Don’t Look Under The Bed

February 1, 2008 at 3:02 pm 2 comments


Don’t Look Under The Bed

What is it with hotels in this country (the UK)? My company has just shelled out the princely sum of one hundred and eighty of your British pounds to enable me to stay one night, yes, one night, in a central London hotel. This was not the Ritz. This was not the Savoy. This was not the Dorchester. This was a run-of-the-mill business/tourist hotel belonging to a well-known chain above Charing Cross station.  

In return for this money I got an “executive room” just big enough to swing a cat, a small TV with just five TV channels and four pay-for-view adult movie channels (anonymity guaranteed!), a Bible, a mini bar stocked with the ubiquitous mini-Toblerone and spirit miniatures, and an ironing board combined with a trouser press. The ironing board and trouser press were only big enough to cater for the clothes of a newly born baby and the bottom of the iron looked as if it had been dipped in bitumen. 

This was the epitome of British business hotels. There was a newly painted patch on the ceiling, clearly attempting to hide the point at which the bath in the room above had overflowed. There was one wall lamp missing from the dressing table area. There was the remains of someone else’s piece of toast on the armchair. And, the carpet was a tad sticky in places. 

I ate the complimentary shortbread biscuits and threw the cushions which adorned the “double bed” (two single beds pushed together with a double sheet which was too slackly fitted to prevent you falling into the crack) to the floor. I checked the ceilings, wall pictures and mirrors for hidden cameras, just in case.

I checked that the mini bar was fully stocked and that the seals on the miniatures had not been broken – it is quite common to replace the white spirits with water. Some people! 

At least the air-conditioning worked. It rattled and hummed and cooled the room to Eskimo-like temperatures (or should that ne innuit?). But, the rattling and humming was at least better than the stifling heat that would otherwise have ensued. And, the humming and rattling acted a little like white noise and helped a little to drown out the middle-of-the-night corridor conversations.

Hotel room doors are akin to amplifiers. The slightest drunken whisper in the corridor is amplified to a shout in your shell-like. And the drunks in these hotels are many and not prone to whispering. If it wasn’t amorous partygoers or drunken executives that I was attempting to block out with my air-conditioning and my iPOD, it was the constant click-clack of the fire-doors just outside my room and the rather noisy lift. 

Has anyone ever been in a hotel where that little dial in the bathroom, which is supposed to relay the sound of the television, actually worked? I haven’t. I think it is a real shame. I would love to be able to listen to the BBC News while having a constitutional.

As ever there was a chip out of the bath enamel and a shower that looked as if it had seen better days, presumably during the reign of Queen Victoria, and now did little more than remind me of the dangers of Legionnaire’s Disease. And, I am always just a little bit suspicious about the contents of those little bottles claiming to contain shampoo or shower gel. I fought my way manfully into the cellophane-wrapped brick which claimed to be a tablet of soap. 

As ever, the hairdryer was bolted inside one of the drawers and sported a wholly deficient length of flex, which required me to kneel on the floor in order to dry my hair.  And, is it just my imagination or do you think that the sheets always feel a little damp when you climb into he bed? That familiar rustle of starched sheets over plastic mattress cover. And believe me, no combination of the five pillows will produce a comfortable sleeping position. 

And, some bastard stole my copy of the Times from outside my door!

Worth every penny. I think not. 


Entry filed under: poor service, rant, travel. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Sleeping With Julia Roberts Illegitimi Non Carborundum

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. inflatable beds  |  July 7, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Wow, that sounds horrible! Guess we should avoid staying in the UK unless we have friends/family to pester into letting us crash at their places?


  • 2. name  |  July 29, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Beautiful site,



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