on arrival the door was opened by a guy in his twenties who looked pretty dishelved..he told me one of the girls would deal me and left me standing in the hall. i stayed there...or more to the point i was left there for approx 5minutes!!..i was left standing and feeling quite uncomfortable, it quickly became apparent that this was less of a professional guesthouse and more a family residence...and i felt like i was intruding on their evening.
anna barden, the owner who was meant to be welcoming etc from other posts barely poked her head around the corner of a doorway at the end of the corridor, asked me my name, disappeared, i could hear arguing and she reappeared, while handing me the key said "your in room x up the stairs"...and walked away as she said it. that was it..my welcome in an irish guesthouse. as an irish citizen who is more than aware of the problems facing the irish tourist industry i had little sympathy for their woes if this is the welcome people received.
i went up to the room and even though i wasn't expecting much my initial reaction was to stand there shocked!!! the decor is like something out of the late 70's, early 80's. the bed was ROCK HARD..the floor had more of a bounce!! the bed was next to a huge georgian window and the en-suite was tiny but manageable.
i would like to point out that the room was spotlessly clean and anna cannot be faulted on this, however that is where the positive ends. despite a radiator under the large window i started to feel cold within minutes of being in the room. within a half hour i was frozen...all the heat was going out the thin panes of glass in the windows, the walls to the room had no insulation and it was FREEZING!!!! i got under the covers of the bed to heat up, there was two thin quilts- still frozen. the heat from the radiator at this point was blasting but made no difference.
i was shaking with the cold and decided to get dressed and get into bed- at this point i was wearing underwear and a t-shirt. i put on a fleece top, sweat pants and got back into bed...still cold!!! put on two pairs of socks...still cold...put on my scarf and an extra blanket that was provided on the bed..barely warm. so to get warm i had to wear a scarf and fleece, sweatpants and two pairs of socks!!..i was miserable and i'm quite a resilient person, it's dank, cold and depressing.
to add insult to injury i'm a non-smoker and while the room itself didn't smell of smoke the public areas were permeated by smoke from the bardens down the stairs which permeated the entire house to the point it was clearly noticeable in the room, it would have been more of an issue for me if i wasn't sleeping in a freezer box. i would have been better off sleeping outside, there was no difference!!!!
there was NO HOT WATER at 9.15pm and the HEATING WAS TURNED OFF..it must be on a timer, the bardens were actually quite loud and could be heard in my room from downstairs. and to be perfectly honest, it didn't feel safe- more than once during my time in the room i was at the inside of the door listening outside to hear what was going on,at twelve am there was a loud radio or tv being played downstairs which was a current affairs programme not music and it was still a nusiance!!!!i woke the following morning angry- i was booked in for an extended stay, i got up and decided i couldnt put up with this and went downstairs expecting to find someone to take up my issue with.
this was 8am, there was no one up, no breakfast being made- i paid for a room only but expected some welcoming activity if nothing else. there is no reception area in abbeyleigh, making it very uncomfortable attempting to get anybody's attention. the house was dead when i awoke so i just left with my suff.
i rang throughout the morning to take up my issue with someone-there was no response until ten am, when i got through to anna and explained i wouldn't be staying for my full stay she was rude, slightly aggressive and irritated. she told me i had plenty of opportunity to say it to her the night before as she was there until 12pm..we agreed on how to settle it and after the call it dawned on me.
the only assumption to make on the basis of her comment is that she wasn't there at 8am that morning is because she must be living somewhere else nearby and divides her time..in effect i was left sleeping in a house with strangers or possibly on my own as i'm uncertain if there were even other guests...unacceptable!!anything could have happened!!i booked into the burlington- a palace in comparison!
abbeyleigh is cheap...but you get what you pay for. if you have any standards and respect for yourself as a human being, do not stay here...my dog is better looked after than the welcome and acommodation i received at abbeyleigh. it's a kip, not fit for its purpose and should be closed down.
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