I want to compare two laterooms.co.uk bookings of last week.
First there’s the Classic House Hotel in Edinburgh. Kitted out nicely like a vintage austere Scottish B&B, it could’ve been well sweet but unfortunately the place stinks. A supremely grumpy landlady, truly piss-poor shower (the word ‘shower’ breaks trade descriptions it was a ‘dribble’), a continual sense of fish in the air, a TV that didn’t work and a mere 8.30am-9am half-hour window for breakfast add up to a clear vibe that they don’t want us there. Three stars on the door meant nothing.
“Baconandeggs.” says the landlady, using one word and no question-mark. “Um, I’ll just have eggs please.” says me. Then what arrives is one fried egg, a small cheap sausage (huh?), half a raw tomato and an enormous sprig of parsley. It’s almost like a contemporary piece of art mocking the concept of cooked breakfast. Thank god for cornflakes and an extra round of toast on request. “Oh… well, alright then!”
Even the snow falling in the lovely little back garden can’t improve matters. In their guestbook comments section (filled with stuff like “chilly reception” and “not satisfied” – yet they’ve still got the book out on display), Johny writes a single word: ‘mackerel’.
Secondly, it’s the following night, after York, and we’re in the Bridge Inn on the A1 near Wetherby. This time the rooms are spotless and fantastically comfortable with enormous bathrooms and power showers. The welcome is warm (they’re happy to check us in after midnight at short notice) and the breakfast is almost impossibly brilliant. It’s like a luxury resort in the far east. You know; a buffet of every imaginable brekkie from porridge and fruit salad to full english and cooked meats. There’s even one of those crazy egg bars where they cook them in front of you, which I’ve only seen in Malaysia and India. Johny and Ben make it up early enough to have a three-course breakfast. I’m briefly terrified I’ll get billed an extra £50 but no, of course it’s all included.
Turns out this place caters primarily for huge conferences so, just as we leave, thousands of excited suits arrive for their insane sweaty 3-day sex and booze binge with (possibly) some corporate showcases shoehorned between.
To conclude: the latter booking was £15 cheaper than the former. And at £45 a room, the Bridge Inn came in well under Premier Inn (or even short-notice Travelodge) prices. Fuckedy sploo. Interestingly I’ve just looked at a website for the shite Edinburgh place and they’re advertising rooms actually cheaper than they had on Late Rooms, so not only are they horrible but they’re tricking people into thinking that they’re getting a bargain on a good place, when actually it’s just cheapo cheap. Tards!