'Avoid at all costs' said the survey by Which?

Britannia has been named as one of the UK’s worst hotel chains, after coming bottom in a consumer survey for the tenth year in a row. The group has more than 60 hotels across the UK including The Adelphi in Liverpool, once one of the grandest hotels in the country.

Britannia's downfall is particularly sad when you consider its illustrious past.

The survey by Which? placed Britannia firmly at the bottom of the list of hotels concluding, “Run-down, dirty and once again the worst hotel chain in the UK. Avoid at all costs.”

Hotel The Adelphi Bbc Tv Fawlty Towers
'Just cook, will yer' Hotel, the documentary Image: BBC

Which? said, “As of this year, Britannia has been bottom of our survey for an entire decade. We can't even say it's cheap. with plenty of better-rated brands beating it on price.

“Britannia's downfall is particularly sad when you consider its illustrious past. The Adelphi in Liverpool was once the departure point for wealthy passengers before they boarded luxury liners, including the Titanic. 

“The beautiful historic buildings in prime locations remain, but the interiors are showing serious signs of neglect. The brand received just two out of five stars in every category, including cleanliness, with one guest describing their stay as 'absolutely dire, drab and smelly'”

The Adelphi in Lime Street is steeped in legend - from the rumour that a young Adolf Hitler worked there prior to the outbreak of The Great War, to the story that Winston Churchill had a meeting there during the Battle of the Atlantic. Stars of stage and screen always stayed at the Adelphi, including Trigger, the horse used by the cowboy Roy Rogers. 

Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “There are only two deluxe hotels outside North America worth speaking of – the Hotel Georges V in Paris and the Liverpool Adelphi.”

2018 10 26 Haunted Liverpool Adelphi
The Britannia Adelphi Hotel

These days, critiques of the hotel by its guests are inclined to be less reverential. “A health hazard”, “hell on earth” and a “danger to humans” are just some of the recent contributions to travel websites.

The Adelphi was purchased in 1983 by Britannia Hotels, who run sites across the country including the Scarisbrick and Prince of Wales hotels in Southport.

The famous BBC series of 1997, Hotel, gave the impression of a shambolic, Fawlty Towers style comedy of complaining customers and rowing staff, presided over by the fiery Eileen Downey, and chiefly remembered for the instruction to the head chef from then operations manager Brian Birchall to “just cook, will yer!”, now woven into British catchphrase history.

In 2006, the ECHO reported on the Adelphi crimewave - so many burglaries were being committed in the hotel that it was skewing the city’s overall crime figures. In 2017, the operator of the Britannia Adelphi was fined more than £265,000 after pleading guilty to seven breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations brought by Liverpool City Council.

The hotel came under investigation this year following the tragic death of 21-year-old Chloe Haynes who was crushed by a wardrobe on September 10.

MP Kim Johnson said the Adelphi was doing "reputational damage" to the city while Councillor Nick Small said that the council should consider a Compulsory Purchase Order on the property. 

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