A grandma has been left smoking after her family’s holiday was marred by reports of cannabis smoking in the hotel they stayed in. Staff at the Premier Inn Blackpool Beach hotel posted a letter through doors, in which they admitted to not knowing which room was responsible but asking guests to ‘immediately stop’.
Claire, 53, and her husband Richard, 56, booked their daughter Lauren, 30, into the hotel for two nights, along with Lauren’s partner Danny, 30, and their granddaughter Evie, three. Meanwhile, Claire and Richard stayed on a motorhome park nearby.
Claire said that her family had told her there had been a ‘lingering’ smell of cannabis on their floor and the manager of the hotel wrote a letter to visitors, in which they stated that staff had “discovered evidence that suggests a guest on your corridor has been smoking weed.”
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The letter, shared with LancsLive, read: “At Premier Inn, we operate a non-smoking policy that’s been in place since 2008. As part of this policy we don’t allow smoking inside any of our premises (this includes the use of e-cigarettes), but we commit to provide permitted designated smoking areas at all our hotels.
“Our team have discovered evidence today that suggests a guest on your corridor has been smoking weed in their room. This doesn’t comply with our non-smoking policy which we take care to communicate to all our guests via in-room communication, our website, and as part of our standard booking terms & conditions.
“We haven’t currently been able to confirm which room has been smoked in, but if you have been smoking in your room, we would ask that you immediately stop. If you’re unsure of where the designated smoking area is, please ask a team member at reception and they’ll be happy to help.
“If you haven’t smoked in your room, we are very sorry for any upset caused by this letter, but we do hope that you can appreciate the reasons for our action. If you’d like any more information or if we can help with anything, please contact a member of the team at reception.”
Claire has shared her concerns that the family-friendly chain hotel should step-in and ban rule-breaking guests before its too late. She told LancsLive : “We wanted to take the kids away, Evie is three and a half, we were under no illusions of what Blackpool is like, we know its full of stags and hens, but its also a family resort as well.
“We figured if we were in our camper away and stayed from the strip, near Pleasure Beach, that’s where the Premier Inn is. We thought, its Premier Inn, its a lot more expensive than other hotels on the strip and closer to where the stags and hens are. We figured it was a safe bet to put our family in, but I don’t think it was in hindsight.”
“The first night they were there, Lauren said to us they could smell weed in the corridor but they never decided that they were going to do anything about it because they thought it was a one-off thing that had been addressed, and it was a lingering smell.Evie was really knackered out and full of sugar, and they just needed to get her down for the night, so they didn’t raise it at that point.
“We were all out the following day which is when the letter slipped through the door. We’re assuming it went to everyone on that floor, or even the whole hotel, its bizarre.”
Claire continued: “Its acknowledgment that there is an issue there, with weed specifically… Why can’t they work out which rooms this was happening in?”
Husband Richard made the booking on behalf of the family and received a £30 refund following their complaint, but it isn’t a refund that Claire was looking for. Instead, she says, “its about them taking appropriate action and admitting they have a problem.”
She continued: “If they had said they were going to investigate it, we’ll let you know the outcome, if they’d have given us answers like that, we’d have walked away from it. They freely admit they’ve got a problem, else they wouldn’t have put it through the door.”
Despite the £30 refund, the matter isn’t ‘closed’ for the family. Claire said: “It’s never been about the money, its not about that. It’s one of those situations where something horrible at some point is going to happen, and I don’t want to be sitting here in two years time thinking if only we ‘d have said something, that could have been averted.
“That’s our motivation, we don’t want our money back, we don’t need our money back. We want to know they’re taking it seriously, something is being done about it and they’re doing the right thing.”
Whitbread own Premier Inn. LancsLive approached Whitbread for a comment on Claire’s concerns but did not receive a response before the given deadline.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.