My cheap hotel is “A Third World experience” in London

Welcome to the the A to Z Hotel in Acton.

My cousin’s planning a holiday; a little six-weeker to Europe in June. Delightful. She deserves it. She works hard and she’s not a bitch. We’re actually very similar in a lot of ways. We’re both family-oriented wine-lovers with bad taste in men. But while we have a great time bonding over girl chat and Bloody Marys, we’re not totally alike. No one can be, that’s not how natural selection works.

Our travel styles, for example: In 2015 I stayed in the home of a Nepalese family for four days and did my number ones and twos while squatted over a community hole in the ground. Zoe on the other hand, questioned the cleanliness of the sheets in a $150/night hotel in Mykonos. She’s great.

So does it surprise you at all that I’m staying in a cheap hotel which one unhappy Tripadvisor reviewer, Chris294458, described as “A Third World experience in Acton!”? Probably not. (By the way, I think people call it “developing countries” now, Chris294458.)

A Third World experience in Acton!

I’m not the least surprised either; it’s incredibly cheap and I am a sucker for incredibly cheap things. At £25 a night I don’t care if it feels like I’m sleeping in downtown India. I liked India, it was cheap. And because it was cheap I could afford to do more things. Like fly out of India.

To keep the mice out?

The room was in a poor state, to say the least. It is a true reflection of a Third World establishment, this is a true and accurate description.

It’s not far from the truth, but come on Chris294458, what did you expect? I certainly didn’t expect a chair to go with the desk in my room. I just needed somewhere to stay (that was close to work) while I sorted out a new place. And being frugal as fuck (and in the midst of reading The Barefoot Investor), I found the cheapest accommodation I could and ran with it.

Something chewed my towel.

The rooms are battered and worn and of poor hygiene. On a plus side they are warm, have clean bedding and a fresh towel which is sometimes replaced.

Chris294458 has a feeling that the hotel was once “some type of doss house and someone took a gamble [in to] using it as a hotel”. Which, well, you never know.

He also advises that it’s no good for anyone with dust mite allergies and begs men not to bring their partners to stay (to be fair, I probably wouldn’t want to do the wild thing with my bits all exposed and vulnerable to the mites either). He also says it’s not fit for single females. But I’m not scared. In fact, the guy in the run-down reception booth wouldn’t take my money until I went upstairs to check the room to make sure I wanted to stay. I thought that was nice!

At the grubby reception, guests fill out a 1960`s type card with personal details on. You are then left to find your room in the doss hole which is the A to Z.

The whole place is 1960s, I love it.

My room is the absolute pits by a lot of other peoples’ standards. But the odours and dirty bits don’t offend me because cheapy cheap cheap. THANKS FOR COMING. CH-CHING.

Sure the blanket that keeps me warm over my top sheet scares me a little, but I just try not to touch it with my mouth.

Plus, the room is a bit bigger than my last rented London bedroom. And when I change my thinking to focus on the positives like that, well, I could trick myself into thinking I’m staying with the queen, couldn’t I? Or is that not how altering one’s perception of reality works?

There is a roof over your head and a breakfast, starting at 08.00 is provided, consisting of cheap, diluted squash, some type of coffee and two slices of toast. The waitress spoke no English.

Well Chris294458, I for one am impressed that they even include breakfast in the economical price at all. Though, while I appreciate the gesture, I won’t be wasting the waitress’s time again. I don’t like white bread (even if it is unlimited) and um, to be honest the coffee was a little fucked.

No tea or coffee or kettle provided in the rooms, or light shade, not cleaned daily and broken hangars in the wardrobe.

I was lucky enough to have three “hangars” fully intact. And my room came with a kettle. Though, I wasn’t sure what to do with it because like Chris294458 said, no tea or coffee, or even like, a mug. I don’t really like plain boiling water poured directly down my throat so I’m just not going to use the kettle. Problem solved.

That’s how I keep my hummus cold.

Please only use this establishment as a last resort and certainly not for any type of holiday, break or special occasion.

Well yeah, I wouldn’t recommend giving anyone a gift voucher for the place but shit, dawg, you get what you pay for don’t you. London’s just like that. You can walk through parts of the city where the dirt might as well be made of gold because it’s so expensive to live or stay there. Then you walk a few blocks further and suddenly you’re somewhere that’s totally radiating them “third world” vibes. It’s called culture!

Many (most) of my friends and family wouldn’t poke their toes in a place like this. Which is totally cool. Like my friend, Dean, always retorts when I tell him he’s a princess – WE’RE ALL DIFFERENT, BABY. I’m just the kind of gal who will risk dropping a jar of sundried tomatoes out of my overloaded arms instead of paying 5p for a shopping bag. I’ll save myself £10 on a removals service by loading the vehicle myself. And I don’t mind living in mild squalor for a bit to save some cabbage. Particularly when I can put that money into something else, like the extortionate real estate agent fees for my new joint (£276! vom). You know, as long as I’m warm and the door locks.

Plus, I like getting to see another side of London which would normally sit outside my lens. Foam-top mattresses and shower heads that actually spray your body are a luxury and we need to be given the opportunity to remember that sometimes. It’s also just nice to absorb and reflect on the character of a place like this, I really think it’s neat.

**Walks out the door and gets stabbed**

Cutest in-case-of-emergency sign I ever did see.


What do you think?

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