Britannia Hotels

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Britannia Hotels Limited
Industry Hotels & Hospitality
Headquarters Hale, Greater Manchester, England
Number of locations
51 hotels across the UK
Key people
Alex Langsam CEO
Robert Ferrari CFO
Eileen Downey
Products Hotels and property development
Services Conference room hire, banqueting functions, health club membership
Revenue Increase £55.448m (2011)[1]
Increase £8.752m (2011)
Increase £8.138m (2011)
Owner A.Langsam
Hawksford Trust Company Jersey Limited
Number of employees
Subsidiaries Britannia 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 United Kingdom hotel group with 51 hotels across the country. It includes the Pontins Holiday Park portfolio. Britannia operates at the budget end of the market with hotels varying in price and star ratings.


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.

After its foundation in 1976 with the purchase of the Britannia Country House Hotel in Didsbury, Manchester, Britannia made a number of acquisitions.

The Britannia Manchester Hotel, formerly Watts Warehouse, Manchester

The second purchase in 1981 was a council-owned 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.

The Britannia Adelphi Hotel, 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 Warwickshire, 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][14][15][16][17]

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[18][19] and the Trecarn Hotel Torquay[20] and Cavendish Hotel in Eastbourne.


In 2008 as part of the Capital of Culture celebrations, a musical based on the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool, written and directed by Phil Willmott, Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, ran at the Liverpool Playhouse from 30 June until 2 August.[21]

In early 2014 Michael Palin and Mark Addy were filmed within the Grand Scarbrough Hotel for scenes for the BBC drama Remember Me.[22]


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.[23] The city council has attempted to compulsorily purchase the building[24] but on 29 November 2011, it was rejected.[25]

In 2005 and 2006 the Grand Hotel in Scarborough and the Adelphi were investigated by the BBC over theft and hygiene.[26][27]

In 2007 the Britannia hotel in Stockport was listed on TripAdvisor as among Britain's dirtiest.[28] Whilst others have been prosecuted, for example Coventry[29] and the Britannia Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.[30] In November 2015, the Liverpool Echo investigated a guest's complaints about the Adelphi[31]

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.[32]

In 2016 newspaper investigations revealed that many Britannia hotels were housing asylum seekers.[33][34][35]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • In 2011 Britannia won the category of 'Most Group-Friendly Hotel Chain or Group' in the Group Travel Awards.[36]
  • In 2013 Pontins was awarded the UKCSI Award for Most Improved Organisation at the 2013 UK Customer Satisfaction Awards.[37] 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.[38]
  • 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.[39][40]


  1. ^ Britannia Hotels Ltd, Annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2011
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  6. ^ "Anne Robinson Goes Head to Head With Woman From Pontins Following A Watchdog Report". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  7. ^ "Complaints made over Pontin's site at Pakefield - News". Lowestoft Journal. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  8. ^ Sarah Gordon (2012-04-17). "Pontins cancels £33 holiday deal to re-sell trip for £550 | Mail Online". London: Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
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  21. ^ "Adelphi Hotel Play". Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  22. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ "All-action station". Manchester Evening News. 11 February 2006. 
  24. ^ Alex Langsam Breaks Silence Manchester Confidential Sept 9, 2010
  25. ^ "Manchester council loses £700,000 bid to force sale of London Road Fire Station". Manchester Evening News. 29 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Hotel rejects 'theft hotspot' tag". BBC News. 2006-07-26. 
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  28. ^ Paul R Taylor (2007-09-12). "'Dirtiest hotel' fined £36,000 | Manchester Evening News". Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
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  30. ^ "ADELPHI IN COURT OVER DROWNING; Hotel denies two safety breaches. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
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