Because I had a booking failure through Expedia I had to rebook a place in Coventry. I did it through booking.com instead. According to the ratings it was a 3 star place, “cheap and cheerful” they all said. They lied. Now I’m not a hotel snob, right. I’m happy for a bed any place. But this one promised a modest amount and failed to deliver on all counts.
I give you, The Hotel Britannia!
Take for example the shower.
You’ll notice the zip tie providing a bit of resistance to shower nozzle holder thing. This was a job half completed. It was an admirable attempt at stopping the slippage but failed to sort the real problem; the one small boys have with toilets: aim. That’s right, while standing in the gentle (I’ll get that that) stream, the nozzle will suddenly decide to wash the entire bathroom too, including any clothes I had. Its Coventry’s idea of a wet area. Make mental note. Enter bathroom naked. As for the gentle stream, there’s no plumbing problem with this showers hose as it will wash the building next door or flay the skin from you. Yes, it’s powerful, and I like a good strong shower, but this thing competes the water blaster in our garage. But that’s not all. Lots of people complain on the ratings forum that there’s no hot water. Well those complaints must have been in the winter, because its currently summer and my shower doesn’t appear to have cold water. BUT, it tricks you into thinking there is cold water by starting out cool, and the boiling you like a frog. Cunning.
Then theres the automatic airconditioning.
Theses vents are to let cool air in when it gets a bit warm, as it currently is. So why am I still hot? If you pry the vent off the wall, as some folk are inclined to do, you’ll find the the vents are merely ornamental. The advertised automatic aircon is to open the windows. Which is great, because then you can listen to the Bummie (I’ll get to that) yobo’s in the street at 2am.
It gets so much better. My small room is treasure of exciting discoveries. I asked at reception if there was an iron in the room to, you know, iron clothes. “It’s on the wall” they said. “It’s automatic” they said, which is a not a selling point anymore. So this is what’s called an iron in Coventry.
It’s a Corby 5000. And if you’re as smart as me, you’ll be asking yourself, “what’s that?” Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s a trouser press. I thought it was an automatic ironing board, which is close. These things are quite useless, not to mention sexist. I challenge anyone to get a skirt in there. I suppose it could double as a hand warmer. I looked it up online, because seriously, only a strange Englishman would invent this thing, and what do you know! Please watch the following youtube clip as an English vacuum cleaner salesman at a vacuum cleaner conference, extols the merits of the Corby 5000, and his great desire to own one.
I still can’t iron my shirts.
This is my main light. It’s automatic too. It was on when I arrived and I know why. If you turn it off, it won’t come back on again – until its ready. Which could be anytime in chooses. You know those times when you wonder if you left the lights on in some other part of the house? In my room I lie there asking the same question. Yes, the light is off, but is it really? 10 minutes later and…., no its not. The problem is there are two switches, so just because they are off and the light is off doesnt mean the light is off – only time will tell.
This is my room key card. You guessed it, its automatic too. The card decides if its time to go to your room. Came in last night and it wouldn’t work. I tried everything before admitting defeat and heading back to reception. I was told, “They do that sometimes”. Which means what? “Go out for a drink until its ready to not do that?” The reception girl tested it, so i went back and it worked. Its happened twice now, so obviously I’m coming back too early for it.
And now for something new.
Because there’no automatic breakfast at Hotel California I decided to head into town where the locals hang out. Its a little place called Snax in the City. It was truly my best experience so far. My first mistake was making an order using words. I had no idea what the human on the other side of the counter was saying. It transpires (according to the woman who interpreted for me) that I was listening to the Brummie accent at high speed. It truly is another language. I ordered eggs on toast (with help) and got four bits of toast, two eggs, five bits of bacon, 2 hash browns, a paddock of mushrooms, tin of baked beans and what i think was black pudding. All topped of with a pint of coffee. They are big people here in Coventry. But really, there’s nothing better that tipping down a big breakfast while watching Diego the sexually active Tortoise fathering little Tortoises on the 50 inch tele, about 2 metres from my face. Diego is impressive; 500 little Tortoises to his name.
I have been well and truly Coventry-ised. I can only imagine what the Cathedral is going to be like on Sunday. Proabably automatic.
I have actually spent the day there today and it was great. I will unpack that experience later.