Staff at hotel QUIT over ‘unacceptable’ working conditions

Staff at 500-year-old hotel QUIT over ‘unacceptable’ working conditions imposed by new owner… the unfortunately named Bastard family

  • Six members of housekeeping team walked out of the 500-year-old Kitley House Hotel in Plymouth, Devon
  • It is understood the team left without notice due to health and safety concerns related to heavy lifting
  • The Bastard family, who own the Grade I listed hotel, have been forced to make emergency arrangements

The entire housekeeping team at a manor house hotel has quit in protest over ‘unacceptable’ working conditions.

The six-strong workforce walked out on the historic 500-year-old Kitley House Hotel in Plymouth, Devon, without notice. 

The wealthy Bastard family bought the Grade I listed hotel and spent thousands of pounds on a major refurbishment of the building last year. 

Spike Bastard outside the Kitley House Hotel in Plymouth, Devon. Six members of the housekeeping team have quit over ‘unacceptable’ conditions

It is understood the staff members quit over reasons related to heavy lifting and other health and safety concerns in relation to the current temporary refurbishments and there is no suggestion of wrong-doing by the employers.

But Mr Bastard has been forced to make emergency cleaning arrangements this week to try and ensure that weddings and other functions could go ahead.

The venue is then set to close for maintenance work on January 8 with management hoping to appoint a new cleaning team by the time it reopens on 11 days later.


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A spokesperson for Kitley House Hotel said: ‘Following considerable recent investment in the restoration and refurbishment of Kitley House Hotel, we strive to maintain quality across all areas of our service.

‘As a four-star hotel, our guests expect consistent, high standards of cleanliness in their rooms and the housekeeping team was asked to meet these.

A room at the manor house hotel. Mr Bastard has been forced to make emergency cleaning arrangements this week to try and ensure that weddings and other functions could go ahead

The venue, which has been run by Spike Bastard since last year was awarded an AA Rosette in November after undergoing a major refurbishment

‘This week, our long-standing housekeeping staff of six unfortunately decided to walk out without prior notice.

‘The hotel is due to close for pre-planned maintenance work for 10 days from January 8, so we have made temporary cleaning arrangements until our closure next week, and we will arrange a longer-term solution by the time we re-open on the 19.’ 

The venue, which has been run by Spike Bastard since last year was awarded an AA Rosette in November after undergoing a major refurbishment. 

The family, who retained the building but sold the business nearly 20 years ago, took control of the hotel and restaurant again and developed a comprehensive refurbishment plan.

The family, who retained the building but sold the business nearly 20 years ago, took control of the hotel and restaurant again and developed a comprehensive refurbishment plan

The manor house, which is nestled in 600 acres of unspoilt pasture and woodland on the banks of the River Yealm near Plymouth, has early Tudor origins and is thought to have been built during the reign of Henry VII between 1457 and 1509.

The Bastard family has owned the estate since the time of William the Conqueror and are still based there, converting their family home into a hotel and restaurant in 1996.

The unusual second name comes from the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066 and was the Norman word for a person who was born illegitimately.

The surname was first found in Devon and all modern Bastards are thought to be the descendants of Robert Bastard, who had several manors in the county during the reign of William I.

The family has been requested for comment. 

The venue is then set to close for maintenance work on January 8 with management hoping to appoint a new cleaning team by the time it reopens on 11 days later


The family, who retained the building but sold the business nearly 20 years ago, took control of the hotel and restaurant again and developed a comprehensive refurbishment plan

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