Emergency services say they are preparing a closure order for the troubled Bay Hotel – which has been called ‘the Fawlty Towers of Teignmouth’.
It comes after a string of incidents since July 11 when police officers, fire crews and paramedics have attended the Bay Hotel for various events including a fire, concerns for the welfare of a resident and a false alarm. There have been reports of staff walking out and online visitors have been posting eye-opening reviews about the hotel.
The hotel is owned by former barrister Shirley Bothroyd who bought the prominent seafront building in 2013 for £1.5million and hit national papers after a series of online reviewers branded her a ‘female Basil Fawlty’.
The Bay Hotel has also had its drinks license suspended, and it is reported that there are currently no guests staying at the hotel.
In the latest incident a shower was left running and three ceilings collapsed.
No one was hurt but the emergency services have now prepared a dossier to present to Teignbridge Council to seek a closure order under anti-social behaviour legislation.
If the emergency services are successful in presenting their case for a closure order to the local authority, the hotel would be boarded up and the electricity supply to the hotel would be disconnected. No one would be allowed to enter the hotel.
Recent Trip Advisor reviews reveal the confusion experienced by visitors who had booked to stay in the hotel while emergency services were attending.
One reviewer wrote: “Booked two nights stay. Called on the morning to confirm booking which they confirmed. Hour later whilst we were driving down, they called to say that unfortunately, they had to cancel but would not say why.
“On arrival in Teignmouth I went into reception and he said they had problems with the fire alarm. We subsequently found out that there had been five fire alarms over a couple of days and staff had walked out over conditions.
“On our second night, there was a fire on the top floor and three fire engines arrived to deal with the situation. Smoke was pouring out of the so called penthouse. I do not know if anyone was injured, but the next day the news was that it was suspicious.”
Another Trip Advisor reviewer wrote about how he enjoyed the eccentricity of his experience at The Bay Hotel.
He wrote: “It’s not a place for faint hearted or overly sensitive types because it is a uniquely eccentric experience.
“Hats off to Lenny, Alan and Colin who keep the place on an even keel despite numerous occurrences that could blow the whole place off course. Shirley, the owner, is a lovely lady – most things written elsewhere have a degree of truth – she is a considerable character with a great deal of intelligence and wit – particularly when taken at face value and ‘head on’.
“So five stars Bay Hotel – thank you to all the characters we met there – owner, management, staff and the various friends and relations we met in the bar – you made the weekend and I wouldn’t have missed this for anything!”
A blaze in a bedroom on the top floor of Bay Hotel on July 11, in which Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said that the contents of the penthouse bedroom had been severely damaged by fire and the rest of the penthouse had been severely damaged by smoke by the fire that began just before 1pm. An arson detection dog from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service was requested to assist with the fire investigation.
Two people – a 58-year-old woman from Teignmouth and a 44-year-old man from Teignmouth – had been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life by the police.
Crews were called back again on July 13 at 12.10pm to the hotel after the fire alarm sounded. But a fire service spokesman said that the call out was a false alarm as someone had hit the fire alarm accidentally.
Emergency services were called to the Bay Hotel on July 16 at around 1pm following concerns for the welfare of a resident. The woman in question was later taken to hospital for treatment of a minor hand wound and was left in the hands of the mental health professionals.
A Teignbridge Council spokesman said: “We are supporting and working closely with various agencies, including the fire and police service. Several options are being looked into, including a closure order, to deliver an appropriate resolution to the ongoing problems at Teignmouth’s Bay Hotel.”
The Bay Hotel was built in 1869 for the Earl of Devon. The accommodation offers 18 bedrooms including a Penthouse apartment and a four-poster suite, three family rooms, six double rooms, five twin rooms and two single rooms.
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