Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Friday -- Special Edition: European Hotels are Weird

So, before I get into the Alhambra, it's worth a brief digression on the surprises of the hotels. This was particularly the case in Granada, although the two major items were the same at Juries in Bristol as well.

Minor Item 1: the bidet. Seriously, you'd think that a place catering to foreign business travelers would have an explanation for how to *use* the damned thing. (I mostly ignored it.)

Minor Item 2: turning on the shower. Okay, this one may not be a general European thing, it may just be that the AC Palacio (like the Conrad a few months ago) is too high-end for its own good, fond of elements that are pretty, fancy, and impractical. In this case, the big button-like knob to turn the water from "tub" to "shower". We spent about five minutes trying to get it to do *something*; I finally had to call down to the front desk and get an engineer to show me, feeling like a right idiot. Turns out that it pulls up like normal, but it is so *stiff* that I have to grasp it hard and pull so hard I worried I was going to damage the spigot; with Kate's wrist issues, she couldn't get it to work at all. Fine example of form utterly crushing function.

Really Weird 1: the shower door. The shower looks like this:

It's a bit hard to see the door, but it's the differently-colored left-hand side. Yes, it's only maybe three feet long, extending maybe two feet from the shower head.

And yes, the result was that we could not, for the life of us, figure out how this is supposed to keep all the water in the shower. This was so ineffective at Juries, I thought something was broken and reported it as such, but it was exactly the same at the AC Palacio -- we couldn't find any way to shower without soaking the floor. Even being as careful as I could, the floor still got pretty wet. I have no clue what the motivation is for this design.

Really Weird 2: your card key controls the lights. When you enter the room, you *must* do this with your key:

The card key acts as the master light switch for the room -- none of the lights work until you do this.

Now to be fair, I can see an argument for this: it's a very simple check against people leaving the lights running in the room, so it saves electricity. But it's a damned good thing that Kate's parents had demonstrated it to us at Juries, because it never would have occurred to me. And when you are entering a dark hotel room, tired from travel, the last thing you want to to spend ten minutes flailing around, trying to figure out why the lights don't work. (I'm glad that I was saved yet another Dumb American Call down to the front desk.)

On the plus side, the last weird thing about our room is that, instead of blinds, it had thick wooden shutters. These were remarkably effective, keeping the room pretty close to black until we opened them. Very useful for sleeping that first night.

Next: up to the Alhambra
Tags: europe 2012

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