Do your Research when Booking a Budget Hotel

Do your Research when Booking a Budget Hotel

We had the privilege of being invited to be friends’ wedding recently.   I love a good wedding, but while it is always an exciting day, just being a guest can become expensive.

I’m sure everyone has experienced the problem to trying to find a taxi home at the end of the night, so to avoid this we decided that one of our (non-negotiable) expenses should be to stay somewhere local.   Always looking for a good bargain we searched a number of sites to see what deals were being offered and we stumbled across the Ibis Budget Hotel.  An extremely reasonably priced budget hotel that ticked every box.  Exactly what we needed.

Now I should at this point confess that I personally didn’t check the hotel facilities, but I have a good idea what a hotel is, and I’ve passed the building on a few occasions and know where it is and what it looks like so when I was told the price was under £50 for the night it seemed like the perfect location for us.  

I would also like would like to say that there is nothing wrong with this hotel and we had a good stay, it just wasn’t that I was expecting.   And I feel rather silly that I was caught off guard.

On arrival, we parked in the underground car park and headed to check-in, which I though was unusually on the 6th floor!!     The reception desk was right in front of lifts and as we walked towards the desk we could see large self-service fridges to the right which were stocked with beers, wines and soft drinks.  Around the corner lead to a larger area which had some bench seating and the odd table and chair set.     We later found out that this is the breakfast/eating/bar area.

My shock came when we opened the door and stepped into the bedroom.    Immediately to my right was a single door, which was the toilet.   When I say toilet, that’s exactly what is was – a toilet!.  This was easily the smallest room I’ve every walked into with just enough space to back into, close the door and sit down.   In fact, if you moved your arms while you were sitting both elbows would hit the wall!   

Outside the toilet door was a sink with a mirror above, and then a glass door.    This glass door was the shower.   The thought of this alone horrified me.

We had been allocated a triple room which meant that in addition to the double bed, we also had a single bed on the wall above us.   Not a concern, and to be honest it gave us some extra storage because other than a hanging hook there is no other storage in this room.

Again, this is not a problem, however for someone (me) who is wheeling their small suitcase with at least two wedding guest outfits and looking for somewhere to do Glam make-up, I was left a little disappointed and facing a challenge.  

My “favourite” moment had to be the shower.   I had visited the hair dressers earlier that morning and had my hair pinned up into a 1950s inspired style which would match either of my outfit choices, so my plan was to shower without getting my hair wet.    This would have been achievable if it had been a standard bathroom, however when you need to step directly from the bedroom into the shower to reach the controls, it was recipe for disaster.   I managed to manoeuvre the shower head to direct the spray towards the wall while I got set-up but the trickiest part came when I had to shave my legs.    So there I am, in a shower with a frosted glass door, with my back pressed again the back wall jamming my leg up against the opposite wall, trying to keep balance and not slip, while attempting to keep my hair dry.  If anyone had actually seen me it would have been comical.  It was rather stressful to say the least.

A word of warning, you should definitely know the person with whom you are sharing a room very very well, and be somewhat comfortable with your body before you check-in to a hotel of this style, because you step directly from the shower in to the middle of the bedroom.  

Applying make-up was also a bit troublesome because there was a shelf with no mirror next to the window, or the mirror above the sink with limited lighting.   But after a few attempts I achieved the desired effect.   All the while trying get to consume my first drink of the day.

Finally we ordered a taxi and made our way down stairs.   I was just starting to relax from my some-what stressful experience and preparing to enjoy the wedding and the evening ahead, when I look down and realise, to my horror– that when I was shaving my leg, I’d missed it bit.!!!!!

I’m pleased to report that the rest of the day went without a hitch and thankfully no-one noticed the patch of hair on my leg – or if they did, they were too polite to mention it.

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