New owners pledge to bring troubled hotel back up to standard

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A BATTLE hotel, which was criticised for its shoddy and filthy appearance, is under new ownership.

Olga and Gurnake Cheema took over The George Hotel, in the High Street, on October 12 and have already started a major refurbishment programme in a bid to bring the hotel back up to standard.

The George hit the headlines in July when a visiting businesswoman walked out of the hotel after just one night.

Sara Parrish claimed there was no mattress protection on the bed, none of the electrics had test stickers, there was no fire evacuation plan in the room, the window was broken, there was no hand soap in the room, the carpet and remote control were filthy and that the phone in reception was also dirty.

At the time, Battle Marketing Group said it was considering taking the matter up with Environmental Health officers or Trading Standards officials, questioning the hotel’s three star rating on a travel website.

But new owners Mr and Mrs Cheema have launched an extensive refurbishment programme, with new beds, complete with new pillows and bedding, and new televisions already in place in each bedroom.

Each room is to be repainted, the spiral staircase is also being spruced up and a new carpet is due to be delivered shortly.

Despite the extensive work, the hotel will remain open to customers.

Mrs Cheema said: “We want it to look more inviting.

“The rooms are not in a bad condition, they just needed bringing up to date.”

In June 2010 the couple came to Hastings, from Gravesend in Kent, to take over the Lansdowne Hotel.

Meanwhile Mr Cheema’s brother-in-law successfully runs two hotels in Glasgow.

Mrs Cheema said: “We know what to do with the George and know what this hotel needs.

“It’s in such a good location and Battle is such a lovely town, it would be a shame to leave it as it is.”

Neither Mrs Cheema or her husband were aware of The George’s reputation before they bought the property.

She said: “When we talked to local businesses and people involved in the George, we found out the hotel did not have a good reputation.

“But I think people are genuinely quite pleased we are going to do something with the place.

“It’s literally like building a new business from scratch.”