Apart 73 Hotel in Bayswater

8 Apr

As you come through the door, the welcoming smell of baking croissants hits you like a welcoming hug.  The entrance certainly looked like the pictures on the website.  I was feeling a lot less worried about coming into a self-serviced apartment type of establishment.  The reservation was booked on Expedia and it boasted of rooms being serviced daily and that a continental breakfast was included in each room reservation.  Mind you, I wasn’t too bothered by the breakfast as a continental breakfast is usually soggy croissants and butter and jam and coffee or tea.  It was something I could pass on if I didn’t want it.

You come right up to the front door.  There is nothing on the front door to tell you that you’re in the right place, unless you wrote the hotel address down.  The only way you knew it was a hotel and HOW to get into the hotel was to look at a handwritten note sello-taped to the keypad near the front door.

In order to check in, you would have to go to Reception that’s a little room that’s tucked under the stairs (a posher space than Harry Potter’s, thank gawd, as I was dreading spiders already!).  We were greeted unenthusiastically by a girl wearing a white hoodie top and pink tracksuit bottoms.  I gave the name the room was registered under while I looked around the “reception desk”.  There were several bags all over the place, and I mean ALL OVER.  Some of them were suitcases, which I assumed, belonged to guests who arrived before check-in time and some of them were handbags that were open.  I assumed, the handbags were staff-owned because of the way they seemed to be tossed into place.  We were asked to fill out a form, but weren’t offered a place to write down on the form (I’d thought a clipboard or a chair would’ve been a good idea but that option wasn’t available or made available.).  I found it odd that the girl didn’t even stand up to try and make room so that we could put down the paper to write down on it.  After completing the forms, we were given keys and sent on our way.

The place didn’t have a lift, so if you had a heavy suitcase, you’d have to lug it up narrow steps.  However, the “hotel” is a converted townhouse so I suppose there was leeway.  I was starting to feel prickles of dread again, which isn’t good as my prickles are relatively trustworthy.  This was not going to be as good an experience as I hoped it would be.

The room was exactly as it was shown in the photographs on the hotel’s website.  I’m now thinking that the room photographed was the room I might have been staying in.  It was either that, or each room was decorated in exactly the same way.  The room as as light and airy as was in the photos.

There are two huge windows in the room.  At first glance, I thought the drapes were lovely.  One closer inspection I knew that there was something wrong.  The windows are huge and should be covered by a two-panel drape.  The hotel thought they could save by just placing one panel on each window.  This resulted in each window not being covered properly.  If someone from the houses across the road chose to be nosey and look through my window, they would see EVERYTHING.  Brilliant.  So much for privacy!

The ceiling had water stains and the walls had chipping paint and dark coloured smears.  The padded headboard had smears on it.  I didn’t want to think about what those stains were.  I just cleaned them.  The light switches, there were 5 sets in the room in total (one by the door, that worked, one in the kitchenette area, that worked, one outside the bathroom, that worked, and two by the bed, both did not work.  This was when I noticed that the TV remote was missing.  I mean I didn’t come to London to watch telly.  But it was nice to relax with the telly on after a day of being in the city.

I went down to Reception to tell them about the remote and to schedule breakfast.  When I got there, there were two ladies at the desk, one girl was one who checked me in, and another one, was, I assumed, another member of staff.  When I told them about the TV remote, I received looks from both girls, like it was impossible that there was no remote.  Nevertheless, I was given a universal remote and was assured that it would work on the TV in my room.  When I asked about how to schedule breakfast, I was told in no uncertain terms that there was no breakfast and that they had stopped it for 6 months.  That was it.  I didn’t want to argue anymore, as I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere, with the wonderful customer service that I was receiving.  It was as if these two women did not care about the kind of image they were sending out to a paying customer.

I could complain to kingdom come about the hotel, and about how misrepresented this hotel was in all the websites that carried it in their books.  On some hotel booking sites, like Expedia. it’s a 3-star establishment, and on Laterooms.com, it’s a 4-star hotel.  It doesn’t deserve a 4-star rating.  Maybe 2 and half.  But not 4 stars.  Yes, there were complimentary toiletries (in sachets and not dinky little bottles, and these sachets were just tossed about on the bathroom sink and not arranged—but maybe I’m just being churlish? But seriously, I had better complimentary toiletries from the University of Durham), there was no proper wi-fi detectable (I tried) but there was evidence of routers attached crudely near the ceiling of the floor my room was in.  The bathroom floor looked like it hadn’t been scrubbed.  There were hairs on the carpet in my room.  The rate I paid for advertised that the rate I was paying for included continental breakfast.  I was just told that they don’t do breakfast anymore, unceremoniously and without apology. The complaints may just little things.  But the little things add up.

A hotel is merely a place to sleep after a day of being in a place you visit.  But the comfort AND friendly service you expect is directly proportionate to the money that you handed over for the privilege.

I wouldn’t waste money on this hotel.  You’re better off staying somewhere else.

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2 Responses to “Apart 73 Hotel in Bayswater”

  1. liannouwen 17 April 2011 at 07:37 #

    This sucks. I hope your stay in London was nice and that the bad hotel didn’t ruin all the fun!

    • Yelly 17 April 2011 at 08:17 #

      I tried not to mind so much. After all, it was mostly just a place to shower and sleep at the end of the day. But it would’ve been nice to have the little extras.

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