Widow ‘furious’ at Hilton hotel for cancelling her Christmas meal for odd reason

A fuming widow has slammed the Hilton hotel after they cancelled her Christmas Day lunch booking for a bizarre reason.

Lorna Brown, 86, was left "absolutely furious" when her reservation for December 25 at the hotel in Gateshead was cancelled for her and a friend.

Both her and the pal, 84, said they each paid a £30 deposit back in August to book the festive meal.

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Lorna was told earlier this week that the hotel would now be closed from December 23 as there would be no electricity over the holiday period, reports ChronicleLive.

Lorna's table is one of eight Christmas Day bookings which have been cancelled so an engineer can turn off the electricity and fit electric vehicle charging points outside.

Although the Hilton said she'd get her deposit back, Lorna said she's still "shocked and shaken".

Lorna explained: "They said: 'There will be no electricity for some of the time so it wasn't possible to have guests in'.

"I said: 'Well I find this very difficult to understand, with the way business has been these last few years.'

"Christmas is a big time for anyone to make profit. I find it very difficult to understand that men would want to come in and work over the Christmas period.

"I was absolutely furious, I was nearly driven to swearing but obviously I wouldn't!"

Lorna said they had decided to dine out for the first time on Christmas Day after her friend lost her husband earlier this year.

She said: "My friend wanted something totally different. I said 'why don't we go out for the day?' and so that was the plan."

Lorna said she received the initial phone call informing her that their meal wouldn't go ahead on Tuesday (November 1). She said she was then contacted by a manager the following day.

She continued: "They said there's work that needed done on the hotel and the electricity will be off for a long while and we can't accommodate anyone. They said the decision has come from higher up."

Lorna said it's been difficult to try and find somewhere else for lunch on Christmas Day at such short notice.

"I must have made a dozen phone calls before I finally found somewhere to accommodate us for Christmas Day," she said.

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"I was just so annoyed that somebody would make this decision, particularly over a Christmas period. It was very disappointing."

Martin Robinson, General Manager of Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, said: "We are fitting electric vehicle charging points at the hotel, and the engineer has to isolate the hotel’s electricity to do this. As we are quieter over the Christmas holiday we decided to use this period to perform the works.

"We’re very sorry that this has impacted Ms Brown’s plans for Christmas and we have been in touch to try and make things right with her."


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