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This is a question Hotel Splendido

Enzyme writes, "what about awful hotels, B&Bs, or friends' houses where you've had no choice but to stay the night?"

What, the place in Oxford that had the mattresses encased in plastic (crinkly noises all night), the place in Blackpool where the night manager would drum to the music on his ipod on the corridor walls as he did his rounds, or the place in Lancaster where the two single beds(!) collapsed through metal fatigue?

Add your crappy hotel experiences to our list.

(, Thu 17 Jan 2008, 16:05)
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Tortoise racing
...was the highlight of our stay.

Morocco, 2001, over new year, we booked ten days too many. The first five days were in a villa/complex, which looked fantastic on the website.

From the airport to the villa was an arduous 8 hours. The driver, who spoke no english, stopped down dark alleys and picked up shady passengers, only to stop, leave the car again, and leave us sitting in the car like a load of lemons from time to time.

The villa was in miles of arid flat scrub land, small bushes and goats the only features. Access was by a road so bumpy it took 30mins to get to the main road, scraping the sump all the way, past a bedouin settlement (concrete lego).

We'd booked it expecting to go with a full house of mates, but for various reasons there were only now four of us.

The villa looked beautiful when we arrived. Bedecked with candles, lights twinkling, unusual shaped rooms, very quaint.

It slept ten in five double rooms. The bedrooms looked fab - goatskins on pebbles, designer baths. Unfortunately, the goatskins were exceedingly manky, like cardboard, and still had clagnuts attached. The pebbles were sharp. The designer bath was heated by a small propane canister, which spat out steam when working and ice cold water when on a break - we both managed to burn ourselves whilst trying to shower (the activity was affectionately known by the end of the 'holiday' as "going for a wet shout"). The plug didn't fit so the water drained away at about the same rate it was filling, unless blocked by testicles.

We asked about aquiring some of Morocco's finest and were charged 10 for a pea sized piece. Oh hello. It's fleece the tourist time!

I can do squalor and inconvenience, but the real issue was this.

Once it became apparent that we were only four, the bedouin kitchen help slowly, surreptitiously, let in her mates, her mate's kids, grandmothers, pets etc to live in the empty rooms. They sat, gathered round small fires, scowling as we passed, as if we were in their space. No manner of smiles or waves would get their acknowledgement.

There was a swimming pond, but it was full of leaves, and empty anyway. It was only 18 degrees. The sky was grey. The nearest town had a couple of food shops selling bags of lentils and tins, but was totally dry. There was no electricity, and they'd not bothered with candles since the day of our arrival. The food was the same every day, some flat bread for breakfast and a watery suspect flavourless tagine in the evening.

Fuck. We'd gone on holiday by mistake!

A few days of this - there's only so many books you can read by torch light, and under duress - and we gagging to get home - then - salvation - a lovely French lady who had a guest house a mile away invited us as fellow lost souls for New Years Eve - yay!

Got there to be immediately stuck 30 (!) each (to cover food and drink and musicians) and spent the next couple of hours listening to some smug Germans who'd camel trekked in from somewhere or other. We'd already eaten, and had to hide the excess food.

Then - the finale! - the musicians! Don't get me wrong, I like world music, Tuvan throat singers rock my world. But never have I heard such a cacophony. Atonal plink plonk, dreadful instruments, no rhythm at all. We clapped politely after what seemed an age. They came round with a hat for contributions. They looked strangely familiar. They were. They were staying in our house!

P.S. Tortoise races, even with giant wild tortoises, are less interesting and zany than you might first imagine. And slower.
(, Mon 21 Jan 2008, 15:44, closed)
A good read
Sounds a rubbish holiday though, don't know what else to say though, nice to read, have a click.
(, Mon 21 Jan 2008, 16:09, closed)
They always sell the shit stuff
you gotta haggle loads and learn a few insults in Arabic or French to get a deal out there..Brings back old memorys.. have a woo and a click
(, Mon 21 Jan 2008, 16:31, closed)
going for a wet shout
Earns my click
(, Tue 22 Jan 2008, 10:51, closed)

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