Guests have lost thousands of pounds in advanced payments and deposits after a hotel in Leicester suddenly closed its doors, without warning.
The three-star, 48-bedroom Westfield House hotel ceased trading on 14 June.
Just two days earlier the hotel, which was being operated by Delight Hotels, had cashed a cheque for £1,400 for a wedding reception which was to take place at the hotel on 22 June. The couple only heard about the hotel's closure when they received texts from guests who were due to attend the reception, while they were in Santorini, where they had gone to get married.
With help from friends, they managed to rearrange for the reception to be held at the Best Western Leicester Stage hotel, which the bride said did "an absolutely superb job". Now, the newly married couple are trying to retrieve the money they paid out.
Another bride-to-be Linda Jones told Caterer and Hotelkeeper that she has lost the £500 deposit she had paid for her wedding, which was due to take place in September.
"It is a very worrying and unsettling time, I am sure not just for me but for others who have suffered a similar fate," she said. "This may not seem a lot to a large hotel chain, but to us it is a lot of money to just lose, alongside the fact we now have to find something else at short notice.
"I cannot believe that in this day and age, businesses can do this to innocent people. Even the staff appeared to have been in total darkness about what happened and have not been paid."
However, concerns quickly emerged concerning the unprofessional manner in which Delight Hotels ran the businesses with widespread reports of unpaid staff and utility bills.
Subsequently, Mountain Capital, the asset management company which looks after the interests of the Washington Hotels, the company which owns the freehold of the hotels, ousted Delight as the operators and appointed Licensed Solutions to operate six of the hotels. Meanwhile, one of the hotels, the Queensferry in North Queensferry, Fife was sold to the Cairn Hotel Group, while Delight retained management of Westfield House.
A spokesperson for Delight Hotels said that all staff have now been paid the salaries they are owed, but declined to comment about repayment of deposits and other outstanding debts to guests.
Kristian Dijkstra, spokesperson for Mountain Capital, said the company now intends to sell the freehold of Westfield House, along with the properties currently being operated by Licensed Solutions, via property agent Fleurets. Guests who are owed money will have to pursue money will have to pursue Delight Hotels or Brompton Hotels, he added.
Queensferry hotel, Fife left in appalling state, say new owners >>