I’ve stayed in some bad hotels over the years.
There was the panic-inducing room in Vietnam that had bars up against the window and no smoke alarm.
The hotel on the border of the Bolivian/Brazilian border in a town that was rife with dengue fever, but which offered no air con and no mozzie nets. I had initially refused to open the window, but due to the lack of air soon found myself hanging naked out of the window gasping for breath (much to the hubby’s amusement).
And let us not forget the apartment in Brazil where the shower comprised bare electrical wires which were supposed to heat the water as it came out of a hose pipe that emerged from the wall – perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when Dennis got electrocuted!
And then there was the Paragon Hotel on Alcester Street in Birmingham.
Finding accommodation in the party conference host cities is never easy. Or cheap. So when I saw that I’d been booked into a hotel that describes itself as “…a striking city centre hotel perfect for guests wanting Victorian architectural charm, history, style and value for money”, I had been quite looking forward to staying there.
With accompanying photos, the website told me that my room would be “tastefully decorated in a modern fashion but still in keeping with the historic architecture”, that I would experience “that home from home feel and a wonderful night’s sleep” and that it would look like this…
You can imagine my surprise when I walked into my hotel room to find this!
When stretching out my arms, I could almost touch both sides of the room it was that narrow – more like a prison cell than a hotel room.
It was also filthy. I dread to think when the last time the bathroom floor was cleaned. I don’t think it had seen the best side of a mop for a long time. Urgh.
And the power kept going off. Which led to a rather stressful trip down to reception in the early hours of the morning. No lights in that hotel room = scary.
It wasn’t just my room that didn’t exactly reflect the information provided on their website. Neither did the rest of the hotel. For instance…
The roof had fallen in on my corridor and no one bothered to clear it up the entire time I was there…
There were disgusting damp patches on the ceilings…
Dirty clothes and… and I can’t even bear to type the words… a used USED cotton bud had been left in the hallway…
…and is that blood on the lift?
The Paragon Hotel in Birmingham. More faulty than Fawlty Towers.