Tuesday, 22 February 2011

When things don't go toasty

When reviewing a hotel it is of course important to analysis every aspect of it's facilities, location, the staff, service, atmosphere and value but sometimes just one aspect of your visit can sway your feelings and there is nothing you can do about it.
In pubs, bars and discos my radar goes straight to the bathroom – if I don't like the set up, cleanliness, or style of the ladies powder room, the venue goes down in my estimation. For fairness I always either take a sneak peek (just a look in the door) or ask a male counterpart to also comment on the gent's side of things. Mean or not that is the way I do things – I almost ALWAYS visit the toilets in any establishment I visit – it has been a tradition for me since I was a little child!
I would like to think that I have quite a bit of experience with accommodation providers hostels, B&Bs, hotels, airport lounges, a friend's couch ... and the one thing that stands out in my list of things to ticked is the breakfast service.
I have only ever missed breakfast once while staying on a hotel B&B package in my life – and I did it just to prove I could, but I certainly wasn't happy about it.
I don't like to miss out on something I have paid for, but more importantly I feel it is an integral experience of staying in a hotel.
You would think that the service you receive depends on the money you pay – the quality of the provider, but I have often found this not to be always the case.
My main gruff is the toast.

I don't mind whether my order is taken or if I have to serve myself, both have their merits BUT it is the toast situation that gets me riled up.
I cannot stand the bog standard toast grill which you must (as a paying customer) place the toast in and stand for two minutes before it pops out, barely warm. You then must proceed (and probably holding up a queue of toast hungry people) to place the luke warm slice back into the grill and wait another custom two minutes before it pops out: black.
Burned toast – the smell, the taste, the wasted time, the indecency. Breakfast is ruined, the most important meal of the day is ruined ... why do hotels let this happen??
At a B&B (and at a fraction of the price) you are asked what you would like for breakfast and you are served the breakfast, plus tea/ coffee and toast to your table and quite often asked if you want more.
Hotels often grumble about how they have been hit my the recession, but when you can't get breakfast right – when the hospitality is replaced by a grill 'do it your self' toaster – is it any wonder?
All I would like is some nice golden toast to enjoy with my breakfast, it isn't that difficult, it stops the ugly line of people trying to balance plates and bowls and juice while deciphering who owns what slice of toast at the end of the queue.

“Sir/ Madam would you like tea or coffee and some toast?” - what a perfect way to start the day!

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