We visited Letchworth for a friend's wedding at the end of March 2012 and stayed for one night in the horrendous Garden Lodge Hotel. We stayed in room No.2 and it can only be described as dirty, damp and dangerous for the reasons given below...
On entering the room there was an overwhelming smell of damp and the room immediately felt far from fresh. The bedroom window was covered in condensation and neither window could be secured open due to both mechanisms being broken - the only way we could get any fresh air in to the smelly room was to wedge both windows open with coffee cups. This would clearly present a danger should emergency evacuation be required.
The wardrobe drawer was broken and coming adrift and the handle fell off, exposing sharp screws. It was also filthy inside as well as outside. The carpet below the bedroom window was sodden with fluid leaking from the radiator - I only found this out on walking on it in my socks which I could no longer wear. They clearly know there is a fault with the radiator as there was a small take-away try catching this fluid which potentially had biohazard, chemical and bacterial contents.
There was a large, greasy stain on the wall above the headboard of the bed and we dread to think what it is. The toilet seat would not stay upright, causing issues for male/female sharing of the toilet. The toilet brush was also in a very degraded state with no anti-bacterial fluid in the container and signs of human excrement on the bristles. The bathroom floor was filthy with signs of human hair and dust/fluff build-up which clearly demonstrates that no cleaning of any kind had been carried out whatsoever recently. All furniture surfaces were also covered in dust and small particles.
The three towels provided were all old, threadbare and had various stains visible.
The shower head clip had broken and their pathetic attempt to repair it was by tying it up with a piece of plastic from a carrier bag - this instantly failed on using the shower. The shower head also showed signs of mould, in line with their lack of cleaning. The bathroom sink plug chain was snapped. There was black and pink mould covering the shower curtain. The window to the bathroom was showing signs of excessive rot and could not be opened. Again, there was mould present.
The bedside lamp was broken, in a poor state of repair and had not been PAT tested, causing a potential risk of electrical shock. The free WiFi internet could not be accessed as they did not provide us with a security code and again, we could find no staff to provide this.
We had been in the room for less than an hour and quickly had to get ready for the wedding. Because we were now stressed and in a rush, we quickly tried to find someone from the hotel to register our upset with the condition of the room but we could not find any staff and so had to leave for the wedding. We passed two frustrated people at the reception who had clearly been waiting a long time to see someone to check-in.
We returned to the hotel just after mid-night after a fantastic wedding party to find the hotel locked-up again with no night staff available as you would expect from a proper hotel. We entered our room to that foul, damp stench again and settled in to bed. Although the pillow, mattress and duvet covers appeared clean it was clear that the bed itself was damp and we both had a very short and uncomfortable sleep. We were occasionally woken up by a beeping from what I can only assume was a faulty smoke alarm requiring a new battery.
We had planned to have a Sunday morning lie-in and meet friends for breakfast mid-morning but we simply could not wait to leave this dreadful hotel and so we departed feeling rotten, tired and upset with our overall experience at 7.30am. Again, there were no staff available to complain to and so we simply left the key at reception. As a result we had to cancel our breakfast plans as a direct result of this terrible hotel. We left our towels on the sodden carpet to try and mop-up some of the fluid; the attached photographs shows that the carpet was so wet it soon soaked the towels through.
Our experience at The Garden Lodge Hotel fell far short of any reasonable expectation any normal guest may have. We were shocked and disgusted by the dire cleanliness and poor state of repair of the building as well as no staff being available to assist us.
We demanded a full refund of the £50.00 we paid to stay at the Garden Lodge Hotel as we received none of the service we expected and actually feared for our health and well-being whilst in this accommodation. Their website states that all of the rooms are "comfortable and well-appointed" - this is certainly not the case!
We were given a refund of £35.00 following the above experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Halfway between Cambridge and London, a 5-minute walk from the heart of Letchworth, the Garden Lodge Hotel offers an Indian restaurant, a bar and free parking.The bedrooms all have a carpeted floor and their own bathroom. Other features include TVs and tea/coffee making facilities. ... more less
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