Talking about flooding, a few weeks ago I stayed at hotel in the UK I can only describe as ‘Faulty towers’. If you’ve ever seen the UK tv programme ‘Fawlty Towers’, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I’d already booked and paid for (out of my own pocket), the room in advance during the summer, for a conference, which would be in November.
Mum died in November and it was a few days after her funeral I decided (at the very last minute), she would have wanted me to go to the conference and not sit around mooching. I had no money left after Mum’s funeral costs, but as I’d paid for everything up front earlier in the year, I thought I may as well.
I contacted the ‘four star’ hotel in advance (twice) the Mercure Wessex hotel in Winchester, UK. I told them my situation – that I’d only just lost Mum. They promised me that the room was there and had been paid for by the agency I’d booked through. All the other hotels in Winchester were fully booked by now.
”I confirmed that the booking has been paid and booked on the 22/11/13 for two night.
Looking forward to welcome you in our hotel.
Following a six hour journey from my home town, I checked in (a very pokey dated room, which was freezing cold) then decided to go out for a wander, as I was feeling a bit low.
When I returned to my room, my door card wouldn’t work. I was puzzled. I noticed an envelope sticking out from underneath the door, picked it up and opened it.
It was a rather curt letter from the hotel, to say that the room hadn’t been paid for and I must pay the full amount of £160 a night in full. I panicked, as not only did I not have the money, it was also double the amount I’d originally paid.
I went to the check in desk to explain that I’d been told by the hotel that my room had already been paid for in full. They wouldn’t listen and I felt obliged to pay as I was so tired, felt really down and had no-where else to stay. The lady at the desk very quickly took the curt letter from my hands and wouldn’t give it back.
I went back to the room and went to bed for a while. It was exhausting.
Later in the night, I got out of bed to visit the bathroom. I didn’t realise at the time, but the toilet had leaked all over the floor. My sock, slippers and pyjama bottoms were drenched.
Cold and miserable, I crawled back under the covers, kept awake for most of the night by the noisy lift going up and down outside my door, people returning from their nights out in the early hours. There was also lots of screaming, and shouting from the street below.
In the morning, I opened the curtains to a view of an ugly office block and some bins. I ran a warm bath to keep warm. The taps were so ancient, and the water coming out of them rattled and rumbled like an old washing machine. I sat in the bath and stared at the mould on the tiles.
The whole place was tired and dated and looked like a grey 1960’s car park. Shame really, as Winchester itself is beautiful.
Speaking of car parking – a lady I met up with dumped her car in the street, as she couldn’t find a parking space at the hotel. She spent an hour and a half driving in circles trying to find the hotel. I also saw one car being towed, I’m assuming they couldn’t find a space either.
I suppose this letter is really an open rant towards the Hotel’s manager Mr. William McWilliam. No refund has been forthcoming from the hotel either.
Within a month, Mum dies. The hotel I stay in to get away is like fawlty towers. The house floods and we lose everything.
Things can only get better I suppose!