I had rung ahead - (was it a bad move?) to request a quiet room and was issued with a fourth floor room No. 443. Rooms on the fourth floor are not served by the lift. To access these dreadful quarters customers have to take the creaky lift to the third floor and negotiate a long corridor walk, followed by a steep staircase climb, into the garret. The corridor to the room was airless and hot and I opened windows as I went to dispel the heat and entered the tiny hot room which had a tiny sashed window. The window was secured to open only a couple of inches - presumably to prevent despondent residents from throwing themselves to their deaths.
After negotiating the access to the room after an arduous journey from the south, I immediately went into the small, integral, oven like bathroom for a shower. I turned on the taps - there was cold water but the hot water tap failed to produce any water at all. I returned to reception to advise them of the problem and was promised that the handyman could come to investigate the problem. I went back to the room and waited for some time but no one came. I went back down eventually to see find were he/she had got to and was then asked if I would like to move rooms. I BELIEVE the problem with the room was already known. A very pleasant lady apologised for my inconvenience and accompanied me to my room and helped me move next door to room 442. Another stiflingly hot room with a tiny window secured to prevent suicide! I asked if there were any fans and was told, “No, it’s not usually hot up here!” I checked the hot water supply and it was evident and unpacked again. The conference began and after a busy afternoon and evening I retired to the sauna of my room. I ran the bath - ironically the cold water was warm enough to bathe in and was a relief from the oppressive heat. As I lay down ready for a peaceful nights’ sleep I realised that I was surrounded by a booming and constant water feature. The night was long and restless, as in my heat induced delirium I feared a dam overhead would burst and I would be engulfed in a tidal wave and would wash me into the streets of Carlisle.
Dawn eventually came and I prepared for the busy day ahead. I visited reception to inform them of the problems I had faced, reminding them of my early request for a quiet room, and asking if the pump adjacent to my room could cease during the night. The receptionist seemed amused by my predicament but said that she would ask the duty manager. After breakfast I went back to reception to enquire and was told that, unfortunately, the pump was responsible for providing water to the whole hotel (obviously, with the exception of Room 443) and could not be turned off. I asked to be moved. At lunch I returned to see what had been decided and was told that it was difficult because the hotel was full but was offered the next room - 441. I let it be known that was dispirited by the prospect of the same hellish corridor – wonder why these rooms were still available as the hotel was “full”. However, once again I was helped to move. Room 441 was still grimly hot but did, however, have the benefit of a decent sized bathroom with another secured sash window which it had been ventilated in advance of my arrival.
The food at the hotel was average, fresh fruit had to be requested at breakfast and there was a distinct lack of anything green on the menus which were served. The Annual Dinner Menu was a hearty starter of Cumberland sausage and mash with tomato sauce, a hefty, dry, over-cooked stuffed chicken breast with bacon and more tomato sauce followed by bread and butter pudding and custard. A request for a fresh fruit alternative was declined. This event was held on the longest day of summer – I wonder what choices would appear for a Winter Conference menu?
I could have forgiven the food but the accommodation that I was provided with at this hotel marred what would have been an excellent conference and a fond memory of the city of Carlisle.
- Also Known As:
- Crown And Mitre Hotel
- Crown Mitre Hotel
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