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Saturday, October 8, 2011

More hotel misery

I don't know if we're spoiled, or if we cleverly chose excellent hotels for our first three European stops, or if our luck ran out. The first thing that happened when we arrived at the Radisson Blu was nothing. No one was there. No one opened the door. No one was at the "welcome" desk. There was one one person behind a huge blow-up reception desk in the lobby.

This thing is as insubstantial as a Japanese lantern, with occasional hard surfaces at which one may address the staff, if there are any, and if they deign to recognize you. Most of the time, you have to go right under their noses and say, "Hey!" Otherwise they stare at their computers and ignore the guests.

There is a similar piece of craptastic furniture under the sign reading "Baggagli." Presumably you might leave your luggage here. Usually no one is there, either.

The one person on duty (surrounded by people seated on upturned kayaks and big, hard bowling balls all around the lobby) informed us we couldn't get into our room before 3 PM. Legally, they're within their rights. Practically, it's a bad idea, because people who have to sit and stare and wait and are exhausted (which I promise you they are if they arrive early) are just going to get upset and start having negative feelings about everything. Well, it worked like a charm. We decided to go to lunch and leave our bags, but we had to wait 15 minutes to do it while they summoned the "Baggagli Hop." So right there, three strikes. No welcome, no room, no staff.

We walked down to the train station to get more Euros, then had lunch in a sidewalk cafe. Rome has discovered misting, praise the Pantheon! That even beats aria condizionata.

But when we got back two hours later, around 1 PM, they STILL couldn't provide a room. Yes, they had two hours to go, but you'd think with a lobby full of people, they'd try harder. But no, there were just more people in the lobby. All the bowling balls and most of the upturned kayaks were full, so we sat on the remaining kayak.

Around 2 PM I said the the desk clerk, "Look, we're really tired. Haven't you got anything? Surely some room is available by now, since people have to check out by 11 AM."

What ensued was such a pain in the ass I can't do any more right now, so I'll close with the daily photo.

Radisson BLU desk chair.

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