Friday, August 09, 2002

Motel rants and raves :
So far we have been staying in motels. I believe I mentioned that in NZ lexicon that means some sort of kitchen and often separate bedroom(s). So far so good. The usually very friendly hosts greet you with your little pint of milk (trim or regular?). We have deduced that these pints are for your morning tea. Then we are off to see what kind of accommodations we have stumbled upon this time. We have stayed at almost all 4 star places but that has varied wildly in amenities and ambiance. Te Anau’s Explorer Motor Lodge gets my vote for most spacious and well appointed. But back to my rants/raves… The first thing we do – after checking out what kind of lame heater apparatus they have this time and turning it on – is go around and close the windows! The Kiwis must have something about fresh bracing air. So far I think almost all places have either had windows open several inches or else have the windows on the second latch position of their latches – I am not explaining it well and it is a nifty feature except in winter weather i.m.o. Quite a few of the heaters have been the radiating type – ie you have to wait a couple hours before there is any appreciable heat difference in your room! However, electric blankets – or pads really as they are under you – have been standard and heated towel racks at about 50% of the places. All places but one have had a microwave in addition to a frig and stovetop. All have had cheese graters… Our Dunedin place didn’t even bother with shampoo – a first. A few have had spa baths. A couple places had showers that just had a curtain around them and a drain in the floor. Last night in Timaru our motel had the queen bed in the main downstairs room and then 3 twin beds upstairs – a first that there was no separate sitting area in a “2 bedroom” unit. It is also standard that one room have a queen (or double) and the other have twins – makes sense for a couple and their kids but not as great for us. Places have also varied widely in the amount of space available at a table for people to eat – everything to 2 persons to 6. No where has been particularly set up for easy internet connections but guess that isn’t too surprising. All in all I don’t think my expectations were met at a single place! Exceeded in some ways in a few places perhaps, but never what I expected from reading their descriptions in the motel book or from talking to people. Guess you need to ask A LOT of questions on the phone to really understand what will be provided. Of course the costs have varied widely too as you might expect – but I think some places have been double (and more) the cost of others. Oh yeah – I also noticed that on the (wet) west coast that every bathroom light was tied in with a fan (ie turn light on and fan goes on). On the (dry) east coast there are no fans at all in the bathroom.

No comments: