Thursday, 23 April 2009
Why are so many hotels so uncomfortable?
There have been lots of recession-related suggestions that families are going to start returning to old fashioned seaside holidays, rather than travelling abroad.
I grew up by the seaside on the south coast and I've always had a soft spot for the big skies and the faded grandeur. I like the piers, the seafronts, the way it veers between seedy and scenic.
But any return to the seaside promenade needs a bit of a reality check. First of all, there needs to be a bit of back to basics on hotels. Too many really average hotels in this country are ridiculously over-priced, particularly for a family. What makes this even more annoying is how bad they are at the basic stuff.
The hotel experience, apart from the breakfast, is really a glorified bedroom. So getting a good night's sleep is pretty fundamental. So why are so many hotels so uncomfortable for sleep? Why do they have radiators which seem stuck on some pre-set temperature? Why are they so exhaustingly hot? Why do so many hotels hum like ship's engines all night?
Not that long ago, I stayed in a fancy-ish hotel where the heat was pumping out like a furnace. When I opened a window, I was deafened by some kind of extractor fan a few yards away.
Maybe you might fancy a drink to cool down? But the mini-bar has tiny bottles of industrial wine being sold at prices more suitable to vintage champagne. Bottled water is sold at insultingly inflated prices. This isn't hospitality, it's just ripping people off.
End of rant. But if you can't even get a decent kip, what are they selling?