Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Holidays in Hell

The stockmarket meltdown and crippling school fees have resulted in the idle family booking their next holiday from the less salubrious end of the wine list, as it were. Trip Advisor is a crucial tool under these circumstances. You get a sense, from the comments sections, of the people you are likely to be standing next to at the breakfast buffet:

"We bought 'Ray-Ban' sunglasses for five euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake."

"No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled."

"It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England; it took the Americans only three hours to get home."

"My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."

"I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends' three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller."

"The brochure states: 'No hairdressers at the accommodation'. We're trainee hairdressers - will we be OK staying here?"

"There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners."

"The sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white."

"We had to queue outside with no air conditioning."

"It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

"I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

"It's lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time - this should be banned."

"On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food at all."

"We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels."

"Our African game lodge overlooked a waterhole, where I spotted a visibly aroused elephant. The sight of this rampant beast made me feel inadequate and ruined my honeymoon."

"The beach was too sandy."

"Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women."


Nomad said...

Idle - way to go!

I cannot recall the last time I stayed in a "proper" hotel. My modus operandum is to collect the pre-booked car at the airport on arrival and follow the mirrors from there. Always book the first and last nights before leaving home so you have guaranteed accommodation on arrival and the night before flying out again, but leave the rest to chance. I have never yet come across a motel that was fully booked (except for a weekend in Tasmania when all the sheep farmers on the island were in Launceston for the annual country fayre!).

It is my experience that motels which are usually run by their owners, are far more friendly than hotels. Most offer limited cooking facilities, together with a free packet of milk daily, so no need to spend all your holiday cash on expensive outside or (even worse) hotel food. Most also provide laundry facilities for a small fee, and there is never any problem parking the wheels. Added to which for all this comfort, their prices are somewhat under the standard hotel rates and you don't have noisy inebriated guests running up and down the corridors at 2am.

Trip Advisor is useful to glance at - but as your examples show, tell little about the actual premises or the state of the facilities offered. Google 'Motels in XXXX' and browse away. Bon vacance.

Tuscan Tony said...

Avoid the waterhole Idle.

You could always roost at the Towers for a few days if that takes your fancy: I'll turf out The Hitch, the Beast and The Peasant and have the place fumigated at once in readiness.

idle said...

Tuscan - my holiday in hell is, in truth, a lady idle special to the tropics in December; we will discuss this and other things in a few weeks time, I trust.

PC from the Moritzersee much enjoyed.

Scrobs said...

Agree with Nomad Idle!

Some time ago, Mrs S and I weretraipsing around The Blue Ridge Mountains, and one lunchtime, stopped for a well earned lunch.

As much of our time was spent on foot, we usually took a modicum of refreshment of the White 14% variety as well.

We saw absolutely no drinks like this on the menu, or anywhere else, and were much abashed.

While staring down at the table top in utter deep despair, (having ordered a Hero sandwich, and - yucch, cold tea...), my gaze just spotted the smallest of adverts stuck to a salt cellar, about a millimetre square, advertising Gallo Wine.

Lights up all round, fanfares of trumpets and a hoot of triumph!

The waitress uttered the imortal words 'Why of course we have this Sir, would you like the wine list'?

Oh yes we did!

Oh bloody yes!!!

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