OSCAR Wilde may have taken his boyfriend there in its heyday but he would be horrified by it now

The Royal Albion Hotel has been slammed after visitors found gum on the bannisters, peeling wallpaper and an armchair repaired with gaffer tape.

The Grade II listed hotel on Brighton seafront is part of the Britannia hotel chain which was found by the Which? consumer choice organisation to be the worst in the UK for the sixth year running.

A reporter said they were “stunned” when they stayed at the hotel on Old Steine.

They said: “Inside we found stained carpets, cracked walls and peeling wallpaper in communal areas where the smell of stale smoke hung in the air.

“Discarded gum was stuck to a bannister and a ripped leather armchair had been hastily repaired with black gaffer tape.

“Breakfast also lived down to its one-star rating, with bitter coffee and anaemic-looking, watery scrambled eggs.

“It was also no surprise that the quality of its bedrooms was panned with a rock-hard bed and paper-thin, grubby towels.”

In a survey of more than 7,000 hotel users, it was found that 71 per cent of people were dissatisfied with their stay at a Britannia venue, with 23 per cent lodging a formal complaint.

The chain received an average score of 35 per cent, with one customer describing the property they stayed in as a “filthy hovel”.

Oscar Wilde stayed at the Royal Albion with a man he had met in Worthing named Alphonse Conway in the 1890s.

Customers today say the hotel has declined markedly since then.

Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said: “Britannia has superb locations, fabulous buildings, but terrible hotels.

“Guests looking for a safe bet with no nasty surprises should opt for a no-nonsense option like Premier Inn.”

Commonly used terms in a survey carried out by Which? and used to describe

Britannia’s venues included “old”, “shabby” and “outdated” as 42 per cent of customers had a problem with their stay.

No visitors gave the hotel chain a score higher than two out of five stars in any of the surveyed categories.

Premier Inn has been Britain’s best performing hotel chain for the last four years with a customer score of 79 per cent, receiving five stars for cleanliness, comfort of its beds and customer service.