The GCH is very grand and very central and has been undergoing major refurbishment. The receptionist who checked me in proudly announced that I'd been upgraded to a Junior Suite and that I'd be in a room which had just been finished. I'd be its first occupant. It was on the fifth floor (a floor so new that there are no signs to it until you get there). Weaving my way round the corridor it became apparent that what were formerly lots of little rooms had been grouped together to form little suites. There were lots and lots of anonymous doors with no numbers or handles which was a little spooky at first in the relative gloom of the very dark painted wood and the low lighting level. Opening the door to room 510 I was met by a plate glass door leading to the spacious shower room. To the left was the sleeping area - large enough for a bed under the eaves, and with what appeared to be a very very large mirror. The room was the width of the bed plus two bedside tables. The first thing I noticed were the two power sockets at each side of the bed. "Hurrah", I thought, they've had someone sensible in to do the refurb and are now catering for the multi-device owning business traveller. The mirror was weird, with a blue hue, and because it was opposite the window, over the LHS side of the bed, simply threw a silhouette on to the surface. "Wardrobe?" I wondered. To the RHS side of the shower room was a sitting area which contained a rather overpowering unit on top of which sat the TV. There was a small partition and I peeked round the corner expecting to find a clothes hanging area. Nope, it contained an expensive looking leather wing back chair, a small table, an absolutely huge mirror, and a rack for my suitcase. I went back to the bedroom and poked at the mirror in case it was concealing the wardrobe. Nope, not there either. Eventually, on investigation, it turned out that the bit TV unit also had a hanging area. But no hangers. Housekeeping were called and swiftly delivered. Meanwhile, I switched on the TV. "No signal". Hmmmm. I got my laptop out. There wS no "desk", as such, but there was a larger round tavle ad the end of the chaise, Nd also a round tub seat. However, the socket beside the table was proprietary - probably for cleaning staff. Behind the chaise were an assortment of sockets, including four standard plugs. So I trailed my cables across the chaise and plugged in. The more I started to actually use the room, the more I became angry - an awful lot of money had been spent on it but little care had been given to considering the liveability of the place. Here is a summary of the many little things that, with a moment's practical thought, could have been properly designed:
Bedroom: the window was in the eaves, and over the LHS of the bed. The cords controlling the blinds were not against the wall, but in the recess in the middle of the bed, necessitating standing on the bed to adjust blinds. The mirror turned out to be a TV, but being opposite the window could only be viewed by stepping on the bed and closing the blinds.
Shower room: the shower door had an integral towel rail. The door opens inwards which means if you have turned on the overhead shower rosette, on opening the door, the door and your carefully hung towel become soaked. There was also a towel rail over the sink but it was, err, tucked behind one of the two large lampshades either side of the expansive mirror. Had it been centred on the wall it would both have looked better and reduced the risk of breaking the shade.
Seating area: the TV stand-cum-wardrobe was large and dysfunctional. Having had hangers delivered, on hanging a couple of day dresses there I found that both trailed on the floor - it was not tall enough. The desk was nowhere near any usable power sockets, neither, for that matter, were ANY of the mirrors. The other side of the TV stand-cum-wardrobe included a tray with kettle, etc. however, the only place where the kettle could stand AND be plugged in was the modest bedside table. The only lighting was in the alcove area, not in the main room.
I posted on Facebook and Twitter as these many little irritating things emerged and, to his credit, the duty manager picked up the posts, identified me, and got straight on the phone. He came up and I took him through the things I'd identified at that point. I told him that I felt the hotel had been badly let down by whoever had refurbished the room. The finishing a were lovely. The colour scheme calming and appropriate to the building. But it was not a room designed for easy and effective habitation. It was as though there was a shopping list which went:
10(ish) plug sockets (normal)
2 wall to ceiling mirrors
Posh leather chair
Unit for clothes, ironing board, minibar fridge and coffee/tea making, oh, and for standing a TV on top.
With a final instruction: distribute randomly.
Someone came and "fixed" the TV. It turned out that it couldn't t sit on top of the unit because that was not where the plug and arial point were situated. So it was put on the round table, and the cables were then threaded behind the chaise on to the wall behind.
Chaps need a razor socket in the bathroom (present here). By the same measure, us lassies would like a plug within decent proximity of a mirror. And many business travellers need a desk with an adjacent plug. And we all want to plug the kettle in and have a cuppa. And we don't want to be stepping over cables, sleeping beside the kettle, or reaching for a soggy towel when we step outside the shower.
On the plus side, the staff were friendly.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Central Hotel Glasgow, Scotland