Monday, November 18, 2013

Why Won't The Hotel Housekeeper Lay My Bed?


I used to jump at the chance to go up-country but at this rate, it’s not as fun as it used to be especially, if you stayed in a medium sized hotel.

On my last three trips, I have noticed a disturbing trend about the hotel rooms. They no longer make the beds. Okay, they do but not all of it. They lay the bottom sheet, give you fresh pillow cases but the top sheet and blanket, will have been folded into a neat pile and left in the middle of the bed.

I assumed the girl from housekeeping hadn’t yet finished laying the bed, but when I returned in the wee hours of the morning and after some beers, the bed was as it was. The top sheet and the blanket were still folded in a neat pile in the centre of the bed.

So there I am in a hotel room at 2:00am with a few beers swirling about in my head and I am struggling to make my bed. It was SO not on and I duly made a mental note to lodge a complaint the following day.

Management took my complaint seriously that Housekeeper was summoned to the office. She insisted she had laid the bed but when I explained that the top sheet and blanket were not, things took on a new twist.

Management told me that is was their house style - that “some guests prefer it that way”. I retorted:  “I don’t stay in a hotel to lay my bed. I go to a hotel so that I get pampered, so that I have people waiting on me and well as having Housekeeping lay my bed every morning!” However, for the duration of my stay, my bed was never laid.

In a hotel in Mbarara, the curtains were inside out. Again, I made a mental note to tell Management and when I did, in their opinion they had a perfectly valid explanation. They want the windows to look pretty and attractive from the outside. Hmm so I breathed, then added: “But when I am in the room, I don’t want to look at inside out curtains.”

I got the standard up-country response, that of a blank ‘what is your problem’ look.

In Gulu, it’s a different story. There is something called Bata Slipper Mutilation (BSM). Hoteliers in Acholi are so petrified that guests will walk off with their slippers that they have resorted to mutilating them so they don’t look attractive enough to steal. Their psychopath gardener is tasked chopping out lumps of the slipper so that it reads the hotels name. Only thing is that by the time he is done, the slippers are so badly mutilated, they are uncomfortable to wear.

I wonder what the people from Bata would say when they find out what’s happening to their slippers.   

I also have issues with up-country hotel breakfast. The menu is the same –dreary. A cold boiled egg. If not, some sort of omelette that the chef fried two days earlier. Oh, and one hard sausage that requires a pneumatic drill to cut through it. It’s such a bland breakfast that most times I skip it, until I decided to start taking my own. I packed a box of Weetabix and over breakfast, there were murmurs as other guests assumed I was being mean and had walked off with the whole box. But funny thing, the hotel charged me for the milk I used with the Weetabix.

Next time I will pack my own milk and probably my own cereal bowl, sugar and spoon. I might even take House-ee along to lay my bed.