After a long day of touring, we dropped into the hotel without reservations on a Friday night. Quoted price was 70 Euro per person, B&B, which seems rather pricey for Mullingar, Ireland, in October, but hotel was clean, modern and conveniently located. Room was clean, decently sized and well equipped. Hotel included a Spa/Pool/Gym, had an in-house bar/café and a restaurant.
We opted to eat at a Chinese Restaurant at the far end of the parking lot and the food and service there, was excellent.
Returning to the hotel, the very large lobby was PACKED with people. The Hotel was hosting some sort of Graduation Celebration for about 50 or 60 people, but that hardly made a dent in their occupancy. THAT event would be fine, a non-event, as it were, had they done so in any one of a number of attractive and colorful areas scattered around the Ground Floor. Instead, for some inexplicable reason -- the Group INSISTED on milling about the large lobby area -- which required other guests to carefully maneuver through the throngs of fancily-dressed revelers, each and every time they wished to enter or exit the hotel, converse with reception, visit the bar -- or use the elevators. This was NOT a temporary or fleeting thing, either. It continued, at least, until 10:00 PM, that I KNOW of -- as that was the last time that I Braved The Gauntlet, in order to step outdoors for a smoke.
The Celebration continued until around 5 AM -- at least that was the approximate time that MOST of our fellow guests on the fourth floor loudly announced their 'Good Nights' to all and stumbled and bumbled their giggling selves into their rooms.
It was about 6:30 AM when one of the partiers on the third floor decided that it would be Great Craic to stuff a towel into a trash can, place it in the middle of the hallway and set it afire! When the BLARING fire alarm sounded, my wife called the front desk and was advised that, "It's fine, now. Everything is just Grand. The problem has been sorted. No, I shouldn't think that you need to evacuate your rooms AT THIS TIME. "
Probably NOT the best comment to mention to my half-awake wife.
Even though the problem HAD been Sorted, the staff was either unable or incapable of silencing the alarm. About 6:45, in various stages of dress and disarray, MANY of the guests managed to make their way to the Lobby-- BY STAIRS -- since the elevators were rendered inoperable by the triggered Alarm. Assured that there was NO danger, some of the guests opined that they might as well have breakfast, but were advised that it was too early.
About 7 AM, when they finally managed to fully clear the alarm. They also GRACIOUSLY allowed that they would NOW begin serving, so about half of us decided to avail ourselves.
We departed the hotel a little before 9 AM, amid weak apologies from a somewhat flustered and over-worked desk clerk.
Can't believe that I would ever voluntarily return. It's a pity, too. Hotel was clean and modern. Staff was courteous, but rather inept. Management either didn't HAVE a plan, or chose not to share it with their staff. Party should have been moved OUT of the Lobby and Fire alarm issue shouldn't have taken an hour to resolve.
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