Thursday, October 08, 2009

London Part 2

IMOM had made the arrangements for our hotel. (He doesn’t spend enough time there these days to be afforded a flat so we now have to stay in hotels.) Weeks before our arrival IMOM went to the Crown Plaza Hotel and hand picked a mini suite for us. This would have worked out very well because it is right next door to Buckingham Palace and thus centrally located to just about everything. When we got to the hotel the desk clerk told me that the room we had reserved was unavailable but that it was ok because they downgraded us and now our room wouldn’t be so expensive. I stood there flummoxed wondering if I had heard her correctly. Tori and Rebekah and I looked at each other and then I asked her to repeat what she had just said....and yep...they were not going to give us the room that we had reserved for several weeks in advance but they thought they were doing us a big favor by giving us a down grade/less expensive room. Isn’t it the usual fare to upgrade someone when their reserved room isn’t available and let the hotel make up the difference in cost? I remained as patient as I could while I asked why our room wasn’t available. The reservation had been in place for weeks..it wasn’t like our arrival was a surprise. The clerk couldn't come up with a reason as to why our room wasn't available and I think I must have scared her because she went and got a manager. Between the two of them they couldn’t answer my questions. They insisted that I go see the smaller suite before I made any decisions.
The “mini suite” they showed us was a joke. For such an elegant hotel this room looked like something they threw together when a broom closet became available. The furniture was shoddy and nothing matched. This was the entire living room. All 6x5 feet of it. The living room was about the size of a walk in closet and the bedroom was only slightly smaller.



This was the view from the "mini suite":This greeting on the television showed their keen eye for detail:


(In case you can't see it says: London St James welcome MR Tami Wyatt. We hope you enjoy your stay. )


By this time IMOM had shown up it was a whole different story. They stopped showing us dumpy rooms and the next thing we know we are being shown luxury apartments that have full kitchens and views of London. THIS was more like it. When all was said and done we had an apartment that was bigger than my house and we were paying the amount that was quoted to us for our original “mini suite”. This was the view from our lobby. This was the view from our kitchen:


Although you can't see the entire bathroom it was huge.


I couldn't get a good angle to photograph the living room but it was a very nice size room. It had a 9 foot long couch and two lounge chairs, a coffee table and a desk with a chair and a lamp, a flat screen tv and a dvr, an iPod player and a HUGE picture window.


The kitchen came equipped with a washer/dryer, a sink, a microwave, a refrigerator/freezer, a stove and oven dishes for 4 and various pots and pans and linens. Oh, and the canisters were full of coffee, decaf, tea, sugar& cream.
We had our first dinner in London at the "Texas Embassy". That is about as close are you are going to get to Mexican food over there. It's a pretty sad commentary when I can honestly say that my gringo self can cook better Mexican food than we were served. Tori ordered tortilla soup and she was served a bowl full of tortilla strips and a tea pot full of tomato soup. She figured out that she was supposed to pour the soup over the strips and voila...tortilla soup London style. (Much to IMOM's chagrin we took a picture of her soup but now I can't find it...) After the Embassy we took Rebekah to her first pub. The drinking age is 18 over there and even though she is only 17 she never got carded. This was a traditional English pub that was smoked filled and packed to the gills with merry makers. In addition to the thrill of having her first drink at a pub I think Bek enjoyed the fact that this place had a couple of soccer teams there so cute blokes were everywhere.
On Sunday we took the train to Brighton Beach. We were amused at the difference between first class and regular seats on this train. See if you can spot the difference in these pictures:

Can you see the difference that $100.00 per ticket gets you?









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4 Comments:

Blogger Busy Bee Suz said...

England certainly is not known for good cuisine. :) Glad you scoffed at the cramped little room..that would NOT be fun.
100 bucks? For the white hair sanitary thingy???? gads!

5:07 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Cute Coach bag! We always joke that in the first place cabin, for an extra 50 pounds, you get a little napkin on the back of the seat.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Tami W. said...

Kathy & Sue,
You are correct! First class seats on this train gave you the little white thingy on the back of your seat...and you got to sit in a segregated portion of seats. They were no bigger and there was no food service on this train. The little doily was the only perq for getting a 1st class ticket.

And thanks for noticing my Coach hobo bag. I love it! I can put so much stuff in that purse!

10:34 AM  
Anonymous mina said...

I was going to say the head-seat cover too... love the upgraded room, well-deserved!

1:24 PM  

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