A TADLEY woman has said she could not sleep because of anxiety on the night she was told by Basingstoke Crowne Plaza that her wedding has to be rearranged because the hotel is “cancelling all events for a prolonged period”.

Claire Walters, 36, said she also had to take off from work the next day because of distress.

Crowne Plaza Hotel, an IHG Hotel at Black Dam in Old Common Road, is set to become a quarantine location for travellers from red list countries after the hospitality chain signed an exclusive agreement with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

As a result, the hotel has been cancelling and rearranging all bookings, including weddings and other events scheduled from July 26, Monday.

Claire, whose wedding with Craig Pearce was scheduled for October 16, received an email from the hotel at around 9pm on Thursday (July 15) that her wedding has to be rearranged as the site is closing for the public for a foreseeable future.

She was also told that the hotel would help her move the wedding to another venue, or refund the deposits. She was also told that she would receive a phone call on Friday morning to discuss the matter further.

“I had severe anxiety reading the email. I couldn’t sleep that night.

“I also had to take off from work the next day because I couldn’t handle the distress.

“I have disability and it was very difficult to spend the hours after reading the email.

“I had booked the hotel for wedding, celebration, candy cart, photo booth, cheese platters and a lot of DIY stuff. I have been working all through the lockdown with DIY stuff for the wedding, and it was very distressing.”

On Friday, a hotel representative told Claire that they would either refund the deposits or help move her wedding to Hampshire Court Hotel, which she agreed to.

This is not the first time that Claire’s wedding has been rearranged. It was originally scheduled at Red Lion Hotel. But it had to be changed to Crowne Plaza after Red Lion told her that it is not renewing its wedding venue licence.

Claire, a hospitality worker, told the Gazette that she is not angry at Crowne Plaza, but more upset at the situation.

“I understand that it is to support the government and they have done the best they can do for us considering the circumstances.

“Although Thursday night was difficult, I’m feeling much better now.”

Claire is however sorry for the people whose weddings at Crowne Plaza had to be cancelled or rearranged under short notice.

"There are people whose weddings were scheduled to be held in two weeks. I feel sorry for them."

The official announcement to convert Crowne Plaza into a quarantine location is expected to come after the DHSC completes its checks at the property for safety and facilities.

It is expected the hotel will remain closed to the wider public until the end of the year.

There are many readers who have reacted harshly to the decision by the hotel to cancel weddings in short notice.

One person, who commented on the Gazette's Facebook post about Crowne Plaza set to be turned into a quarantine site, said the hotel cancelled her wedding with just two weeks to go for the big day.

She wrote: "They told us the Hampshire court hotel is taking over the wedding, but I can’t get through to anyone there to speak about it. Been trying since Friday."

Another reader said her wedding has been cancelled with only eight weeks to go.

"We were told they had passed all the weddings there [to Hampshire Court Hotel], we have managed to get in there for September 11."

Has any of your bookings or events been cancelled by Crowne Plaza in the past few days? We would like to hear from you. Please write to us at kiran.sajan@basingstokegazette.co.uk.