I had occasion to stay at one of those Lodge places – Premier Inn at a business park in Crawley. I’ve always found them pretty good – it does exactly as it says on the tin. A simple meal, all bought in I am sure – but served nicely (literally, the good old fashioned prawn cocktail rump steak and chips and ice cream. I felt like I’d returned to the 1970’s and fallen into a Berni Steak House!)
It all went wrong the next morning. There were a few car park spaces roped off at the front entrance the night before. I thought nothing of it, but it became a problem.
They were having some work done on the front of the hotel above the entrance. I took my luggage out to the car and returned for breakfast. Although this means I have already left the room and done my teeth, it feels a faster get away is possible. It does make the first sip of orange juice a bit of taste frightener, but that’s all there is to not like about this efficient use of time. Or that’s what normally happens.
I tried to get back into the hotel. They had locked the front door, and were directing (haphazardly) the guests who were trying to leave out of another entrance. I tried to wave and get their attention – to no avail.
So, I walked all round the back, and found someone leaving through a fire exit, so jumped in. The door was alarmed, so all hell was breaking loose.
Quick breakfast – time is pressing on – found my way out the back of the hotel, and then it happened. Walked around the front (it is a 90 room hotel, and so takes a bit of walking around). My car was visible, 20 yards past the entrance, but barred by a jobs-worth and a piece of tape barring my entrance across the work area. Nothing was happening yet. I lost it. “I am effing annoyed now”. (I regret I didn’t say effiing). The staff member said there was no need to take that attitude. I replied, “And there is no need for me to stay at your hotel ever again”.
OK. It made me feel better, but not much. And I feel obliged to apologise for my outburst, but all they needed was some sign-age to say how to get back into or exit the hotel. Not a lot of rocket science there. But no.