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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Fawlty Towers Reigns

It was our 31st wedding anniversary on the 29th of December, and the lovely man secretly arranged a romantic night away for us - fairly local because of the recent blizzard conditions in most areas of the country. It was in a lovely new hotel which I am not going to mention by name because although some aspects were very "Fawlty Towers" the actual experience was lovely in the end.

We arrived at around 11 am and attempted to drive into the car park, to find that a woman (cliche I know but why is it always a woman?) in a white sports car was leaving through the one way entrance system - required a spot of tricky manoeuvring by all concerned. Once we were in the car park it was evident why said female had difficulties leaving - bit of a maze and lacking in any signage.

We got to reception and were told our room was ready - very impressed since check-in was supposed to be 2 pm. We traipsed up to the room, overheating rapidly as we were still in our coats and wrapped up for the minus 3 temperature outside, to find that the room had not been touched, other than the bed stripped. Receptionist was very apologetic - the computer said "No", so we left our luggage and went out for a glass of champagne and some lunch.

Three hours later, we returned, our room was now ready and our luggage had been delivered there (or so we were told) - in fact the room was exactly as we left it and no luggage in evidence! Reception were now puzzled - how could this have happened? I mentioned Wedding Anniversary twice in the hope of an upgrade (not possible - the lovely man had tried to book a suite but the mid-range we had booked was all that was available). The receptionist solved the problem, we were moved into the room immediately above our alloted one - it was beautiful, huge plate glass window along one wall and the whole of one bathroom wall overlooking the local race course, and a fabulous bouquet of flowers waiting for us! Only snag is that the flowers were for someone named Heatherstone - I phoned reception - honest I know, but our luggage was still missing - they admitted their mistake again and offered a bottle of wine to make up for their shortcomings - we accepted.

Some time later, the flowers disappeared, the luggage appeared and the young male receptionist said unfortunately he had dropped our bottle of red wine and it had broken! Can you see why I am thinking "Fawlty Towers" at this point. We agree to take our wine with dinner in the famous chef's restaurant that evening, although I now really doubt the ability of the kitchen to produce anything edible. An hour or so later, whilst we are having a quick snooze, the hotel manager phones to apologise profusely - she is on her day off but has been told about the disastrous impression we might be gaining of her sparkly new hotel.

In fact the cocktail bar was lovely, the food and service were perfect, the room was really comfortable and we had a fantastic night.

The next morning as we checked out, the same male receptionist was on the desk - the desk was very cleverly designed from glass and marble so that you could see the beautiful limestone floor beneath it - now artfully stained with the contents of a bottle of red wine - flipping heck I think the receptionist had a worse day than ours!


  1. That's funny,but glad you were still able to enjoy. I'm intrigued though,WHERE WAS IT???
    Spill the beans!!!!!

  2. Ok since you asked, it is the Abode in Chester - I would still recommend it for a nice meal in a business hotel, or for a city break (although Chester is quite run down compared to say York or Oxford)