December 2010 – Mantra Southbank, Melbourne

The Tall Man was down in Melbourne for work, so a short overnight stay was in order to sample the delights of business hotel travel. While Mantra Southbank could be just another typical inner city, business style hotel, the apartment rooms are quite cosy and the decor not as dull as you would expect. An understated modern feel, the apartment does have a ‘home away from home’ feel to it – well, if you are a man I guess.  It is not too flash or modern, but with cosy carpet throughout and a great king sized beds and crisp white sheets, it is exactly what you need after a long day in the office.

However, as it was a company paid for hotel room, my focus was not on how great the room was. No, this post is more a friendly reminder of the lies that hotels tell you as the consumer. You know what I am talking about.

The “save water for the environment” or the “please keep your showers short and do your bit for the world” and the “using your towels again will cut our energy use”. And of course, not wasting the shampoo and conditioner will cure cancer. Come on, hotels of the world, be upfront with your customers. Why don’t you just be straight with us and just say “it costs a lot to provide water and electricity to 1001 rooms, so please try not to waste it”. Or, “we are looking to downsize our workforce so doing less loads of washing will result in hiring fewer people and saving on our laundry bill”.

For the record, my shower that morning would have been over in the 4 minutes that the EGG TIMER in the shower had recommended. But i don’t listen to no egg timers thank you very much. I was in there for at least 6 minutes. Take that.

note – I apologise to the Mantra for this post trailing off into the ranting and raving of my battle against all hotels. Your hotel was lovely thank you.

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Tiger airways vs Qantas – Melbourne Dec 2010

Not strictly a hotel post, but my favourite trips do involve some type of plane travel, and often frame my mood for a holiday. Which is why i thought this post was important, as it is a timely reminder that i need to stop being driven by my wallet. After the last Tiger flight i said “never again”.  Cramped planes, shabby staff and a terminal in Melbourne Tullamarine that looks like a chicken shed. Oh, so depressing.

The difference with a low cost airline is that they really do not care about you. At all. My flight was delayed plus had a change of departure gate, and when i finally found the right counter i questioned one of the staff about the new departure time. Clearly an announcement had just been made and i had missed it, as the air hostesses loathed to repeat the information. Or maybe they were just a pair of biatches.

Flight back to sydney? qantas flight – a frequent flyer freebie (yay!), a extra big plane (i assumed for the pre xmas rush) meant extra leg room (hooray!), a meal (such a luxury these days), on time departure (WHAT???) and extra friendly staff. I don’t care what my wallet says, it is just a more pleasant way to travel from A to B and i should really choose Qantas more often.

With airlines, you really do get exactly what you pay for.