The hotel brochure states quite clearly that a tea and coffee maker is available on request. I call reception and make the request. Thirty minutes later there is a knock on our door. I open it. I am faced with a short, stocky Indian gentleman with too much facial hair and too little charm holding an electric kettle. He thrusts it into my hands, turns on his heels and leaves. Not one word is spoken.
I phone reception again and suggest that it would be really helpful to have cups and saucers, tea and coffee to go with the kettle. It seems like a reasonable request to me. But not to him. There is an audible sigh from the other end of the phone. Then there is a long moment of silence while the receptionist decides how to handle this tiresome request. Eventually he says he will phone the restaurant and see if they can provide those items.
His voice suggests that I am putting him to a lot of trouble, and that it is extremely unlikely that the restaurant would have cups and saucers, let alone tea bags. At this stage I haven’t seen the restaurant. Later that evening I understand the receptionist’s dilemma.
I have been looking forward to our three nights stay at this hotel. The online brochure looks fabulous, and our day with the farmers visiting their homes has made me appreciate how lucky we are to have such a comfortable life. The hotel bills itself as a “Luxurious Eco Resort”. A little luxury is what I need. And a little luxury is what I get. In fact it is so little it is non existent.
I should have worried when we first saw the sign to the hotel. It pointed down a track off the main road and said it was 1.2 kilometres away. The track made it seem longer
Halfway down the track we had to cross a bridge
But I didn’t worry. It seemed charming and a little adventurous, and besides I had seen the photos on line. They showed a stylish hotel set in huge sprawling beautifully cared for grounds full of palm trees and manicured flower beds. There were just 20 rooms, each one a separate cottage reached down a lovely lane with channels of gurgling blue water flowing alongside .
Dear Reader, you must admit that looks absolutely charming, and I am sure you can understand my expectations of luxury. You can just as easily understand my reaction to the reality of the hotel:
It’s not even close to the picture on the front of the brochure. But I am willing to forgive the gardens getting a little out of hand, as long as the cottages are as pictured
I know at this point you are not going to be surprised at the reality. Actually I still haven’t lost all hope. They are not as picturesque as the brochure would indicate, but they are not bad
But then I venture round the side
That is bad. And the damp permeates everything. As we enter our room the smell of damp is overpowering. I open the wardrobe searching for the travelers safe. There is none. There is however a breath stopping smell coming from a damp rotting pillow and an army of mold spores searching for my once healthy lungs.
Inside the house there is the promise of a glamorous bathroom with an outside shower
But what we got was
with an outside shower that looked like this
But there is still hope.
Remember their advertising line – this is a “resort” not a hotel. There is the promise of a wonderful spa
I admit that if you look closely at the above photo from the hotel’s brochure, it doesn’t look quite as fabulous as the rest of the hotel. But it certainly looks a lot better than this
But if we forget the spa we can still enjoy the lovely pool
Or maybe not
Finally there is the dining room. Not only does the room look inviting,
but there is the promise of “A mind–boggling range of delicacies, prepared through recipes handed down several generations”
What we got was cafeteria food sat in warming pans since the first generation had made it, in a room devoid of light and decoration
But still we haven’t lost all hope.
There is the option of dining on an inviting outside patio But in the evening we are attacked by mosquitoes and next morning at breakfast and lunch we are surrounded by flies. We understand that there will be flies, but we don’t understand the need to attract them to the table by putting out unwashed table mats. The flies feed off the dried food on the place mats while we feed off the dried food from the warming pans.
What we need is alcohol and a lot of it. A good cold bottle of bubbles will put all this into perspective and bring a smile to our faces. If you have been following the blog you will know that bubbles cure all.
We ask for the wine list.
“Sorry Sir, we don’t have wine”, comes the one reply I never want to hear.
But I am nothing if not flexible. Now there’s a line that shouldn’t be touched.
I ask what beers they have
“Sorry Sir, we don’t have beer”
The fact that they are calling me Sir is not helping. I am beyond help.
But all of this, even the lack of bubbles, might have been saved by the warm and friendly staff. Unfortunately they had taken the day off. We got the grumpy unfriendly staff who wanted to be anywhere but at this hotel. Much like us.
We did not stay for three days.