So I was recently researching some overnight accommodation for my Misters (the Little Mister and Mr Unprepared) and I, as we briefly considered spending a night in the city. It would have been partly for convenience (Mr Unprepared has a big early morning bike ride coming up) and also for a bit of family fun. A chance to get out of our usual little home life bubble. Why not, hey? Kind of a staycation. Sadly, this never eventuated (too complicated)…
But…the thing is, TripAdvisor does my head in. I wonder what the hell we did before we had this review system? We just *gasp* winged it?! Now, every hotel decision feels like life or death. WHAT? THEIR INTERNET ACCESS IS PATCHY? ONE PERSON FOUND DUST ON THE SIDE TABLE? That’s it. We can’t go there. I must look at five other places, crosscheck the features each room has, compare prices and analyse each review IN DEPTH. All perspective has been lost.
I have reviewed the reviews and while some people seem to have made well balanced comments, there are some pernickety people who I would NOT like for a houseguest. I wonder what their houses are like?
Which made me wonder what kind of honest reviews my house would get? *gulp*
Here’s what I think it might look like (and I’m being generous haha)…
Location 3.5 stars
Located within walking distance of both a beautiful estuary and the ocean. Quite a distance from restaurants and other fancy things. You’ll need a car to get around (the bus service is not exactly an all hours type deal), but there is a new little neighbourhood supermarket that the locals can’t stop raving about on account of having been deprived for so long of such a thing. The view from the front of the accommodation is pretty boring – facing onto other residential houses. You won’t get a good photo of the sunset ever, without feeling like you’re invading the neighbours’ privacy, but it is pretty to look at. Your instagram opportunities will be limited and this may bring frustration, because DAMN it REALLY IS A GOOD SUNSET. It’s really close to the highway, but it’s not too noisy.
Sleep Quality 2 stars
You’ll be sharing the accommodation with a cycling addict who rises early for both work and recreation, so you will feel very sleep deprived. You’ll also find that the child resident will on occasion make a noise early in the morning, often singing just one line from that viral ‘hit’ song What Does The Fox Say over and over (consider it your wake up call). Because you’re expected to assist in looking after said child during the day, you will find yourself lying awake in the middle of the night for no apparent reason other than to worry about things you didn’t have time to worry about during the day or simply to get in some ‘thinking alone’ time. Don’t stay here if relaxation is what you’re after! Terrible!!
Also, rooms are very noisy during the day. I heard constant moans of, “I’m hungry! I need to do wees! WATCH THIS!”
Rooms & Cleanliness 1.5 stars
There are only two liveable bedrooms available (which you have to share with other residents). One is shoved full of stuff for storage (enter at own risk) and one has been turned into a makeshift study/ironing room (in terrible condition). The owner has apparently made plans to overhaul these rooms, but nothing substantial has been done about it. There is dust on some of the furniture, there are piles of clothes on the floor. When asking the domestically challenged lady owner about this, the reply was, “What? That’s just my floordrobe. Don’t touch it. It’s a very highly organised system.”
Housekeeping seems to happen often, but the accommodation still looks very much like nothing was done almost immediately afterwards. I noticed a lot of crumbs underneath the couch. And on the couch. Also, under the dining table. What. The. Eff. On several occasions I was amazed to see the owners used their DOG to clean up the floor. WITH ITS MOUTH.
Self contained. Pantry well stocked with complimentary baking ingredients a lot of the time. The master bedroom has an ensuite, but when an early riser uses the shower, it wakes whoever was trying to sleep because there is no door separating the rooms.
There are TVs with access to a DVR stacked full of shows up to a year old because the owner never has time to watch anything. The internet is OK, but on occasion becomes so slow you can’t even *gasp* watch Netflix!
Family friendly set up. Backyard. Play area. No-one is judging if your kids are cray cray.
Very ‘homely’ ‘lived in’ feel. We all know what that’s code for.
Service (either 5 stars for children or 1 star for adults)
If you are 3 years old, the service is fantastic all around the clock. If you are any older, you have to do everything yourself. You may be able to coerce one of the owners to do you a favour here or there, but you have to be really nice and it depends what mood they’re in (see above for sleep quality).
I don’t recommend the so called day spa. It consists of the owner just slapping some moisturiser on your face, painting your nails badly (only on sporadic weekend evenings) and then shoving you out because there’s no time for anything else. Well, I never!
The ‘gym’ is a treadmill shoved up into a corner of the master bedroom. The only upside of this is that if you fall off, you will land in bed.
The food menu is “Have what we make you or get it yourself” and depends on how close to pay day the owner is.
Value (hard to ascertain)
Children stay for free. Adults must contribute to mortgage, housekeeping and admin. It’s totes worth it if you have nowhere else to go. Basically, it’s like a working holiday.
The place has a lot of potential and once the owners find two seconds, it will be undergoing several improvements – woohoo!
Guess I’ll be staying here then! You know, because I live here.
Would you stay at my
hotel house? What would a review of your place look like? Do you obsess over reviews when planning to stay somewhere?
*I probably don’t need to say it, but this post is in no way associated with TripAdvisor.