The bulk of this review will be spent providing examples demonstrating why the first part of my title is appropriate.
For those unconcerned with racism, here’s some information you won’t be able to glean from booking.com / their website etc.
The hotel is on a main road so the ‘stunning views’ depend on the extent of your love for motor vehicles.
Our room, Room 14 - ‘Luxury Room’ with ‘Luxury king sized bed with en suite spa bath and shower’ was at eye level with passing motorists, meaning even with the net curtains pulled my Wife still got a peeped by passers-by (I was not so fortunate disappointingly)
Then we were moved to Room 1 ‘Superior King Size room with ensuite bath and shower’ (- shower didn’t work properly) which had ‘stunning views’ of a rack of shirts hung in the bedroom of the house that looked directly into our room from above.
Perhaps the website is trying to express you’ll be providing ‘stunning views’ for passing motorists and overlooking properties, so we concede our mistake there.
The ‘Fabulous Lakeland Breakfast’ cooked by the ‘French chef’ (apparently nationality being some assurance of quality, for further issues / complications with nationality see below) was a canteen standard, child-sized fried breakfast served on a microwaved-to-volcanic-temperatures plate.
Basically in a nutshell you’re getting a barely mediocre, overpriced B&B run by a racist. But bravo to the photographer /website designer who artfully cropped all photos of this ‘Elegant Lakeland Bed & Breakfast’ *cough* roadside B&B
Anyway enough foreplay, let’s get into the racism.
We arrived at the B&B after all in, seven and half hours of train and bus travel at around 4:30pm. All we wanted was to go to our room, take a shower and nap for two hours before going out to dinner.
Now our room, room 14 ‘Luxury Room’ with ‘Luxury king sized bed with en suite spa bath and shower’ at £120 pounds a night was right by the front door and next to (and under) the main staircase, meaning you would hear everyone who entered the building at least once (the door) and likely twice (the stairs) loudly, also the room was right next to the communal area / living room, essentially you’d have to go out of your way to design a noisier room.
My Wife is a very light sleeper and six months pregnant, I on the other hand can sleep through light earthquakes / Motorhead concerts. However even I could not overcome the challenging conditions presented by this particular habitation. Babies crying, doors slamming, stairs creaking, at one point the sound of a fellow guest blowing his nose thundered so violently through our room I may as well have been holding the Kleenex for him.
We decided to change rooms (or rather to ask to) and here is where trouble began.
Now I’m not suggesting for one second that anyone who dared to raise a concern wouldn’t be treated appallingly (apologies for the double negative), but what made things even worse for us was that my Wife….was not born in the United Kingdom.
Now moving rooms from the roadside viewing chamber to the superior overlooked by a rack of shirts room set the hotel back the astonishing amount of £26 (the hotel did not discuss this price alteration with us, they merely sent us an altered invoice via Booking.com) and required the devastating amount of labour needed to remake a bed, but it was as if we’d asked for our own personal pyramid to be erected for us in reception.
My wife first dealt with one of two daughters, who whilst a bit flustered, showed My Wife the new room and agreed with her that once we’d packed our bags, they (the staff) would move our stuff up to the new room for us and all would be well with the world.
But then mother appeared….
Within forty seconds of the daughter making the agreement with my Wife, the daughter reappeared to ask if our bags were ready to be moved. Of course they were not. I decided to be polite (a crucial error, for this particular accommodation manners and decency were indecipherable, unheard of codes) and said I would move the bags, even though again 7 and a half hours travel / unable to nap owing to challenging conditions.
But even this would not satisfy mother.
Mother came to hurry us upstairs, I’d lugged 2/3 of our baggage up to the new room as fast as humanly possible, and brushed past my six months pregnant Wife at the foot of the staircase. My Wife had a large bag at her feet, but mother didn’t let hospitality or customer service cloud her judgement as she sped into the light-speed vacated room shrieking she ‘had to clean the room’
Then our second mistake was empathy / understanding. We knew it had been a busy day with a lot of people checking in, and we had caused a (minor, understandable) inconvenience. So we went to breakfast the next morning ready to put the previous day’s difficulties behind us. But now we were the naughty children. It was flattering that my Wife and I clearly appear so youthful that we warrant being treated as infants, because mother’s terse looks and aggressive stares let us know we were both due a spell on the naughty step.
Our next altercation was when we entered the living room after that evening’s meal, beneath the fug of hatred, mother managed to ask how our day had been, we said what we’d done and trying to be polite asked her what we could do the next day as a storm was forecast.
And here began the monosyllables.
My wife with the unfortunate precision of someone who speaks English as a second language, asked mother if there were any ‘enclosed museums’ i.e. not outdoor activity centres, Roman forts etc. Mother beamed, jumping up on what she incorrectly supposed was a semantic folly, looking straight at my wife she offered ‘NO ALL OF OUR MUS-E-UMS ARE O-PEN’.
I jumped in again, once again making the fundamental error of attempting politeness, ‘Are there any indoor museums close by?’ but mother was already satisfied, she told us about the museums, content to have already scored a point for the forces of darkness.
Now, storm day. My wife was not feeling well on account of the pregnancy and the poor treatment we’d received (is difficult to relax, sleep well, when you’re PAYING to be treated like ****) and so we decided to spend the day in the room so as not to get caught in the storm and also so my Wife could catch up on sleep.
We assumed this would be fine. But not in this establishment.
A young woman who worked at the hotel (if you’re reading this, you genuinely seemed very nice – leave that place while you still can, run to the hills (okay that wouldn’t take you far) but to a town, better a city, anywhere, fast before you become one of them) knocked and asked if she could make up our Room.
My Wife explained she wasn’t feeling well, we asked if we could have a couple of fresh towels and a new plastic bag for the bin – we had the towels we wanted swapped to hand, and the old bin bag tied up and ready, actually saving the B&B work (we knew what suffering miniscule tasks of labour could cause the staff). The young woman very politely obliged, handed us the two towels and I moved to the bathroom to put them away, the young woman then offered to put the new bin bag in for us, but my Wife said it was fine that she would do it.
But then, as if from nowhere….MOTHER APPEARED!!! And said / shouted to / at My Wife
‘YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE RO-OOM SO WE CAN KER-LEAN IT’
Now my wife has travelled widely across three continents, worked in two, is university educated, speaks three languages fluently, but I now see that we were wrong.
Clearly owing to my Wife’s ethnicity, this was the first time she’d ever entered civilisation and thus needed to be guided through its complexities by this wise and pugnacious B&B Owner.
-Yes, you see, you leave the hotel room and then we clean it, that’s right, no, no I’d know you’d really like to stay, yes stay in the lovely room, but here in England you have to get out, get out yes so that we can clean the room-
(reviewer’s note: someone’s education or worldliness obviously shouldn’t define how they are treated, am just noting the facts.)
It was time for us Check Out.
But as the world’s deadliest storm was forecast we had to wait until the following day.
Now after the above mentioned episode at points throughout the rest of the day I may have dissolved into shouting things such as ‘these racist potpoting potholes, we need to get out of this potpoting pothole, I’m so potpoting angry how dare these potpoting potholes treat us like this etc.’ from our room loud enough for passing guests/ staff/ motorists to hear. Basically our discomfort at this time was pretty clear, at breakfast the next day I refused to look mother in the eye as she completed her manic breakfast time pirouetting, ‘Good MORNING and what can I Get YOU today’
We were just finishing breakfast, when another daughter approached our table and said ‘you’ll be able to change rooms today’ meaning another ‘Luxury’ *cough* room had become available. I replied that we would be checking out today (one day early) and this daughter very quickly responded – ‘oh yes, going home to check if you’re house has been damaged by the storm’ and I think – okay finally they’ve got the message, they know how poorly they’ve treated us, how unhappy they’ve made us, so now everyone is going to pretend that my Wife and I are going home early because of the storm, we’ll pay for the nights we’ve stayed and the last day will be written off on account of our dissatisfaction (them being racist potpoting potholes)
But again I was mistaken.
I go to the reception to check out and am presented with the bill for the full stay (including the final night we would not be staying for) and ask why we’re being charged for the last night. The daughter explains it’s because the room has been booked and that we’re going home because of the storm, I say we’re leaving because of how my Wife has been spoken to, the daughter immediately says ‘sorry to hear that’ then starts haggling over the final day’s price, ultimately leaving us with what can only be dubbed a £60 racism discount.
Interesting points from the dialogue:
1. The daughter says no one has ever complained about the noise in Room 14 at all, I explain that my Wife is heavily pregnant and a light sleeper. However when I say that my Wife has been spoken to rudely, no defence is offered, implying this is not the first time mother has dealt out her own special brand of hospitality
2. The daughter pointed out we had a lot of medicine in the room (my Wife has some lotions for her pregnancy, I have sinus problems) as if I’d popped one too many Sudafed and dreamt the whole thing.
3. Lastly as I was leaving the daughter pointed out how nice the ‘Indian Baby’ who was staying at the hotel was, and I thought ‘Indian Baby, Indian Baby, what does this have to do with me?’ Then it clicked, our Baby was going to be an ethnic too, and they like ethnics at this B&B – class act.
This trip was meant to be a final, relaxing break for my Wife and I before the birth of our First Child, instead it made us aware of the need to avoid taking Our Child to certain places, this B&B chief among them.