Never Ever Again
The Prince of Wales (Britannia) in Southport has a special place for me and my wife – or at least it used to - the rooms are more run down than even the lowest Best western standard, but there is a great foyer/reception/bar/breakfast room and we’ve stayed there several times chilling out with a beer in the foyer watching the comings and goings. It has a great deal of character and a certain faded elegance that conjures up visions of long past glories. The service and welcome are also usually spot-on. Even though we can now go up market, we do tend to return there every now and again for sentimental reasons.
We booked a full 4 weeks in advance for a special weekend. There was no reason to travel that far other than specifically to be in the Prince of Wales Hotel. That was the entire purpose.
After a 4 hour journey we arrived, around 8.30 pm, ready to relax and take up our place in the Foyer with a cold beer, only to be told “sorry, there’s a conference on, we’ve moved your booking to our “sister” establishment, The Scarisbrick Hotel down the road”.
“Are you serious?” we asked, thinking it was a misplaced attempt at humour.
They were serious. We protested about breach of contract & the whole point of travelling to Southport being to stay at The Prince of wales, but to no avail. Sorry, you’ve got no room, we’ve moved you, tough.
We dragged our bags to the Scarisbrick. My god, what a complete and utter doss-house this is. I cannot begin to describe how utterly appalling an establishment it is. We felt soiled just walking into the room we were palmed off with. Ignoring the terrible decoration, let’s focus on the misshapen mattresses, the frayed and torn curtains, the bath with missing enamel, the mould in the grouting, the door that wasn’t fitted properly, the stained and crusty carpet, the scratches on every bit of woodwork and the bizarre smell (a combination of damp, mould and B.O?).
The phone was for some reason fitted in the bathroom, presumably so the normal occupants could call an ambulance quickly if they OD’d while shooting up.
We went back downstairs, dodging the shouting drunks staggering in the corridors (neck tattoos, look like a knife and fork would be a novelty to them) and asked for our money back.
“Is there a problem?” we were asked. Really, if you need to ask you probably wouldn’t understand the answer. The receptionist tried to be helpful, but the manager didn’t even bother looking up from his paper. He could do with a good slap. Possibly from one of the 2 bouncers on the door of the bar-cum-chav-nightclub that was pumping out dreadful 80’s disco music as we left.
So, to cut the story short (I won’t detail the futile return to the Prince of Wales), after singing the praise of The Prince of Wales for years, as a result of this experience I will now never ever book another single room with them, or any other Britannia Hotel, again. Ever.
Had to spend the night at a Premier Inn – lovely service, great friendly receptionist, absolutely no character at all and we could have been in any town anywhere, but it did smell of new carpets and clean linen.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Prince of Wales Hotel in Southport is a beautiful reminder of our Victorian Heritage, an elegant building with landscaped gardens. Throughout the reception, lounge area and bedrooms, the decoration has been kept in keeping with the elegant and stylish character of the building. All 154 en-suite bedrooms of the Prince of Wales hotel have been tastefully designed to preserve the Victorian style of this Southport hotel. Many of the rooms overlook Lord Street, the main shopping and entertainment area. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Britannia Prince Of Wales-Southport Hotel Southport
- Hotel Prince Southport Wales
- Southport Prince Of Wales
- Prince Wales Hotel Southport