Saturday, January 07, 2006

Hotel Wellington Riga

Riga Residency signboard suddenly came upon us as we turned a bend, a good 2 kilometres after we first saw the signs of Wellington and Coonoor.
Earlier the day when I had called up the hotel number, a Mr Clifford had introduced himself as the General Manager. In a very suave tone he informed me that they'd be delighted to have me at their esteemed hotel for a daily consideration of Rs 1200 plus taxes. This experience with a little bit of Googling had led me believe that this was a restored bungalow turned into a hotel. I expected superlative Raj-era hospitality.
Cut to the present, almost 1AM at night. The person manning the front desk acknowledged our booking and alloted a room 209 to us. The hotel was dark as a number of lights were turned off. The lift wasn't working. The room we had taken was a suite. It was benumbingly cold. I immediately asked for extra blankets and a room heater. What came was a small white box that could barely keep itself warm, leave alone keeping the room warm. It was a Philips room heater and blower made in England. I wondered whether it was left behind when the British left India. The bed was so cold that it felt like lying on hard ice. The windows weren't that good and cold seeped in. The whole room was so depressing with mold forming over the walls. It felt a total rip-off having to pay that much for such a sorry apology of a hotel. The water in the taps was cold like a knife. Water dripped in the bathroom and made it even worse. Somehow I fell asleep. Next morning looked even more desolate as there was no sign of sunshine where our room was. After tea was served in a chipped cup, we decided to beat it.
Back at the reception Mr Clifford was present. His beaming face darkened when I pointed out the inadequacies of his establishment and demanded to know why he ran it so poorly. He acknowledged that he had taken over under new management two months ago and things were likely to get better. I saw then that he was running the hotel hoping to earn enough to improve it. But with experiences such as mine, people were only going to give that a bad name. Hopefully, he'll spend some money to make it livable and then invite tourists. Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Next time plan to visit Ooty, go to Only 10 rooms, good people, almost on top of the hill. Booking office opposite to hockey stadium.