Monday, March 19, 2012

Putting on the Ritz

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’.


  1. faaaaaaancy! i'm sure it will be great - i have only been to the bar/lobby. also very central to a lot of places, including green park so i'm sure it will be a win win.

  2. Now you know why I travel with my own pack of 75 watt bulbs.

  3. Glad you got a new Plan A, let us know about them room.

  4. I think you should forget the bad things and take the good oness and enjoy everything life has to offer there.

  5. Oooh The Ritz... lovely... surely NOTHING can go wrong there!

  6. I found the following on the Ritz's website:

    "Regrettably, Afternoon Tea at the Ritz is not suitable for those suffering from nut allergies."

    Make of that what you will.

  7. Be wonderful if it lives up to all the hype.. But I'm sure if it is central and summer it will be lovely nonetheless.

  8. Merrick seems not to realise that April in London is definitely NOT summer!

    Badger, every hotel has those rooms next to the elevator that rattle and shake all night :-(

    Good Luck!

  9. Right now, I'd be ecstatic just to go anywhere regardless of the negatives.

  10. gosh! and I am happy is a swag anywhere!

  11. "is a" should read "in a"..... sorry mate.....

  12. Nuts to the naysayers! You'll have a perfectly English time of it I'm sure. Have fun.

  13. TNDW: Yes I am sure we will have a great time.

    esb: Good idea I should try that.

    fmcgmccllc: You can be sure I will report

    GAVIOTA: Wise words indeed.

    Kathryn: I am sure nothing will.

    SK Waller: Thanks goodness I can still go there.

    Merricks: I doubt that it will but it will be a nice experience.

    Annie: Quite true about the hotel rooms - we know most of the traps and how to avoid them.

    SK Waller: Trust me - we know how lucky we are.

    Simon: Just as it should be.

    Sandy: Thanks