As soon as I had booked early bird tickets to the Bitter and Twisted beer festival I booked my accommodation at the Queens Arms Hotel in Maitland
I asked at the time if they wanted a credit card number for a deposit and was told that this was not needed as payment was on arrival
We arrived on Friday afternoon and where told that my booking had not been entered into their register and that nothing was registered until payment had been made – a very strange system, I pointed out that I had made a telephone booking and that rooms should be available. The girl behind the bar said that she could do nothing and called the man apparently responsible for the rooms, for obvious reasons I will call him Basil – Once Basil came on the scene things started to go even faster downhill. Became a script straight out of Faulty Towers
This man said that the hotel only had eleven rooms – nine of them permanent bookings- the other two which where family rooms had been vacated for the weekend and would be re-occupied on the Monday
I said well we would take those as I didn’t care how big the rooms where I only wanted one bed in each as I was travelling with my daughter
Basil said that the rooms had not been made up – No worries we said as it was only mid afternoon we could wait, go away have a beer perhaps.
Basil said he couldn’t let us have the rooms without the bosses ok and the boss couldn’t be reached. Basil then said that he wasn’t prepared to make up the rooms as the previous residents where returning in three days and that there was no need for him to change the linen and towels. He then said that he didn’t have enough bedding to make a complete change. Eventually the boss said that the rooms could be let to us.
So we left Basil to it and went off for about an hour. When we came back we found that Basil had stripped all the bedding off the beds in one room and only made up the single bed while in the other room he had left all the beds with the original used sheets bar one single bed which he changed (at least we hope he changed them)
This hotel apparently has eleven rooms. – I don’t know what ratio of men to women there where nor do I know anything about the ladies facilities however the two family rooms we where in had the potential to sleep nine people one double and a single in one and three singles and a bunk with a single top and a double bottom configuration. If we assume the other nine rooms had double occupancy capability the hotel could sleep thirty plus people.
Assuming half of that number where men, between them they had one toilet one basin and one shower the second shower being broken. Surely that is not enough.
The family room I was in was entered through double doors with frosted glass panels from floor to door top. These doors had no curtains on them so people where visible to some degree through the glass which must have been unsettling to any lady guest, maybe even some men guests as well. The six bed room my daughter was in had no chairs and the only table a coffee table type while the room I was in had two chairs and a table but nothing to put clothes in not even a decent nail in the wall. The window sashes where broken but as far as I could see only one had screens on it. It was very hot and muggy when we were there so the only air movement was by a window kept open with a block of wood, fully opened the block was turned end on and partly open turn the block on its side. A pretty fool proof method of air conditioning. There where two double power points in one room, it was just a pity one had been blackened by a short circuit. I don’t know how safe it was, I wasn’t game to touch it
All the light switches where near the door but then only one of the wall lights worked anyway. Every thing that had been broken had either been fixed by the driving in of a couple of nails or left broken
I can accept old pubs – run down pubs – pubs in need of painting and pubs with old fixtures and fittings. I believe pubs should be a protected species.
But there is no excuse for this, there is no excuse for mismanagement or broken basic fittings there is no excuse for dirty faculties or lack of services such as broken toilets and toilet seats, dirty toilets, no toilet paper, no paper towels and broken hand driers, no hand soap where hands soap containers are fitted, lights that don’t work . People who run pubs like this needs a good kick in the arse, and to be told to fix it to get out of the game, they deserve to go broke. I wouldn’t like to see this or any other pub close down but it will take a lot to get me back in it again.
Had I known I might have been able to get rooms in the Irish Pub down the road for only twenty dollars a night more and for that I would have got breakfast as well.
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