A FAMILY that had planned a memorial to celebrate the life of their late mother, who passed away from Covid earlier this year, are furious after the hotel cancelled it at the last minute.

Apollo Hotel at Aldermaston Road Roundabout in Basingstoke has cancelled the family’s reservations as part of their plan to close bookings for the public, following what they describe as “a large group booking of their rooms”.

The family is now left furious as they said the hotel did not even show the courtesy to phone them and explain the circumstances.

David Tamblyn, who booked three of those 16 bedrooms for the memorial on Saturday, October 30, said he got to know about the change of plans when he received an email saying, ‘your cancelation request has been accepted’.

“I was surprised when I got the mail last Thursday night,” said Mr Tamblyn, who lives in Kent.

“We booked the rooms for just one night back in July and they just cancelled our bookings last Thursday, just three weeks before the memorial.

“None of us live in Basingstoke, but we chose this hotel because it was just the central point for all. I live in Kent, my brother lives in Exeter, some of them are coming from Warwickshire, Cornwall and London.”

Since then, the family struggled to find another hotel with 16 bedrooms and a restaurant available on such short notice.

Finally, they found and booked one – but it is in Birmingham.

“Birmingham was the only place we could find with enough bedrooms in such short notice. But still, we had to pay a significantly higher amount for our bookings,” said Mr Tamblyn, 52.

His family has been trying to communicate with Apollo over the past week.

“Two days back (Wednesday, October 13), I got a very brief email from Apollo saying ‘sorry, they are booked until February, and we should have been phoned or informed’,” he said.

“I sent them an email explaining the contract. Clearly, my contract says we have to pay for the rooms even if we cancel. However, they have cancelled the rooms and they are not out of pocket, which is not how it should work.

“They owe us compensation for cancelling without any good reason.

“But there’s your surprise – they haven’t replied to my email yet.”

Mr Tamblyn lost his mum, 78, to Covid and Parkinson’s during the third lockdown.

The family gathering on October 30 was planned because the family couldn’t do a big funeral then.

Paul Fearon, general manager at the Apollo Hotel, refused to directly comment on the case, saying that GDPR and “business etiquette” prevented him from disclosing details of clients.