Britannia Hotels

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Britannia Hotels Limited
IndustryHotels & Hospitality
HeadquartersHale, Greater Manchester, England
Number of locations
61 hotels across the UK
Key people
Alex Langsam CEO
Robert Ferrari CFO
ProductsHotels and property development
ServicesConference room hire, banqueting functions, health club membership
RevenueIncrease £55.448m (2011)[1]
Increase £8.752m (2011)
Increase £8.138m (2011)
Hawksford Trust Company Jersey Limited
Number of employees
SubsidiariesBritannia Adelphi Hotel Ltd
Birmingham International Hotel Ltd
Ambassador Hotels (Bournemouth) Ltd
Ambassador (East Cliff) Ltd
Britannia Hotel Bolton Ltd
Britannia Hotel Leeds Ltd
Britannia Country House Hotel Ltd
Britannia Hotel Edinburgh Ltd
Britannia Hotel Wolverhampton Ltd

Britannia Hotels is a British hotel group with 61 hotels across the country. It includes the Pontins Holiday Park portfolio. Britannia operates at the budget end of the market. The Elite Venue Selection is a diversion of Britannia Hotels and is made up of hotels offering conferencing facilities.


Britannia Hotels, was founded in 1976 with the purchase of the Britannia Country House Hotel in Didsbury, Manchester. Its Chief Executive, founder, and largest shareholder remains Alex Langsam. Langsam is a non-domiciled taxpayer, registered as living in Austria for tax-purposes since 1999.[2] His net personal worth was valued at £90 million in 2013 by The Sunday Times.[3]

Its head office is based in the old town hall in Hale, Manchester. A large cluster of the company's hotels are located in and around Manchester.

Soon after its foundation Britannia began making a number of further acquisitions.

The Britannia Manchester Hotel, formerly Watts Warehouse, Manchester

The second purchase in 1981 was a derelict listed building in central Manchester (the former Watts Warehouse standing on Portland Street, Manchester). After redeveloping the unit it opened in May 1982 as the Britannia Hotel Manchester. At the end of 1982 British Rail sold off its hotel division - British Transport Hotels. From this sale, in 1983 Britannia bought the Britannia Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.

In 1987 Britannia Hotels converted an unused building in Manchester that had been the city's C&A department store - this became the Sachas Hotel.[4][5] Later in the same year Bosworth Hall, a country house style hotel in Market Bosworth Leicestershire, was purchased. Bosworth Hall was being converted from a hospital/nursing home into a hotel and Britannia took over the development from the builders who went bankrupt. In 1988 the company purchased and began development of the International Hotel adjacent to Canary Wharf in the London's Docklands. The hotel opened on 9 June 1992. A year later, Britannia took over a 187-bedroom hotel in Stockport. After a period of refurbishment the Britannia Stockport Hotel opened in 1993. In the summer of the same year the group also purchased the Europa Hotel situated close to Gatwick Airport.

In the following 10 years the group acquired 16 more hotels in locations such as Birmingham, Aberdeen and Newcastle. In November 2004 it acquired four hotels from the Grand Leisure Group: the Grand Hotel in Scarborough, the Grand Hotel in Llandudno, the Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone and the Grand Metropole in Blackpool. In January 2011, the company bought North West holiday camp business Pontins out of administration in a £18.5m deal which safeguarded about 1,000 jobs. Following the acquisition Britannia had to deal with a series of complaints.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

From 2005 to 2015 the Group enjoyed its most rapid period of expansion acquiring 23 hotels - including the Palace Hotel in Buxton and the Basingstoke Country Hotel acquired from the Hotel Collection[14][15] and the Trecarn Hotel Torquay[16] and Cavendish Hotel in Eastbourne. In 2016, Britannia Hotels also purchased The Bromsgrove Hotel & Spa which was previously owned and operated by Hilton. Later in 2017, Britannia Hotels also acquired the Royal Hotel in Hull from the Mercure Hotel Group expanding the empire to 53 Hotels.[17]

Britannia also have created a new diversion of business hotels offering conferencing facilities called the Elite Venue Selection. A few Britannia Hotels were put under the Elite Venue Selection diversion but room bookings are still made through the normal Britannia website.

In 2018, Britannia Hotels purchased 7 Hotels. The first of which was the previous Blackpool Hilton which has been renamed The Grand Hotel Blackpool. The next five which were purchased were previous Marriott Hotels, this included the Hollins Hall Hotel, Golf & Country Club, Meon Valley Hotel, Golf & Country Club, Sprowston Manor, Golf & Country Club, Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel in Newcastle and the Marriott Sunderland. The Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel has also been renamed The Grand Hotel Gosforh Park and the Marriott Sunderland is also now named The Grand Hotel Sunderland. This means Britannia now offers golf breaks at 3 of the 7 newly acquired hotels. The seventh purchased was the Hilton Coylumbridge in Aviemore which was purchased in December 2018 and has been renamed The Coylumbridge Hotel. 6 of the new hotels have also put under the new diversion of Elite Venue Selection, apart from The Coylumbridge Hotel.


The 1988 Philip Saville film The Fruit Machine featured interior and main entrance scenes of the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool, including a vertical pan shot past the lit marquee at night.

In 2008 as part of the Capital of Culture celebrations, a musical based on the Adelphi Hotel, written and directed by Phil Willmott, Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, ran at the Liverpool Playhouse from 30 June until 2 August.[18]


In the mid-1980s, Alex Langsam, owner of the Britannia Hotel Group, acquired the Grade II* listed London Road Fire Station in Manchester. Proposals have been made to redevelop it into a hotel and offices, however the plans have been delayed. In 2006 it was placed on English Heritage's register of "at risk" historical buildings.[19] The city council has attempted to compulsorily purchase the building[20] but on 29 November 2011, it was rejected.[21]

In 2005 and 2006 the Grand Hotel in Scarborough and the Adelphi were investigated by the BBC over theft and hygiene.[22][23]

In 2007 the Britannia hotel in Stockport was listed on TripAdvisor as among Britain's dirtiest.[24] Whilst others have been prosecuted, for example Coventry[25] and the Britannia Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.[26] In November 2015, the Liverpool Echo investigated a guest's complaints about the Adelphi[27] In June 2017, the Adelphi was prosecuted for breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations.[28] Further issues with the Adelphi have been reported since.[29][30][31] The Liverpool Echo visited the Company's headquarters in June 2019, in order to interview a spokesperson about the complaints, but no-one would see them.[32]

In 2013 the chain was successfully prosecuted for putting guests and construction workers at risk of asbestos fibre exposure at the Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone.[33]

In 2018 the company cancelled a booking made on behalf of 28 homeless people, for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, at The Royal Hotel, Hull, with no reason given. The criticism it received resulted in the hotel group deleting its social media pages.[34]

Awards and ratings[edit]

  • In 2011 Britannia won the category of 'Most Group-Friendly Hotel Chain or Group' in the Group Travel Awards.[35]
  • In 2013 Pontins was awarded the UKCSI Award for Most Improved Organisation at the 2013 UK Customer Satisfaction Awards.[36] Alongside Butlins and Expedia, Pontins continued this success by improving their scores by more than one point in the 2015 UK Institute of Customer Service Survey.[citation needed]
  • According to Which? Britannia Hotels scored the lowest customer satisfaction score of British hotel chains in 2013 and 2014, with a score of 33% in 2014.[37]
  • In November 2018 the Group was voted the worst UK hotel chain for the sixth consecutive year in a survey by Which? Travel.[38]


  1. ^ Britannia Hotels Ltd, Annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2011
  2. ^ "Hotel boss Alex Langsam loses appeal over 'non-dom' payout". Manchester Evening News. 11 October 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Sachas - Former C&A Clothing Store".
  5. ^ O'Leary, Abigail (8 August 2016). "Manchester's lost shops: Readers share their memories of Lewis's and more". Manchester Evening News.
  6. ^ "Anne Robinson Goes Head to Head With Woman From Pontins Following A Watchdog Report". YouTube. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Complaints made over Pontin's site at Pakefield - News". Lowestoft Journal. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  8. ^ Siddle, John (11 April 2015). "Pontins: Mass brawl at Southport holiday camp latest in long list of complaints".
  9. ^ "Pakefield: Holiday firm Pontins rapped over 'misleading' accommodation advertising".
  10. ^ Porter, Gary (2 September 2014). "Pontins Prestayn chalet was 'dirty beyond belief' claims holidaymaker".
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Pontins Holiday Park breach Health & Safety with disastrous consequences". 9 June 2014.
  14. ^ "New owners for landmark Buxton hotel".
  15. ^
  16. ^ Tore, Iuliia. "Britannia Hotels expands its portfolio - Rus Tourism News".
  17. ^ "Mercure Hull Royal Hotel to be taken over by Britannia Hotels". Hull Daily Mail. 9 March 2017. Archived from the original on 9 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Adelphi Hotel Play". Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  19. ^ "All-action station". Manchester Evening News. 11 February 2006. Archived from the original on 4 August 2012.
  20. ^ Alex Langsam Breaks Silence Archived 7 September 2012 at Manchester Confidential 9 September 2010
  21. ^ "Manchester council loses £700,000 bid to force sale of London Road Fire Station". Manchester Evening News. 29 November 2011. Archived from the original on 1 December 2011.
  22. ^ "Hotel rejects 'theft hotspot' tag". BBC News. 26 July 2006.
  23. ^ "BBC Inside Out - Hotel not-so-Grand".
  24. ^ Paul R Taylor (12 September 2007). "'Dirtiest hotel' fined £36,000". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  25. ^ "Britannia hotel fined over hygiene". 18 December 2014 – via
  26. ^ "ADELPHI IN COURT OVER DROWNING; Hotel denies two safety breaches. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  27. ^ Samuelson, Kate (22 November 2015). "Liverpool Adelphi Hotel guest 'disgusted' by £150 a night room".
  28. ^ "An embarrassment to the city'". Confidentials.
  29. ^ McMullin, Kate (2 November 2017). "Bloodied syringe and dried up vomit - couple lift the lid on Adelphi horror stay". Liverpool Echo.
  30. ^ Bona, Emilia (30 December 2017). "100 Scottish line dancers disgusted at 'nightmare' Adelphi stay". Liverpool Echo.
  31. ^ Parry, Josh (14 March 2018). "Adelphi Hotel gym to shut - as members share pictures of 'filthy' changing areas". Liverpool Echo.
  32. ^ Bona, Emilia (30 June 2019). "Bosses at The Adelphi and Pontins never respond to our questions so we turned up at their offices to demand answers". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  33. ^ "Britannia Hotels slammed over asbestos case -". 5 April 2013.
  34. ^ "Hull hotel cancels Christmas booking for homeless people". The Guardian. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  35. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "UK Customer Satisfaction Awards 2015 Winners".
  37. ^ "Is this really the worst hotel chain in Britain?". The Independent.
  38. ^ Hodgson, Neil (5 November 2018). "Manchester hotel chain voted worst for sixth year running". The Business Desk. Retrieved 13 November 2018.

External links[edit]