Whenever I am booking accommodation for a trip, I always like to read a few thousand reviews so that I can get a feel for the place. You have to read a good 3000 reviews before you will find one written by a sane person.
One of the greatest inventions of the millennium, and daresay the universe - is the trip advisor website. I haven't booked a hotel in years without first cyber stalking every word written about the place, and this does sway my opinion greatly - even though 50% of reviews are written by no life psychos.
These are some of my favourite reasons why a place should be avoided:
"when I got out of the tube, some homeless people asked me for money"
"the receptionist didn't smile at us"
"the best thing about this place is that it's right next to the Disney Store"
"when you sit on the toilet your knees touch the wall"
Do these freaks ever leave the safety bubble of their closeted highly strung lives?? Rarely it would seem.
I have two ratings: good enough and Weichmann.
For something to be good enough it must have: bed that isn't hard as concrete, decent bathroom, no poltergeists from previous murders.
Most hotels I stay at fall into this category, I won't spend a complete fortune on a hotel, but I also won't stooge and stay in a box on the street. I like my creature comforts and I will pay what I deem appropriate to have a good nights sleep, feel safe and cosy, and hopefully have some designer toiletries to steal and bathrobes and disposable slippers to swan around in. However - there are times when I have been 'Weichmanned'.
Being 'Weichmanned' refers to possibly the worst hotel I have ever stayed at, The Hotel Weichmann in Amsterdam. The problem with Weichmann is that we had been living it up in the magical loft apartment all week, and we had no serotonin left by the time our unfortunate weekend stay rolled around. And with no serotonin there are things that one might let slip by that normally one wouldn't.
I have only been Weichmanned one other time, when we were driving to Canberra (which is like the city version of a Weichmann) and stayed in this motel so we didn't have to drive in the dark to the snowfields, and this place was the pits. Smelly. Dank. Dark. Moist. The shower dripped all night and the front door wouldn't lock. We had to move one of the chairs to the door to keep it shut during the night and sleep with one eye open whilst we tried to 'hover' over the blankets because they were crusty and cursed. We woke up at about 4am and decided it was a good time to start driving and dodging suicidal kangaroos out for a morning road bounce.
However onwards to the origin of the term being "Weichmanned". It's Amsterdam. And we have unwittingly booked ourselves into the Hotel Weichmann (shudder). It was about 30 degrees , and all I wanted to do was go to our room so I could have a nap before we went out to dinner (read: eat more hash cake and order a spaghetti to 'share' and eat one noodle.) I was going to try to block out the hideousness of our room and take a nap on my single bed when I realised I was the hottest I had ever been in my life and was swimming in a pool of my own sweat. Oh yes, that is because my bed was covered in plastic sheets!!!!!!!! Oh god. I don't want to know why they were covered in plastic sheets, or what would be underneath the plastic sheets if I removed them, but I quickly ripped them off and tried to nap in the worlds ugliest hotel room in existence. It was grey, peely wallpaper, you could look up the word dingy in the dictionary and find a picture of this room. It overlooked a dark air shaft that had no air, and I'm pretty sure it was haunted.
Basically the Weichmann totally Weichmanned us. But never again!! Which is why if anywhere I stay is marginally better than that place it will get the best review its ever had.