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We get a golf cart ride to our room, with our bags. It is still raining. The room is fine, not great, but fine. They had said they could push the two double beds together, but it is obvious that is not possible because the controls for the lights and fan are between the beds. They never come to do it anyway.
There is a sofa in the room, but it interferes with the flow walking to the bathroom. We have to kind of maneuver around it. The bathroom only has one sink and that makes it crowded with all our stuff on the vanity, and makes getting ready take longer because we have to take turns. I know I probably sound like a diva, but I travel enough to know what makes a room comfortable and easy to be in. Most high end hotels have two sinks. I would find out that we were in the low end of the rooms here at the Valentin. That’s one of the things about the Grand that I like. All of the rooms are the same. The only rooms there that are larger are the corner suites, the presidential suites and the villas. All the junior suites are exactly the same. The difference is the view.
There was a tiny birthday cake, which confused me, because it wasn’t either of our birthdays. The cake wasn’t good, so we only took a bite.
And the napkin they ha vewith it is dirty or stained.
My level of being underwhelmed by the Valentin is growing by the minute.
We unpack, dress for dinner and then go meet Chris and Helen and we all walk to one of the bars. It is very nice. Quiet and classy. We sit down and wait for Mary and Ricky. A lady comes over and tells me that she really enjoys my blog. I ask her if she’s been to the Grand and she says no. I never expected a rock star moment here! Very cool.
Mary and Ricky arrive and we go to the Italian restaurant for dinner. You can’t make reservations (supposedly, more on that later) at the restaurants, so it’s just walk in, space available, first come first served. We are seated quickly. The restaurant is full, and very busy and service is slow. This makes me think about the oft repeated complaint at the Grand. People say they couldn’t get reservations but they walked by and the restaurant is half full. It’s not about the number of tables, it’s about the number of staff.
The food is better than average. The wine is a Merlot, and gets better with each glass. I’m not admitting to how many glasses there were.
Zung has soup, I think it was minestrone.
My first course is pasta, which was fairly good. A little bland though.
My entree was fish. The fish was good (fish is always overcooked at the Grand). The sauce was kind of bland.
Zung’s was satisfied with his entree.
It is Chris’s birthday, and they bring a cake.
I ordered this dessert, which was quite good, but had a lot of cream in it, so I only ate a few bites.
After dinner we go to the bar again for a bit, and then back to the room. The beds are firm. The beds at the Grand are like clouds.
If you are wondering, NO, I am not going to stop comparing every little thing to the Grand.
We read for awhile. The people in the room next door turn their TV on REALLY LOUD. When it becomes apparent that they are not going to turn it down (who does that?) I call the front desk and complain and shortly after that, they do turn it down and we can’t hear it anymore.
I know hotels could be much, much worse. However, coming from the Grand, this is a step down. Which I knew it would be. I just didn’t expect to have so many aggravations. I am determine to focus on time with friends, and not where it is happening.
I’m a hotel snob, and I admit that fact freely.
Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come.