December, 2010, Tyler lost his hotel booking privileges. It was a mutual decision after an unfortunate experience in St. Vincent, where he found a “great, inexpensive little inn — only $20 a night!” that had us as the only guests (for years, perhaps), large (in size and quantity) bugs in the bed, and a fridge that made everything we put in it, taste like the smell of an unplugged, but closed refrigerator. I didn’t complain (I swear, I didn’t! I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, and we were there anyway, so there’s no use making a bad time worse), but afterward, it was decided that it would be for the best if all future travel arrangements were made by me, or our travel agent.
Six years on, the story of the hotel that sparked this decision gets less traumatic and more hilarious. Tyler is a much more experienced traveller and more familiar with what to look for when booking a hotel, too. He also does.not.fail when it comes to restaurant selection, and has found us everything from third wave coffee in Romania, to hole-in-the-wall raw food in Serbia.
Preparing for this trip, we agreed that it was time for a second chance. Surely his restaurant finding skill was transferrable, and really, finding a great hotel in St. Vincent is no easy feat outside of staying on one of the Grenadines. Tyler took his accommodation search seriously this time, and chose a hotel for us in Andorra that was affordable, had breakfast included, and had ok reviews on TripAdvisor.
Last night, in the pouring rain, we pulled up to his choice. He said, looking through the car window, “it looks like a horror movie set.” “Oh, it’s not bad,” I assured him. We checked into a tired lobby and went to our room and it was just ok. Not bad, but just ok. It had laminate flooring that had seen better days, and a cream, velvet comforter on the bed. Well, beds. That was the main concern, as it was two single beds smushed together, as is typical in many hotels. Unfortunately, this didn’t have a king sheet holding the beds together, to at least pretend that it were a larger bed, it was just as I say — two single beds smushed together.
This would be fine for most people and even for us pre-baby when we would be out all day and only using the room as a place to sleep, but despite doctor recommendations, what is best for us is if Baby sleeps between us. When he sleeps in bed with us, he sleeps for two, six-hour chunks, with a 15 minute feed around 2 am, while in a crib or a bassinet, he tosses and turns, and cries all night. For this reason alone, the room just wasn’t suitable as he would slip right down the middle.
Tyler asked at front desk if they had an alternate room available, and was told that this was our problem and not hers because we didn’t tell her in advance that we had a baby with us; had we done so, she would have given us a different room. He pulled out his reservation that stated two adults, and a baby, and she hesitantly handed him the key to a different room that had the same bed configuration, with an additional single bed in a loft level, up a ladder, and no window in the room. Tyler felt defeated.
We crossed the street just for interest, to the Eurostars Andorra Centre, (http://www.eurostarsandorracentre.com/EN/hotel.html) the only hotel visibly close to us, and asked to see a room. It was about 500 square feet with a sitting room, a bedroom with a large king bed, a beautiful bathroom, and top-notch service. And get this, it was only 65 euros a night. A five-star, for 65 euros a night. What’s happening?
Anyway, we booked in at the second hotel, and at 7:42 pm, May 10th, 2016, Tyler said that he would, “never book a hotel again.”