Monday, August 30, 2004

the Bates Hotel

Valentines is such a wonderful time of year, A time of romance, a time for a couple who have been married 24 years, who’s children are grown up to finally get away. Off season when rates are low. After looking in our local paper I came upon an ad for a romantic weekend away in Victoria, only $49 per night . Wow that is perfect, lots to see and do there.
I booked the room only to find there are no rooms available for $49 so it became $69. wow what a deal! Still cheap and meals were included.
I checked out the website, it looked wonderful.
We debated about taking the car, since we could walk almost everywhere we had to go. Relatives on the island could pick us up and drive. We decided the extra cost for the ferry wouldn’t be that bad so off we went, car and all.
We knew that for the price we wouldn’t get a view, but who cares….we really weren’t thinking of looking out the hotel windows anyway. The fire escape from the adjacent building passing 2 feet from our window really didn’t pose too much of a surprise.
We prepaid the room with an interac transaction two days and I also asked for 2 days parking. The parking lot was a block away from the hotel and I put the pass I was given in the window of the car.

The main restaurant was booked solid for Valentines, so our meal would be served in the breakfast room. It took us 2 hours to get our meal that night. We ordered the salmon off the special menu. People all around us were getting their salads and there entrees. The salad came after about 45 minutes. and we ordered another drink waiting for the meal. After about an hour and a half and four glasses of beer, two meals were placed in front of us. Linguini, no salmon. We informed the waiter and he apologized and then came back in about 15 minutes with the salmon. It was stone cold so we sent it back. Finally the salmon came hotter than before. There was enough salmon to cover a cracker. Then for dessert there was a bread pudding in vanilla custard. My wife's bread pudding had a green leaf in it of some sort.

Well after supper we went back to the room and decided to watch a little television. It seems the leaf in the pudding wasn’t the only thing that was green. The television was the type you couldn’t give away at a garage sale. Green bloomy pictures. Oh well, not the reason we wanted to get away anyway.
We didn’t need a wakeup call in the morning. The boiler kicked in around 5 am and the gurgling pipes would wake up the dead. I could hear the steam sizzle through the radiator. The room got hotter and hotter so I decided to get up. When I went downstairs I told the front desk that the room was quite hot and was there something they could do. They asked if I could open the window… know the one 2 feet from the neighbouring fire escape.

Day two we walked around Victoria, only to come back to our car still parked in the Hotel parking spot one block form the hotel to find a parking ticket for $22.50. I went with the ticket and the parking pass to the front desk. We were informed that parking passes could only be issued for one day at a time and needed to be renewed at noon. No one told us this when we booked in or we would have done that.
When we went to the front desk to check out the gentleman there said we just need your credit card the bill will be $173 dollars. I told him we had paid by interac the day we checked in. He had no record of it being processed. He went to the slot where the keys are kept behind the desk and found the interac slip in the slot.
Oh on a side note we did get a bill from the parking company about a month later, it had gone up to $45.00 Which we ended up paying,
I purposely left the name of the hotel off this email, but it is on Yates street if anyone is wondering. I wrote them an email about our experience and forwarded a copy to about a dozen people at my work who had asked me to check out the “Great Deal” in the paper, funny I never did get a reply from the Bates Hotel!
We did stay in Victoria a third night, at a lovely motel on the Gorge, It was cheaper cleaner airconditioned and had 2 king sized beds in it. Oh and the TV worked great. !!!


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