Monday, November 19, 2007

How Not To Save Money

We went to Manchesterford this weekend, mainly because I was performing at The Gay Wedding Show. Unfortunately, I made a major error in booking accommodation. I looked for gay-friendly hotels and B&Bs. I ignored some of the results - the places actually on Canal Street (too noisy!) and the big chains, and went instead for a B&B that claimed to be a couple of miles away from the Gay Village, but not very far.

It turned out to be further away than the proprietors made out. Much further. And it was horrible! The room looked like it had last been decorated in the 70s, and I suspect that was when the mattress was last replaced. What furniture there was seemed to have been reclaimed from skips, or possibly auctioned off when an old folks home was closed down. And for the distance from town, and the low quality, it wasn't that cheap either. The couple whose place it is were very friendly, although I don't think they have a great grasp of English. For example, their web site explains how the prices are charged on a per-room basis rather than per-person. It then goes on to explain that a double room is £x per night, but if two people are staying in it, it's £x each. Breakfast is extra.

It was so bad that, after popping back into town and spending some time enjoying Manchester, we checked ourselves in to a lovely, fancy and very expensive hotel, went back to the B&B, picked up our stuff, dropped off the keys, and fled. I had paid in advance, so we weren't doing them out of any money or anything.

Given the cost of taxi fares between the city centre and the B&B, and how much we would have shelled out if we had stayed there (which would have required another two cab rides), the total cost would have been not very far off what we paid for the posh place we ended up in. As it happened, we ended up spending most of what it would have cost us, plus the fancy place on top of that. But at least we got to stay somewhere pleasant, and didn't feel like we were spending the night in a borstal.

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