Horrible place! I'd scarcely have believed such seedy establishments as the Sefton still existed in 2013. After years of constant disappointment with B & B's and Guesthouses in the 70s and early 80s over dreadful standards of cleanliness, hygiene, comfort and high prices, my wife and I turned to the national Lodge chains for our short breaks in England. Slated by some, these have given us overwhelmingly comfortable, clean and very reasonably priced accommodation over the years. However last week we decided that B & B standards must have improved since we last stayed in them and so decided to give the Sefton a chance, for a weekend break, based on its reviews. HUGE MISTAKE!
When we arrived, there was old metal furniture piled in the garden. The proprietor opened the door in frayed jeans and grubby slippers. The hall, stairs and landing were shabby with tired and worn carpets but we hoped that the room would be better - what a disappointment! The room was tiny - much smaller than it seemed in the picture of the room on the Sefton website. The website pictures seemed to have been taken some years ago. The faded and chipped decor also bore no resemblance, having the look of not having been touched for years! The sheets, quilt and cover on the bed were paper-thin, the pillows no better and the valance looked as if it had not been removed and cleaned for weeks. Yes, there was a balcony, but covering the door to it was a net curtain that matched the valance for fustiness.
Throughout the "Lodge" there was a pervasive smell of stale food and general foist. It was not at all like a home from home! It was like going back in time to B & Bs in the 70s!
After the proprietor had left us in the room, my wife and I looked at each other, collected our bags and exited as fast as we could. There was no way that we would or could have stayed even though we had paid in advance. We were forced to pay again to stay elsewhere, where the welcome was far warmer and the standard much higher.
I can't help contrasting our experience with a recent stay we had in a small hotel overlooking Lake Garda - for a family wedding. For only around £5 per night more than the Sefton, we had a much bigger room with a balcony, spotlessly clean with fresh decor, comfortable big bed and friendly well-dressed professional owners which made it an absolute pleasure to stay there. Why an establishment like the Sefton cannot remotely approach these standards is a mystery to me.
We would not have stayed at the Sefton if the price per night had been £5.50 not £55. We feel conned and cheated - I will try to get a full refund. If not, I hope that the proprietor puts my money towards some fresh paint, wallpaper, bedding and carpets. The place certainly needs it.
We are not confrontational people but when we returned home we did phone the proprietor. He refuted every claim, told us that this was all "our opinion" and stated that he decorates every year -even a cursory glance shows that this is clearly untrue - or his decorating leaves very much to be desired!
It will be a long time (if ever) that I trust a B & B or Guest House again in England.
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- Also Known As:
- Sefton Lodge Paignton, Devon