a chain hotel to see if they had availability. At this stage, I was willing to sacrifice the money I had paid the Central.

Unfortunately there was none, so we had no alternative other than to stay at the Central but having done so, I wish we'd sacrificed the money.

The photographs tell the story of how disgusting the place actually was - filth, stained carpets, holes in the walls, holes in the artwork, brown stains on the pillows, blocked shower, broken bathroom extract, stained duvet cover, holes in the sheets, rickety bed, filthy windows and even a broken radiator (I couldn't turn it off and they ended up adjusting the entire building's thermostat to make our room habitable.)

What the photographs don't show is the experience:

There was no sleep for the 3 of us. There's a pub next door and a kebab shop across the road and from 22:00 to around 03:00, there was constant music, screaming, shouting, fighting etc.

There were people up and down the stairs and pounding along the corridors at regular intervals throughout the night and the walls are so thin that we heard constant talking, shouting, music, TV, sneezing etc. from other rooms.

The hotel advertises free on site parking. There was none available and we had to park at an open air car park down the road (at a fee of £10 overnight) and hump our luggage back to the hotel.

When I complained about the way the place looked and smelled, I received a barrage of rude and arrogant responses from the staff.

When I mentioned I would be writing a review, I was treated to even more rude responses and told that they don't take kindly to threats.

When we tried to check out at around 08:30 the following morning, we found the office locked up with no staff on site at all we left our keys in the room, closed the door and left.

In all honesty, I tried really hard to find anything positive to report but the only thing I can honestly think of is that the pre-packaged biscuits were fresh.

To sum it up, the place is awful and be very careful - if you make a telephonic booking they don't tell you about the no-refund policy until you've made the reservation and are then deemed to have accepted their terms and conditions.

Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Stuart B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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290 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
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English first
Mid Wales
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

I booked to stay in the hotel...then read the reviews...to say I was concerned was an understatement. When we arrived at the hotel we were told that we were not stopping at the hotel but in one of their apartments. I was concerned about this as we had arrived by train therefore had paid £7 to get there to be told we weren't staying there. I let them know my feelings about it before they had a chance to say we were only being put a 2 minute walk away. When we walked to the apartment it was only 2 minutes away. We had been upgraded to apartment number 2...and it was fantastic!! Two double bedrooms, one ensuite, decent size family bathroom, a kitchen area with washing machine, hob, oven, fridge/freezer, table with 4 chairs, big wall mounted tv and two sofa's that pulled out to double beds.There was even an ironing board & iron. Easy to use central heating. It's approx. 5 minute walk to all the shops and 15 minute walk to Montpellier Gardens. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. I think the apartments are slightly more expensive than the hotel rooms but I would definitely say its well worth it.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Elasticgirl25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2013

My friends and I made a late booking with booking.com for a bargain price room @ the central hotel in Cheltenham. To our surprise and delight on arrival 90 minutes later we discovered we had been up graded to a 1bedroom apartment. The apartment had just recently been refurbished and offered us a comfortable and spacious one night stay. The staff were very friendly and helpful and gave us easy directions to find the apartment. Parking was available across the street in a pay and display car park.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Huntersnan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Albans, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2013

Booked an apartment here because of its central location. Arrived at reception only to discover that the apartment was well out of the centre of town. This was not made clear during the booking process, but was buried in the confirmation email. Location was a dark apartment on a dingy street, and I booked elsewhere. Avoid this place like the plague.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JDIJansson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Cheltenham hotels

Northampton
Level Contributor
121 reviews
100 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2013

Stayed overnight for a conference in Cheltenham.

Really friendly staff, go the extra mile to be helpful and make sure you have everything you need.

Room was good, comfortable with a small kitchen (not that we used it). Our room had a separate shared bathroom which were not fans of but it was clean and tidy so it did the job.

Our colleagues also stayed here and they were extremely satisfied as we were all really well looked after.

Best - personal service.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MarkJules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2013

Cheltenham is such a pretty city! Unfortunately, the Central Hotel is not. On opening the front door, I was appalled at how dirty, and threadbare the rug was. Fortunately, the Staff were friendly and calmed my fears. Unfortunately, that only lasted until we saw, or rather smelled, our room. It smelled of urine, but I couldn't find the source. We asked for another room, which was better, but noticed the dirty carpet, the base board had a huge chip out of it, the sink was below a cupboard, so you couldn't even wash your face, the window was not secure, and the cupboard handle kept falling off. The linens smelled clean, so we stayed. We slept fine (our window was not facing the street), but I was glad to get out of there! The most expensive room we had over our 3 weeks, and definitely not worth it. It felt cheap and unsafe.

Room Tip: Unless you want to throw your money away, stay at the Holiday Inn.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Larry Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2013

We stayed in the apartment which is very basic and generally not a pleasant place to stay. The sofa bed is adequate to class as a bed-just a leather sofa with a sheet on! However my main concern is how I was spoken to by the manager after I requested a late check in was absolutely disgraceful. She put the phone down on me and then after ringing her back she asked if I had any more stupid questions! It gets worse... After my mate spoke to her the manager told him to go [--] his father. Iam utterly disgusted and I would never recommend this hotel even for how cheap it was I've left with hassle of having to complain in writing and have never been spoken to like that. Awful place stay away

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jadeypops91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Central Hotel Cheltenham

Property: Central Hotel Cheltenham
Address: 7-9 Portland Street, Cheltenham GL52 2NZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Cheltenham
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 22 Hotels in Cheltenham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Central Hotel Cheltenham 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cheltenham's most centrally located hotel. If you are relocating for work or traveling on a budget, our rooms provide an inexpensive stay without sacrificing quality or comfort. Trading as a self catering hotel. Excellently placed for high street shops, restaurants and nightlife, as well as being within walking distance of the bus and train stations. So if you are looking for a hotel in Cheltenham and don't want to pay expensive prices, give us a try. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cheltenham Central Hotel

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