A mum-of-three was mortified when she found what appeared to be blood stains on her hotel room bedding during a “beyond shocking” stay, which she said was “like a Bushtucker Trial”.
Gill Craddock, 56, booked four rooms at the Retford Markham Moor Travelodge when she came down from North Yorkshire for her daughter Amy’s wedding.
What should have been one of the most joyous days of her life was “tarnished” by the “appalling” conditions of three of those rooms, which she said were “mouldy,” “freezing,” and just plain “filthy”.
She said: “It was a bit shabby, but what we didn’t expect was the blood-stained sheets, the filthy towels, and the rats running around outside.
“There was vermin – it sounds a bit like Fawlty Towers.” She added: “It was a huge booking and we were meant to be there enjoying our daughter’s wedding, not thinking about the state of the accommodation.”
Mrs Craddock, her husband Dave, daughter Susanne, eldest daughter Louise and son-in-law Conar, all stayed there from September 29 until October 1. Each room had its issues, she said, such as no safety latches on the window or a kettle that spat out boiling water when switched on.
She said her daughter even had to move rooms after spending the first night “sleeping under her coat” because of “how cold it was”, reports Lincolnshire Live.
Mrs Craddock, herself a B&B owner based in North Yorkshire, said she was in “disbelief” at the state of the rooms.
She said: “The toilet was beyond filthy – I don’t think it had ever been cleaned, full-stop. “There were rats running about, which they told me was because of the nearby KFC, but it needs sorting.”
She added: “To be sleeping on filthy sheets and filthy beds is unacceptable. Working in the industry, I always do all I can to leave it in a clean state because I know what it’s like to walk into a room and have no clue where to start.
“It wasn’t until I stripped the bed that I realised how bad it was. The mattress protector was covered in yellow stains – and I mean covered in yellow stains.
“I don’t even want to know what bodily fluids were on it. In fact, I’ve thrown away better quality bedding than what we slept on.
“The rooms don’t cost the Earth, but you don’t expect them to be that bad.”
At one point, daughter Louise mislaid her room key, and panic set in when they were told the hotel did not have a master key.
Mrs Craddock said: “We were told to just change rooms, but she’s diabetic and all of her medication was in that room. They had a month-old son and all the steriliser equipment was in there.
“And that’s a serious safety issue. What if there was a fire in that room?
“What if our daughter had gone into a diabetic coma? Or what if she’d just walked down to our room to ask us how her outfit looked, the door shut behind her, and her son had been locked in?”
She said: “If any of our guests even hinted at any of the issues that were raised at this Travelodge, let alone all of them at once, I would be beyond mortified. I would offer them a full refund, a grovelling apology, and possibly even a free stay saying that in the future things would be put right.
“I once gave a customer a £20 gesture of goodwill because they found a sweet wrapper in a drawer, let alone what we found.”
Mrs Craddock said that she would have been willing to move past it, had the company offered her a refund and apologised.
But she said it did neither. She was offered a £41.99 “gesture of goodwill,” though she said that, considering the three rooms cost £350 to book, that “stung a little”.
In an email sent by Travelodge, seen by Lincolnshire Live, a customer service representative said the company would not be offering a “further gesture of goodwill” despite her complaints, though the team did “sympathise with the poor experience endured”.
A Travelodge spokesman said: “We take customer feedback very seriously and we are sincerely sorry that we did not deliver our normal high standard of service to Mrs Craddock and her family during their recent stay with us.
“We are trying to contact Mrs Craddock to personally apologise and inform her that we have refunded her booking of four rooms in full, and we are also conducting a full investigation at the hotel in response to this feedback.”