Britannia has been named as the worst hotel chain in the UK for eight years running, according to Which?’s rankings of the best and worst in the country.
Based on the experiences of more than 4,000 customers, the survey which was conducted in July 2020, delved into a range of criteria including bedrooms, bathrooms, cleanliness, customer service and value for money.
Which? members and members of the general public were asked about their experience of staying in small and large hotel chains over the past 12 months.
To be considered a chain hotel, the hotel group must have a minimum of five UK properties. Large hotel chains have 31 or more properties in the group worldwide, while small to medium chains have a maximum of 30 properties in the group worldwide.
Pulling in at the bottom was Britannia for the eighth consecutive year. The chain, which has 62 hotels across the country including The Grand Hotel in Scarborough and Liverpool's Adelphi Hotel, received a customer score of just 37%.
‘Dated’, ‘unloved’ and ‘past its prime’ were some of the nicer things customers said about the Britannia chain. Alongside these comments, Which? also revealed reviews about 'filthy' rooms of a 'very poor standard', and food that was 'beyond awful'.
Britannia's best rating across the categories in the table was just two out of five stars. The chain received just one star for cleanliness and bathrooms.
In response Britannia said in a statement: “We are totally committed to providing a safe environment for visitors. We have so far spent around £2m ($2.7m) on COVID-19 precautions, but we accept there is more to do.”
In contrast, Sofitel was the only large hotel chain to clinch a full five stars for cleanliness, topping the ranking list as the best hotel chain in the UK. The luxury chain, which scored 86%, has three London sites at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and St James. It was followed by budget-chain Premier Inn, scoring 82%.
Mercure scored the second lowest overall score at 60%, with Days Inn Hotels at 62%.
Rory Boland, the editor of Which? Travel, said: “It appears that not even a global pandemic could force Britannia to clean up its act. At best, it’s drab and dated, and at worst it’s downright filthy – and after eight years at the bottom of our survey, our message is loud and clear: avoid these hotels.
“While Premier Inn remains a firm favourite, it’s clear that this year, UK hotels have become more than just a place to lay your head, but a destination in themselves. With fewer of us travelling abroad this year, our survey shows that when it comes to holidaying at home, we’re quite happy to pay more for a little luxury.”
Watch: Why can't governments just print more money?