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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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How I spent two nights in a brothel without really noticing and certainly without getting laid
Ecuador is a country that I have visited twice: once in 1995 as part of a school expedition after my A-levels finished, and once in 1997 alone, because I liked the country so much the first time around. This story takes place on the second trip. For background, it is worth knowing that, to attract attention, Ecuadorians whistle.

One hot, sultry afternoon, my bus pulled into the city of Guayaquil. Tired, and with nothing but an out-of-date Lonely Planet to guide me, I set off in search of a place to stay for a couple of nights. The first place I tried was no longer in business, but another hostel across the square also had a reasonable write-up, so I decided to try there. They were open and had a room. I attempted to negotiate a price in broken Spanish. The man behind the counter looked puzzled, but gave me a figure. It was slightly higher than I’d expected, but bearable. I agreed. He asked for the money up front. In retrospect, this should’ve been a warning, but I was young and exhausted, and I paid.

I was shown a room. The man warned me that I ought to be careful, because the lock on the door was… well, there was no lock on the door. I protested; he offered to go and fetch a padlock. (Note to travellers: always take a hefty padlock with you.) I waited, and, as I waited, I looked around the room. I had initially assumed that it was dark in there because the blinds were shut. In fact, it was because there was no window: the only source of illumination came from the fluorescent tube that intermittently flickered in the bathroom. “Maybe,” I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be here after all. I should get a refund and find somewhere else to stay.”

“Refund” was not a word in the manager’s vocabulary – but, after a protest, he agreed to give me a different room. This one had a window with a view over a square, and a lock on the door. The light worked, and there was air conditioning of a sort. Granted, there was a leak somewhere in the bathroom, but… well, what the heck. 48 hours and I’d be out of there, back in Quito.

I didn’t see much of the other residents of the pension, but that was fine by me. I think it was on the second evening, though, that I heard someone whistling outside my door. Wondering if it might be the manager wanting to see me, I opened it, to be confronted by an old man standing in the doorway of the room opposite, trying to attract the attention of someone down the hall. Behind him, I noticed that the bed was unmade. I apologised and shut the door. And then something occurred to me.

The man had been naked.

Half an hour later, when I went out to find a bar and a restaurant, the door opposite was still open. In the dusky light, the bed was quite clearly made. Of the occupant – of any occupant – there was no sign.

As the sun set over the Gulf of Guayaquil, the lights came on along the Pacific coast and a light also came on in my mind. The puzzlement of the manager when I asked for two nights was easily explicable when seen in the context of his more normal schedule of bookings by the hour. (Maybe he’d been a little intimidated, too, by my supposed sexual prowess: I was going to need two days?) The lack of lights in the first bedroom would not be too big a problem to many of those wanting to use it.

Still: the sheets were clean, and the clientele was quiet. Moreover, in the end, I’d wanted somewhere to sleep, and that’s what I got.

And that is how I spent two nights in a brothel without really noticing and certainly without getting laid.
(, Thu 17 Jan 2008, 20:15, closed)
Are you a footballer?
Playing for Charlton Athletic?
(, Thu 17 Jan 2008, 23:14, closed)
This story doesn't really suprise me!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 8:41, closed)
I like!
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 10:18, closed)
A likely story!...

I doubt a man with your intelligence and sense of perception failed to know he was in a brothel...

I'll wager you tipped the landlord a wink and asked him if he could recommend any local 'attractions'???

*clickety woo*
(, Fri 18 Jan 2008, 17:33, closed)
I'm a lot stupider than I look - and even more naďve than stupid...
(, Sun 20 Jan 2008, 12:59, closed)

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