Heartbroken couples have slammed a Birmingham hotel after it cancelled their wedding bookings to become a ‘Covid quarantine hotel’.
The Ramada Hotel in Sutton Coldfield emailed couples last Friday evening to tell them their bookings had been cancelled with immediate effect.
An email by the hotel group described the decision to close for the ‘foreseeable future’ as ‘extremely difficult’ but did not give a reason.
The on-site leisure centre, Lakeside Active, also closed at the weekend, with members receiving an email telling then the club was closing at 8pm on Sunday for the ‘forseeable future’.
MailOnline has learnt that the hotel in the leafy Birmingham suburb is set to become a ‘quarantine hotel’ for travellers coming back from Government ‘red list’ countries.
Wedding receptions and hotel rooms now can’t be booked for the next four months, with some devastated couples told just weeks in advance of their big day.
Heartbroken couples including Lee Baglin and fiancee Dawn (pictured) have said they were ‘disgusted’ that the Ramada Hotel in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham had cancelled their wedding reception with just weeks to go to become a ‘Covid quarantine hotel’
Lee Baglin, who was due to have his wedding reception with fiancee Dawn at the Ramada on July 10, said he was ‘disgusted’ by the late cancellation and the blunt way they discovered their plans had been dashed.
The couple were due to have a tasting for their wedding menu last weekend and had visited the hotel just weeks before to go through the final plans for their 74 guests.
Lee, 51, said: ‘We received a phone call on Friday night at about 8.30pm from a DJ who was supposed to be DJing our reception. He said: “I have just had an email from the Ramada saying they are closing the hotel”.
‘I went to Dawn: “Can you check your emails for me”. Then the look on her face told me. We had received an email from the conference person there.
‘I was angry. I was seething on Friday night. Dawn was basically in tears Friday, Saturday and Sunday.’
Lee, who lives with Dawn, 47, in Solihull added: ‘That was our special day. We have spent a lot of time planning it and they come and do something like this. I think they should have given a lot more notice.
‘We have heard the hotel is going to be a quarantine hotel. If so they are just profiting out of people’s misfortune with the pandemic.
‘The way they have treated customers and some of their staff is disgusting.
‘What they have done is not just to us. We were lucky, we had four weeks. Some had three. We are never using the Ramada again or any of their hotels.’
The Ramada Hotel in Sutton Coldfield emailed couples last Friday evening to tell them their bookings had been cancelled with immediate effect
The couple phoned around to find another venue and have found one nearby where they hope to now have their reception.
Another bride-to-be, who asked not to be named, said she was due to have her wedding and reception at the Ramada on October 23, having booked in May 2019 for July 17 this year.
She had originally booked the venue for 160 guests but had to move it to October as it was ‘too stressful’ given the restrictions.
But she was told by a staff member at the hotel that it was becoming a ‘quarantine hotel for people travelling from red list countries’.
The 49-year-old said: ‘I just think it’s disgusting. I couldn’t believe they had done it. I live in Erdington and Penns Hall [the Ramada] has always been a part of what we knew growing up.
‘The thing we were most cross about is they sent everybody an email at 5.30pm on Friday. We heard rumours and at first we thought, oh my god, staff are going to lose their jobs.
‘My partner phoned the next day and said she needed to quarantine could she book the hotel. They didn’t know what to say.
‘Then she rang back on Monday and said you’ve cancelled our wedding, is it right you’re becoming a quarantine hotel. They said “yes this is true.”‘
Lee, who lives with Dawn, 47, in Solihull added: ‘That was our special day. We have spent a lot of time planning it and they come and do something like this. I think they should have given a lot more notice’
The woman later received an apology from management and has now booked a new venue 30 miles away in Stratford.
The hotel was contacted on four occasions and asked why it had cancelled bookings at short notice and whether it was becoming a quarantine hotel. A spokesman responded but was unwilling to comment.
MailOnline have also contacted Ramada’s US parent group Wyndham Hotels but have yet to receive a response.
But a letter with the email sent by the Ramada on Friday to those with weddings and receptions booked said: ‘Following an extremely difficult trading period over the past 15 months Ramada by Wyndham Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield has made the exceptionally difficult decision to close the hotel to the general public.
‘The hotel will close at 11am on Monday 14th June 2021 and remain closed for the foreseeable future.’
The letter continues: ‘We understand how this decision will impact a number of people who currently hold accommodation & event bookings with us and every effort will be made to support everyone through this time.
‘We can guarantee that all money paid to the hotel for accommodation, products & services will be refunded in due course.
‘The hotel will continue to explore opportunities to secure the future of the hotel and return to business as soon as possible.
‘We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to all of our loyal guests and customers and we cannot wait to be able to welcome you back.
‘Once again, we would like to offer our apologies to everyone affected by this decision and thank everyone for their understanding in this uncertain time.’
Under the Government scheme guests have to pay £1,750 for a room for 11 nights, which includes food, drinks and two Covid tests to stay at a hotel for quarantining. A second adult in the room, or child over 11 is an additional £650 and five to 11-year-old are £325 each.