Disabled man, 60, ‘forced to spend night in bar’ after ‘nightmare’ hotel stay

A disabled man has threatened to take legal action against a hotel chain after what he has branded a “nightmare” stay.

Mark Smith checked into the Grand Hotel in Scarborough on July 21 for a rare break after spending the pandemic shielding.

The 60-year-old has a range of health problems, including lymphedema, arthritis, severe asthma, sleep apnoea and anxiety.

Ahead of his trip, he asked for a suitable room with a bath as he needs to bathe his legs in the evening to reduce painful swelling.

But when he got there, he found he’d been put in a tiny room measuring 6×8 metres with a little shower cubicle.

Rather than spend the night in the stuffy box, Mr Smith said he felt forced to wait in the bar until the early hours for a room to become available.

He said: “I had been shielding for a year and my friend had been looking after me and she said we should book it for a couple of nights but it was a nightmare.

“We checked in and paid. I said I called ahead and asked if they had the room I required. I said I needed a bath because I need to soak my legs at night.

“All the guy said to me was ‘I suppose you’re hankering for an upgrade are you’.

“I said no, I’m just asking for what I asked for.”

After composing himself and finally getting his keys, he was stunned to find his room was entirely unfit for his needs.

He said: “I went up to the room and opened the door a little bit and I saw the edge of the bed by the door.

“It was a child’s bedroom. The fact you had to book a room with a window was laughable.

“I paid £10 extra for a window but I didn’t have a window, I had a tiny skylight in the roof.

“There was no air or light, the bed was fine and the room seemed to be clean, but it had a tiny shower so I couldn’t use it.

“I was there for two minutes and thought that this was no good.”

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Mr Smith made his way to reception and moved past those in the queue to urgently seek help from staff.

When he asked staff members for the manager, he was pointed in the direction of a young man aged in his late teens or early twenties.

Mr Smith added: “I said “if he is the manager, we are all f****d””,

Instead of spending the night in his tiny room, Mr Smith decided to stay in the bar area where he continued to try and get help from staff.

Mr Smith claims sympathetic staff confided that the hotel is “the worst place in the world” to work.

He said: “There was a lovely girl on the night reception and she kept bringing me cups of coffee.

“I was there until morning until another duty manager came on. He was able to give me a room then because someone had checked out.

“Because I hadn’t been to bed or had my legs in the bath, they were swollen. I was stressed, upset and I just said I will be claiming a refund.”

Mr Smith said that he intended to take legal action against Britannia Hotels.