Saturday, 21 April 2012
Hotel Hell and the Big Sell
Yesterday, a young lady tried to sell me a membership to the Hilton Business Club. Ged and I would enjoy free dining whenever we booked our business associates into one of their hotels.
I cut her sales pitch short to ask, "Do you have a copy of my complaint about our last Hilton experience?" She didn't, so I suggested she find and read it before trying to sell me anything again.
Hilton Manchester, December 30th 2010. My best friend came all the way from London to babysit so Ged and I could play out without the kids. Shortly after midnight, as we were making our way back to our room from the Hilton's Cloud bar, the fire alarms went off. A recorded voice boomed through the corridors telling us to quickly make our way out of the building. Yes, we all thought there could be a bomb about to go off and I for one was asking myself why on earth we had booked into a towering glass spike of a hotel that had 'terrorist target' written all over it. Heels clicked like castanets as we legged it down the stairs, just one slip away from a stumble, a push and mass panic. Once on the street, wrapped in foil blankets, we were at least thankful to be dressed underneath and kept an eager eye eye out for any guests who may not have had time to get the rubber off and the gimps out. Then we saw the sprinklers go off, sending water cascading down the windows and through the ceiling into reception. An electrical fault in the spa was apparently the cause and we were only allowed back to our rooms after two hours. The next morning we were told swimming was out of the question as the ceiling had collapsed into the pool. Lovely.
The pool was the reason we chose the Hilton. There are only a handful of hotels in central Manchester with swimming pools. The year before we had booked into the Manchester Midland on Boxing Day. THEY CLOSE THE POOL OVER CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR AND DO NOT MENTION THIS ON THEIR BOOKING WEBSITE!!!! The Midland staff apologised by upgrading us to the most palatial suite we had ever seen. The heating was broken, it was freezing and THERE WERE NO ENGINEERS TO FIX THE HEATING OVER CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR!
It is actually very rare that we have a trouble free hotel stay either with or without the kids. We seem to attract trouble. Daughter Zoe once split her head open on a glass table in the reception of the Blackpool Hilton and son Joe managed to get someone else's poo stuck beneath his fingernails when he picked (what he believed to be) 'pebbles' out of the plughole in our local Mercure hotel.
So I advise anyone trying to sell me anything connected to any hotel I have ever visited to check their complaints book first or risk a tongue lashing.