Sunday, 29 January 2017

Hotel Horror

So this is a blog I didn't think I'd have to write.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Laurence and I had booked a romantic night away to the Clarion Hotel Liffey Valley, to celebrate our good exam results. We'd been looking forward to it for weeks and couldn't wait to have a relaxing break. What actually happened was the furthest thing from relaxing.

I'll try and keep it brief to outline my point on what actually happened. When we arrived to the hotel we were greeted by a member of staff and checked in. Shortly after arriving to our room we asked to change rooms because of people drinking and shouting in the hallway and snot smeared all over the lamp. We got moved to another floor and it was fine for a while.

At about 9:30 p.m. we started noticing the people either side of us being extremely loud. To the right of us it sounded like the entire room was being re-arranged. To the left of us the TV was blaring and there were outbursts of whistling, shouting and laughing every few minutes. We headed to bed at around 11:00 p.m. (I know, I'm such a party animal) and tried to sleep. For 2 hours the TV and outbursts were constant, as well as what sounded like teenage girls running up and down the hall laughing and shouting.

Laurence and I were so tired at this point he went down to reception and asked the manager on duty to check out the noise as we couldn't sleep. 20 minutes later the noise was still just as bad so Laurence rang down to reception. We heard whoever answered the phone saying to someone else 'That's the guy who complained' and we were told the security guard had been up and heard nothing, but they'd send him up again. About 10 minutes later the noise was still as bad, and Laurence and I were so deliriously knackered we discussed just driving back to Athlone to get a proper night's sleep in our own bed. After we discussed this (in normal tones, not yelling) we got a knock on the door. And this was when the whole thing just got ridiculous.

We answered the door to the security guard who said, "Keep the noise down, I'm going to have to ask you to calm it down". Yes, you read that right. He told us if we didn't calm down we'd have to leave. Laurence said in disbelief, "I'm sorry?" to which the security guard told us he'd received complaints about noise. Laurence told him we were the ones who'd complained about noise next door. The security guard said we were the only ones he could hear (because we'd literally just spoken to each other about leaving, it was like he was waiting outside the door) and that he'd investigated each room and there was no noise going on. Later on in his story he said "I can't go around checking every room" to which I questioned why he'd just claimed he investigated all the rooms. I was so upset, angry and frustrated I burst into tears and just kept going "Are you joking me? This cannot be allowed". He stood there and practically laughed at me looking like he could not care less.

We demanded to see the manager who we were told "can't leave the front desk", so Laurence went down to confront the manager. Shortly afterwards, I went down to meet the manager also, in my pyjamas. I might add that while I was still in the room after the security guard said he couldn't hear anything, I could still hear the TV next door. I only wish I would have recorded it.

The manager was, to be fair, very competent and attempted to calm us both down a bit. He could see I was upset and Laurence was in a state of disbelief. Laurence pointed out the pizza boxes strewn over various floors of the hotel and pointed out this is clearly a noisy, party hotel, so why on earth were we being threatened for making noise?

After a while the manager told us he didn't want us to leave. I told him I wasn't staying another minute in the hotel and we demanded a refund of the room and the parking. He granted us a full refund but in my opinion this is not good enough. We never received an apology, the security guard stood there smiling as we spoke to the manager and he refused to give us his full name. I will be taking this further as I am not happy with the outcome. This should never have happened in a hotel, especially not a chain like the Clarion.

In case anyone is thinking, we hadn't had anything alcoholic to drink whatsoever. As far as I can see this was completely unprovoked - maybe because we looked young and they assumed we'd be making noise, but I am disgusted at how we were treated. I've stayed in lots of hotels (a lot of which I've blogged about) and have never had such a bad experience. 

The night culminated in us practically being forced to leave, and drive back to Athlone at 3 a.m. on an icy night. And I'm not joking when I say student accommodation was quieter than the hotel. 

So that was our exam results celebration and weekend completely ruined thanks to the Clarion. Like I said, I intend on bringing this matter further and I appreciate the comments and shares on my Facebook post

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