I've been reading the Richwood's Terms & Conditions http://www.richwoodhotel.co.uk/terms
and £250 is not mentioned, although they do say that they'll charge for any damage "without consent if necessary". It's the fact that they refuse to check the rooms for damage until after guests have checked out and left the premises that would annoy me.
Their attitude to guests is so aggressive and unpleasant that I really don't think the hospitality business is for them.
I have just had another look on TA and I wonder if the £250 upfront only applies to group bookings http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUse...ECK_RATES_CONT
Shocking review though.
Looking at the response on the website it seems they decided to inflict the £250 deposit when the group arrived. The owners seems outraged when people criticise. I'm just about to read the comments they describe as "libellous".