HEARTBROKEN holidaymakers have been left high and dry after a company went out of business.

Brighton Holiday Homes, run by Michelle and Neil Stonehill, told its customers today that it had ceased trading and their bookings would no longer be valid.

Some had already paid for their holidays and were told they would not get their money back from the company.

An email to customers said: “It is with great regret that due to the challenging economic conditions, Brighton Holiday Homes has ceased trading with immediate effect.

“You will not be able to access the property you have booked so please do not travel to Brighton unless you have alternative accommodation”.

Traders near the company’s office in St George Road, Kemptown, say workers left the premises two days ago.

One unhappy customer, who lives in Scotland and asked not to be named, had booked a holiday with the company for June and paid for it last week.

She was told this morning that her accommodation had been cancelled and any activities she had booked were “no longer valid”. 

The woman, who was set to travel to Brighton with her partner and two children, said: "It has cost me a thousand pounds.

"This is completely unacceptable. I won’t be getting my money back so where has all the money gone?"

The email advises customers seeking refunds to contact their credit or debit card provider.

Jemma, from Surrey, paid £2,200 to stay at Silwood Central in Silwood Road with 20 people for her hen party.

She is yet to find out if her bank will refund her the payment.

The Argus:
Jemma with her partner, Laura 

She said: "It's disappointing that they have our money but we don't want to vilify the company owners.

"We just want them to put us in touch with the homeowner as we would still like to stay there.

"We're supposed to be staying on Friday and there's 20 of us without any beds and lots of activities to do."

Another woman, who did not want to give her name as the holiday is a surprise for her sister, gave the company £4,500.

The last payment was made in April.

She said: "I had a hen do booked for my sister at the end of June.

"I woke up this morning to the email from them saying the weekend had been cancelled and if we wanted our money back we would have to contact our bank.

"I emailed back and said they should be ashamed of themselves and wanted to know the situation.

"I then got the same email resent to me with no apology.

"I am absolutely gutted and have had to fork out another £4,000 on a credit card to rebook everything while my bank sorts this out.

"The company should be ashamed of themselves."

Brighton Holiday Homes acts as an agent, letting properties to holidaymakers on behalf of the owners ­- who say they have also been left out of pocket.

One homeowner, who did not want to be named, said he was also owed money.

"That is my children's holiday gone,” he said.

The company advertises dozens of properties on its website.

The Argus emailed, telephoned and visited the company’s offices but was unable to reach anyone for comment.

The premises in Kemptown appeared to be empty and a sign on the door advised people the business had closed down.

Have you been affected by Brighton Holiday Homes closure? 

Call 01273 021384 or email jody.doherty-cove@theargus.co.uk.