On Thursday I travelled into London in readiness for an event on Friday. In preparation I searched for a hotel close to the station purely for convenience. I knew it would be dark by the time I arrived and also rather busy with rush hour traffic. It wouldn’t have been enjoyable trying to navigate the tube with thousands of others. I picked a hotel near Euston which had received many 4 star reviews. Hmmmm, remember I said that!
On arrival at the station I opened Google maps and started walking. It didn’t take long to find the place and from the outside it looked ok. However, as I climbed the 6 steps and pressed the buzzer I started to notice little things. The brass handle and buzzer had clearly not been polished for some time. The door went and I entered the 4 star hotel. The floor creaked as I walked the few steps to reception. I was greeted by a man who was surrounded by piles of paper and books etc; a very untidy, unorganised office space.
As I am handed my key I am guided to the stairs to my left. My room was on the 3rd floor and there is no lift. So I head for the stairs realising that no-one could leave the place quietly!! Every stair creaked and as I headed up, I reached for the grab rail which wobbled in my hand. Cracks in the paintwork and gaps where the floor and walls should meet, all fill me with added confidence that I chose well!! This 4 star hotel is already making an impression on me as you can imagine. I hit the 3rd floor finally, walking into the narrow corridor with a little step down to my room. I looked around and saw 2 doors with a piece of paper with ‘shower’ typed onto it. Then I see at the end of the corridor another sign with ‘toilet’ typed on it. This is the first time I realise my room won’t be en-suite. If only I was a man; yes lads, we know that you think your rooms are en-suite if you have a sink in there. It’s the worst kept secret ever!! I put my key in the door and as it opens it jolts in my hand as if it’s about to come off it’s hinges!! The room is tiny with really old fashioned bedding, it was very much like a bed pack from my RAF training days. I try to close the old fashioned windows which are a great feature, if they work!! Everytime I pushed the window up it slid back down. I decided to take a look at the ablutions so I opened the door to one of the showers and very quickly closed it again. The white shower tray wasn’t very white and the shower curtain was honking! Walked across to the toilet, opened the door and oh my word!!! No sink. So, people use the toilet and don’t wash their hands….. I walked around with toilet roll wrapped around my hands when I had to touch door handles etc. I was in hotel hell!!! I decided to go to bed and leave as soon as I could in the morning without breakfast. I bet you can’t guess how many stars I reviewed the ‘hotel’ as??
In stark contrast, I was very kindly gifted a room at the Hilton in Birmingham for the Friday evening. I arrived to check in and during the process the receptionist asked if I wanted to join Hilton Honours. I swiftly said no because I need the toilet. She looked at me confused and said “What do you mean?”. I repeated that I really needed the toilet and she asked me again what I meant. Before I could stop myself I blurted out “I need a wee!”. She looked horrified and then proceeded to apologise. I then said “Please don’t be sorry, just be quick”, at which point, she started laughing and those in close proximity to me also burst out laughing! She promptly gave me my key and I ran!
I reached my room and stood for a second looking around. There was en-suite but it wasn’t in a different room, everything was in one big room; how cool. There was the toilet, sink and shower which was surrounded with frosted glass. I could watch TV whilst having a shower. It would have been very intimate if I’d had to share it with a friend. It was a great room and I was looking forward to a fab, comfy, warm sleep following a poor sleep in scaresville the night previous.
I had a fabulous night and then a very comfortable, settled sleep until I was rudely woken around 5am by the biggest bang!! I just panicked and ran to the window, threw back the curtain expecting to see smoke or flames somewhere it was that loud. Thankfully nothing seen but as my heart stopped racing another 3 bangs went off. I was leaning against the huge window trying to see if anything was happening but I came to the realisation that it was most likely fireworks at that ridiculous time of the morning. Then I had another huge panic….. I had probably not been the only person leaning out of the window trying to see what was happening. However, I was probably in the minority of people who had been completely starkers pressed up against it!!!! Oh my word……
(p.s. the photo is off tinternet and not the ACTUAL room) 😃