Thursday, 26 August 2010

23 / 24 August 2010 - what a waste of time

Here I am, back from Blackpoool.  What a waste of time, money and effort that was.  Yes, I have to admit - most of you will have guessed anyway - that I didn't really want to go in the first place, but even I never expected it to be quite that bad!

First of all the journey there which should have taken 2hrs and 15 mins according to my sat nav actually took almost 5 hrs 30.   That was apparently because some guy on a motorway we were not even on decided ending it all off  a motorway bridge on the M6 would be the sensible thing to do. I almost knew what he meant!  Those on our Motorway who wanted to go onto the adjoining M6 (there were many)  had to wait - and so, therefore, did we.      Good thing it was a cool day.

On arrival the hotel didn 't look bad - on the outside. Inside was a different story.  Oh, the reception area was OK.  Bit old fashioned but OK. The first sign of a problem was the tiny, tiny lift!  With a good deal of heaving and shoving Keith was able get me and my wheelchair and himself (flattened against the wall) into the titchy space. This was a place that professed to have wonderful facilities for the less able.  Our room, after Keith had done the lift thing again, proved not to live up to expectations.  Oh the wetroom had plenty of handrails, a higher loo, lower washbasin and drive-in shower.  It's a bit off-putting though to find stickers on the door and wall telling us that the floor was slippery when wet!  It was a wet room.  Hallo? You put a non-slip floor in a wet room.

The windows wouldn't open so no nice bracing sea air.  The seals had gone on the doubleglazed units so there was condensation between the panes.  The outside of the glass was so dirty you couldn't have seen through it even if there had been no condensation.

There was grime in the corners of the window and the cups on the hospitality tray were stained.  Because it looked grubby we thought the bathroom mat had not been changed and one of the towels had certainly been 'recycled'.  The wallpaper was grimy and old-fashioned and the paintwork yellowing white and all chipped.  I know wheelchairs can give the decor a bit of a battering but it could at least be clean.

I have emailed their Head Office who have replied that they have passed this on to the hotel (it's part of a chain) and I should expect to hear from them in 28 days.  I wouldn't recommend that hotel to my worst enemy (if I had one).

As you might imagine, that just about set the tone for the whole trip.  But there was one thing that was unspoilable: 

The Tower Circus.  That was brilliant.  The Tower itself is a place you can stay in all day and not get bored and admission to the tower gives you 'access all areas'.  You can go in whatever bit of the place you want - ballroom, aquarium, trip to the top, 3D cinema, restaurants and, in our case, a circus performance lasting about 2 hours - and not an animal in sight..  Acrobats, jugglers, clowns - breathtaking and spellbinding.  The kind of thing they sometimes, but all too rarely, put on the Royal Variety Show and everybody wishes we saw more like that.  No kidding, if they made any mistakes don't ask me when!

The Ballroom. Just perfect if you're a people watcher like me.  There are people who base their entire summer holidays around dancing in this ballroom.  In fact it is open for dancing all day on most days and - whoo - I could have stayed there all day though I could dance not one step.  Those who dance are asolutely dead serious about it.  Posh frock, sparkly shoes, arms SO, hands SO, and NOW!  Up struck the mighty wurlitzer organ, which pops up and down through the stage, though I never saw that as I was too busy 'watching'.  One old lady, I had seen her being pushed in a wheelchair into the circus but, in the ballroom, out she got, on with the dancing shoes and away!  Who'd have thought?  I have to say though, there are some superb dancers about.  Well, they looked ok to me anyway!

I didn't take that many photos because quite honestly Blackpool is one big building site at the moment.  I'm sure it will be very nice when it's done but I'm one of those people who are not very good at seeing what things might look like.  And anyway, I'm not going to Blackpool again.

I found my little mouse again - YIPPEE!!


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a trip that was...well it is always good to be home again. Disasters like that hotel are a disgrace. Glad you did have a chance to see a few nice things anyway.

Sybil said...

Hi Angie, I am sorry your trip to Blackpool was such a washout...Mum and I went a few times to Blackpool and always had a good time, especially in the tower so I am glad to hear that that is still ok...that balroom is wonderful we have spent many many hours there like you people watching we used to laugh at some of the antics of the dancers and trying to decide if some were her hers or him hims !!! you know what I mean !!!!
I do hope if they improve the place it will be better for it and that they get the hotel situation sorted. Please tell if they get back to you ..
Love Sybil xx

Andy said...

Only ever been to Blackpool once, never had the urge to return. It seemed to cater for two age groups-the under twentys and the over seventies. Absolutely nothing inbetween although we were lucky and managed to find a good b&b some that we noticed could only be described as yuk!

Jasper said...

Aw, Angelet, we're sorry you had such a grim time. Can't believe Blackpool is STILL a building site! It was like that when I visited - and that was over ten years ago! Shocking. Hope Keith sort-of enjoyed it. At least you got a blog entry out of it, though!

Your hotel sounds a lot like the one I once stayed in, when I went to Paris with a group of friends. It was a one star, chosen for its convenient location and affordability. Believe me, the staff there worked as hard as they could to NOT deserve their one star. The stiff white stains (ewww) on the once-plush velvet curtains and the sagging hammock that was pretending to be a bed were the LEAST of our worries. Hope you get some (or all) of your money back. Otherwise, Jasper is more than happy to visit the chain's Head Office on your behalf, for "a chat". He normally charges a fee for such services but - to you - all free and gratis!!

lots of love,

R&J xxx

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

Well, while I'm sure it wasn't fun to be stuck in a traffic jam for several hours - - - you could be thankful you weren't in CHINA, they have a traffic jame there that is more than 60 miles long and is currently in its 12th day!!!!!

I kid you not - - -heard it on the radio several times this week.

Sage said...

That is so maddening!
Last year we had a very similar experience and we had all our kids and grandchildren with us...........
Did you get your new stove yesterday?

Ben said...

It must be a chain. I'm certain I've stayed in places over here that are part of it. Look at the bright side, dear: the best part of any trip is coming home, it was just more so in this case. Welcome home!


LYN said...

AWW.. WHAT A BUMMER!! never're home swwet home now..

Jojo said...

Sorry for the traffic inconvenience but to see the dancing! Wow!

Marie said...

Angie, why am I not getting notifications when you post!! I had missed this completely and decided to check today to see if you had anything to say! Boy oh boy did you! As usual I enjoyed every word. Don't you hate it when a hotel dissapoints? I do. It sets the tone for the whole holiday. what a shame. I would like to go to Blackpool in the sunshine sometime. the day we went it was bucketing down. I would have loved to go in the tower. It looks like we really missed out on a treat! Love you loads! xxoo