Travelling and Poking About

The unexpected hotel

October 1, 2016

Today the powers that be stipulate that I should write about unexpected items found in hotels. Well, I’ve decided to take things up a notch and write about the unexpected hotel.

In this adventure we travel to South America, back in 2007. The husband creature and I had been staying in Rio de Janeiro and were due to travel down to Buenos Aires. In a fit of efficiency we’d pre-ordered a car to take us from our beautiful hotel direct to the airport. It was all smooth sailing. Or flying, as the case may be.



When we arrived at the airport we encountered chaos; Aerolineas Argentinas were on strike. This was the first we and the mob surrounding us had heard about it. We had to wait in the airport for a few hours while they figured out what to do with us all. It was ok though, as we spotted a guy ahead of us in line who was the DEAD RINGER for someone we knew back in New Zealand. He was just standing there, speaking in Spanish or Portuguese to his family looking EXACTLY like this other dude who he had no idea even exists. Oh, the lols we had. Doppelgangers exist!

Anyway, they told us we couldn’t fly out that day, we were flying out the next day and staying in a five star hotel for the night. Now get in that taxi and get the hell outta here. We did. And soon enough we arrived at the Hotel Gloria.

The Hotel Gloria was indeed a five star hotel. We just didn’t realise how important the past tense was in this sentence. All over the place (in the spots that hadn’t been filled with a faux classical statues) were big posters broadcasting the famous names who had stayed there. Marilyn Monroe had stayed there. The Pope had stayed there. Not the current Pope, the guy who was Pope in the 70s. No one of any note had stayed there for at least 30 years, but god they wanted you to believe they still had it.

The boards displaying well-known former guests

The boards displaying well-known former guests

It was an awkward time of day. Too late to plan anything new to do (we’d been at the airport a long time) yet probably too early just to curl up drinking. We also had absolutely no idea where we were in the city in relation to our previous hotel and the area we’d become accustomed to, so we were nervous of getting lost, being mugged or maybe even not getting lost and having to make our way back to the Hotel Gloria.

We filled the time by doing a thorough tour of the Hotel Gloria, complete with pointing and giggling at pretentious posters and tacky statues. Eventually we got to sit down to dinner, in the hotel restaurant of course.

We were given coupons. One coupon each for access to the buffet and another coupon each for a soft drink. Of all the days you need a wine, we had a free diet Coke. Well, there was no way in hell we were paying for anything here. It was nearing the end of our trip and we were low on money. We were supposed to be in Buenos Aires, eating steak and doing the stuff we had planned. Instead, we had lost precious sightseeing hours and replaced them with a day of transit and soft drink.

The Hotel Gloria. Saving money on light, always in a dusky haze.

The Hotel Gloria. Saving money on light, always in a dusky haze. Hence the blurry photos.

No, the Hotel Gloria was not going to make any further profit from us. I was up to my tits in chagrin over the perceived sleight of the single soft drink coupon. I hatched a plan. A buffet crossed with a somewhat disgruntled and jet lagged traveller is a lethal combination and these bitches had a big table filled with cake. I vowed to eat my weight in cake. I remember one cake in particular, covered in chocolate and strange balls. These turned out to be marshmallow balls. I made some serious inroads into that cake, and probably disrupted the plans of more than one fellow hotel guest who had been eyeing this beast up for their own dessert.

Yes, I know that our travel delays were not the fault of those other guests and it was unfair to punish them. But sometimes the only way you can make a political point is by eating cake, and I intend to identify and exploit these political point scoring opportunities every time they arise for the rest of my life. If you’re gonna lose your head why not go full Marie Antoinette?

Well, after my big cake feast I couldn’t manage anything other than a short stagger up  to our room where I collapsed on the bed. My husband turned on the TV and insisted on watching that movie about 9/11 directed by Oliver Stone. Did I mention it was the day before the 9/11 remembrance?

Let’s just say watching this film is terrible way to calm your pre-flying nerves after a tumultuous day while hyped up on sugar. Don’t try it. Also, don’t try to stay at the Hotel Gloria on future travels. I’m fairly certain it’s now derelict. Surprise, surprise.

Full marks on the chocolate marshmallow cake though. I hope their pastry chef found gainful employment elsewhere. London for instance. That would be ideal.

Finally, we caught a flight the following day and headed to Buenos Aires

Finally, we caught a flight the following day and headed to Buenos Aires


This post is part of a travel link up. This month the topic is ‘most interesting item you’ve discovered or seen in a hotel room/accommodation’. Join by adding your post to the widget found on Emma’s, Angie‘s or Aftab the Aftabulous’ blog before 7 October 2016.

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