Friday, July 11, 2008

Get us out of here; the room that time forgot

This week, I went on a short holiday trip to Beechwood in North East Victoria, mountain, wine and gourmet food country. Wanting to save my moolah for the finer things (food), I attempted to find some decent budget accommodation.

Unfortunately the two (budget and decent) did not unite at the chosen establishment, quite an old building converted from its original purpose, a convent and school. I won't name it but will leave it to you to google it based on the clues provided.

Let me provide a ridiculously long list of the disappointments:
  • What was described as a 'Miner's Cottage' was a brick-lined room. A room is not a cottage.
  • What was described as 'cosy' was small, dark, cold and slightly damp and musty
  • The carpet was old and very unplush, stained with ember burns from the open fireplace
  • The fire was all set to go and wood provided but the flue was not set correctly; all the heat went up the chimney and provided no warmth
  • Warmth of the fire was substituted by a small, dusty blow heater
  • Things in general seemed dusty, as though no-one had been in there for some time, or at least as though no-one really cared enough
  • Bed was comfortable and sheets crisp but the old, slightly stained cover made you feel icky
  • The cushions on the chairs were manky; zip broken, insides poking out
  • A strange 'service door' with a simple latch was in one corner of the room; it seemed to be made of plywood, caused a terrific draft and had a round hole which when looked through provided a view of a messy room - some kind of laundry. This was weird and a little bit creepy; we plugged up the hole with a tissue and put the cushions around the bottom to try and stop the draft
  • Continental breakfast was okay; cereal packets, fresh milk, bottled orange juice & jam but the bread was ordinary sliced white and brown - not particularly interesting. A nice slice of something grainy and bakery made would have been all that was needed
  • The glasses in the fridge were dirty from not being polished
  • Tea & coffee very ordinary; stock standard brands and something that looked suspiciously like International Roast in a jar. All you need is a couple of packets of Robert Timms and some nice Twinings to add a touch of 'spesh'
  • These, the kettle, toaster and crockery were piled on a table jammed next to the bed; quite awkward and a bit dangerous to have a table with a sharp corner right next to your pillow
  • The rug in the bathroom was bright orange and designed in the shape and pattern of a giant basketball, very odd
  • The towels provided were obviously well aged and going a bit tatty and bleached
  • Two tiles on the bathroom floor were cracked and missing pieces
  • Toilet was dripping constantly
  • Both soap dispensers were empty
  • The shower head was positioned over a small 'hip bath' but not over the centre so all the water splashed over the edge and onto the floor - shower curtain was inadequate
  • Noises from the laundry room next door kept us awake; the noise went on well after 10pm
  • The room was situated next to some sort of generator that droned on all night long, in a pattern that ramped up, ending with a sort of bang before starting all over again
  • The fridge was quite noisy as it cycled throughout the night
  • The information booklet was very drab and contained pages of the same information; no local booklets or pamphlets or anything from the last 5 years from the look of it

The upshot is, it really wouldn't have taken much to make this place welcoming and warm, and make us want to stay more than one night. Unfortunately, we couldn't get out of there quick enough.

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