THE owner of a well-known Hampshire hotel has admitted it has “more to do” after being named the UK’s worst hotel chain for the eighth year in a row.

Britannia – which owns the Meon Valley Hotel and Country Club at Shedfield – was the only firm to receive just one star out of five for cleanliness following the survey of more than 4,000 people by consumer group Which?

Despite being one of the UK’s cheapest chains, with rooms costing an average of £58 per night, guests still only gave Britannia one star for value for money.

One customer said a hotel was a “filthy hovel”, while another claimed it was “by far the dirtiest hotel room I have ever stayed in”.When Which? visited the Folkestone Britannia, also known as the Grand Burstin, as part of a separate investigation into hotel hygiene, it found stray hairs and stained towels.

Further tests indicated that surfaces had not been thoroughly cleaned between stays.

Britannia, whose venues also include Liverpool’s Adelphi Hotel and Scarborough’s Grand Hotel, received an overall customer score of 37 per cent, putting it in last place.

The chain said in a statement: “We are totally committed to providing a safe environment for visitors. We have so far spent around £2million on Covid-19 precautions, but we accept there is more to do.”

The Meon Valley Hotel and Country Club, which Britannia bought from the Marriott chain, currently has a score of three out of five, or "very good", on the review site TripAdvisor, with comments ranging from "dreadful" to "great weekend". 

Mercure was the hotel operator with the second lowest overall score at 60 per cent, with Days Inn Hotels at 62 per cent.

At the other end of the table in terms of performance and price was Sofitel.

The luxury chain with three London properties at Heathrow, Gatwick and St James scored 86 per cent.

But this was only narrowly ahead of Premier Inn (82 per cent), which guests praised for offering reliable quality at a reasonable price.

Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “It appears that not even a global pandemic could force Britannia to clean up its act.

“At best, it’s drab and dated, and at worst it’s downright filthy – and after eight years at the bottom of our survey, our message is loud and clear: avoid these hotels.

“While Premier Inn remains a firm favourite, it’s clear that this year, UK hotels have become more than just a place to lay your head, but a destination in themselves.

“With fewer of us travelling abroad this year, our survey shows that when it comes to holidaying at home, we’re quite happy to pay more for a little luxury.”

The top five large hotel chains according to Which? (customer score in brackets) were:

1. Sofitel (86 per cent)

2. Premier Inn (82 per cent)

3. Holiday Inn Express (77 per cent )

4. Hilton Hampton (76 per cent)

5. Crowne Plaza (75 per cent)

The worst five large hotel chains according to Which? were:

1. Britannia (37 per cent)

2. Mercure (60 per cent)

3. Days Inn Hotels (62 per cent)

4. Old English Inn (65 per cent)

5. Ibis Budget (66 per cent)