Anyone Got their own Basil Fawlty or Bad Hotel Experiences?
I see on the paper where a British hotel manager has been christened the new Basil Fawlty after he gave out to a customer who asked for a glass of tap water.
He told the unfortunate customer "I buy the ice that goes into the water & I buy the labour to serve the water. I provide the luxury surroundings, & you think that I should provide this all of this free of charge????"
Has anyone got their own Basil Fawlty or rotten hotel experiences?
My main Basil Faulty one was when I was on a holiday in Austria, booked it two days before I left, got it dirt cheap but I had no idea where I was staying, I remember visiting the cockpit on the way out & expressing my concern to the lovely captain about what & where I might have landed myself into, he doing his best to ally my fears (me last time on a flight deck sob sob) .
The accommodation was basic but adequate though I was separated from the rest of the group so I had to communicate in my lousy German (funny how much of a language you can remember when you have to) whether I liked it or not, since only the proprietor spoke English.
Anyway one morning I decided to try a fruit tea for my breakfast but I decided I didn't like it. For some reason I had to bring this to the notice of the proprietors wife she admonished me by saying something like
"You've no right to be so fussy & wasteful, if you had lived through World War 11 you'd know what real hunger is'
Of course I thought this was hilarious over a little tea bag.
Later on in my holiday a group that had gone to the Oberammagau 'Passion Play' came to stay. Okay not really my type but atleast they spoke English but they were being charged through the nose for very basic accomodation. Unlike me who was on B & B board they were on half board where they only had one 'choice', like it or lump it kinda thing. Matters were only made worse when one of them said to me she'd complained about the food to the wife of the proprietor & she gave her ole WW2 speel again.
Whatever happened to 'Don't mention the war'!.
I also stayed in a hotel once where the loo overflowed in my ensuite & the bottom fell out of the drawers, right kip it was.
I do. Short & broad instead of tall & lanky. Has been in the hotel business all his life. Pleasant easygoing chap at work, or so they tell me.
Apart from the times 'unreasonable guests' set off his temper. Scares the cr@p out of guests and staff alike when he gets worked up. Or so the waiters tell me when they have drunk a tad too much at the annual Summer Do.
He got christened Mr40 by I think Binos on a thread many years ago, and it was so apt that it has stuck.
My family and I were at a restaurant once, where the waiter was so like Manuel - accent, character and all. He came to our table to take the order, and after taking it, he started telling us a yarn. Before he'd finished, he was called to attend elsewhere. He stopped abruptly, and disappeared.
We chatted to each other, as you'd expect, when suddenly he slid to a halt at our table and continued his story, just where he'd left it, as if he'd never left - until he was called away again.
It happened several times, and each time he seemed oblivious to the fact that he was interrupting our conversation, or to the fact that his story was quite disjointed. He just continued right on.
Luckily it was a funny story, because by the third or fourth arrival, we were all helpless with laughter as he slid to a halt and commenced telling the next part of the tale. He seemed pleased with our reactions, and kept coming to the table all evening, to chat and tell us stories.
We couldn't help thinking of Manuel and Fawlty Towers.
I've loads of these but that's bacause whenever I take a trip somewhere I stay in the chapest sh!thole I can find so I have more spending (drinking) money. A place I stayed in in Cardiff had a hole in the top corner of the wall I could see into the bedroom next door, no kidding! Another place in Belgium had one of the bathroom windows smashed and a bin bag in its place, stayed in loadsa places that don't even have dining rooms or serve food and stayed in a guest house once with an outdoor bathroom. I think the poshest place I've ever stayed in was a 3 star hotel in Malta. Anyway doesn't bother me, all I look for is a cheap place to crash for a few hours even if it is on the floor of the kitchen.
Went to Torquay a few years ago for a wedding. On the road into Torquay my wife and I had a laugh about Fawlty Towers, especially when we passed a hotel calling itself 'Fawlty Towers'. The hotel we stayed in was run by two 40-something women. Wife and I didn't sleep well that night; the room was too hot and no air-con. In the morning, one of the 40-somethings made it clear she wanted to bed my wife with me having disappeared. We left v. quickly...
Not Fawlty Towers, but a bad hotel story, and I apologise for it in advance.
I stayed in a Motel 6 in Fort Worth once and in the morning, got up and took a shower. I reached for one of the nicely folded towels and started to dry myself off. After I had done my head and shoulders, I happened to notice...the towel had a small, round, yellowish stain in the middle of it
Needless to say I had to shower again and select the next towel a little more carefully. Maybe Onan the Social Misfit had been there before me
I choose my hotels pretty carefully these days, but years ago when the expenses weren't so good I've had a few horrors. No 'Mr 40s', but I remember one hole in Westcliffe on sea where, when the occupant of the next roon took the plug out of their wash bowl, their dirty water bubbled uo through the plughole in mine
And a musty old 'faded glory' place in Cumbria. I arrived on the Sunday evening for an early meeting next morning, and decided to eat in the hotel restauarnt. I was the only occupant - me and the doddering old waiter who must have been at least 80. He shuffled over to the table with my bottle of wine, puffed and sighed at the effort of uncorking it, and broke the cork off with half of it still in the bottle. Off he shuffled, and came back with a fresh bottle, leaving the original on the sideboard. By the time he managed to extract a complete cork, there were 3 such bottles on the sideboard. Wonder who eventually drank them?
But back to that expensive glass of water. A few years ago on a very hot afternoon I was on a pushbike ride around the Cheshire lanes and stopped at a remote pub I'd known years before for a drink. When I'd known it when I lived near there it had been an unspoilt farmers' pub. Now it had been poshed-up; but I enjoyed a pint of 'Spitfire' bitter in the garden, in a lovely glass with a picture of Mitchell's masterpiece on it.
I was still thirsty but didn't fancy another beer, so went into the pub and orderd a pint of orange squash. "That will be £1.50" says the barmaid. "What?" says I. "That's the same as the beer!"
"Maybe, but that's the price". "You can keep it, then" I said, and went back outside leaving the drink on the bar. There was a water tap in the yard, so I filled my 'Spitfire' glass with fresh cold water and drank deeply a couple of pints of 'corporation pop'. Most refreshing!
And I've still got that Spitfire glass at home today
certain casino used to have the reputation as being maffia owned, and named after a pink bird.
history prior to arrival at said hotel ....
plane leaving for Las Vegas was running late.... ran over 2 concourses for next connection last on plane to some really dirty looks and worse service...
Got off in Las Vegas to be held at the airport as some nutter was running around threatening to shoot lotsa folks starting with police and working his way around to joe anyone.....
waited 2 hours for something to happen. waited for our bags to show, and all I got was a feral look fromt he baggage services officer who curtly told me my bags had gone to Denver... damm! by now I was wishing I had been going to denver... bags not due in until after the flight to the canyon was due to leave... to their credit, they ended up scheduling my bags to meet me at the hotel just after midnight.
Got to checkin area.... feeling like the proverbial wrung out traveller... all I wanted was to have a shower and buy a change of clothes.
We were told our rooms werent ready yet. oh.. ok... is there anywhere we can get showered and changed...
no was the reply you have to be a guest!
this inane conversation went on for the next five minutes as we were to be checked in as soon as they had rooms for us, and as it was a prepaid booking, it shouldnt present a problem.
still no shower.
went to get something to eat. found one of the food areas and saw a two hambergers for the price of one deal. ah that will do fine! the hamburgers no kidding were 2 inches in diameter... they were minatures!!
when asking what the hell the go was with the hambugers, I had now lost my appetite.
back to check in... still no room.
go for a wander about for an hour, still no room...
6 hours after checkin time they said room ready.
went up, and went into the room and nearly died... the bed wasnt made and the room was a mess! pubes and mess on the bed and all. given my luggage still in denver I didnt have anyone handling bags. so on the phone I was, very polite I was until the stupid girl told me the room was clean and I was wrong! Cleaner came up and did the room over quickly while we sat outside and watched. We couldnt even make a cup of coffee. Next I went to have a shower... the towels didnt exist, I used the hand towel, that was after racing around to catch all five or so drops of water that fell from the shower rose...
I was really irate now, and asked for the manager. A couple of hours later a small fruit basket turned up courtesy of the hotel, about an hour after my bags were finally delivered, and 1/2 hour after I finally got to sleep. We had to depart at 5am the next morning and couldnt take fruit baskets so was wasted....
I swore Id never recommend that hotel to anyone. Now I have... as the worst hotel experience anywhere ever!
Totally out of character, I had imbibed in one to many of Scotland's finest and dragged my sorry @ss to bed. Proceeded to strip off and collapsed on top of the bed.
The next morning was a soft knock at the door. In my still half-pissed state, I thought I had imagined it. It was real. House keeping had decided to arrive a little earlier than norman. The room was filled with light as the door was thrown open by a young lady with an arm full of towels. Cut to prone Jerricho lying prone, flat on his back, butt naked, with what can only be described as "good old morning glory" for one and all to see. Never moved so quick in my life.
(Later in the day, the houskeeper was quoted as saying "It looked like a penis, only smaller!")
This is rehashed material but half of yas probably didn't see it & the other half have probably forgotten it anyway.
My sister was staying down in a B&B in Galway once with some yoke she was dating from South Africa. Now being the good Catholic well brought up girl that she was of course they had separate bedrooms but they decided to have a bit of a chin wag in one of the bedrooms. As they were sitting on the bed innocently chatting the proprietor suddenly burst it & exclaimed at my sister:
"We don't want the likes of you in here" & ordered her to leave.
Turned out he had mistakenly taken my sister for a prostitute.
One had the misfortune, once, to stay at a place called the Chain Bridge hotel in Llangollen. We were shown to a room that had an unmade bed, a filthy bathroom, and the bedside cabinets had been torn off and placed in front of the bathroom door. We were both very young, so complaining was not an easy task.
We were then relocated to a room that must have been for the hotel staff... very basic indeed! That night, we went in for dinner and were kept waiting over an hour for a bottle of wine. To add insult to injury, the next morning, we were served 'breakfast' that consisted of runny eggs and completely uncooked sausages!!
The staff were rude......... don't mention the war!!!!!!!!!!!
Location: South of the North Pole, north of the South Pole...
For many years back in the '60s, I lived at the Pantai Motel near Port Dickson in Malaysia. At the time it was a charming and spacious hotel consisting mainly of individual bungalows and chalets set in open grounds populated with rambutan and mango trees. I would often climb up and gorge myself on the delicious fruit for hours on end. Guests were often Anzac members and their families down for the weekend. Also, I particularly remember a very nice German girl who always stayed in chalet no. 1 and with whom I developed a special friendship. Sharing the place with 30 odd cats and a handfull of dogs, there was a nice beach, ski boat and the recently expanded hotel dining room, with culinary wonders provided by the Chinese cooks under supervision of the owner's charming Nepalese wife. The owner himself was a very British "colonial" type, ex. Indian Army (WWII intelligence, with training in "tough tactics"), recently ex. tea/rubber plantation manager who had even been provided with an armoured scout car and troops on the plantation in order to keep the Communists at bay. Who eventually decided to run a hotel...! One can only imagine the possibilities. I still have a scar on my forehead from the time they hired a new barman who wasn't aware that I was accustomed to helping myself to a Coke in the afternoons at a time when the bar was officially closed. The ensuing struggle resulted in the bottle exploding and many apologies over the incident later. There were also those late night occurences when many guests would have been aware of the very loud fights between the owner and his wife in their private quarters. Today, these might have given cause to suspect wife-battering but back then, it was just another day at the Pantai! Oh, I should mention at this point that the owner was in fact my father, and I was 7 years old in 1967.
Dancing with the devil, going with the flow... it's all a game to me.
Join Date: May 2000
Easy one this:
Leaconfield Hotel, Isle Of Wight back in the late eighties. Family holiday and the manager/owner back then was a complete arse. His attitude stunk. One day I put the lights on in the bar because it was very dark and he started moaning about how he had to pay the electricity bills. My Dad sat quietly fuming before disappearing upstairs to his room as the urge to lay the prat out engulfed him!
He was just one of those general arses in life who moan about everything and anything. For people trying to enjoy a holiday it was most unwelcome but looking back, rather funny.
Some three years ago, whilst en-route to Europe, my wife and I stayed in the Peninsular Hotel in Bangkok. While in the shower, my wife found that the hot water tap came away in her hand ("came off in me hand Chief"), and she narrowly escaped being scalded. Some gentle words in the ear of the manager produced an instant move to the most magnificent suite on the top floor, a free dinner for two nights and a refund!
Last weekend, we stayed at the Sheraton on the Park in Sydney. We were allocated a room that absolutely stank of cigarette smoke. Again, a gentle word in the ear of the manager resulted in a move to a suite sans fume with a magnificent view over Sydney Harbour plus a free dinner.
It pays to insist on your consumer rights. Poor Basil would be hard pressed to turn a quid these days.
We were then relocated to a room that must have been for the hotel staff... very basic indeed!
I've had that experience too. My brother decided to get married in Adare, Co. Limerick, probably one of the most beautiful villages in Ireland, thatched roofs including on this supposed to be lovely hotel establishment. Trouble is by the time I was able to verify I could make it to the wedding the only room left was in the staff quarters. All I can remember is this horrible tiled floor & pink painted walls
Twenty eight years ago we booked a trip to Sauze as a belated honeymoon. After much agonising over the extra cost we decided to opt for the "better room with en suite bathroom."
The plane was late, the coach journey was awful, it was ten before we got to the hotel and nearly eleven by the time we got to our room. It faced another building, very close, there was no bathroom, (It was way down the hall,) the closet was an early post war utility wardrobe, there was no other furniture except the two camp beds which, because of the room's odd shape, were placed against opposite walls.
We were young and did not have the knack of compaining. We tried for an hour to resituate the beds. We lifted them up, turned them, moved the wardrobe, moved the beds back, Rubic would have been proud of us, except the beds just would not fit any way except on opposite walls. Finally at about twelve thirty, we lost patience, we stormed downstairs to find the place deserted except for the night manager. We went at him with all the day's pent up frustrations until he threatened to call the police. I summoned up what little Italian I still knew and in a Calabrese accent so foul he might have thought I was connected with Sicilian mafia told him he should, the cells would be more comfortable and anyway he should be arrested for so misrepresenting his hotel. Finally we all calmed down enough for him to promise he would do somthing in the morning. We did not unpack.
The next morning we found that the hotel was one of those places where guests shared tables and had envelopes with their their names on for their napkins. There were to six of us at our table but of the others there wasn't a sign even as we left for our first day on the slopes.
When we came in after skiing we were shown to a very pleasant room, Queen bed, nice furniture, en suite bathroom, actually rather nicer than that in the rather run down mansion flat we inhabited in London. The water did not run all that hot, but then we were used to that too. We had baths and a bit of 'a rest,' before we went down to dinner.
Our table companions were already seated and it turned out that they had some problems with the hotel too. "This is a real sh*t hole," they said, "We had this lovely room when we arrived and then when we got bacvk from skiing we'd been moved to this bloody room on the next floor down, no bathroom, one crummy old wardrobe and a couple of camp beds and you can't even put them next to each other, we've just spent an hour trying. It must be the worsdt room in the town, probably in the country. Run by a buch of tossers thast don't even speak English and can't understand our complaint. We're never ever coming here again."
We were young and a littleless outspoken that we are today. We said nothing.
There was the time when I visited Majorca as a child, a backwater at the time. Like any eight year old child I loved playing on the swings at the hotel, this time was no exception. As I was pushing myself higher & higher this Spanish girl came out & spoke & spoke to me. Not having a word of Spanish I just pleasantly smiled back naively thinking she was trying to make friends & be nice. Silly me!
She then dissappeared for a while & arrived back with this 'big girl'. Yar woman started to push me from behind & push & push. I was going so high the swing was on the verge of going right over the top bar. I pleaded with her to stop but to no avail till I decided my only alternative was to jump. I took a leap off the swing & landed to my surprise feet first without hurting myself in a way an Olympic gymnast would be proud of (I'm crap at gymnastics).
Obviously the little monster had wanted a go on the swing & had taken my behaviour as hogging the swing rather than not understanding her language. Turned out these pair of brats were the daughters of the owner of the hotel.