October 2011 - London and Barcelona

Rainday, not Sunday, Rainday. We like the thousands of other tourists in the city headed for the one tiny shopping centre that is opened on Rainday. Jonno wished he wore his boots, I just wished I had a pair of shoes other than my converse to wear. My socks were soggy for the entire day.

Anyhow I have never spent so much time wandering in and out of cheap women’s clothing stores in my life. Usually I wouldn’t even bother going inside but seriously what were we going to do otherwise. We stopped for lunch at McDonalds and shortly after tried to stop at Starbucks just to sit down and chill, but that was the same idea that half the other people in the shopping centre had. I think it was about 2 hours after entering (or a little longer) that we left, I had spent no money bar my lunch and Jonno only did slightly better than I did.

From there we decided to head over to the funky shopping area to see if anything was opened… restaurants too because we were looking for a place for dinner. Sadly the two shops that I wanted opened were closed but we found a nice jewellery store near the small cathedral in the centre of the shopping area and a Vegetarian Rustic Cafe that had no chocolate to make a hot chocolate (even though it was on the menu). Jonno had a crepe filled with caramel, I got to have a bit too and I don’t quite know how he ate it all but he did. I stuck with a coke.

At 4pm I was left with a difficult decision. Jonno wanted to go and see TinTin again, which I would have been fine with, if it were in English, or had English Subtitles… neither. We went our separate ways for a couple of hours. I walked back to the Hotel in the most sun I had seen since arriving. I couldn’t believe it and I thought, I’m getting back to my room grabbing my camera and hitting the streets…

Then it rained again. Seriously, I was within 100 metres of the Hotel when the rain clouds opened again. They stopped and started for the next couple of hours which meant I was happy just to take photos in the room. Whilst there I had a phone call from reception saying they were trying to pre-auth 100 euro more (god only knows why) and that my card was declined… Of course it was declined, it was fraud(ed) and cancelled two days ago. Sigh. I said I would be downstairs to give them another card within the hour.

I don’t know if they expected me to run or something but not ten minutes later I had a bellman try and open my door (no knocking). I heard him play with the key and when I opened the door he apologised and left. It weirded me out a bit, especially the fact that he didn’t knock. Anyhow, I sorted that out on the way back out to meet Jonno and find a bite to eat. That is a LONG walk from the Hotel to the city, two return trips in one day made you really feel it.

Not much was opened, we both wanted tapas and although I didn’t care where Jonno was looking for a more rustic restaurant, unfortunately most of them were closed, or they were more bars than restaurants. We were down to three, two were more $$$ than we would have liked so we ended up at a very clean looking tapas restaurant. Fried Camembert, Potato and Meatballs in Spicy Sauce, Chorizo and more. Oh and a jug of Sangria, I almost forgot about the jug of Sangria. There was a table of young asians just down from us that also ordered a jug, and I could swear ours looked stronger than theirs =)

Our final walk back to the Hotel was not in the rain, but I had learnt my lesson to go to the bathroom before walking back to the Hotel. We waited 10mins at the Concierge desk to find out what time we needed to leave the Hotel in the morning (and there was only one person in front of us), then we went to our room only to find they had locked us out. I F***ing came down and gave you my credit card, I spoke to you on the phone, WHY WAS IT NECESSARY TO LOCK ME OUT!?!

“It should have been fixed when I came down earlier.” It wasn’t much, it certainly wasn’t what I really wanted to say but remember the bathroom? What I should have said when they asked to see my ID to recut the key. “It’s in the room that you locked me out of genius.”

And that is my lasting impression of the Hotel. All for 100 euro pre-auth that we didn’t even spend. It’s ridiculous and I shouldn’t say it but I will. This would have NEVER happened at a Four Seasons.

Jonno summed up the W Hotel very well on our last night and I think I’ll leave you with this…

“Everything about the W Hotel says WOW, F*** ME! And you say… argggggh, no.”