The homepage of the website featured four stars under the property name.
The following statements were made on the website:
“…Award-winning Milltown House is a famous boutique Hotel in Dingle that has appeared on National TV and radio, and is renowned for its connection to Hollywood stars such as Robert Mitchum – who lived here in 1969 during the filming of the classic Oscar-winning movie, ‘Ryan’s Daughter’.
Milltown House is the iconic luxury accommodation property on Dingle’s Waterfront”.
Under the heading ‘Gourmet Breakfast’ the following information was provided:
“We offer gourmet breakfasts, prepared with care and finesse by our professional Chefs and what we like to call our ‘traditional country cooks’…”
The complainant stayed in Milltown House and provided photographs taken at the time of her stay. She considered the advertising for the property to be misleading.
She said that that the premises was not registered as a hotel and therefore should not be advertised as a ‘boutique hotel’ but rather as a ‘guest house’. In addition, she considered the inclusion of the four stars to be misleading.
She considered that it was inaccurate to state that the premises provided ‘luxury accommodation’ or that it offered ‘gourmet breakfasts’. She said her bedroom lacked proper facilities and the decor in both the bedroom and bathroom needed attention. In relation to the description of the breakfasts, she did not consider that what she had been offered could be described as ‘gourmet’.
The advertisers said they considered that their property had a boutique hotel feel to it and while it had in the past been described as a boutique hotel this description had now been amended to B&B. They said their premises was without question an iconic accommodation building, having once been the home to Robert Mitchum during the filming of the Oscar winning movie ‘Ryan’s Daughter’. In conclusion the advertisers said that while they regretted that the complainant had not enjoyed all of her stay, their professional opinion was that their property was luxurious.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that the description of the property had been amended to reflect the fact that it was not a Hotel but a B&B.
The Committee noted that substantiation for the star rating of the property, for the description of the breakfasts as ‘gourmet’ and for the claim that the property offered ‘luxury accommodation’ had not been submitted and in the circumstances they considered the advertising to be in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.
As the reference to ‘boutique hotel’ had been amended to B&B no further action was required in this regard. In the absence of substantiation, the website should be amended in line with the Committee’s conclusion.