New Delhi, India
June 3, 2009
When we got back after 3, we got our first inkling that things weren’t tickety-boo. The receptionist on duty told us a junior suite wasn’t available. He’d book us into a smaller room for the night, and shift us to a junior suite the next day. There didn’t seem like much choice, so we agreed and went up to #510.
Though air-conditioned, the room was cramped, with a smallish double bed and patchwork decor: different themes put together. The floral-printed curtains were pretty, the green-orange pattern of the carpet not. The dirty yellow and olive Formica of the desk and headboard was awful. The waterpipes and radiator of the bathroom (which was pleasantly large) looked as if they’d last been painted in the 50’s, and other than toilet paper, a hair dryer and a multipurpose soap-shampoo, there were no accessories. The room had a small TV, wardrobe, minibar, and a couple of chairs with a desk. The view—the unsightly backyard of a building—was terrible.
The next morning, therefore, we asked for the promised junior suite. But no, it’d be available only after noon. So (since the hotel’s breakfast, at €14 per head, is steep) we took ourselves off to a café and then sightseeing. Back later, we were given our junior suite, #501. This was a twin-bedded room, bigger and with a better view, even a large (though bad) painting. Same accessories though, and the loo was weird: the WC (and nothing else) was on one side of the vestibule, everything else—bidet, washbasins (two of them!), bathtub—on the other side. Thoroughly inconvenient. The vestibule had a door—not lockable—leading into the bedroom, but still.
The Best Western has a bar where breakfast is served. There’s laundry, parking and a conference room. The location’s great; walk 15 minutes and you’re at the Cathedral. But that’s it.
Personally, I wouldn’t stay here again. Not because of the inconvenient loo or the inadequate housekeeping (empty Kleenex box two days running, no hygiene bags, bedsheets merely tucked in and not even dusted). Not because of the expensive breakfast, or that Tarun had a hard time convincing the manager we should be given a rebate for the night spent in #510. Because we later discovered that they’d lied to us. After we checked out and were walking out, we found that #501—a ‘junior suite’—is actually a superior room, cheaper than what we’d paid. Sheer dishonesty is something I can’t stomach.
From journal Eating and Sleeping in Strasbourg