Monday, 28 February 2011

My life in hotels – Part 3

I’ve been in some weird ones and that’s a fact so I thought I would dedicate a few paragraphs to three that stick in my memory the most. Like the one in the Gulf that had a trout stream (yes a trout stream with trout) running through the lounge and patio. I remember I dropped my glasses case in it by mistake and had to sprint across the patio to grab it before the waterfall carried it down to the next floor. Worst of all the sound of tinkling water kept me awake and wanting to go to the toilet all night.

Then there was the Anouska Hempel owned hotel somewhere near Knightsbridge. That was a weird one. It was a ‘trendy’ boutique hotel that had individually themed rooms and mine apparently was designed with a kind of Bedouin tent look. It was in effect black. Well the walls were throughout…and so I think was the ceiling. This ‘black’ look extended to the bathroom as well.

The floor was made up of old creaking boards and the bed was a four poster shrouded in canvas and netting. I counted the scatter cushions and there was something like 32 of them. Fantastic if you wanted a feast, love-in or satanic rite but not perfect for business travel. Worst of all there was a hole in the ceiling above the bed and I wondered whether porn’s equivalent of Cecil B DeMille was in the room above with a wide angled lens. All he would have got on celluloid that night was me cutting my toe nails. I had strange dreams that night.

The bed was almost as weird as the one I had in the Bermudiana Hotel in Hamilton Bermuda many years ago. You cannot miss the hotel because it is huge and painted pink. I turned up very late at night as my flight in from Miami had been delayed and they did not know who the hell I was. All they knew was that the hotel was full. All except one ‘special’ suite. I had a piece of paper in my hand that said I had a reservation so they reluctantly gave me the keys to the ‘special’ suite.

I was starving so before going to bed I went for dinner. Dining alone? I was asked cryptically. Err yes, I said as he walked off pulling a face. After dinner I went for a drink in the bar. Drinking alone? I was asked. Yes, I said turning red. “You’re the man” the bartender called out as I left.

The mystery was solved in big scarlet letters when I got to the double doors of my penthouse. Bridal Suite they said. So that was why everyone could not understand why I was alone and carrying a briefcase. The room was vast. It was perched at the top of the hotel and the main feature was a spectacular circular bed at least 8 feet in diameter under a mirrored ceiling. The sheets were scarlet satin which gave me mild electric shocks every time I moved. Within 10 minutes of sitting on it every hair on my legs was bolt upright and charged with static electricity.

I decided that if I was going to sleep in this garish, slippery nest I was going to have a nightcap drink first. I went to the drinks cabinet and discovered it was almost as big as the bar downstairs. So me and my dear friends Jack Daniels and Remy Martin had a few before I tottered tipsy and jet-lagged to my raunchy sleeping quarters.

I jumped aboard and sat there in my striped pyjamas looking a totally sad. It was then I noticed some controls above the pillows. I pressed one and to my shock my world, or should I say my bed started to rotate and ripple. I couldn’t stop it. I pressed everything but all I managed was to get it turning the other direction. To hell with it I thought and fell asleep whilst cruising at about two miles an hour around my own axis.

I was awoken by the sound of wedding bells being played loudly. It was the suite door bell. I leapt out of bed forgetting I was on the move and crashed into the side table that was not moving and was, at that moment located at the bottom of the bed. As I was floundering in an undignified pile both doors swung open and in wafted not one but two waiters with a giant trolley.

Hello, can we come in they called. You are in I replied. Ooh they said and how are you and your new ‘wife’? Is she in the bathroom? Is she shy? They asked smiling at each other in a knowing way. Out I said firmly and poked them through the doorway. I then saw what they had left behind.

The trolley was vast and included huge amounts of food including caviar, two bottles of champagne and a massive floral display. Right I thought. It’s a mistake on their part but I am going to eat and drink the lot. Which I did.

When I checked out they asked if I had taken room service breakfast. Yes I said but if you look at my reservation I am entitled to bed and breakfast within the rate. But you ate the $500 honeymoon breakfast they said. I may have eaten it but I didn’t order it I called back as I weaved myself out of the hotel and into a taxi.

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