|Vienna 1st District|
My worst moments are when we arrive at hotels and I see the look of disappointment on Cate’s face. She employs a range of expressions and phrases to register her level of disappointment when we arrive at a hotel in an area that has recently been blasted to smithereens by Al Qaeda.
Now – as I have said before – I take an enormous amount of time and effort to choose hotels. I look at all the pictures and I read all the reviews and I look at the map to see where they are.
It is simply not my fault that they turn out to be be rat-infested hovels in disused railway yards where gangs of cutthroats roam at will.
Cate’s worst expression is ‘this is nice dear’. This means a catastrophic failure and will be followed by series of supplementary comments as she examines the room. These might include such things as:
Look the bed has moss growing on it – at least we know which direction is South.
How cute – they are using 50 watt light globes – so environmentally conscious.
Meanwhile I will be trying to reconcile the wreck of a hotel with the images I saw on the internet – knowing full well that none of the photos showed rooms that looked like prison cells.
The problem always is that I try to operate to a budget and to get quality within a certain price range. But these things are mutually exclusive.
But last year I changed tactics. I always start with the 5 and 4 star hotels and see if they have special offers for the days we need. And they invariably do. I often can get a really nice hotel for half the rack rate.
Of course some of them turn out to be not quite as advertised – and I can still pick hotels in the wrong part of town if we are going to a new city.
The hotel I picked in Stockholm last year had rave reviews including ‘best hotel I have ever stayed in’. This clearly from someone who did not travel much and whose experience was limited – probably to the YMCA.
Anyway – so we are going to London in April on the way to Oxford where Cate is attending a conference. So I searched and found that the Ritz in London had rooms at half price for the two nights we needed.
I have always wanted to stay at the Ritz and rub shoulders with the rich and beautiful people. Although I imagine they have people there to stop this happening and we will be ushered to a special elevator labelled ‘for people who really shouldn’t be here and came here on a special rate’.