Monday, 26 July 2010

The worst hotel in the world

A slight exaggeration perhaps but the Formule 1 hotel in Liverpool is certainly the worst chain hotel I've ever stayed at. And I've stayed at them all: Ibis, Campanile, Travelodge, Premier Inn etc etc. Compared with them the Formule 1 doesn't even get out of the pit lane.
We were in Liverpool for daughter Olivia's graduation (she got a First by the way - that's positively the last time I'll boast about it, honest) but being the usual cash-strapped boaters we booked a cheap and - we presumed cheerful - hotel.
When we arrived the receptionist at the adjacent Ibis (they're in the same chain) pointed out that F1 rooms are not en-suite - toilets and showers are shared. That was news to me: I've re-read their website and nowhere can I find this important fact mentioned.
We should have cancelled on the spot but the Ibis rooms were twice the price so we braved it. The rooms are the size of a cell and furnished like one with a metal-framed double bed and a single above it so they can sleep three. Our room stank - stank - of fags even though the hotel has a no-smoking policy. We were changed to another room - fag free but, we noticed, the smoke detector had been covered with a plastic bag presumably so someone could smoke without being detected. Wonder why cleaning staff or management hadn't spotted that one?
All the rooms we saw had holes gouged in the walls, as if their inmates had been trying to escape, then crudely plastered over. One electric socket per room and towels the size of underpants but there was a tv (with no remote).
The toilet - a sort of one-piece moulded plastic affair - apparently featured a 'self-cleaning' mode though this wasn't apparent from the state of it. And the shower (again in moulded plastic) switched itself off every ten seconds unless you kept a hand on the button.
The idea of a simple, cheap and functional modern hotel might have been a good one once but no-one seemed to have noticed or cared that this one had grown old and tired. Everything was worn, damaged, grubby and down at heel.
Even at £35 a night, I'd never stay in one again. Frankly I'd rather sleep in the car. We stayed one night instead of two and came back to the comfort of our boat and its new bed.
Apologies for a blog post that's nothing to do with canals but I had to get that lot off my chest.


Mark Baker said...

Well said Mr Blick. We will likely have the opportunity of trying a Formule 1 in Melbourne when we head for Malaysia in September. Forewarned is forearmed. We will be specifically requesting a smokefree room with no holes in the walls (it's only a transit in the end, we always try to spend as little time in Oz as possible as it's full of Australians!)

mark baker said...

...and how did they get to use that name, weren't bernie's boys watching...or is this a bernie income stream? NZ is getting one this month. I fear it.