Grangemouth hotelier goes through telly hell for his Helix Hotel

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A frustrated hotel owner took the extreme step of going on a television reality show to try and end the misconceptions about his premises.

Viewers of Channel Four’s popular tea-time series Four in a Bed – which pits bed and breakfast owners against each in a Come Dine With Me style competition – may have spotted Grangemouth hotelier Nawaz Haq last week.

Nawaz took over the Grangelea, in the town’s Kerse Road, some years ago and invested a ton of time and cash to convert it from a homeless hostel/halfway house into the Helix Hotel – a completely refurbished facility geared for business people and industry contract workers.

However, more than four years after the new-look hotel opened its doors, some people still believe it is homeless accommodation.

Nawaz said: “I’ve had some guests tell me they were told not to bother coming to the Helix Hotel because it was a homeless hostel. By going on television I could let people see the rooms, the breakfasts and even myself.

“Seeing things makes it more real.”

So Nawaz put himself in the firing line to face his fellow hospitality operators – some who were less than hospitable – on the Channel Four show.

Last week’s episodes, which were filmed last September, contained particularly tense scenes between Nawaz and the owner of a Sudbury B&B.

“I though I would go on the show and just be myself,” said Nawaz. “I’m not a controversial person, but I really ended up in the middle of it.”

The shows featuring Nawaz – which have now apparently been removed from Channel Four’s catch up service – generated a massive response on social media, with the majority of people on his side for the way he stayed calm under intense pressure during the confrontations with his opposite numbers.

“That’s just the way I deal with things – I refuse to take anything other than an adult approach to pressure situations. How can I expect to win business customers if I’m not coming across in a professional manner?

“I’ve invested a lot of time and money in the Helix Hotel and a lot of hard work.”

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