With full certainty, I can assure all of you that the Park Central Hotel (870 7th Ave in Manhattan) sucks eagerly at the teats of New York’s cat-sized subway rats.
I will now regale you with a timeline of the events of last night, the first night of our honeymoon. No exaggeration is needed whatsoever to make this horrific and funny.
8:10pm – Bridgette and I arrive from the hotel from the airport, hungry and eager to check in and eat.
8:30 – After waiting in line, we are called up to the counter and are told that our reservations are not in the computer, regardless of the fact that we have already paid nearly a thousand dollars for them. The man helping us is Mike, a mustachioed with a friendly, sarcastic attitude and a Jersey accent. He is clearly aware that he is about to have the worst night of his life, as he tells us that the Park Central hotel is overbooked by 20 rooms tonight, and that number only gets bigger until Friday, when they are overbooked 90 rooms. He details for us his drinking exploits that will most certainly follow his shift as he tries to help us.
8:55 – Mike finally finds us a room, but tells us that isn’t ready for us yet. We’re told we can store our luggage at the hotel for free while we go out to eat.
9:15 – We stop at a nearby resturaunt (a block away from the Ed Sullivan Theater, where David Letterman does his show) and eat an unsatisfying, overpriced meal. Bridgette is particularly unimpressed by her veggie burrito.
10:00 – We arrive back at the hotel, where we must wait in line again behind a group of weary travellers being told that there basically no rooms left at the hotel.
10:15 – Mike greets us again and gives us our room key. Prophetically, he tells us that the room may not actually be ready yet, but asks us to go upstairs and check it out.
10:20 – Room 1931 is still messy and unkempt, as Mike feared, so we head back downstairs. Our bright, happy attitudes are now just beginning to dim.
10:25 – When I tell Mike that the room isn’t ready yet, he telephones up to a gentleman named Joshua who tells him that it will be cleaned in 5 minutes. There is a nice Indian business traveller and his wife at the counter with us who have just experienced the exact same thing.
10:35 – Bridgette and I have a seat on a lobby couch. We notice a young couple in their early 20′s, a tired European-looking family, and a few other groups with their luggage in the lobby who must be in similar situations.
10:50 – I go upstairs to check on the room, and nothing has changed – housekeeping is nowhere to be found.
11:05 – Ditto.
11:15 – People in the lobby are starting to get pissed. One woman is really arguing with management, demanding that her reservation be cancelled since she went ahead and booked a room at another hotel. Bafflingly, the manager refuses – it seems like he’d be happy to get another person wanting a room out of there. In addition, this is a good time to mention the manger – George. He was ineffectual and unhelping, possessing the demeanor of a man in his first day on the job.
11:20 – The lobby is filling with people looking for rooms and complaining. Bridgette and I have been here longer than most of them, but it isn’t in me to complain vociferously enough to get attention from the staff. Bridgette and I just assume that our room is just about ready.
11:25 – Bridgette goes upstairs to check on the room, and it still hasn’t been touched.
11:30 – A beleagured employee announces to everybody in the lobby to form a line if they want to talk to the manager. I hop up, and am 3rd in line (about 10 deep).
11:45 – The manager is expressionless as I explain that the first day of our honeymoon has gone down the tubes, and we just want to go to sleep but our room hasn’t been cleaned. He passively stares and asks me to sit down again in the lobby and it will get worked on.
12:00 midnight – Mike – on his way out the door to go drink – sees us and can’t believe that we’re still waiting for the room to be cleaned. He brings us up to the counter and tries to find another clean room for us but is unable to. He is also unable to contact Joshua, the housecleaning coordinator. He brings us over to the new manager, who has just started his shift. Mike explains the situation to him, and I talk to him now, explaining forcefully that Bridgette and have been waiting for 4 hours, and we need to go to sleep. He tells us that it will be handled right away.
12:15am – The lobby is slowly emptying out. The young couple are still waiting, and the children in the European family are sleeping on the couches. I approach their father to chit-chat, and he tells me in broken English that they are from Barcelona, it is 6am their time, and that he can’t believe his daughters are forced to sleep on lobby couches when he had a reservation for a suite. All around, the issue seems to be that rooms haven’t been cleaned, and now there are only 2 housekeeping staff for the 3rd shift.
12:25 – The manager approaches me and tells me that somebody has just begun to clean our room. This is the best I’ve felt all night.
12:35 – Bridgette and I go upstairs to see if the room is ready. We figure we’ll be happier waiting in the hall outside the room than in the lobby.
12:40 – The door to the room is open, and it is partially clean, but nobody is there. The bed seems to have been made, but the pillowcases are dirty. The bathroom doesn’t seem to have been cleaned yet. There is litter and shopping bags on the floor. Exhausted, and assuming that the lady has gone to grab supplies, we sit down in the hallway and wait.
12:55 – Nobody has come back yet, so I head back downstairs to try to find the manager. I am now delusionally tired and cranky. I am told by staff that the manager has gone upstairs, but they take down my complaint. The young couple is still waiting in the hallway – they apparently are here for a short stay (her boyfriend suprised her with a trip to NY that has now gotten crapped on). I am happy to see that the family from Barcelona seem to have gotten a room. There is a line about 7 or 8 deep of people trying in vain to check in.
1:00am – On my way back to the elevator, I run into the manager, and with near-tears in my eyes, I tell him that our room still isn’t cleaned (5 hours after we got to the hotel). This hits him like just another bit of bad news, but he immediately gets on his walkie-talkie to deal with it.
1:15 – Bridgette and I are lying on the hallway floor outside our room. Somebody arrives from the laundry room with supplies of clean bedding. Bridgette and I stop him and get some clean pillowcases. We enter the room, throw the towels and litter out into the hallway, and begin getting ready to sleep in dirty bed in our dirty room, and bring a crappy end to the first night of our honeymoon.
1:20 – A lady from housekeeping knocks in the door, and asks what has been going on. We explain the situation to her, and she nicely enters and cleans the bathroom.
1:40 – Bridgette and I finally lay down to go to sleep. We are cranky, exhausted, and ready to cry.
Again I say to all of you, the Park Central Hotel in New York sucks the collective asses of all the unbathed peoples of the Third World. Avoid it at all costs. My only solace has been in the fact that we brought our computer, and I can now warn all of you away from it this morning.