Our slug-infested night at the ‘sh**hole’ hotel hated by locals and TripAdvisor

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“Human poop on the sheets, bed bugs, poor service, dated decor and an anti-social clientele” – these are just some of the accusations against the Grand Scarborough Hotel.

The hotel behemoth holds the ignominious title of Yorkshire’s most reviewed hotel with nearly 4,000 appalling reviews on TripAdvisor.

It is owned and operated by Britannia Hotels, a chain which has been voted the worst in the UK for nine consecutive years by Which?

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Towering over the picturesque seaside town, its iconic design is an integral part of Scarborough – but many locals are less than happy with the condition it was left in.

In fact, speaking to the TAUT, many locals claimed the hotel was nothing more than a ‘sh**hole sh**pad’ that should be ‘shut down’.



The Grand Scarborough Hotel has a bad reputation

In order to see if Greater Scarborough’s fearsome reputation was justified, we checked in for one night just at the start of the summer season.

Greater Scarborough’s Grade II listed building dates back to 1867 and at the time of its completion boasted the largest brick building in Europe.

It can’t possibly claim to be the sloppiest these days, especially when it comes to TripAdvisor.



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It offers stunning views of the city

The hotel has nearly 4,000 terrible reviews on the site, many with mind-blowing descriptions of their ordeals within the walls of the building.

Common complaints include dirty rooms, flea-infested beds, filthy common areas, and poor service.

In a heartbreaking review, a single guest writes: “We weren’t looking for luxury given the price, however, on entering the room it was clear that it hadn’t been cleaned very well.

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The Jubilee had never been so depressing

“Pen marks and dirt on the headboards, no sheets on the mattress, blood and/or feces on the door, fingerprints all over the wall, it literally looked like a prison cell.

“(Rather) low cost or not, I wouldn’t be paid to stay in there let alone pay for the privilege. We left straight away.”

What the hell had we gotten ourselves into? Here’s how our reporter got away with it.



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Even the queen wasn’t up for it

When trying to book in advance to stay at the Greater Scarborough, I was amazed to find that the advertised price for a single room for a windowless night was £144.

I thought this was supposed to be an affordable hotel?

But engaged in work, paid the fee and left for Scarborough only to have my car broken down which led to me canceling my booking.



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Sad cello music hummed on repeat in the lobby

Amazingly the car was fixed and I was able to continue meaning I had to book a new room the same day.

This came to £44 despite the late review which aroused my suspicions – what kind of hotel do you penalize for booking in advance?

When I arrived at the hotel I was surprised by its size, it is really huge.



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I had no idea what I was getting into

After collecting my key, I walked through the depressing lobby which had been decorated with all the Jubilee regalia, including spooky cutouts of a young queen.

In the background, cello music played on a CD player. It was very titanic, but was the hotel sinking?

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Well no, not exactly sinking, but my claustrophobic room on the top floor was crawling with slugs.



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My £44 room

After entering my abode, I was delighted to see no obvious deformities in the arrangement, no blood, no dirt – until I looked down.

There, near a gap in the plinth, was the unmistakable residue of slugs.

I panicked and looked for more evidence – it was everywhere, under the bed, behind the dresser.

Why were there slugs on the top floor? Why hadn’t they cleaned it? Are there no standards here?



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The room was covered in slug residue

Appalled by my confinement and positively terrified of spending the night there, I decided to get some sea air in one of the city’s many pubs.

Perhaps locals would shed more light on the mystery of Greater Scarborough.

The first Scarbrarian I came across was a man named John who, while complimentary of the building’s history, did little to reassure me that I had made the right choice with my reservation.



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A hole in the baseboard appeared to be the access point

He warned: “You better stay at the Travelodge across the road. The staff don’t care but it’s not their fault. Britannia don’t care** – they have a lot of accounts To give back.”

These sentiments were echoed by another woman who advised me to stay at a B&B.

During this time I was informed by a group of young men that for locals the Scarborough was mainly used as a late night sh** pad due to its cheapness.



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The more I looked, the worse it was

Making a mental note to double-check my sheets, I approached a man I would soon know as Tony Mitchell, who possessed a passionate hatred of the hotel that crippled me.

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He began: “It’s a shithole, an absolute shithole. It was a shithole when I stayed there years ago, I changed rooms twice then I left because it was dirty and it’s a shitty hole now.

“There was human shit on sheets I knew it was shit loads of people complained no one in Scarborough would stay there. They advertise it on the cheap and the people think it’s because of the name, that’s bullshit!”



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Many locals were unimpressed with the hotel

I had heard enough, it was time to go back to my room and face my demons (or more accurately, my slugs).

As I lay awake in bed that night, my silence invaded by an excited couple in the next room, my mind wandered once more to the slug-like paths that decorated the carpets of my grave.

Would they come looking for me in the night? Do all rooms have slugs? What does all this mean?

Spent a restless night in bed and was awakened by sunlight streaming through the weedy windows of my top floor bedroom (don’t ask).



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Weeds were growing high in the windows

At breakfast, I thought back to my stay while playing with the baked fries.

Like the hotel, the breakfast looked impressive at first glance – but one only had to scratch the surface to see that things weren’t all they seemed.

Cardboard sausages, watery mushrooms and bacon so frozen in fat and grease that it was basically deformed.



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A fitting end to my dreadful stay

The Grand may have been grand in its day, but in the piercing light of 21st century standards, it pains me to say that it’s a grotesque, sad abomination at best and a blemish on the proud seaside town of which it bears the name.

Disgusted and saddened, I dropped off my key and left, never to return, of my own free will.

The TAUT contacted Britannia Hotels for a response to our stay, but they did not respond.

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