THIS IS NOT CHILD FRIENDLY READING…
As I’ve mentioned before on these pages, I have been lucky enough to stay in some fantastic hotels. Unfortunately, the massively hyped Hotel Costes in Paris, does not fall into this category.
I’d first stumbled across Hotel Costes back in the summer of 2006 walking home from a club to our rather more modest hotel early one morning. As we tottered down Rue St Honore we saw an inviting and mysterious doorway, and decided to have a looksee into the ultraviolet-lit tunnel. What we found was the ground floor of Hotel Costes and we stayed and had a drink in their wonderful courtyard, surrounded by the leggie lovelies and sharp suited boys. Fun.
We went back for brunch a couple of days later, and the courtyard really was a super place to sit and chill, listening to the birds over a pot of tea and a croissant, recovering from trawling the shops.
So, when my beau and I more recently decided to pop to Paris for a few days on a whim, I asked if we could stay at Costes. Our concierge duly booked us into a room with a balcony for later that same day.
On arrival at the hotel early that evening we walked in to find reception unmanned, and the bell boy had to be sent off to find someone to attend to us. This person duly arrived some 5-10mins later – not what you expect when you are paying close to €1000 a night to stay somewhere.
I knew that my boyfriend’s hackles were already raised by this point, but we were processed and then escorted to our room.
I have never in my life seen such a poor excuse of a room in a luxury hotel.
It had no balcony to begin with, but rather more importantly, the window that it did have was so far up the wall that I couldn’t even see out of it. The room was shoebox sized and dingy to boot besides looking like it was furnished with faux antiques – overthemed to the max.
No class, and certainly no elegant decadence.
As you can imagine we turned round to the receptionist who had brought us up and asked him where our room with the balcony was. Whilst we checked with our concierge company that they had confirmed a room with a balcony (they had), our receptionist was checking out whether they had the right room.
So, dumped back in reception (not even the bar) with no offer of a glass of water, let alone an apology for the inconvenience caused thus far, we started to wait.
After being glared at for 15 minutes by some pointy-nosed prick who had all the savoir-faire of his ignorant Visigoth barbarian ancestors, we’d had enough.
He and whatever other staff came into our locale would get into whispered huddles and dart supercilious glances at us, and after a quarter of an hour, it was obvious that no attempt was being made to resolve our situation.
We called our concierge (who was mortified), and he immediately booked us into a suite at the Lancaster, which is one of the loveliest hotels and set of rooms in all of Paris.
That these squirts in their off-the-peg suits and cheap shoes decided to be so offensive to us wasn’t what really got up my nose. They are just idiots who will live very small lives.
What did bother me was that they wasted our time, and that the management of the hotel obviously condones and promotes this kind of behaviour.
Of course I will never again set foot in that nest of mediocrity and specious sophistication, which is a shame as I like their bar and their courtyard cafe – but you do have to stick to your guns.
And so, my well traveled friends – just don’t do it to yourselves. Never stay in a hotel like Costes where the staff think they are more important than their clients.
There is only one word for people like that, and it’s one I save for special occasions – c***s.