Townsville, Queensland, Australia
August 27, 2005
The hotel is a modern building on a prominent corner. The entrance is from the car park, and there is a surprising feeling of space. We arrived by road and were greeted by two porters who took our gear to the front desk. The first thing you notice is the slope on the lobby floor, which gives a strange feeling of instability. The floor slopes down from the doorway so that if any rain or storm water enters the lobby, it immediately sheet flows past the front desk to the elevator shaft. It is a most unusual arrangement. Check-in was reasonably quick, as I ignored more than two-thirds of the questions on the extensive form. One thing I didn’t ignore was the requirement that all foreigners pay in US dollars rather than taka. When queried, the clerk said the taka would be okay.
The room was fairly standard. It seemed clean, and there was an air-conditioner and a TV. The brochure said that there was a refrigerator, but my room certainly didn’t have one. The bed was on the hard side, but this is certainly preferable to be saggy. The bathroom had a Western-style toilet, a hand basin, and the usual shower outlet in the centre of the room.
I ate at the restaurant that evening. It was quite a swish affair, with plenty of glass, chrome, and mirrors. I had been told that it had a reputation for good food, so I was looking forward to something a little different. Maybe my choice of soup and main course was wrong, but I found it pretty much like the other food I had been eating recently. There was nothing wrong with it, but it certainly wasn’t memorable. Frankly, one week later, I can’t remember exactly what I had. It has blurred with many other hotel meals. I do know that it was very inexpensive.
Other features of the hotel are 24-hour room service, a business centre with Internet and photocopying facilities, a barber shop and beauty centre, and the availability of an airport transfer to Jessore (about 1.5 hours away). The hotel accepts major credit cards. A travel service will book you a visit to the Sundarbans National Park. Three day, two night trips are the most popular and cost around US$100 to US$200, depending on the number of passengers.
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