Friday, March 4, 2011

Not a Gallery you would want to visist!

After this recent incident that happened to my wife and I on a trip to Maputo. This story has also been published on Trip Advisor as well as in CitiVibe on 3/02/11 (the entertainment insert of the Citizen newspaper, a South African morning publication)
Since writing the original article two issues have been brought to my attention;
1] Richard (Basil Fawlty) is no longer working at the hotel
2] A lot of the problems I mentioned are not new and have been  around for over 18 months!
So what does that say about the management team(if it still exists) and the owner?
Read our story and make up your own mind!


We were at a rather quirky Hotel in Maputo (actually on Catembe Island) which I visited briefly on a previous trip.
If you look at their website (http://www.catembe.net) you will see that they are supposedly a 4 star venue...RUBBISH!

Our room was small but 'fun' until my wife decided to have a bath (it was a Jacuzzi bath). She almost electrocuted herself, as all the bath fittings became 'live' due to some sort of electrical fault. I called the night manager who scratched his head and called the 'general manager, Basil Fawlty*, who scratched his head and as Brits (he said he was from Brittany but then ‘conceded’ that he was originally British) often do, apologized profusely.
This all happened at about 9pm and it was decided to move us to the penthouse, which would seem like an upgrade...BUT NO!
The bed was surrounded by a wooden four poster frame which was not attached to anything...so getting in and out of the bed was like tackling an obstacle course.
The toilet in the en suite bathroom was not attached to the floor or the wall and sitting on it was like being in an episode of ‘The deadliest catch' but with out the crabs...oops, let me rephrase that!
But that was not all as they say in the TV adverts...
While getting out of bed, carefully, to go to the loose toilet, my wife put her foot on the floor and then leapt back onto the bed with a startled look on her face. I thought she had stepped on a cockroach or seen a mouse, but much worse...it was a used condom!
I went back down to reception to let them know about said prophylactic…more apologies but no further help forthcoming!
We decided to move back to the our original room(with no help from the staff I might add)...and we kept the key to the penthouse so we could use the shower while steering clear of our killer bath!
At least we had a sea view as the penthouse bedroom overlooked a rather dusty street and lamppost!
A really strange smell woke us the following morning and we had to turn the fan on to get rid of that.
Going to breakfast we once again had to run the gauntlet of the even more apologetic Basil Fawlty...
We decided to cut our stay short, but there was one last incident.
The hotel bus was being repaired and Basil kept us at lunch until it was ready to take us back to the ferry and the mainland.
Here the hotel had organized us a taxi that wanted to overcharge us by a third for getting us back to the Polana...
Anyway it all ended well and in the rear view mirror it was quite funny, but not at the time!
I did say to Basil that if we were American I would have sued the hotel and called in the health inspectors!
(There were Fawlty Towers episodes that included Americans (Caesar salad!) and health inspectors (the rat in the water tank)
*Basil Fawlty is not his real name, but Richard is!

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