It was the mock leather bed protection cover that did it for David; or maybe it was simply the fact she was a b***h.
Whatever the reason, David Stanbridge, joint owner of the upmarket Cley Hall Hotel in Spalding, didn’t entirely enjoy his stay at the historic Devon inn.
Things were about to get a whole lot worse, though.
He had made it clear to the television producers that the one thing he didn’t like, well, apart from claustrophobically small bed and breakfast establishments and dark inns, was camping.
And, you guessed it, during David’s two-week stint filming Channel 4’s Four in a Bed, he ended up staying in a yurt – considered posh camping by some.
He can laugh about it all now, though, because, as avid watchers of the programme will already know, Cley Hall Hotel came out as winner in the latest contest in which hoteliers and bed and breakfast owners take it in turns to stay with one another – and pay what they consider fair for their visit.
“I like hotels to be nice and upmarket, like Claridge’s or Dolphin Square Hotel in London,” says David, who owns the hotel with Andrew Robb.
Andrew, perhaps wisely, chose not to take part, but hotel manager Nikki Deans was only too happy to step in.
“It’s always been her ambition to go on a TV programme,” David confided.
The 800-year-old Devon inn looked picturesque on first sighting. David and Nikki received a warm welcome, and things looked set fair for a good stay at the £140 a night establishment.
Then David spotted the “thing on the bed spread” – presumably to protect the bed cover from suitcase dirt. And, as time went by, David realised: “She wasn’t how she portrayed herself. On the surface they were very nice, but she was a bitch. They were like the guests from hell.”
Having paid a pretty generous £130 – “because we thought our place was better” – David and Nikki moved on to a b&b in Toxteth (think riots) and then camping in Wales, before bringing everyone to Cley Hall Hotel.
Hopefully, our Spalding competitors came across well as David said they went with the aim “not to be horrible, just to be fair and see what we found and be how we are normally”.