In this case it involves a hostelry. It involves a place that advertises itself as a resort and spa. And it is those things, and it’s beautifully situated on the water and it should be, in a word ‘idyllic’ as a getaway from the cares of life.
It should have been. It wasn’t.
The place in question is a few miles south of here in the waterfront town of Parksville. It’s not the one that is off in the woods and boasts cute little cottages and a superlative restaurant. It is another one in the same community.
We arrived at their front desk on Friday evening. My dear wife had booked a weekend getaway in celebration of my birthday. It was a lovely, sweet and loving gesture and she was quite pumped about it.
We had no idea what was to ensue. We have traveled extensively throughout North America, Hawaii, the South Pacific and Europe. And I can honestly say we have never had an experience to match this for inefficiency and general outrage. Never have either of us experienced such mismanagement of a vacation property, nor such insults to the visitor: the paying guests.
We arrived around dinnertime on Friday. We went to sign in at the desk, as one does. They smiled. They were gracious and then they informed us that the restaurant would not be available for guests that night or the next one.
Seems there were ‘functions’ happening both nights and it seems that the actual paying guests of the place were of secondary importance.
We were miffed but, like the mature people we are, we sucked it up and we headed up into town to find a place to eat. And we did and it was OK.
We then got back to the place and found there was no parking available in the underground parking. It was advised we attend the ‘overflow’ parking area off on a chunk of puddle-ridden gravel a few hundred yards away. By then I was getting majorly cranky with the place. Those attending the ‘functions’ had been given parking priority over hotel guests. WTF? was repeated a little more heatedly.
We entered the lobby and had to almost literally push our way through the assemblage of loud and borderline obnoxious people who were there for a ‘wine tasting’ of sorts. Most of them seemed awfully young and very un-connoisseur-like. Badly-dressed dudes and slutbunnies in their ‘ho’-motif dresses all of whom were singularly loud. Yes, I’m being gratuitous insulting about this multitude because I was pissed off and they were the ones who kept the restaurant from being open and who nabbed all the parking spots.
But wait, that’s not all. Weary from all the traipsing around and feeling a teeny bit piqued we settled into our room. Good for about a half hour. Then suddenly it seemed that Black Sabbath had moved to the suite above us and decided to entertain us full volume. The music was accompanied by a screaming gaggle of filthy mouthed young females (see illustration above) out on the balcony that screamed, yelled and told the world what they were planning to do with their genitals that night.
Wendy, who had planned this all especially for my birthday, had reached the end of her tether. Herself marched down to the front desk and told them that we had reached zero-tolerance stage and reiterated the indignities that we, paying guests, had been forced to endure, including loss of restaurant, shit parking in the back-and-beyond and now the roar of a rock concert by failed musicians above us. She told them to book us a room at that ‘other’ place with the quaint cottages and a restaurant actually available to guests. They in response suggested that perhaps a reduction of our tab would be in order. Wendy informed them it had nothing to do with the money.
They finally agreed to move us to a suite in the penthouse that they guaranteed would be quiet.
It was but celebratory birthday weekend was left dampened.
I will say that the staff of the place was invariably gracious and pleasant.
But will further say that the management of the same place absolutely reeks.
My final caveat would be, don’t stay there even if it means you have to sleep on the beach in lieu. I know we won’t go back.