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This is a question Hotel Splendido

Enzyme writes, "what about awful hotels, B&Bs, or friends' houses where you've had no choice but to stay the night?"

What, the place in Oxford that had the mattresses encased in plastic (crinkly noises all night), the place in Blackpool where the night manager would drum to the music on his ipod on the corridor walls as he did his rounds, or the place in Lancaster where the two single beds(!) collapsed through metal fatigue?

Add your crappy hotel experiences to our list.

(, Thu 17 Jan 2008, 16:05)
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American Hotels
And Canadian ones for that matter. The two hotels I stayed in on the Stateside legs of my trip to 'Merkin Land had the wierdest showers I have EVER seen in my life. I had to call up reception in the first hotel and they had to send someone up to show me how it worked. I then got to my GF's house in the evening and the next morning discovered her shower was exactly the same. Albeit with sligtly less expensive tap fittings. So I guess its not just the hotels. Further embarrassment was saved on the way home by having the first hotel's shower explained to me and much use of the GFs. I suspect I shall have to re-learn it all over again when I go back this summer.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:33, 7 replies)
Holiday blues/staying at a mates
on holiday in scotland one summer with family. Mother mixed up the dates between the places we were staying, which meant that we had one night where we had nowhere to stay, which happened to be the night of the edinburgh military tattoo.

After searching round, eventually found a place to stay after the tattoo. After said event, we go back to the place to stay. To find we had to share a 2 person room between four of us. The room wasnt even too great either, rather dingy and had a dirty feel to it. Slept only with a towel as a duvet :(
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:28, Reply)
Air conditioning in England? Oh no, we have windows for ventilation...
The hotel itself was fine. Me and the sweary other half, plus family, were at a wedding a few years ago. We’d managed to book rooms in the hotel / pub that the reception was being held in, and were delighted when we arrived and saw the place. Rustic, olde-worlde stone building, exposed oak beams, roaring fires dotted around – a picture of rustic Englishness if ever there was one. A quick unpack, shower and it was down for dinner and a few points in the bar. Our room was nicely appointed, if a little twee and floral for my tastes.

There were two major drawbacks to our stay. The day of the wedding was probably the hottest day of the year, about 35 degrees centigrade in the shade, and there I was in a purple (yes purple) cashmere suit (lovely it was – hand made in Hong Kong. Still got it). After about 5 minutes the sweat was pooling down my legs and into my shoes, and I couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel to get showered and changed.

Drawback number two, it transpired, was the fact that the windows in our room would only open a tiny way, which meant it was impossible to get any meaningful ventilation. Add to that the fact that our room was situated directly above the hotel kitchens, and you begin to get an idea as to the furnace like properties our (south facing – did I mention that?) room was beginning to take on. The full impact became evident as I unsuccessfully attempted to dry myself off in the bathroom – I just couldn’t. I had no option but to get changed whilst still damp, and hope that I would eventually get so drunk I just wouldn’t notice / care anymore.

Sleep was impossible, and I lay there all night feeling as though I’d pissed the bed as the warm, wet sheets squelched beneath me.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:28, Reply)
I was doing a gig there a few years ago, and the promoter had booked me into Ryan's Hotel, a shithole. There were fuck all guests in the place, but when I got up in the morning the shower wasn't working. I informed the guy at the desk and he told me it had been broken for months.
So in a hotel with lots of empty rooms they put a guest into the room with a broken bathroom.
Also Jury's Inn in Cork. Big place, calls itself a business hotel. Only has one iron.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:18, 1 reply)
Krakow, Poland
Not really a crap hotel, but an experience none the less...

To set the scene...

We arrive in Krakow, 12 of us in the party, split across two hotels as we booked it last minute and couldn't all fit in one...

Six of us turn up to our hotel, already booked and paid for to find that there is no reservation. The only way they would accept that we'd booked a room was to use the internet in the reception area to log into my bank online and show them the money going out of my account into theirs.

The receptionist grudgingly gave us rooms (luckily they had some available) and we thought the worst of our weekend would be over... little did we know...

As is usual on any lads weekend, we spent the day drinking, and the night drinking more...

It's around 6am, the clubs are shutting and we've managed to commandeer a taxi back to the hotel...

The gates are locked... big fuck off iron things about eight feet high...

With no other option we decide on a military style approach, reminiscent of the storming of the Iranian Embassy in the 1980's...

Jackets and Jumpers are thrown over the top of the gate to prevent being spiked.

Two of us are crouched at the bottom of the gates, knees bent, hands clasped, ready to provide a platform for the daring duo who will first breach the defenses...

Operation Pole Vault begins...

Two of the party run at the gates and are hoisted up. Sitting astride the gates on the protective clothing, they assist the other four of us on to the other side by means of physical strength and pure luck...

It's going well, four of us are across, searching the grounds for equipment should we then need to break into the hotel. The giggling is being kept to a minimum and the SAS style rolls across the car park are obviously keeping us from being spotted by the imaginary guards and accompanying rottweilers.

Then, the unthinkable happens... The security lights come on. Like paedophiles caught masturbating at a swimming gala, everyone stops in their tracks.

An electronic whine is heard from somewhere, and the sound of footsteps. Everyone freezes in position as they await their inevitable discovery.

All of a sudden the massive gates start to open, two of my partners in crime still astride them, trying to maintain their balance and remain as unobtrusive as possible...

The hotel door opens and the receptionist from our earlier room booking debacle appears...

Trying to explain why there were four very excitable people spread around the carpark hidden under cars and in bushes, while another two were perched ontop of the moving gates was an experience in itself... Maybe they thought the Germans were invading again...

Needless to say we haven't been invited back...
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:16, Reply)
Hilton Newbury North
For a Hilton, it is appalling. Crap room service food, damp walls, noisy rooms (motorway on 2 sides), carpets that don't fit the room, peeling wallpaper, showers that don't work, telly doesn't work, and the people I worked with stayed there too, so I had to face them at breakfast in the morning.

I've stayed in about 40 of the rooms there and they all had something wrong.

Every other Hilton I've ever stayed at has been either nice or brilliant.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:13, Reply)
I don't know...

I get the first post in and then leave it a day and a half before actually posting something...

soz everybody.


(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:07, 1 reply)
Kallangur, Australia
When I was a younger Ape, during my gap year, I embarked on a highly unoriginal tour of New Zealand and Australia with a couple of mates.

All went relatively well around NZ, we planned from morning to night and never struggled to find a place to rest our weary heads.

Australia turned out to be different story. we had decided to follow the Lions* around the country to watch the tests. The first was in sunny brisbane.

I arrived a couple of days earlier than my mates due to poor planning meaning that there weren't enough seats on one flight. I found bed in a hostel right in the centre of town and set about getting ratted in the Down under Bar at night and snoozing in the wonderfully warm, cahv free botanical gardens during the day.

Never did I think to book ahead and by the time my frinds arrived so had half of Briton and there was not a bed to be found.

After many phonecalls accomodation was sourced in the small town of Kallangur, north of the city. Younthful exuberance, read ignorance, kept our spirits high as the battered old Holden chugged ever further Northwards and the hairsuit drivers laughed harder and harder after swigs from a mysterious bottle.

We eventually arrived at what turned out to be a static caravan park around 10pm. The "office" looked nice enough but had closed at 6 and instructions on the door said we should seek out caravan 21. Easy we thought we'll be sipping cold aussie beer and eating BBQ kangaroo in no time.

We wandered down the first "street" of caravans, 1, 2, 3, 4, 475, 296. Ah this was going to be trickier than we thought.

"I know, from watching hours of low grade australian soap operas I am fully aware of how neighbours are happy to help each other out, lets knock on a door".

Knock on door we did hoping to suckle at the milk of human kindness. After a few seconds a voice boomed out from behind us.

"What the fuck do you want?"

A man in a crocodile dundee hat was silohetted behinda screen door, no visible features expect the ends of his enormous moustche.

I boldly spoke for the group,"Oh, er, sorry, I er,was wondering if you would kindly, if it's not too much bother, perhaps let us know wher caravan 21 is, please...sir?"

"Round the corner, now get the fuck of my property!"

He wasn't like rotund but loveable buffon phil Martin we thought as we located the night office.

A kindly old lady showed us to are berth, in her nightie, and we settled in.

The next few days we mearly milled around, there was nothing to do in this town and as three faced faced 18 year olds we were scared of the pub even!

the other residences of the park were almost exclusively permanent and would stare from behind screens or disappear when we round a bend. All in all though the stay was fairly uneventful.

It wasn't until we caught the news two days after we left to see that someone in a caravan very near to ours had hacked his mother to bits with bloody great axe that we realised thatwe may have had a lucky escape! God knows what the outback must be like this was near to a major city!!!

*Lions, effectively a GB Rugby union team who tour Oz, NZ and RSA once every four years
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:04, Reply)
$2 a night – Krabi, Thailand
This was the homeward leg of our round the world trip – we were broke, having spent all my cash on xrays and tests for my (now ex) GF’s psychosomatic swallowing illness in Oz and we had been traveling by bus from Singapore. Arriving at Krabi town we went to the hotel we had booked into. It seemed OK, but was a little bit pricier than we were used to paying (and was quoted) as it was a more touristy area, however my premenstrual (and slightly psycho) missus went ballistic accusing the receptionist of ripping us off as we were not Thai. To be fair she was still angry at the toilet attendant at the coach stop charging her 10 baht to piss when the going rate for locals was 1 baht and didn’t appreciate me telling her she was wasting her time and energy arguing over about 15p!

Anyway off we stropped and spend the next three hours discovering that we had stormed out of the only half decent hotel in town with vacancies. It’s getting late and carrying our overfull rucksacks is becoming a pain however “we” are too proud to go back to the hotel and eventually find a room above a shop overlooking the quaint night market.

It was shocking. No aircon, amenities, lock or glass in the windows – just net. No ensuite however the shared toilet/washing facities was located conveniently located the other side of the paper thin wall. There was no toilet roll and no running water as such, just a large tank fed by a constant trickle of (rain?) water with a bucket in it to “flush” the toilet, wash etc. The bustling night market bustled all night right outside our nonexistent window and I’m not sure whether the net kept the mosquitoes inside or out.

Length - We stayed for two days as we overslept and missed the boats to lovely RaiLei but sure taught that receptionist a lesson!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:57, 1 reply)
Jungla Shagaluf Majorca
Very aptly named, the place is a Jungle, inhabited by 20 something’s from the UK. Most of them on their 1st trip abroad without mum and dad. There wasn’t a person over the age of 30, apart from us in the place.

Take about a 1000 under 20 year olds fill them with drink and let them lose. At Sundown the staff bolted everything down that would move and beat a hasty retreat for the night. It only ever got quiet at around 6 am, at sun up, for about an hour before it started all over again.

We were told that is was a quiet week as the police had only been called in once, for a broken back. The poor guy had been thrown from a 3rd floor balcony.

To be fare there was a warning in the brochure, and the place was kept reasonable clean.

Oh it took me a week, back in the UK, to adjust to sleeping with out a riot going on out side. Funny what you can get used too.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:56, 2 replies)
Diamond in the rough
As a birthday treat, my brother decided he would take his girlfriend (now wife) to the glourious city of Manchester for shopping and a short break.

Being skint, as he always is, he had to make the careful balance between quality and price. In the end price won out and they decided to stay at a place which I think was called The Diamond Hotel.

As I was studying up there, I decided I would go pay them a visit. My brothers girlfriend was ever so pleased, especially with the added extras that came with the place, blood stained sheets, mouldy shower curtains and an imposing fence round the joint not dis-similar to that round Wormwood Scrubs. This was one skanky shit hole, as they had spent the whole day out shopping and buying things they couldn't afford, they were forced to get the beers in and spend the night in their scum fuck of a room.

Luckily, I had a get out clause, my other brother, slightly further up the financial chain, was staying in the Lowry Hotel, which is basically where all the famous people who are forced to do stuff in the city stay. I quickly hot footed it over to there to sample a slice of the finer life, and even met some actual real life famous folk, none other than Mick Hucknel of Simply Red fame. On reflection tho, I think I preferred the simply red bed sheets.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:51, 1 reply)
About a decade ago I used to live and work on the continent, and for the most part the accommodation there is far superior to what's available here,
but for some reason every time I found myself in a French speaking country, the French snobbery made it thru with the language to some degree.

Now, I was staying at a very nice hotel in Paris central, so obviously as French as you're ever gonna get, and I'd been working a 12 hour shift and weren't too with it in the morning but I managed to dress for breakfast and made my way to the breakfast bar, but I found there's a maitre de in full penguin suit in my way, sleepily I ask in English (too early in my days there to yet manage French) what's up and find myself quite roughly ushered in the opposite direction into a small back room full of fold-up tables set up with a few dry offerings, a couple of hot water tureens and some cutlery. This is not what I'm used to here, these places normally provide a very good breakfast in the buffet style, meats and cereals, juices, the lot, but I'm pressed into a fold-up seat facing some other equally bleary eyed chap in a football shirt.

Slowly it dawns on me after a few strong coffees (instant!) that everyone around me is English. Slowly it then dawns on me that they've got a lot of English football supporters in the hotel and even tho they are presumably paying the same as everyone else, as am I, the staff have decided they'd best separate the filthy English from the rest of their clientele so as to stop us shitting on the tables.

Cue me being VERY fucking vocal to said Maitre De cum Bouncer, as all my first words I learnt in French were excellent swear words and phrases and he got the lot of them, quickly followed by my workmates who caught wind of what was going on.

I was allowed into the main breakfast bar from then on, but TBH, I was very inclined to stay with my fellow countrymen that morning, just to make a point, or possibly try and arrange an uprising, and the arrogant fuckers never apologised to me!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:50, 1 reply)
that wouldnt...
happen to bea chap with a surname similar to cocker would it?
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:47, Reply)
I've been lucky with hotels/hostels/etc...
...some fantastic, most just OK, and some a little bit crappy, but nothing worth writing about. That'll be my excuse to describe the tenuously-linked state of the 'rehearsal room' my band once hired:

It was in a run-down street that was generally looked down upon even by the run-down area of my town that contained it. It was a basement room under a boarded up shop that was in an entire row of boarded up shops. It was about 10ft x 15ft, and there were 6 of us with various amps, PA, guitars etc., but luckily no drum kit on this particular occasion. It had no windows and one bare bulb hanging from the ceiling at a height that meant it slapped you in the face and burned your cheek if you tend to jump around when playing, as at least half of us did. There was one double socket with two four-in-one extension leads for power. The plaster on the walls was either bubbled, falling off or covered in black mould depending which direction you faced. The carpet was black, but you could just about tell it used to be red, and was covered in fag butts. The smell was indescribable.

We'd only booked it for 2 hours, and we didn't even make it that far through, despite the music going really well. On the way out I temporarily lost any intelligence I may usually posess and decided to go to the loo before we left - big mistake. Trying not to piss on your shoes, the walls, the sink, the carpet etc., while violently dry-heaving is no fun, and apparently too much of a task for the previous guests. From the looks of it the toilet had been used daily since the basement room was pristine, and flushed only once in that time.

You know the beige poo-froth that floats about on the top of the watertanks in a sewage works? It had a solidified, browny-green, mouldy approximation of that where the water should be (there may well have been water underneath, but I wouldn't know as the piss just kind of pooled on top of it. I guess nobody was stupid enough to use the loo recently after all, and that probably accounts for the piss-smell being stronger by the sink).

I was breathing as slowly as possible, through my t-shirt and I could still taste the smell. The memory of that bathroom still haunts me - I don't think I'll be eating tonight.

The best bit: a few years ago the area got one of these urban rejuvination winfalls - loads of cash being injected to make it the kind of place you just hurry through instead of avoid completely. That particularly delightful building was left standing while others around it were pulled down and rebuilt, and was converted into... a kebab shop. Yes, it is now possible to purchase food prepared in that very building. Niiiiiiice!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:45, Reply)
Whitehouse Hotel
Does anyone know of/remember the Whitehouse Hotel in Nottingham, and if so, do they know if it's still there?

I don't have any bad stories about the place - it was rather good actually.

I did find it somewhat strange that no matter what time of the morning our drunken group staggered back there, the old fella was ALWAYS still sitting in front of the TV waiting to let us in. He didn't speak good English, so I'm not sure if he greeted us or moaned at us for being so late.

Many a Rock City trip ended with us staggering back there at 3.30am. Ah, good times.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:27, Reply)
Bed bugs
Vancouver is supposedly the best city in the world - and it is great, but my first impressions were tainted by my experience of the Central Station Hostel...

I only wish I had searched for it on the internet before I went there - as other people's reviews are similarly bad.

My girlfriend and I had stayed there for one night and were making dinner in the kitchen. The other residents seemed very happy with the accommodation and were singing it's praises to us - but they were obviously homeless and therefore not as fussy as me, being a snobby backpacker with an overdraft.

I thought that we had been bitten by sand flies or something after our first night - but on our second night at about 12 o'clock we discovered some very full-up looking bed bugs in the bed and were forced to spend the rest of the night in the same bed.

Sorry about the snobby story because to be fair, we were travelling around the world so really are lucky as fuck!

Sydney is better than Vancouver though!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:26, 4 replies)
Flushed out
I understand that the better hotels still provide the little amenities (free soap in the shower, mints on the pillows etc), but Travellodge are trying to do way with them to save money. There's nothing disposable in any of the rooms with the exception of the "tea set" - two teabags, two coffee packets, two decaf coffee packets and the appropriate creamer/sugar stuff.

And so I wasn't expecting very much when I stayed a night there with a friend. But you know Travellodge! They go above and beyond the norm and provide you with some wonderful amenities left behind by previous guests...

...there was an enema kit in the bathroom. Hanging over the shower curtain rail and still attached to the bath tap. Someone had clearly been engaging in a bit of colon hygiene and the travellodge staff had not thought to remove it. And there was even a pack of unopened disposable nozzles by the bath.

Despite large amounts of alcohol and drunken dares, no-one used it. We didn't complain to the management purely because we thought it was hilarious :)
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:20, 3 replies)
Gloria De Manana
Staying at a beautiful private villa in the canaries with the wife and kids I had the misfortune of being so drunk one morning I had not heard the twice weekly maid ring the doorbell.

The family had got up and out early doors, obviously to escape my drunken snoring. Now its pretty hot out there and I tend to sleep 'tackle out' even in the winter in England. I finally awoke, opened my gunk filled eyelids and surveyed the scene...a spotless bedroom, 'strange the place was a shit tip last night' I thought to myself. Then I heard a noise in the lounge area. I investigated, and just caught a glimpse of the maid leaving.
Coincidental that, because she caught more than a glimpse of my pre-wake up erection while she was cleaning up the filth around me.

Length...2 weeks self catering.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:19, Reply)
I just moved out of a shared house
Into another one. But the last one was a horrible place.

There was no wall cover on the kitchen. There was no flooring apart from wooden shitty 50's floorboards and concrete from the kitchen to the bathroom. There was grime everywhere. The landlord kept 'phoning the builder' no 'no avail'. There was a tumble drier but it kept blowing the fuse and the entire house. The radiators blew a puff of warm air, making us freezing at best.

I moved into another hoose which was cleaner, tidier and more loved!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:12, 1 reply)
Emmets Get Lost!
A couple of years ago, before bidding farewell to Blighty and shacking up together in France, the lady girlfriend and I decided to go on a long weekend’s tour of Cornwall. The weekend was all very bucolic and picturesque, and regularly punctuated by clotted cream teas, but involved a lot of driving around and changes of scene, so in true desert rally style we set ourselves distance objectives for each day. This also meant booking a different hotel for each night.

On Saturday night we ended up in Tintagel. Saw the Arthurian castle thingy; saw the Old Post Office and thought of Postman Pat doing his rounds in chainmail; and bought some fudge from wobbly grannies. All that was left was to find the hotel.

Of course, since we’d been driving around for the entire day and most of the previous day, we had less petrol than a tramp’s breath. Any hopes of Tintagel being a big tourist destination and therefore having all the amenities (such as a petrol station) close at hand were dashed when we realised that they obviously wanted to maintain the Olde Worlde cachet of the place and had therefore banned anything so new-fangled from within a ten-mile radius.

Luckily, being organised and all that, I’d saved the number for the hotel on my phone. I rang them up and the nice lady said “Oh, it’s dead easy to find.” This in itself should have set alarm bells ringing, but it was getting dark and I was getting hungry, so it didn’t quite register. She then said “You just take the road out of town, and at the first bend you’ll see a big sign. Turn right at the sign and we’re a few metres down the road.”

Thanks love, etc. etc.

There was indeed only one road out of town, so we parked in Tintagel's central car park and walked down it until we got to a bend. It wasn’t very far at all. On the downside, it wasn’t very much of a bend at all either. It was more of a kink, really. On the other downside, there was absolutely no sign to be seen anywhere. Behind us: the trudge back to Tintagel, and its one pub with no rooms free. In front of us: the vast, unfathomable, Stygian darkness of the road, with no pavement and no streetlights. One short discussion later (during which the prospect of pressing on regardless was flatly declined), we found ourselves back in the car park. It was at this point that my girlfriend started having a major panic attack at the thought of sleeping in a car in pitch darkness surrounded by drunken yokels and various slavering forest animals.

All seemed lost, until a group of chaps were heard returning home from a night at t’pub and were promptly accosted at full speed and subjected to the complete sob story. One of them knew the hotel and promptly drove us round: down the road out of Tintagel, stopping at the not very bendy bend, then turning right through what can only be described as a hole in the hedge gnawed for access by anorexic hamsters. Even with full-beam headlights this road was damn near invisible. We duly got to the hotel, way after midnight by now, and collapsed on the bed, the missus in a twitching and tearful nervous wreck and myself in dire want of a beer.

After an admittedly excellent breakfast surrounded by sheep (outside, not in the hotel dining room) the next morning, I couldn’t resist asking the landlady about the sign that blatantly wasn’t there.

“Oh yes”, she said. “Someone must have crashed into it and knocked it into the hedge. It happens a lot.”

Fortunately for her there was nothing immediately to hand that could have been used for throttling.

*** standard first post w00tage and heartfelt apologies for my massive schlong ***
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:08, Reply)
First of many.....
...OK first of, at most, 3

3 years ago, after visiting the missus' friend with her in Berlin, we stopped off in London for 4 days on the way back to Glasgow.

We had booked a 40 quid a night (for the room thank god) in Earl's Court.

And my was it shit.

Booked as a double room - it came with ONE SINGLE BED. Complain - no other rooms free.

NO shower/toilet/sink in room. In fact, no anything except bed, mirror and in-built radio.

Showers/Toilets were shared between floors - one to each. Showers had automatic lights which went off after 5 minutes, and a light switch outside, on the hinge side of the door.

Breakfast was terrible - greasier than a 50's hairstyle, and probably made then as well. Eggs were like cardboard.

Add to the fact that, a) the room was on the ground floor, facing the street; b) their had been a few murders very nearby days before we arrived; and c) the owners, being of Pakistani decent, were permanently chasing/shouting at a large group of Nazi-chavs, it wasn't the best place to live in.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:03, Reply)
tianamen square
i once stayed in a hotel called the gou ren (country person) hotel - right on tianamen square.. it was ok apart from the fact it had no windows and smelt like burnt rubber.

but hey - its only a place you sleep. whats all the fuss about?
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:02, Reply)
The Shah's favourite hotel
This isn't about a bad hotel so much as a wierd one.

Ramsar is a city on Iran's northern, Caspian, coast. The Grand Hotel there, apparently, had used to be the Shah's favourite. (There's a strange video of it here for the curious.)

I stayed there for a night in April 2004. It was plush and comfortable - in a 1970s kind of a way - and almost completely deserted. And it was huge, both in terms of the number of rooms, and the height of the ceilings. Because of the low number of guests, lighting was kept to a minimum - hence the rather eerie feeling of walking long, high, dim and utterly silent corridors.

It was sad, as much as anything. In the evening, after a dinner of sturgeon kebab (stick that, your Majesty!), I wandered to the bar. Being Iran, the bar was not a heaving drunken joint. Nevertheless, it was themed - roughly - along Scottish lines, with every possible soft furnishing covered in Royal Stuart tartan. It, too, was dimly-lit, and almost completely deserted, with the exception of the people from my party. The barman was heartbreakingly keen to sell us tea and ice-cream: he confided, though, that what he really wanted to do was to sell us cocktails, just as he had been employed to do to the Shah 25 years previously. Instead, he satisfied himself by giving us embossed cocktail twizzlers as souvenirs, and showing us around the (once again, dimly-lit) casino, the roulette wheel of which had not turned for a quarter of a century.

Outside, the weather was dreich and as melancholy as the atmosphere. As we sipped our tea, a lone microlite headed out over the Caspian, north towards Baku...
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 14:43, 7 replies)
Hilton Treetops. Aberdeen
The worst hotel I've ever stayed in (and I've backpacked across Cambodia) was a Hilton.* The Hilton Treetops in Aberdeen, to be prescise. We were there for a wedding.

List of complaints included:
Grubby sheets with holes in, broken tv, office chairs and a desk stacked in a corner, broken loo handle, mouldy shower curtain, our room overlooked the kitchen and deliveries area, so the humming of the industrial fridges kept us awake all night), rude staff who couldn't find their arses with an atlas, and food that gave us food poisoning (the wedding meal itself).
We complained, they offered us a free night there again, but as we weren't likely to go back to Aberdeen ever, we settled for a free night at the Grovesnor Hotel in Edinburgh. Which was lully.

*I'm basing my scale on value. A couple of the places in Cambodia had gaffer-taped eletrical wires in the shower room, dangerously close to the shower head, broken air-con and lots of bugs, but they were about $2 a night, and extremely friendly. The Hilton was over a hundred pounds a night. Ripoff.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 14:42, Reply)
£40 per night for a double room and full English breakfast in London!!
The (now ex) Missus and I popped down to Londy a few years back to march with a few people to prevent that ridiculous, ill conceived war that we were going to have with Iraq, remember. (I know – it would have been a disaster, just plain stupid!)

Anyway – we decided to make a trip of it and as we were broke from traveling round the world booked into a stunningly cheap hotel in South Kensington for a few days. After struggling into the room, through a door that only opened about 15 degrees. We were confronted with

1 Double bed
1 Wardrobe - non opening on account of the bed
1 TV bolted to the wall. – colour (green at the top of the picture, magenta at the bottom), only thee channels.
About 3 square feet of exposed floor (total) on which to place bags!

We did our march (well shuffle as there were so many people) stopping briefly at one of the few open pubs on the way, felt that we had made a difference had a romantic meal and went to bed feeling smug, stuffed, saintly and satisfied.

The next morning, we bounded downstairs for some post coital full English breakfast – I am a big fan (of greasy breakfasts – oh and sex). It was a self service affair and we were the only ones eating, it being fairly late. I started of with a slice of toast. I gagged as soon as I tasted it – the butter was rancid. – it probably had been in the butter dish on the table for ages. Hadn’t they heard of fridges! Thus sensitized I couldn’t face the suspiciously large quantity of left of bacon, sausages and fried eggs left and had to stick to the boiled eggs and extremely ripe fruit. Boo!

Nonetheless for the price and location I would recommend this hotel (St Simeon) as despite everything the room and bed were clean and comfy and that’s what matters. The place is run by French speaking Syrian Christians and has a quirky but friendly atmosphere - Well it beats the shit out of the £100+ per night Stratford Holiday Inn which doesn't even include breakfast, the staff give the impression of hating the customers and is in Stratford (sorry East Enders- I'm sure it will be regenerated with the Olympics)!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 14:33, 1 reply)
Jersey Nightmare
After searching around for a hotel to take two small children to, we thought we'd found an ideal place.. .. family room, brochure photo looked idyllic (how do they do that?) price was right.

We got there and were foolishly surprised to find a 3 lane main road running past the hotel. But it's ok we thought because all of the windows are double glazed.. ..

Got to the room using the only working lift in the hotel that stopped working if more than 3 people were in it.

The room itself was a fabulous design.. .. just right for a family. The TV was on a wall bracket above the cot, the bunk beds were so close to the toilet / shower that you almost had to climb through the bottom bunk to use them, and for the parents? Two single beds.
And it was hot. Very hot. So hot that it was impossible to sleep at night without opening the windows and having the traffic keep you awake.

Apologies for lack of humour / entertainment.. .. it's me first post!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 14:26, Reply)
Hotel Splendido, Nicaragua
I once stayed at a hotel in Nicaragua where nothing worked. The lights didn't work, the air conditioning didn't work, the shower was a mere trickle of ice-cold water. There were three of us in the room, and it was so cramped the beds were virtually shoved right together.

I wasn't too bothered by this at first - it's a very poor country and you can't expect everything to be perfect. However, when we went to the boys' room and discovered that they were living it up in a veritable palace of massive beds, hot water and icy air conditioning, we got a bit pissed off.

I went to speak to the manager, told him that we were paying the same as everybody else but that our room was shit, that nothing worked, and that we were not happy.

His response was to laugh at my Castillian accent (Nicaraguans don't like the Spanish. With good reason, to be fair) and after a bit of grumbling, send a man out to have a look at things.

When the guy arrived, he looked at me like I was mad and told me that the electricity wouldn't come on until 7pm, despite the fact that it was working in the other rooms.

7pm came and still nothing worked. The guy came round again, fiddled with the air conditioning and got it working. A few minutes later it stopped working. It turns out that every time there was a power cut (which is about every 20 minutes in Nicaragua) the air conditioning wouldn't come back on again until it was reset.

Then he grumbled about having to come to our room all the time to fix the air conditioning and demanded that we paid him. We had paid for an air conditioned room, and were now being asked to pay to have it fixed.

We got the guy to show us how to fix it ourselves, which he was astonished by as Central American men live in the 1950s and think that women can't do anything except iron shirts. And then we spent a fun night in pitch darkness (the lights still didn't work), scrabbling around outside in the pouring rain (oh yeah, it was a chalet) to fix this bloody air conditioning. It was way too hot and humid to do without it.

Fortunately the boys let us use their shower in the morning.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 14:22, 2 replies)
Brizzle and the list
Ok so it was some 6 Nations Game in Cardiff and we had to drop my brother off in Bristol for a train as the trains didn't go to England in the evenings.

Fair enough, let's stay in a B&B and then visit my folks in darkest Somerset that weekend. Trouble is, the missus booked the place on line and it sounded fine, large car park, en suite facilites, lovely view of the river, all the usual stuff.

Took a while to find the place when we got there and there was space for two cars, ok...get in there and go to check in, looks pretty shabby but we needed some sleep, little guy for whom english wasn't his first or even last language asked for the payment up front and would show us to our room...erm ok, as we go up pass a board on the stairs that says
No salt
no fork
No guests
no soap and a huge list of other stuff finished off with
no refund after 10 minutes (should have warned us)
Room was the usual squalid affair and pretty much as bad as most other tales here, turned to the wife and said 'we've got 6 minutes to get a refund'

Bloke couldn't understand and tried to get us into another room.

If anyone else finds that place I'd love to find out the rest of the weird list.

length, about 5 minutes in total in that dump.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 14:16, 2 replies)

This question is now closed.

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