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'It was the best in Norwich': St Giles Hotel customers refused refunds

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:52 05 April 2019

St Giles House, Norwich is reportedly turning customers away. Picture: James Bass

St Giles House, Norwich is reportedly turning customers away. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

Customers are being turned away from appointments at St Giles House Hotel and Spa and having their refund requests refused.

St Giles House Hotel in Norwich. Picture: James BassSt Giles House Hotel in Norwich. Picture: James Bass

The news comes after the Norwich independent hotel announced it had entered liquidation and had not paid staff or creditors for “some time”.

Instead of refunding vouchers issued under its former management, new bosses are directing refund requests to liquidators.

But the new team are insisting wedding and other event bookings will be honoured.

MORE: Norwich hotel in liquidation after failing to pay staff for “some time”

Verna Lichfield visited the hotel the day before its liquidation was made public and said she “knew something was wrong”.

Mrs Lichfield, from Sheringham, said she arrived for her pedicure on Tuesday to find the doors to the hotel locked.

Having been let in through a back door she found beauticians standing around inside the empty hotel.

“They made me a cup of tea while I waited for my husband to come and pick me up and I asked the beauticians what was going on,” Mrs Lichfield said.

“The front of house lady then came running over and was very defensive. It was at this point I knew something was wrong and asked for my money back.”

Mrs Lichfield was told she could not be refunded for her vouchers totalling £121, and would have to email the manager. Having called multiple times and emailed since, Mrs Lichfield has still not heard back.

When approached for comment, a spokeswoman for the hotel directed people looking for a refund to its insolvency practitioners, FA Simms and partners.

MORE: The cost of death: ‘Funeral poverty’ hitting Norfolk’s bereaved

Mrs Lichfield, who has been visiting the hotel for work and personal use for nearly two decades, said: “They’ve had a lot of business because of me. I’ve booked work conferences there, I’ve stayed there, I regularly go for treatments. I’m upset they would treat me like that.”

St Giles House Hotel has now seen its operations taken over by the site’s landlord, Roland Duce.

“It used to be the best hotel in town,” Mrs Lichfield said. “It was the sort of hotel Norwich needed. There should always have been plenty of business, I have no idea what’s lead to this.”

Mr Duce has so far made efforts to assure customers that their bookings will be honoured.

He said: “Although naturally there may be some concerns, any guests who are due to arrive to the hotel do not need be alarmed, the hotel will remain open and the team will be ensuring they are well looked after.”

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