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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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This question is now closed.

QOTW -Hotels/B&Bs
Years ago I was crewing for a band playing on Hogmanay in George Square, Glasgow.I'd decided not to return home to Edinburgh so I pressured the promoter to get me a hotel room, at short notice. So there I was, stripping the gear at 1:30 in the morning, right opposite the Copthorne Hotel where all the bands and crew were staying. Not long till I'm in there, I thought. I'd even dragged my then GF along, on the promise of shenanigans until God knows when. So, at 02:00 we hoy up to the Copthorne. "Sorry, MrC, we don't appear to have a booking for you!". I spotted the promoter's rep, who said that I'd been shunted to the Central Station Hotel.

Fucked off, we trudge down, hoping to find a party there. There was fuck all! We then fall out and repair to the old, musty bedroom. We then find there is no mini-bar and no room-service so we argue more and then flop into bed, where I am refused sex. Throughout what's left of the night we could hear rats running about in the roof, pigeons cooing on the window ledge and an old man in the next room began making 'Ohhh, ohhh, ohhh, ohhh!' noises for the next two hours. He was either having good sex or taking a long time to die. He was lucky, for I was doing neither!! We got up at 07:00 after two hours lying in purgatory and drove home - without breakfast - to Edinburgh in the pissing rain.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 21:12, Reply)
Turkish delight
I travel - a lot - on business. Many years ago I learned that when the company is paying, DO NOT CHEAP OUT. Ever. I have a number of miserable hotel stories...

When I checked into a hotel in Istanbul, I was given a room on the second floor. When I got out of the lift, I was somewhat surprised to see bullet holes all around the foyer. I knew they were bullet holes, because the porter then took great pride in showing me the huge bloodstain in the carpet.

I stayed in a Horrible Inn in Johannesburg in 1995 (during the Rugby World Cup). I shared this hotel with the All Blacks. Who got food poisoning. The All Blacks claimed that the Sarf Effricans had poisoned them. All I can tell you is that they tried it on me first. A crap or a chunder; I had no idea what was coming next. All I could do was lie in a puddle of my own fluids mewling quietly.

I checked into a hotel in Los Angeles, walked to my room, opened the door to be greeted by a very fat man shagging a very ugly arse. That's all I saw. Went back to the reception desk to request a new room and was disbelieved by the receptionist. I had to take her to the room to prove it, where Mr. Fat was still energetically pounding Ugly Arse. I still, to this day, do not know if Mr. Fat was shagging a bird or a bloke.

I had checked into a hotel in Boston and gone to bed. I was woken up by the arrival of a man who had also been given the room and was very upset to find a naked man sleeping in his (?) bed.

In a flea-pit motel in Cincinnati I got propositioned by a lady who (from the bulge) had a bigger willy than I did.

In a very swanky hotel in Seattle I was intrigued by a red LED inside the air conditioning duct. I opened it to find a video camera trained on the bed. The police got involved with that one. It turned out that the assistant manager and two maintenance guys had five of the best (including the two honeymoon suites) rooms rigged up with cameras and were flogging amateur porn.

I once made the mistake of taking a UV light with me to a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina and then the bigger mistake of shining it on the room's contents when the lights were out. Bedspread, carpet, chairs, curtains (!) covered with "DNA".

I arrived at a hotel in Hawaii and went for a pee in my room's bog - to find a turd (sans paper) of truly epic proportions. I mean, this thing was a bum torpedo. Bigger than my willy. Bigger than John Holmes' willy. I took a picture of it because I didn't think anyone would believe me.

I arrived - after a late Virgin Shaglantic flight - at my hotel in New York to be told that there were no more rooms left at the hotel. The air steward also checking in smiled at me and offered me to share his bed. Then the hotel offered me a room at another hotel, but I'd have to drive there. This was pre-satnav, and it was - I'm not kidding - like the effing Overlook. A scarier hotel I have never been to. I slept in my clothes.

I don't know why, but more times than I can count I seem to have been in the room next to the couple who are going for the "world's noisiest shag" record. One couple shagged - loudly and energetically - for almost four hours. When they finally came (and believe me, the whole floor knew it) they got a round of applause.

I have more but it's already too long as it is (steady on, ladies).

I hate hotels.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 20:56, 4 replies)
Didn't happen to me, but a friend
Staying in a posh hotel. Went to the shower. Handle came off in his hand, while inside the cubicle. Shouted until someone heard and called reception, who unlocked the room to be greeted by the sight of a naked fat bloke, stuck in the shower. Not what you expect of a 4 star hotel...
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 20:49, Reply)
Houston Texas, last week
Normal business hotel booked so ended up staying in motel-type affair right next to the autoroute. I should have realised it would be bad when I walked in to see a patently mad woman in reception with a huge panic button on the desk. Room was so noisy it might as well have been between lanes on the road.

Woken in the night by the sound of a helicopter hovering overhead, searchlight playing over the hotel, flashing blue lights, loudspeaker ordering the hunted murderer to come out with his hands up. Propositioned by whore on way to breakfast in the morning. Breakfast consists of wwhatever you can get out of the vending machine with the option of heating it to the melting point of steel in the microwave. Ugh.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 20:47, Reply)
On an activity holiday with a few pals, booked a twin room to save money. This was a room with 2 single beds in it and no room for anything else. There was about 2" between the (narrow) beds. To get into the bathroom you had to climb over my bed. Bathroom walls so thin sounded like someone's pissing in your ear when they go to the bog. Bathroom so small that to go to the bog you have to open the shower door and stick your news into it. Stepping out of the shower means stepping out of the bathroom or sitting on bog. Luckily Belgian beer so strong that we so so bladdered it felt like a palace. Until the morning.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 20:41, Reply)
Not me, thank everything
A friend of mine was on holiday in Africa some years ago. Most places she stayed were quite nice, even better than her dingy little room back home.

Then there was the nature park. By 'nature park', I mean 'open area full of predatory animals'.

. . .where she was escorted to a tent. A simple canvas tent, the flap of which had a zip closure and nothing more, all the better to get closer to the local wildlife.

She attributes her continued survival to having been summed up by said local wildlife upon her arrival as being too skinny to bother with.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 20:37, 1 reply)
On trip to Egypt with girlfriend, planning plenty of rumpy pumpy. Room has air-conditioning, but it sounds like a 747 taking off, without it is like being in an oven. Male chambermaid popped into the room every 20 minutes or so without fail, even when the Do Not Disturb sign was on the door. Daily allowance of toilet paper about 2 sheets, light in bathroom doesn't work, toilet rocks on its based, allowing for an amusing game of dodge the cockroach while crapping.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 20:29, Reply)
just remembered this one
about 5 years ago, went to spain with the folks. the hotel was nice, if a bit old.
then it rained. a lot.
now, i know the hotel can't be blamed for the rain, but they forgot to mention that every time it rained, the hotel got several thousand extra guests: cockroaches. massive, massive cockroaches. within 2 minutes of the first raindrop falling, the whole place was infested. you didn't dare put a drink down, it'd be full of drowning cockies within seconds.
the english guests were, of course, disgusted by this. the french guests, however, would pick them up and stroke them as if they were cute little kittens. dirty buggers.

length? longer than your thumb.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 20:10, Reply)
Kyle Hotel - Kyle Of Lochalsh
I stay in about 10 hotels per year, sometimes more. Everywhere from Ukraine (got fleas)
Midi Pyrenees (town full of dog shit) Amsterdam (gay orgy next door) etc, etc BUT :

We had been in the Outer Hebrides for 2 weeks and the stopover in this hotel, in the "deluxe room with
king size bed with drapes, television with video or DVD player, luxury bathrobes and Jacuzzi with spa or
jet shower" was to be a treat to ourselves for slumming, camping and roughing it for those 2 weeks. We
even dropped off 2 bottles of champagne on the way out to await our return. The pop was there when we
arrived, but so was a coach load of weegies :(

" For a perfect romantic break why not book a deluxe room with king size bed with drapes, television with video or
DVD player, luxury bathrobes and Jacuzzi with spa or jet shower"

Went the blurb. It still does. www.kylehotel.co.uk/bedrooms.html some 2 and a half years later.

What we got (and the fuckers can sue me on this) was a room at the top of the stairs at the junction of 2 corridors
which saw heavy traffic until 4am. In the room, the floor under the carpet was made of heavily buckled hardboard
which creaked and squeaked like fuck. The door to the room was poorly fitted so that the draught which howled
under it made a farting noise (I KID YOU NOT) unless we wedged something up against it. The as the advertised
Sat TV didn't work, the jacuzzi looked rank ... There was a film of matter over everything. The staff were like a
Mongolian version of Manuel.

And the heavily perfumed and aftershaved up weegies didn't stop doing what chav weegies do until gone 4am.
In the morning, they all had their doors open while they were getting ready for breakfast and they were all
'comparing notes' about last nights activities: Drinking pish, and getting humped dry by their fat baw bag husbands.....

So, after no sleep on a uncomfortable bed set on creaky floors, the crap shower in a (possibly) spunk lined
shower cum whirlpool spa bath, we went down for breakfast.

Wall to wall weegies stuffing their maws with everything in sight. We made two attempts to get a seat and failed.
By the time we could get a seat we were told (seriously) that the coach party had eaten all of the breakfasts.

I walked into reception and asked to speak to the manager, the owner turned up. I dialed my card provider and
canceled my credit card there and then, I told them it had been stolen. I dared the cow of an owner to attempt
to charge me for anything. I Dare You.....

"deluxe room" ?


Length ? I'm sorry it lasted one night ! .... still waiting for my day in court .....
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 19:54, Reply)
I always...
...Without fail block hotel toilets. Soft flush. Why!? WHY?! You fill the whole bowl within a second or so.

Best one ever though is a visit to Newcastle last March (funnily enough I now live there). Mate's bday, big piss up. Travelodge just down from Monument. We go out for a curry, hit the town, head back in the small hours. Mate has a smoking room (and I smoke), in the elevator I get off at my floor rather than go up to their room. I have the intense urge to unleash the anal fury. Everyone sort of looks at me (I smoke a lot, they thought it was unusual). Stumble to my room (mate who was sharing went with the rest of them), drop my kegs, hit the seat - die a little. I have never felt the sting like that. Once again - soft flush. I had to flush during. Then again. And again. The smell that filled the bathroom was so powerful I was gagging - and we all know we can handle our own quite well. Finally, the torture over, sympathising with male rape victims rather than laughing, I stumble out of the bathroom. Room smells the same as the bathroom. Uh-oh. Open window. Leave room to go to 'smoke-room' - meet mate halfway to elevator holding his noise and complaining about the smell. Me: "Sorry. Erm, don't think the prawns in that curry were cooked properly..." Him: "What?! THIS IS YOU?! I am NOT going in there! You can smell it as soon as you walk out of the elevator!" Needless to say we spent considerable amount of time in the 'smoke-room' - only to find that 2 hours later the corridor still stank, our friends in the room opposite us had kept on-gagging, complained to Reception - and were moved rooms!

Apologies to all who may have been on the floor.

Length? Volume is the importance.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 19:52, 1 reply)
Water shortage
Leading up to this episode, had been a massive bust up between my MIL and her other daughter (i.e not my wife), so we were already stressed.

Get to hotel,(booked through Laterooms), this is meant to be for my wife's birthday.

The room is at the top of the hotel, but is ok, not too small, bed is comfortable.
The bathroom, however, is another matter, the shower is over the bath, under a sloping ceiling. Therefore, it is impossible to stand upright underneath the shower,(unless you are 4ft tall).

Wife goes for shower, no hot water, inform the manager, who says he knows, but we can use the bridal suite, which, although booked, is unoccupied till after midnight. Go to room, wife bangs her shin on the massive wooden bed, goes into bathroom, I go back to our room, and make do with a cold shower, that is until Mrs twoheads comes back - no hot water, I'm wet so get dressed with out drying and go back to other room, get warm water out of shower, and go back to our room.

We eventually get out at 10:30.

Breakfast was nice, and we had £40 knocked of the bill, which was cheap to start with.
Met the newlyweds in the foyer, but resisted telling them how nice their room was, and thanks for the use of their bathroom.

Apologies for length etc
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 19:47, Reply)
A fearsome foursome
I signed up for a week-long "music camp" for adult beginner-to-intermediate musicians. "Dormitory-style" rooms were included as a cost of the camp, with four people to a room. No problem, I thought, it'll be fun! I haven't done that since... well, ever.

The first night there, I located my bunk and prepared for bed. The three other guys in the room were all cheerful company, so we spent a couple of jolly hours talking about music. When we eventually decided it's time for "lights out", the other three guys fell asleep almost instantly, whereupon each of them was quickly revealed to be an Olympic-class snorer. Within three minutes, the room sounded like a construction site full of asthmatic bulldozers.

The noise reverberated off the concrete-block walls. The more I tried to ignore it, the louder it became. After a couple of hours, it became obvious that there would be no sleep for me in that room. I grabbed my sleeping bag and slunk off to sleep on the floor of the group practice room, only to discover (too late) that standing water outside had leaked into the room and rendered the entire carpet soaking wet. I finally found a dry, available floor in the kitchen and slept there, in my now-sodden sleeping bag.

I spent the remaining nights sleeping in my car, in the freezing November air.

Bonus: The organizers went out of their way to point out that alcoholic beverages were "not welcome" (as they put it) at this camp. Then at the end of the week, one of the insufferably smug, condescending, pretentious twats in charge told the rest of us how much fun the organizers have had getting drunk every night in their own private rooms. Assholes.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 19:42, Reply)
stayed at the waldorf
in london about 2 years ago. sitting in the restaurant, we decided to go off-piste on the menu (because we were crazy like that) and order a waldorf salad.

the (ubiquitous non english speaking eastern european) waiter didn't understand. he had never heard of a waldorf salad. eventually we dinned it into him. and he toddled off to tell the chef.

2 mins later he was back. the (probably ubiquitous non english speaking eastern european) chef had never heard of it either...
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 19:22, 9 replies)
Henri IV classic French Hospitality
Many moons ago on what was to be our last family vacation ever my father had gotten a tip off about a cheap place to stay in the centre of Paris. No phones or internet involved my Da decided to write to them and make the reservation. The taxi driver in Paris had no idea where it was, not very promising...

On arrival there was one of those plaques on the wall, you know the kind that display how many stars the hotel had recieved, this one was conspicuously missing it's stars. Place was a hell hole, rats in the walls, cockroaches everywhere, the stairwell was a deathtrap. Breakfast consisted on a 4 inch piece of stale baguette with no butter, attempts to gain a crossiant were met with derisive laughter. Ohh and the cleaning staff were most insistent on doing thier job even if you were sleeping in the bed while they were making it.

However in fact my father was the cause of most of the disturbance during our stay; on every second floor there was a bathroom just set back from the stairwell. My father got up in the middle of the night to use said facilities not realising there was no bathroom on his floor. In the darkness he couldn't find his shoes so put on some slippers he found and off he tramped to the bathroom in his boxers and darkness.

Alas when he opened the door and fumbled around for a light switch or a urinal the lights suddenly came up as a French guy sat bolt upright in bed and started screaming probably thinking he was about to raped by a transvestite, in the darkness my Dad had not put on slippers but a pair of my mums red mules. "Shit sorry" my dad screamed back as he clip-clopped his way as fast as he could back to his room. followed by shouts in french.

That place was hell, after the first two hours it was obvious why they had no stars...
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 19:06, Reply)
Actually, there was one rough place in Vietnam...
We stayed in a Hotel which had a Zoo in it, for some reason. Sad, bored animals, looking confused and irritable. We walked round once and thought it was rather dull.

And then the bear escaped, and was running up and down through the Hotel, being chased by a couple of Vietnamese Hotel Attendants.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 19:06, 1 reply)
West London -- worse than the roughest parts of Asia
We stayed a Hotel in West London, booked through laterooms.com. For ONLY 20 quid more, we could have been in the Novotel, but we didn't want to be too extravagant. Instead, we had a room where the curtains were 10 inches too short, the pillow had pubes on, the bathroom was 30% yellow, 70% mould.

Oh, and the price very reasonably included breakfast. A bowl of Tesco Value Cornflakes and an egg. But not actually together, thank God.

We were planning a trip to Vietnam so we joked the Hotel was a good way to get used to slumming it, but Vietnam was much nicer.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 19:04, Reply)
Its a crap hotel now.

A few days post Millennium celebration - now having traveled to Lyon with my girlfriend for a few days where she went to University. We had very limited funds and found a small $35/night place. Went out to dinner and had "Salade Lynonnaise" the local specialty made with raw egg - 25 minutes after dinner had to shit so bad I thought I was gonna launch myself into orbit ... quickly walking back to the hotel, whilst squeezing my ass cheeks together, a little made it out ... enough to render my lovely boxer briefs completely useless for future outings. Got the hotel, took a fantasic cathartic loose shit -
and rather tell my girlfriend I shit my pants, I took them off hid them. While she was getting ready in the morning I hid them between the mattress and box spring - for shame. We checked out and found another hotel because we didn't like that one (thank god).
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 18:14, Reply)
I got the Atlantic City blues...
I'm not pouring wrath on Atlantic City. I'm really not.

Okay, yes, I am. It's a complete shithole, and my only defence is that it wasn't my decision to go there.

However, go there we did, and since it was a spur of the moment decision (I reiterate: NOT MINE) my then-fiance and I ended up hoofing it, looking for a place to stay.

We found a motel (it had to be a motel; there were no guard towers or bars on the windows) and were shown to a room. I did a spot check, wandered into the bathroom, lifted the lid of the bog and turned a rather fetching shade of pale green. It was swimming, brimming and other words ending in "-imming" with yellow diarrhoea.

I staggered back out of the bathroom and very weakly asked for a new room, which we were duly afforded. In truth, it wasn't much better, but at least the toilet didn't look as though Ewan McGregor had just been on it.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 17:58, Reply)
Not at a hotel,
but this happened at a restaurant the morning after staying at a hotel, so, close enough.

Being late risers, the SO and I dragged into a small-town restaurant around 10:30 for breakfast. In the small-town Midwestern (USA) tradition, the place offered an all-you-can-eat "early-bird special" lunch buffet.

As the SO and I ate breakfast, I noticed at the next table an elderly and very petite woman who was consuming amazing quantities of food (fried chicken, mostly). After watching this woman return from her third trip to the buffet table, I leaned towards the SO and said quietly, "Have you noticed how much food that old lady has been packing away?"

I had barely finished the sentence before a loud "UUUUUURRRRP" made us both look up, just in time to see the woman spewing copious amounts of vomit. Even Mr. Creosote would have been stunned at the sheer volume of it. The SO and I both jumped out of the way; the eruption came very near, but didn't actually hit us, except for a small spot that splashed onto the side of my shoe.

The smell filled the restaurant almost immediately. At this point, the SO and I were both struggling to not have a "sympathy puke". Green-faced, I went to the cashier to pay our bill. The manager, who didn't look too healthy himself, said "No charge. Just go."

(FWIW, this happened on the same trip as the previously-mentioned "Angry Chicken Incident")

Length? About 8 feet, including the splash.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 17:49, Reply)
giggling chinese waitresses and bearded ladies
My Dad lives in Hong Kong, and when I was 16 I went to visit him. We went for a week long trip into China, well away from the beaten track.

Now at the time, I was going through my ultra-hippie phase, and wore bright guatemalan material trousers, loud indonesian print shirts, huge hair and a wispy goatee. I thought I looked amazing. I really didn't.

In one town we stayed in a hotel which was special in it's own way - a telephone from about 1920 in our room, hand sized spiders in the bathroom, etc. But my story is about when we went for a meal in the restaurant downstairs.

We made our way to the table and sat down. People stared at us quite openly, but we were getting used to that - we were the first white people a lot of them had seen, and when we were walking around the town it wasn't unusual for crowds to gather to stare at us, shouting "hello" and "cocacola" and other english words (none of them rude funnily enough).

The waitress came and gave us our menus, tittering slightly. Then we saw her peering around a pillar at us with another waitress, both giggling. Eventually, a gaggle of about 5 or 6 waitresses appeared, pointed at us and burst out laughing!

Eventually she came over to our table and asked my Dad's wife (who is chinese) something, pointing at me, which made her burst out laughing too. When she'd gone away with our orders she told me what she'd asked. It was "is that a woman with a beard or a man with long hair?"
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 17:33, Reply)
well not really crappy hotel..but a crappy night
went to spend new years eve in amsterdam with my girlfriend. we took the Eurolines bus and arrived around 7 in the morning..plenty of time to find a cool (read cheap) hotel we thought..but they were all fully booked. we kept looking around while stopping at every coffee shop on the way for a cup of cappuccino and a spliff..which led me to collapse in the street and go puking in a nearby canal at eleven in the morning.

we resigned to try and ask Carlton Hotel**** if they had a room for us..they said:" sorry we just have single rooms"
Us:"no problem we take it"
hotel guy:" yes ok but you need two single rooms"
I was about to collapse/puke again and said:" whatever we'll take those two rooms.."

I finally spent my new years night sick and sleeping with the Dutch TV on all night in what must be one of the most expensive hotels in center Amsterdam..while the girlfriend who didn't smoke, went to various parties, clubs, met some great people...etc..

I saved the disaster by rampaging the "eat all you want" Breakfast buffet..filling my bag and pockets with cheese, ham, cereals & fruits.

Length: I swear the towels were about two meters long..
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 17:28, Reply)
Where to begin, where to begin . . .
There are so many nasty ones, but these come to mind at the moment:

-There was the otherwise-nice hotel where a vehement argument wafting up from the room below was finally punctuated by a gunshot (yes, I got the hell out of there).

-I took my Significant Other to a highly-rated hotel for what was supposed to be a romantic getaway. Once in the room, we found that the bathroom was filthy, there were revolting stains on the bedspread, and the carpet was covered with what appeared to be a year's worth of their toenail clippings from an entire family. (got a different, much cleaner room, and an apology from the manager)

-After a long day on the road, I found a hotel that advertised itself as "quiet". As it turned out, the building itself didn't make much noise, but the parking lot was packed with motorcycles for some convention, so we were treated to roaring engines most of the night. The local gendarmes finally shut them down somewhere in the wee hours. (due to the Loud Engine Convention, there were no other rooms to be had anywhere in the area)

-At another hotel, I wound up in a room overlooking a railroad switching yard, where an idling diesel locomotive throbbed loudly the entire night, vibrating the windows and walls so hard that they rattled. I was told there were no other rooms available. The complete lack of sleep left me groggy, irritable, and stupid at a job interview the following morning.

-At a small hotel in Iowa, my Significant Other was attacked and chased by an angry chicken as she walked to our car. Being a true gentleman, I laughed hysterically while watching the bellicose fowl chase her, shrieking, around the parking lot.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:57, 1 reply)
Dirty Stop out - NOT!!!!
Every year my friends and I used to go to Blackpool for a major piss up for the weekend.

We always stayed in a budget hotel on the front (it was about £30-40 for a twin room).

The last time we went things took a turn for the worst….

The first night I got sozzled and somehow separated from my friends (okay I’ll tell the truth – I was distracted by the handsome devil at The Crazy Scots Bar) but decided to be a good girl and go back to my hotel room alone. At 3am I returned to the hotel and was dismayed to find the front door locked!! I went round the back of the hotel and the back door was open so I let myself in only to find all the internal doors were locked.

I could go down some corridors but would then find a locked door or climb some stairs only to find a locked door. I did this repeatedly about 25 times. It was all very distressing in my pissed up state.

I eventually gave up and kipped on the carpeted corridor. The staff were pretty shocked when they found me at 6am opening time.

I went up to my room and got myself to bed.

Worst of all…..NONE of my friends would believe me and thought that I had been a dirty stop out!!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:54, Reply)
chinese communists
At the young, tender age of fourteen, my mother allowed me to go to Rotterdam on my own, in order to participate in a sporting tournament. (Lacrosse if your interested). I had been in touch with the organiser of the tournament by email, and he gave me the address of the sports grounds we were to be using.

So off I went to book the flight to Amsterdam Schipol, the day before the tournament, giving me ample time to get to Rotterdam in time.

I didn't even consider what I would do for the 24 hours between my arrival at Schipol and being at the grounds. So when I arrived in Amsterdam, with not much money, a giant bag, that was nearly bigger than me, full of stuff, I suddeenly realised that I hadn't thought of where I would sleep.

I wondered round the square outside the train station that is the link to the airport. Eventually I found a touristy kind of place, that sold postcards. I went in and asked if there were any hostels. Yes the little old dutch man said, and gave me some very vague directions. I got lost looking for this hostel but stumbled on a dark and dingy place in a kind of back alley. By this point, it was dark and I didn't particularly want to be walking round with this giant bag, so I went in and booked a room.

My previous experiances of hotels and hostels was that upon giving you the key, the person tells you where to locate your room. Nope, not this time, the woman just handed me the key and went back to reading her book. I wandered round for a while and eventually found it. I went in, not too bad i thought. eight or nine bunk beds, none of which appeared to be occupied. I dropped my bag and tried to un-dislocate my shoulder. It wasn't particularly late, so I put my most of money and my passport in the safe thing, and went out to explore the sights of Amsterdam. I walked round and went into the first cafe I came across. It was completly empty apart from the bar person and another few people who were obviously regulars judging by the scowls they gave me.

I went on to get utterly monged out of my face on a whole half a joint. And then stumbled back to the hostel, which was next door. I'd only been out for about an hour, if that, but I got back to my room to find it completely full. Of Chinese people. Who all knew each other, and were talking Chinese.

I have to reiterate. I was absolutely out of my face, and they were all staring at me, and I got extremely paranoid. I got into bed, positioning myself between the wall and my bag, as if that would protect me from what I knew were a room full of evil, scary, mass murdering communists. I didn't sleep, just hid my face for the whole night. I must have dropped off, as I woke to find the room empty again. This really confused me. Had I really imagined it all? Is Dutch cannabis so strong? I got out of my self made fortress to find a bag of chinese crisps and some biscuits.


(the next day was as eventful, of course i didnt have a phone with me, no telephone number for the oraganiser, meaning that no body knew where i was.)
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:54, Reply)
Shit shelf
I was staying at a cheap-as-chips hotel in amsterdam. It was probably what you'd expect for the price, its one redeeming feature being you could smoke weed in the dining area.

One thing I couldn't look past however, was the toilet. Instead of having a normal bowl with some water for your turds to swim in, some eccentric, (stoned?), dutch toilet designer decided to put a shelf in the way of the landing zone. This meant that your feces would collect in a pile, producing a very potent smell of crap in the extremely confined area that was the toilet.

As if that wasnt bad enough I had to share the room/dorm with 8 others and so we all got a whiff of each others bowl movements. Worst of all was when my mate spent a night on the guiness.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:53, 6 replies)
Locked in
I've actually had mostly pleasant hotel experiences, save the time, aged nine, that my overactive imagination decided that the place Must Be Haunted.

Then there was the time I got locked in a hotel room. It was a dirty weekend with the Prince Consort of Cheesecake, and we were staying in one of those cheapish hotels that have some kind of smart lock system. No key, but a magical card that also turns the lights on and off.

We settle in, and after some joyous shagging and a giggle at the rude bits in the Gideon bible, we decided to hit the pub.

I go to the door and try to open it. Nothing happens.

"Fuck's sake, Queeny, you're so weak," my beau remarks and manfully strides towards the door.

Nothing happens.

As we grumble at one another and repeatedly jiggle the handles, kick the door, try to stick the key-card anywhere it will go, attempt Jedi mindtricks, etc, I start looking for a camera. Perhaps this is a social psychology experiment.

Things are looking grim, so I start looking around for the hotel number. For some reason, it is not printed on the free literature. Neither is it in my phone. And I will not, I repeat will not, spend valuable money on Directory Enquiries.

Sadly, this is the course I must pursue. The receptionist laughs as I bleat, "We're stuck in our room." Someone is sent at last.

They cannot get the bastard door open for a good half hour.

As this was a cheap hotel, we didn't even get upgraded to a luxury suite. Sigh.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:44, Reply)
On the beach
I was awakened one morning by a glorious golden light, I could feel sand on my cheek, and the smell of salt filled my nostrils.

"Where am I?" I thought.

I had fallen asleep pissed in a grit bin!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:40, Reply)
Better than last week's and just as off topic
Got ten minutes to spare?...

Is there anything more miserable than an 18 year old that has never been kissed? All around you, less witty, less intelligent and, if we're being honest, less attractive people, are snogging and, no doubt, in private doing even more intimate things. But not you, oh no. And then what happens? Yes you do miserably in your A Levels and fail to get that place at Liverpool Uni you had your heart set on - well, perhaps not you, but that was the situation the young Che found himself in. Not just miserable and with no idea what to do with his life, but also with a fully functioning, nay, eager and constantly throbbing member and a pair of bollocks on permanent double shifts, producing enough spermatozoa to re-populate China every 48 hours.

Miserable? The only thing keeping me going was the support of friends and the regular gaseous intake of combustible resin of the cannabis sativa plant. So, in this unstable condition of sexual readiness partially supressed by dope, I spent a year working while my kindly but clueless parents convinced me to sign up for a degree in catering administration in Bournemouth (don't ask).

I saved up and gave myself a decent summer holiday though. I got an inter-rail card: South of France, Rome, Florence, Italian Riviera, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and finally, Amsterdam - where I was able to renew my acquaintance with the above-mentioned herbal remedy and reconcile myself to three more weeks at home before going to college to do some mickey mouse course. It also softened the blow that, despite travelling alone, staying in Youth Hostels and meeting dozens of people of both sexes from all over, I had spectacularly failed to get any girlie action whatsoever.

Did I ask earlier whether there was anything more miserable than an 18 year old that has never been kissed? Well, by now, I'd had my 19th birthday.

Heigh ho and back to Blightly. After a feed a sleep and a bath I felt 'normal' again...so I hastily called some mates and went to the pub or maybe went to someone's place for a smoke. Funnily enough, I hate telling traveller's tales normally; you've been off having adventures, if only minor ones, while the folks back home have been doing diddly squat. I don't like bragging and anyway...you had to have been there. So I'd catch up on who was shagging who and who wasn't any more etc. and I sat in the background getting bored.

Then, at the weekend, there was a party at my best mate's ex's house. We were sitting around chatting, I knew everyone more or less, when a girl called Mandy suddenly said: "I really want to go to Greece, but I can't find anyone to go with."

"I'll go with you." I said. I had planned to go to Greece on my inter-rail card but missed the train by ten minutes so ended up going to Vienna instead. I knew Mandy, she'd been in my history A Level class, but if you drew a set of Venn diagrams of those of us at 6th Form College, she would only have been in one of the same ones as me, if you know what I mean. In my close circle of friends she was tolerated though not specially close to anyone. I could feel several pairs of eyes turning my way as the eyebrows rose, but what the fuck? she wanted to go to Greece, so did I; I couldn't bear the thought of sitting around for the next three weeks doing nothing, let's go.

Mandy wasn't really my 'type', being a bit too curly headed and rosy-cheeked, rather than the scaled-down Liz Taylor or Sophia Loren which was more my ideal, but she was certainly nice enough to make the thought of spending a couple of weeks in her company, although a little unexpected, certainly not repellent.

The very next day, I met up with Mandy (after breaking the news to my pretty dis-chuffed parents) and we went up to Town to buy some train tickets. Back in the old days, you couldn't ring up or order online, you had to queue up at Victoria and pay in pound notes. Another couple of days and we were off.

I'd never travelled with anyone before - always the solo wanderer me, so I found it a bit strange at first. I felt a bit protective, but Mandy was an independant girl - an only child and parents separated - and though I had 3 brothers and no sisters, I got used to it fairly quickly. It's a long train journey from London to Brindisi and includes a couple of nights; we'd not shelled out for couchettes so slept in seats. Occasionally, Mandy's head would rest on my shoulder, and, although I didn't fancy her, it made a pleasant change. We got on fine together, any misgivings I may have had proved to be unfounded, and sometimes I'd chuckle quietly to myself as I remembered the faces of our friends...

Brindisi. This was early September I guess and southern Italy was HOT, which was fine. I liked it hot in those days. We found the boat to Greece and bought the cheapest tickets: deck class. On board, we settled down on a bench and got chatting to a group of Swedish lads, I'm sure they weren't all called Sven, but I'm pretty sure at least one of them was. We did the old traveller thing of sharing what we had, bread, sausage, huge ripe peaches, bottles of warm red wine, cigarettes etc. I can still feel the fur of the peach on my lips as I bit into the ripe flesh and the juice spilled down my chin and neck, then the over-heated red wine, straight from the bottle, passed around the circle - rough, warm, warming. As the sun went down we were treated to a magnificent sunset and then the breathtaking stars of the southern mediterranean night sky. I'd always thought that shooting stars were either a kind of myth or else a rarity, a bit like a comet or a total eclipse. Out on the dark sea, lying on a sleeping mat watching shooting star after shooting star streak across the sky as we fell asleep...

We stuck with the Swedes after we landed as we were all headed for Athens. No-one had any idea where to stay in Athens, but then again, we weren't much bothered either. Just as well we didn't worry, as it wasn't a problem; at Athens station we were met by a Kiwi who sold us the virtues of the Hotel Byron - he was given free board and lodging to do so, but he certainly didn't oversell it. We followed him, like rats following the Pied Piper, but he wasn't even playing a flute.

We all chose to sleep on the roof. It was cheaper and last night on the boat had been so lovely we didn't really want to be confined to a room. Up we went, laying down our sleeping mats, un-rolling our sleeping bags, standing our rucksacks nearby - silent sentinels. Then a quick shower and back downstairs to the bar/lounge to sample the first of many cold, Greek beers, Amstel I think. Big pint-sized bottles - rare in those days - and so cheap. Mandy and I had been travelling together now for about three or four days, we were sitting on a low bench, back to back, chatting to Swedes and others staying at the Byron.

"Do you love her?" Sven asked me, gesturing towards Mandy with his beer bottle.

"Eh? Oh, no. We're just friends. She wanted to go to Greece, so did I, so we went together."

"She's a very nice girl," said Sven. I guessed he fancied her and kind of wished him luck. A couple of more beers and it was time to go to bed. Up the four flights of stairs onto the roof, with the lights of Athens all around, and the myriad stars above. I climbed into my sleeping bag and shrugged off my clothes as Mandy did the same in her bag, next to me. I turned to face her, "Well, here we are!" I said, she smiled, reached out an arm, put it around my neck and pulled me towards her for the first snog of my life.

I'm pleased to report that although totally unexpected, I wasn't shocked by this development and, in fact, I very rapidly threw myself into the proceedings with the appropriate gusto. Soon, I had transferred to her sleeping bag and was on top of her, kissing for England, and then...I can still feel it today, in my mind's groin, so to speak. She reached down and firmly but gently, and yet urgently and fervently took hold of little Che and guided him towards that place, that secret, sacred place.

Could there be anything more surprising for the 19 year old virgin than to discover that a girl - any girl - is willing and anxious to have sex with him, in fact just as keen as he is to have sex with her? And if you have to endure those long hard years of girl-lessness, what better place to finally discover their joys than under the stars on a warm summer night in the eternal city of Athens? I lay back and Mandy rested her head on my young man's chest and I placed a protective arm around her.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:40, 16 replies)
St Petersberg Hotel
On the banks of the neva river.

Just after Snake Plisken the taxi driver had finally dropped me off

Check this story


I was finally at my hotel called the St Petersberg (the guests there called it belsen), a
relic of the cold war, monstorous in size and a weird smell of rancid fish about the whole place.

I finally found my room after about half an
hour and crashed wearily through the door
to be met by what can only be explained as
a 1960's austin Powers style room (with the most reflective pink and grey wallpaper known to man), finished off with a beautiful old radio that i imagined a russian family sitting round listening to the rants of Stalin on decades before.

The radio itself didnt seem to have any switches on and would burst into life at random times of the day or night with the worst choice of British 80's cheese music and a Russian D.J
presenting it who had a voice
that made you want to slash your wrists.

I was about to fall into a sleep of the feckin knackered when in walks my room mate for the night, a hyperactive chineseman named chen who
inbetween his bouts of coughing up flem for olympics would call me mr Englishman fish and chips and burst into the most annoying laugh ive ever heard(it was ok the first ten times). I slept in the bath that night explaining that i had a phobia of bedbugs, but it was the fact he would not shut the hell up.

When i woke up i walked down to one of the many hotel restaurants in the morning to find hundreds of people queing as if we were in a siberian gulag and ended
up eating the most rubbery food that actually looked as it was fake.

I walked the long walk back to my room (It required a map to do so) and plugged in my radio only for the socket to explode and fuse my radio wire to it. I decided to ring down to one of the receptions to complain and i was passed around so many times i thought i was on the phone to NTL.
The whole building must have had a village of people working to keep it functioning and there was a general fuck you attitude from the staff

The best part of the hotel was that it was so big they lost my luggage for two days and when it did turn back up there was a rather large thong that would have fit a baby bull elephant.

Don't get me wrong the whole holiday was one of the best experiences of my life but i find life always trys to kick you in the nads when your down.
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 16:39, Reply)

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