Britannia Hotels has claimed that a survey of large hotel chains conducted by consumer watchdog Which? is biased and flawed.
Privately owned by Alex Langsam, the Cheshire-based hotel group came bottom in the 2016 survey. The company also propped up the list of 22 hotels in the 2017 survey, published last month, after it received "poor" scores for cleanliness, customer service and value for money. It has now been at the bottom of the Which? survey of large hotel chains for five consecutive years.
Langsam told The Caterer that an analysis of the 2016 survey conducted by the Manchester Business School (MBS) which Britannia Hotels commissioned, showed that the methodology used by Which? was "beset with biases at all levels" and was "considered to be flawed in virtually every statistical sense".
In particular, he said that the 2016 survey of Britannia hotel stays involved 61 Which? members, while the 2017 poll surveyed 50 members, compared to the 9.5 million guest stays across the group's 54 hotels annually.
Other flaws in the survey, according to Langsam, included the description of Britannia's average room rate as being £78 when in fact he said it is around £40.
"The survey is not bona fide, obviously open to serious question and does a disservice to the hotel industry as a whole," he added.
In its study, MBS concluded that the Which? survey was biased and its results flawed because of it "high non-response rate" of 89% and the fact that the respondents took part on a self-selection basis.
A spokesperson for Which?, which is owned by the Consumers' Association, told The Caterer that it had responded to Britannia Hotels' allegations by "refuting the claims" in writing.
The results of the 2017 Which? large hotel survey was based on 4,255 hotel stays. A travel investigator for the organisation who stayed in a Britannia hotel said that the property suffered "an air of neglect" and had a cracked sink, lumpy mattress and stained carpet.
Britannia Hotels declined to comment as to why the company had been consistently ranked at the bottom of the Which? large hotel brands survey.
The group's portfolio of hotels includes the 402-bedroom Adelphi hotel (pictured) in Liverpool and the 219-bedroom Royal Albion hotel in Brighton.
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