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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Travel Republic (UK), TripOnline SA, Odigeo, Priceline, Traveltool, S.L.U. and Evoline ltd so you can book your Central Hotel Cheltenham reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Cheltenham Central Hotel