Royal Clarence Hotel hits back at bad TripAdvisor reviews

A no-nonsense hotelier personally hits back at every negative TripAdvisor review with cutting Basil Fawlty-style replies - including calling guests 'muppets'.

Paul Chatwin, 51, runs the three-star Royal Clarence Hotel, which has a three-and-a-half star rating on TripAdvisor.

But the businessman was so fed-up with 'unfair' reviews he has taken to personally replying to less favourable ratings - with hilarious retorts.

He told one 'I'm not here to be nice to every guest' and another who complained no double rooms were available was told he could not 'magically create' one.

A no-nonsense hotelier personally hits back at every negative TripAdvisor review with cutting Basil Fawlty-style replies - including calling guests 'muppets'

A no-nonsense hotelier personally hits back at every negative TripAdvisor review with cutting Basil Fawlty-style replies - including calling guests 'muppets'

Paul Chatwin (pictured) runs the three-star Royal Clarence Hotel, which has a three-and-a-half star rating on TripAdvisor

Paul Chatwin (pictured) runs the three-star Royal Clarence Hotel, which has a three-and-a-half star rating on TripAdvisor

Another guest at the hotel in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, was told to 'stick with your corporate hotel chain and their soul destroying square box rooms'.

When one review complained that Paul was 'quite awful' he replied claiming the customer swore at staff and signed it off with 'the rude and least empathetic owner'.

Another reply said: 'If a guest is unruly, damages the property, insults my staff or puts complete tosh in a review then I will tell them they are muppets and I make no apology for it.'

Defending his bolshie approach, married Paul said: 'I'm just really fed up with the PC and "customer is always right" type of argument.

'The customer isn't always right and we're not always right but there must be a level playing field and we have got to treat each other with respect.

'But if they go too far then it's only fair we should correct them if they have something wrong.

A guest at the hotel in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, was told to 'stick with your corporate hotel chain and their soul destroying square box rooms'

A guest at the hotel in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, was told to 'stick with your corporate hotel chain and their soul destroying square box rooms'

The businessman was so fed-up with 'unfair' reviews he has taken to personally replying to less favourable ratings - with hilarious retorts

The businessman was so fed-up with 'unfair' reviews he has taken to personally replying to less favourable ratings - with hilarious retorts

'It's fair to say it's horrendous for a hotel owner when you're subject to other peoples' opinions and you can do very little to challenge them.

'Unfortunately when a review goes on TripAdvisor and when a libelous review goes up, there is nothing we can do.

'I get a lot of people that actually say thank you for being honest.

'I have had local businesses say how refreshing to see someone prepared to stand up for themselves and their business when most would not reply or give a bog standard reply.'

A stay at the 19-room hotel currently costs around £30 a night, and most the reviews - 32% - are 'very good'.

It promises budget accommodation with clean rooms and a scenic view but Paul believes some guests unrealistically expect 'a five-star hotel with room service, iPod docking stations and Whirlpool baths for £30 a night'.

He claims he only hits back when reviewers get their facts wrong - or when they libel his business.

Paul reckons his replies do not scare anyway potential guests - and his blunt approach may have attracted more guest

Paul reckons his replies do not scare anyway potential guests - and his blunt approach may have attracted more guest

And Paul reckons his replies don't scare anyway potential guests - and his blunt approach may have attracted more guests.

When one reviewer complained about the hotel only having six car parking spaces Paul simply replied: 'Unfortunately, when they built the hotel in 1796 they didn't include enough car parking spaces.'

One guest complained the beach outside the hotel had 'sinking sand' and the there were no light amusements.

Paul replied: 'We do try our best as a Hotel [...but] do we have a say on seaside lights.

Manager's put-downs

When a guest complained about the beach outside the hotel

'We do try our best as a Hotel [...but] do we have a say on seaside lights.

'We have been out with our bucket and spade and also have trouble trying to change the sand on the beach too.'

After a guest gave the hotel one star and criticised noise from another room

'I would like to apologise that a couple in another room enjoyed themselves during your stay.

'Even though we are an adult-only hotel and do not accept children perhaps we should also insist that nobody get anywhere near conceiving a child either.'

When a guest complained about dirty sheets and the manager's manner

'I am also thankful that my staff are always recognised for their friendliness.

'As the owner of the business I'm not here to be nice to every guest.

'If a guest is unruly, damages the property, insults my staff or puts complete tosh in a review then I will tell them they are muppets and I make no apology for it.'

After a cyclist called the manager 'the rudest and least empathetic person'

'There were another 20 of the cyclists staying with us that night and only yourself and your partner have found every review site possible to complain on.

'Regards Paul (the rude and least empathetic owner).'

After a guest complained they could not upgrade their room

'We had no double rooms. We are a very popular budget hotel and were fully booked.

'I don't quite understand your issue with that. I cannot magically create a double room for you.'

'We have been out with our bucket and spade and also have trouble trying to change the sand on the beach too.'

Another guest gave the premises one star and labelled it a 'labourer's hostel' and complained about fellow guests naughty nighttime antics.

But Paul replied: 'I would like to apologise that a couple in another room enjoyed themselves during your stay.

'Even though we are an adult-only hotel and do not accept children perhaps we should also insist that nobody get anywhere near conceiving a child either.

Another guest said the sheets were not clean and added: 'Manager needs a few customer service courses given some of his responses.'

But Paul hit back with: 'I am also thankful that my staff are always recognised for their friendliness.

'As the owner of the business I'm not here to be nice to every guest.

'If a guest is unruly, damages the property, insults my staff or puts complete tosh in a review then I will tell them they are muppets and I make no apology for it.'

A guest who stayed in June as part of a group of cyclists said the location was 'superb' and while all the staff were helpful, Paul was 'quite the rudest and least empathetic person'.

But hitting back at a complaint they had to check in before 10pm, he said: 'There were another 20 of the cyclists staying with us that night and only yourself and your partner have found every review site possible to complain on.

'Regards Paul (the rude and least empathetic owner).'

A guest who booked a twin room complained they weren't able to swap to a double room - because one wasn't available.

He replied: 'We had no double rooms. We are a very popular budget hotel and were fully booked.

'I don't quite understand your issue with that. I cannot magically create a double room for you.'

There are currently 193 reviews on TripAdvisor for the hotel, of which 22% are excellent, 32% very good, 18% average, 11% poor and 17% terrible.

'Some people just don't think,' added Paul.

'It just upsets me really when people are allowed to write what they like. It is very one-sided.

'Writing back is the only way for a hotelier to challenge what has been said, or to be honest.'

Another guest gave the premises one star and labelled it a 'labourer's hostel' and complained about fellow guests naughty nighttime antics

Another guest gave the premises one star and labelled it a 'labourer's hostel' and complained about fellow guests naughty nighttime antics