Budget hotel chain Travel Lodge's new venture in Saudi Arabia - Riyadh West - was given a one-star rating only yesterday on travellers' website Trip Advisor.
Guests Ron and Noreen Francis from Solihull arrived back in the UK from visiting their son who works in Riyadh and posted their feelings "while we are still smarting" on the site.
The hotel was "a disgrace". The rooms were "grubby and had sand all over the floor". The toilet facilities were "dingy and smelt of camel dung".
"My husband suffers from a bowel complaint and naturally spends a good deal of time on the lavatory," writes Mrs Francis. "There was no paper and when we complained to reception we were told that Arabs use their bare hands alone to clean themselves after being on the toilet. I'm all for when in Rome but that's disgusting. We had to use torn up towels and shirts until we could find a store that sold loo paper."
The beds? "There was no bed. We slept, or tried to sleep, on the carpet with rock-hard bolsters for our heads. I now have an agonising pain in my neck."
The restaurant also proved to be a disappointment. "There were no tables or chairs and no cutlery - only a big plate in the middle of the floor. We were expected to share this dish with all and sundry and fight for handfuls of rice and chicken. My husband found it most awkward sitting cross-legged and in trying to get up again he inadvertently grabbed onto a passing woman's cloak. Her male companion stepped forward and struck my husband twice on the face with the back of his hand."
A spokesperson for Travel Lodge Middle East sympathised with the Francis' plight yesterday but added:"Frankly, you get what you pay for. We are able to keep prices down only by providing basic amenities. We didn't get any complaints from a Northumberland party last week. They said we were a cut above Gateshead North."