There are three types of people in the world:
- Those who trust TripAdvisor
- Those who don’t trust TripAdvisor
- Those who’ve never heard of TripAdvisor
I fall into the middle camp. Having had numerous 5 star hotels as clients, I know the huge effort most make to post fake reviews for their properties around the world. It’s a full-time position in most major hotels. So I don’t trust TripAdvisor at all.
And like many of you dear readers, I travel a bit with my work. Recently I’ve been visiting Brisbane on a regular basis, or Brisvegas if you’re local.
Following a review I read in a newspaper about how Brisbane was cooler than its southern city counterparts, I decided to give the TRYP Hotel a go – its theme is art and its corridors and rooms are alive with bright orange, neon blue lighting and other artistic assaults on the senses.
The Queen room was the smallest I’d stayed in since last staying at Morton’s in NY, where the door bashed against the bed when opened.
There were no instructions on the use of the room, as I’ll explain now. On my first morning, I arose very early to work in the room and made a cup of tea. There were no mugs, just glasses, but nothing to say they were thermal glasses and could withstand boiling water. So I rang reception to confirm they were appropriate for tea making – turns out they were.
Interestingly, any student of hospitality knows research has shown hot drinks like coffee, tea or hot chocolate are perceived to taste better drunk from mugs than glass, but maybe they don’t teach that anymore?
There was an iron, but no ironing board and I needed to tidy a shirt quickly before my meeting. I searched vainly for the board, but eventually ran out of time to call housekeeping, so dressed a tad wrinkly.
That evening when I returned to the room, I found the bed made, but the rubbish from the previous day was still on the counter. And the coffee maker I had moved to the floor to make way for the jug to boil water, was still on the floor.
Worse still was the dust – and I don’t mean tiny skerricks of particles floating around the atmosphere. No, I’m talking a layer so thick you could draw in it. Maybe that was the “art” part of the hotel?
Here’s the dust on the safe – you could almost plant vegetables:
And here’s my hand print in the space for hanging clothes:
And here’s the designer dust outline around the glasses.
And the leftover kettle/coffeemaker mess:
I started to wonder how clean the sheets were? Do they change them for each new guest, or just keep making the bed and rotate the linen once a week?
It reminded me of the time I stayed in the Miller’s Hotel in Westbourne Grove in the UK, when working with my friend Drayton Bird. It was a combination hotel/antique store – very musty and classic furnishings, even a four poster bed.
When I packed to leave after five days, I looked under the bed to check I hadn’t left anything. Sitting in the thick layer of dust (it was almost dirt) was a pair of boxer shorts and a bra. Suffice to say I felt like having another shower.
So I took the photos above and showed them to the life-support-system-for-tattoos at reception. And as you seasoned travelers know – what happened next was the test of how good the service really was at this TripAdvisor award-winner.
And you guessed it – she said she’d tell housekeeping and thanks for pointing it out. Dumbfounded I asked if I was supposed to call housekeeping to get an ironing board, as I couldn’t find one in the room. She told me the board was hidden under my bed to save space – of course there were no instructions in the room to advise I would have to lie on the floor and grapple said board from under the bed, if I wanted a tidy shirt.
My lifetime value for accommodation in Brisbane isn’t huge, but am sure they’d like the business. It’s about $10,000 until the end of this year. At least you can save yourself the hassle deciding where to stay when going to Brisbane, because you heard it here first, rather than on TripAdvisor.