Saturday, 11 September 2010

Fabulous Things About England #23: Checking Your Hotel Room Before Checking In

It is perfectly acceptable in England, and throughout the UK and Europe, to ask to see your room before you agree to stay in it. There are several things that you want to check out before actually paying. The difficulty for me is finding a way to remember to do that in advance. The second difficulty is that I am very good a booking the icky cheap hotel right next to the nice cheap hotel. So from my last experience with such silliness on my part a photo essay.
This is a pretty typical Basic Single hotel room. It was generally clean except the curtain holder, goodness only knows what was on that. Tea making facilities were to the right on the dresses. Electric Kettle had been recently descaled, and the non-dairy creamer was in date. So, pretty all right.
Unfortunately, I looked down. These are locally known as frightening electrics. The white cord is going directly up to a kettle full of water. I just unplugged the whole bit. Never mind the bare wires even further out.
Excellent news! The mattress shows no sign of bed bugs dead or alive. Even better it appears to be brand new. This is the second most comfortable bed I've slept in, in five years in England.

That would be no chain and no bolt lock. Or rather no bolt lock to which I was given the key. I should know better.

This is a sign of just how long it has been since this place had been updated. Typically breakfast goes to at least 9 am weekdays and through checkout on weekends. And no peep hole.
A sign from the shared bathroom down the hall. Two things to know in life: You're not in the best of hotels when condoms are mentioned amongst the things you shouldn't flush. This sign started out without directions as to where to put said condoms.
No you can't read the notice. It does say WARNING: Shower must be sufficiently primed before use to prevent flooding. I've stayed in some pretty dodgy places, and I've never been asked to prime a shower. The electric shower installed here is the same one I had four years ago, and we never had to prime our shower. There were not additional directions given. As there was one bath towel for the whole floor, I skipped the shower.

The hotel was fine. The place next door was nicer and cheaper. Booking hotels is clearly not my forte.


  1. Rob and i frequently ask to see the room before we go in. Non-smoking particularly, since people don't honor the non-smoking rule, and hotels will tell you it is a non-smoking room when it isn't.


  2. It's so true Max. I worked in a hotel where rooms suddenly became nonsmoking when it was convenient to the manager.

  3. I only know one American in Bath nowadays - is it you?!

  4. It screams "dodgy". And "lock your door". And "unplug everything in any nearby space". It absolutely follows with: "Yes, this room is like most hotels in London. Welcome!"

  5. I can't wait to one day stay in a sketchy hotel in England, of course I really should get the down low from you beforehand to avoid the sketchy places! Exciting seeing England through your eyes.

  6. That's a very welcome custom. I hate how some rooms smell, but then you're already forced to stay in it.

    I am Fickle Cattle.

  7. Yikes on the bedbugs! Hadn't thought to look for those.

    Found your lovely blog through Expat Blog.

    XO Laura


Don't have a google account? That's all right. Select anonymous to leave a note.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...