Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Two nights in the kennels


H.I. and I  used to specialise in not very nice holidays, and I thought we had broken that trend until the last few days.

The location of our hotel on the Gower is very pleasant indeed, but we were very worried that the constant howl of jet-skis would go on every day - it turned out to be a weekend activity only.

Now I am not the sort of person to expect chocolates on the pillow when I enter a hotel room, but I did think it a bit much that the first thing we encountered was an un-flushed toilet in our en-suite - with both types of human waste languishing at the bottom of the bowl.

When I mentioned it to the receptionist, she was aghast because, she said, it was her job to inspect each room before new guests arrived. To make up for this oversight, the cleaner arrived the next morning at 10.10 am (breakfast finished at 10.00) and hammered on the door before letting himself in. I could not answer it because I was in the bathroom giving him an extra cleaning job, so I had to shout for him to go away.

"I will come back later," he promised. Later for him was five minutes later, and we had to tell him to go away again, so he did - and returned five minutes later again. He obviously wanted to go home.

This hotel specialises in two things - weddings and dogs. It is such a dog-friendly hotel that they allow them in the restaurant. Consequently, every dog-owner from all over the U.K. uses the place, and they all bring a huge variety of mutts with them - and take them into the restaurant. It looks like I imagine John Gray's house to be and our first dinner was made hell by three particularly yappy daschunds.

The dog-owners who go to this place are all of the militant variety. If you show any sign of displeasure at a ball knocking over your beer in the garden, or a large, slobbery dog on a 50 foot lead jumping on you with dirty paws, you are treated as a dog-hater, which we are not.

There is music at breakfast time, coming through a large array of speakers which double-up as public address for wedding speeches. I don't like any music at breakfast time, let alone Frank Sinatra.

The food was mediocre in the extreme, and nothing is 'a problem' for all the staff. "Will you be having tea or coffee with your breakfast this morning?" "Coffee please." "No problem."

We made a break for the beach a couple of times, and the wide swathe of strand had a huge variety of shellfish living in and on it. There were oysters, mussels, razor-clams, whelks, edible sea-weed - I thought seriously about living off it for a couple of days, but we had already parted with the money so made the most of it.

When we were checking out, the receptionist asked if we had enjoyed our stay, and I was just about to tell her what I thought when a woman in the same room shouted out, "Yes", so I kept my mouth shut. We were not offered any compensation for the complimentary turd.

I am afraid to say that leaving was like being let out of an expensive prison, and arriving back to humdrum life is a big relief.

I need a holiday.


30 comments:

  1. I am mystified as to why you booked into a dog friendy hotel or were you not aware at the time of booking?

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    1. Of course I wasn't. It was recommended by an elderly friend who has an equally elderly Collie who she never lets out of her sight. Only afterwards did we understand why she recommended it so highly.

      This is why I never recommend anything to anyone, or at least try not to. It is - like the jurors in The Archers - very difficult not to import your own agenda.

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  2. I cannot abide dog friendly hotels
    Hotels are for adult time.
    Yuk yuk

    Funny blog today..

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  3. There seems to come a time in life when 'home' is just far superior to any hotel. (The worst hotel I stayed in was in downtown San Francisco with bullet holes in the windows and hairs in the bed. I was more worried about the bedding than the bullet holes.)

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    1. I usually love hotels, but only if they don't ruin the trip.

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  4. Rachel has preempted my question. How did you find this delightful hotel? Did you select it from the 'Hotels you should never visit.com' web site?

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    1. Of course I didn't. read Rachel's reply.

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  5. I would have demanded another room. Apparently, the cleaning people missed your suite and you should have been compensated. I am not a person who would write a bad review of a business, but this one definitely deserved one.

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  6. You realy need a holiday.( my last holiday was 8 years ago, i don't need holidays.)

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  7. Oh my. What a nasty experience. I would have complained...loudly...and that's something I hardly ever do, but the circumstances here warranted it. Sorry your stay was so awful!

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    1. I did, but not loud enough. Tripadvisor has been my (measured) response.

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    2. I contribute to Tripadvisor about hotels and restaurants. I give praise where it is due and criticism where things were lacking. I always provide proof of my criticism with photographs, but I don't know if they would have allowed a pic of the toilet bowl plus contents. Sooooooo awful! I don't know how to get that out of my head, now. Quick, post about something else!!!!!!!!!!

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    3. I'm working myself up to another poo - I mean post.

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  8. Sounds pretty awful - I think we have all had experiences like that.

    My two favourite hotels in the UK - and I can thoroughly recommend the both - one is The White Hart in Lincoln, close to the cathedral - only a three star hotel but absolutely lovely - nothing is too much trouble and the food is delicious.
    The other is The Blakeney Hotel at Blakeney in Norfolk - wonderful - a room looking out to sea is bliss and the food is a delight.

    The White Lion in Aldeburgh is also one we love. So stay clear of the Gower in future.

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    1. They sound great, but I don't know your taste in hotels, as I didn't with the woman who recommended the one in the Gower.

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  9. Oh really Tom, what with dachshounds and a little dirt here and there? So sorry for you if this was the only vacation you had this summer, it tends to linger in the centerpart of your stomach and your bank account, when you ponder on the withdrawals.
    I think we all could write a post or two on lousy hotels, we once spent one (1) night in a familyroom with sofabeds, the sofabed was actually a leftover plank from the nearby buildingsite, covered with a blanket. Or so it would seem. Our recent hotel was very nice, by the sea, interior from the sixties and quiet neighbourhood. Clean toilet... I think you can trust in Weavers advice, she wouldn't trick you in to anything bad!!!

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    1. I've already had a good stay in Spain. A word of advice - never trust elderly women - or men.

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  10. I love dogs. I will not, however, book myself into a kennel if it's at all avoidable. Nor will I surround myself with screaming toddlers.

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    1. We had toddlers too - a leftover from the wedding, but they were overshadowed by the dogs.

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  11. We've almost given up on hotels. Except for Travelodge and Premier Inn when needs must for emergency one night lodging at airports or London. For longer stays in the UK or abroad Airbnb has served us very well. In fact brilliantly across continents.

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  12. We've almost given up on hotels. Except for Travelodge and Premier Inn when needs must for emergency one night lodging at airports or London. For longer stays in the UK or abroad Airbnb has served us very well. In fact brilliantly across continents.

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    1. Yes, I joined air band b recently, but I have yet to use it. I am thinking about the Landmark Trust for future UK trips.

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  13. Oh Tom, that was what we call in Germany "ein Griff ins Klo" (ask your Wilhelmshaven-dentist-friend what it means, but only quietly.
    Of course reading about it was highly fun - that is the difference between fiction and reality...

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