TripAdvisor: The Royal Clarence Hotel owner has replied to negative reviews on the website
A hotel owner has taken to TripAdvisor to reply to any negative reviews, with rude remarks to the previous guests.
Paul Chitin, 51, owns the Royal Clarence Hotel in Turnham-on-Sea, a 3-star establishment in Somerset.
The hotel currently has 193 reviews on the site, with 17 per cent terrible and 11 per cent poor.
After being fed up with the negative reviews going unchallenged, the hotelier decided to take matters into his own hands.
TripAdvisor: Paul Chitton, 51, is the owner of the hotel who has been replying
One review, which gave the hotel one star, complained that the “room was clean but falling apart” and that “the owner needs to go on a course to deal with customers.”
Chitin then replied “You made certain demands and stated that you would write a poor review if your demands weren’t met.
“I did email you back whilst I was on a cruise ship celebrating my wife birthday. I informed you that I would get back to you on my return 2 days later.
“I don’t think that is unreasonable.”
Another review complained there were “6 off-street parking spaces” for “at least 20 rooms”, to which the hotel owner replied, “Unfortunately when they built the hotel in 1796 they didn’t include enough car parking spaces. There are 200 spaces along the seafront”.
One hilarious TripAdvisor review blamed the hotel for “shouting at us and threw our items out of the door”.
The reply explained that despite check-out being at 10am, they refused to leave until 12:30pm despite knocking on their door at half an hour intervals.
Chitin explained: “At 12 noon, I knocked your door to explain that the room was booked that night and my housekeepers needed access as it was their last room to clean.
“Myself and one of my housekeepers did remove your belongings and placed them outside your room. You then became verbally aggressive and I called the Police.”
“The truth doesn’t quite match your “few seconds late from leaving” tale does it.”
TripAdvisor: One customer complained that the room was ‘unclean’
Despite this, 22 per cent have marked the hotel as excellent with most (32 per cent) stating it is very good.
Guests who have left good reviews are also replied to by the owner with a thank you for staying.
The most recent review stated that the hotel was “very cheap and in my opinion excellent value for money.”
Chitin’s reply was to state: “You have noticed, that despite my often ‘to the point’ replies to some reviews, I am a really nice guy (just ask my wife).
“We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.”
TripAdvisor has been contacted for comment by Express.co.uk.
TripAdvisor: Another review complained a non-refundable room wasn’t refunded
Express.co.uk contacted Paul Chittin, who replied with a link to his Facebook page explaining his new-found fame.
He explained that he declined any further interviews, as he simply wanted to “highlight the unfairness of the review systems”.
He believes that because “anyone can write anything they like about a hotel, guest house, restaurant etc and there are no safeguards, checks or effective ways to moderate those comments.”
Despite the negative responses, Chitin also explains how he wants his guests to have a good stay, as long as they make him aware of his mistakes: “If you let us know of an issue while you are here, our handyman can try and fix things or we can look to move you to another room while we arrange for a specialist tradesman.”
TripAdvisor: The hotel in Burnham-on-Sea has has mainly positive reviews
Chitin spoke to Somerset Live to explain his decision to tackle the negative reviews: “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.
“TripAdvisor allows anybody to write a review about any premises whether they have been there or not, there are no controls at all about all reviews that go on TripAdvisor.
“Unfortunately when a review goes on TripAdvisor and when a libellous review goes up, there is nothing we can do.”
Thankfully, guests appear to appreciate the honest replies to the reviews.
He added: “I get a lot of people that actually say thank you for being honest.”