Monday, August 18, 2008

Embassy Schmembassy

So I am at a conference here in Ottawa. My advisor made the hotel reservations. Advisors should not be given that kind of power. Or perhaps just not my advisor. Because as it is, unlike the hundreds of other attendees who are staying at the two hotels associated with the conference--which means they can roll out of bed fifteen minutes before the conference starts and still have time to grab breakfast--we, on the other hand, have to wake up at the crack of dawn and hike a half an hour over hill and fen to arrive slightly damp and out of breath.

As you can tell, I am slightly bitter. Part of that has to do with the fact that the hotel inadvertently mis-assigned the rooms such that the two men in our party received the larger suite complete with a comfortable sized bedroom with two beds, a rollaway bed, a fold-out couch, and the one and a half bath. The four girls on the other hand were shoved into a much smaller suite with one tiny bath and an extremely cramped bathroom. The situation has been rectified, but I will admit that a thorn of bitterness has already entered my heart in having to deal with the situation for even one night.

Then there is the general incompetency of the hotel staff. While the slip up with rooms might be over-looked, their general attitude and hospitality can not. Take tonight for example. After we switched rooms, we asked that the bed linens, etc. be changed. You would think that they would understand that the towels would need to be changed and refreshed as well. But no. They did not bother refreshing the towels. We went down to the front desk to request new ones.

Us: Could we have 4 new towels please?
Hotel Manager: Aren’t there towels in your room?
Us: We had to switch rooms.
Hotel Manager: And there weren’t any towels in your new room.
Us: They had been used already.
Hotel Manger: Why didn’t you bring the towels from your old room?
Us: They hadn’t been replaced, and they were still wet and damp.

With a huge sigh of inconvenience, he walked the five feet to the extra towels and grabbed us some. Yes, that’s right. It wasn’t like there weren’t any towels. He had them Right There.

Towel Nazi.

I guess I can understand his reluctance given the clientele of this particular hotel which appears to consist of those persons seeking temporary asylum. People are carrying in bags of groceries to eat in their suite and washing their clothes in the bathroom sink and/or tub and hanging them to dry on the close line provided in the shower. I can imagine that such clientele would use up a lot of towels.

And there is nothing particularly wrong with this. I have been in similar situations. However, I just don’t think that this particular hotel is equipped to meet the needs of a conference attendee. Or more specifically, MY particular needs.

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