Why are so many hotels so crap?

Just returned from an overnight stay in Manchester, where I chanced a stay in a new (to me) hotel: The Palace.

This is an impressive Victorian building and the lobby is fairly dramatic – huge domed space with those high backed chairs so beloved of hotel lobby designers…

Palace Hotel Manchester

The bedrooms don’t match the entrance – as is often the case.

To be honest we got off on the wrong foot; my reservation quite clearly stated ‘Internet’ along with the usual: ‘tea and coffee making facilities’, ‘spacious room’ etc. However, this ‘Internet’ statement meant that they had the Internet – not that I could use it – or at least not without paying them £15.00.

I enquired if I also had to pay extra for the ‘tea and coffee making facilities’ and the ‘spacious room’ – but fortunately these were included in my £95 bill.
I was not however, able to watch the telly and boil the kettle at the same time, as there was only one socket, but what do you expect for 4 star?

£15 for the Internet is a bloody scandal – I know they are running a business, but these days it costs virtually nothing and should be considered a utility not a luxury.

Being rather pissed of I decided to take a few photos of just what you get in a four star hotel for £95.00 – not very impressive is it…

Palace Hotel Manchester

Hoteliers, especially in the UK, seem to be under the impression that they are masters of illusion, and can make us think that we are in quality establishments with a few tricks, recognise these:

  • Placing a contrasting colour – usually satin – sash across the foot of the bed, with a couple of matching scatter cushions at the top. When in the mattress underneath looks (and feels) like it was found on a skip.
  • Providing little bottles of toiletries from manufacturers you have never heard of, but always sound quite fancy, something like Gilchrist and Soames, Spottiswoode and Parker, Chlamydia and Claptrap or as in this case Pascal Morabito.
  • Giving themselves names like Palace or Renaissance; the fancier, and the more it sounds like a team name from The Apprentice, the more you should exercise caution.

Finally; when did hoteliers become self appointed guardians of the planet?
I am so bored with all the invitations to be environmentally friendly: ‘switch TV off when not using’, ‘put towels back on the rail if you don’t want them changed’, yada yada yada… This is all couched in language that makes it pretty clear that unless I curb my reckless towel use, kittens will die…
Fuck off; for £95 I want them changed twice a day.

Let’s just check that mattress one more time…

Palace Hotel Manchester

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