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Hotel reserved for hundreds of asylum seekers ‘grubby’ and ‘encased in mould’

A historic hotel in the running to house hundreds of asylum seekers has been described as “filthy” and encased with mould in a thread of TripAdvisor reviews.

As of August 26, Digbeth’s Rowton Hotel located in Birmingham City Centre, has 208 ‘terrible’ reviews out of 458 overall on the popular website.

Birmingham City Council is set to discuss whether the hotel is suitable and ample to home up to and around 327 asylum seekers in response to a rush of refugees hoping to secure accommodation in the UK, reports Birmingham Live.

The venue would be used as a base for people arriving here while their applications are processed.

However, many TripAdvisor users who claim to have been a guest at the hotel before its closure in January, condemned its “poor” living conditions.

One guest, who said they stayed at the hotel a mere hour before leaving, wrote: “The further I walked in (it is a huge place), the dirtier it became.

“Carpets were beyond filthy, ceiling tiles were broken and stained and in places mould and damp grew on corridor walls.

“On entering my room, although it seemed freshly cleaned, the smell of damp was overwhelming. As I moved back the curtain I discovered the wall black with damp around the window and bed. I touched this and it was wet.

“I asked for a change of room, showing the receptionist the black mould on my finger tips.

“Horrified, she asked me how I could touch my phone after touching the mould, to which I replied that she was expecting me to sleep in the room.”

Another wrote: “I turned up and wanted to sleep in the car.

“Room was grubby; I got locked in the bathroom because the lock was broken. I could go on but I’m running out of words.”

Andy P, who says he stayed at the hotel in March 2020, said his room and carpet were dirty with “splash marks up the walls and around the bed”.

He wrote: “The toilet was just as bad with finger marks and dirty splashes all over the paint work.

“No heating, so it was freezing. Mattress springs were prominent and uncomfortable. The photos on the website are misleading.”

Responding to Andy’s review, the hotel’s guest relations manager wrote back saying they were “disappointed” to hear about his stay.

“As I do not have a record of any issues raised by yourself during your stay, I have asked our housekeeping and maintenance supervisors to check the rooms in question to identify the issues you have outlined,” wrote the manager.

“Our staff always do their best to ensure guests have an enjoyable stay and when advised, will always offer the best possible solution to any issues you may have.”

Other reviews, albeit few and far between, were more complimentary of their visit.

Russel W wrote: “Only stayed for one night, but would definitely stay again.

“The building is beautiful and staff are very helpful. The room was clean and had everything we needed.

“Not a luxury hotel, but overall, really good value for money.”

The hotel offers a variety of room types including singles, doubles and twins.

All rooms are en-suite, according to its website, with flat screens televisions and tea and coffee making facilities.

Prior to January the hotel was used as contingency for asylum seekers, though it was closed in January and has remained empty ever since.

A decision on the application will be made at next week’s planning committee meeting (September 2).

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