Saturday 5 January 2008

A triplicate is one not three

Double Hotel Jeopardy

Back to my hotel where the thought that I would checking out in four days is the comfort I have from what makes this place a real-life Fawlty Towers.

I know I would not be returning to this hotel and neither would it receive a word of recommendation from me.

This hotel is in fact two hotels combined in one, one side being an aparthotel – a hotel of apartments called Riu Flamingo and the other part is a hotel of rooms called Riu Papayas.

If you are on foot, you will have to go through the Riu Flamingo hotel to get to he Riu Papayas part, we share the restaurant, entertainment and recreational places such that if you are served you have to give your room number and hotel you are staying in.

It would have been easier to prefix the rooms on one side with a 1 and that way they automatically know which hotel you are in.

Sick bag breakfast

The breakfast is usually quite bland that I have taken to waking up late and going out for a full English breakfast where a real-life Barbara Windsor (Peggy Mitchell) figure and better, of German extraction but the most welcoming, friendly and engaging lady of the house serves with the comforting accent of a European polyglot.

Moby’s Restaurant is about a 20-minute walk from my hotel, but I have to go through the Yumbo Centre to pick my daily which is hardly a morning paper but a brunch one. The Daily Telegraph never arrives on time for all sorts of reasons, I have been sentenced to reading either the Daily Mail or The Guardian in the absence of my newspaper – I love reading my paper at breakfast which is usually straddling the noon hours.

Moby’s Restaurant is on Avenida de Tirajana just beneath the Tenesor Apartments and you would always be welcome there, good value, variety and a big screen for football if you are so inclined.

Triplicates are for a reason

So, this morning I needed to do some ironing and after so much sign language short of sticking up a finger we came to an understanding that I needed an iron which I have to take back to my room and then move the bed a good 1.5 metres to get the cord in the wall socket which is cleverly concealed behind the television – the room is a tortuous restriction, I might as well be in a prison cell and I would have a lot more wall sockets.

I also have some laundry to do which I have to put out on Monday before 9:00AM, I would set the alarm to get up that early. I did not find any laundry slips in my room, so I asked for one only to note that the slips which are supposed to be filled in triplicate had been split so each bag had a white, pink or yellow slip.

I explained to the concierge that these things should be done in triplicate such that the white copy goes to the laundry, the pink goes to hotel administration and I retain the yellow copy to ensure my goods are safe and make the right payments.

He would hear none of it, he said, it was no more necessary, the new system was just to have one slip of the triplicate and everything else is based on trust, I would suppose.

He could not however explain to me why the mini-bar had the “old” system of triplicate forms but the laundry had just one – it makes you wonder where they get such sub-standard staff from who believe in fudging the detail and dissimulation rather than be corrected and do the right thing.

Never without Palace

There is no doubt that this double-hotel is staffed with customer-facing cretins and intelligent house-keepers, there is a split when it comes to the night-duty personnel, the one on the Riu Papayas end seems to be a very amicable person, the other on the Riu Flamingo would lie to your face – I wanted to report the issue to the manager but decided the hierarchy must be as rotten as what I encounter.

Good managers hardly end up with rotten staff, I may be wrong. Never again for Riu Papayas, Riu Flamingo and any counterpart that does not include “Palace” in the name.

In Playa del Ingles, Riu Palace Maspalomas is very much the hotel with class, the Grand Palace variety is too way out of the town centre to get a look in.

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