A tourist was so disgusted with the state of his hotel room he is suing its parent company.

Mark Foster travelled from Cheshire to Brighton for a short break to celebrate his tenth anniversary with partner Graham Walker.

They paid more than £230 for a four-night stay at the seafront Royal Albion Hotel, which belongs to the Britannia Hotels group.

‘Dirty’ The 39-year-old train conductor said: “It’s advertised as appearing elegant and well maintained.

From outside the hotel appears as described but get beyond reception and it is a very, very different story.”

Mr Foster said his room was dirty while the broken furniture could “only be described as being fit for a bonfire”.

He added: “The windows of the sea-view room, which I had paid extra for, were covered in so much grime the view was distorted.”

After initially complaining at reception, Mr Foster said his request to change room was turned down because the hotel was full.

When he returned home he emailed the head office of Britannia Hotels demanding a full refund.

But Mr Foster said he was upset when all the company would offer was a free two-night stay back at the Royal Albion.

As a result he has taken Britannia to the small claims court and the case will be heard at Crewe County Court on September 6.

Mr Foster said: “What amazes me is the response from their solicitor, saying they are defending the case in its entirety and claim that the room was of an acceptable standard and that the complaint had been dealt with properly.”

A spokeswoman for Britannia refused to comment.

Mr Foster is not the only person to complain about the state of the Royal Albion.

A spokesman for VisitBrighton, the city council’s tourism arm, said they had been in contact with the directors of Britannia Hotels “several times” in the past year.

He said: “Clearly if there is a property that generates complaints in such a prominent location it has a knock-on effect on the city as a whole.”