The staff at the various Chancery guesthouses (as always in Pakistan, there are only male staff) try hard to be polite and respectful, but the usual attitude towards women seeps through; they treat single Western women as if they are freaks--or at least bizarre curiosities. I've been in two Chanceries over the course of 3 weeks, and whenever the staff knock on the door and I say "one minute" or "wait," they open the door anyway (long ago I stopped saying "coming" because it sounds like "come in"). Possibly their bad grasp of English is to blame, but I have tried different combinations of English words (I know, I should learn Urdu), and nothing has worked. Maybe I should just shout "no" or "stop"...
Considering that women must be draped in yards of fabric in Pakistan, it's not a good idea for any male staff to catch you in any state of undress, however modest by Western standards. And that's what keeps happening when they open the door, because it's 110 degrees outside and the electricity keeps going out and the AC shuts off until you manually turn it on again...a zillion reasons why I don't swath myself in three layers of clothes in my room--I am usually in a sleeveless shirt or nightgown.
Many's the time staff knocked at the door, heard me tell them to wait, and opened the door all while I was trying to struggle into tons of layers of clothes. I told the reception desk that staff should never, ever touch my door handle--I would open the door myself--but it hasn't helped.
Most times I lock the door and put the chain on, even if I am just using the room for 30 minutes to get changed or check email. But every now and then I forget the lock, and calamity ensues.
Also, the food is extremely bad and the cleanliness is iffy.
Sadly, this place is probably still way better than most in Islamabad.
- Also Known As:
- Chancery Guest House Hotel Islamabad