The Traveling Neopian: Neolodge Reviews: Stop #1
Hello, everyone! My name is Brent, and I just got this great new job working for the Neopian Times! I am going to be reviewing all the different Neolodge hotels and reporting back with my personal refined opinion of each resort. Here's what my job entails: First, I am going to check in to each hotel for an all-expense paid four week stay. (I can't wait until I get to Astrovilla!) After that, the real work begins. There are going to be five sections in each article. My first section will be called "About the Hotel", and I will give some general background information about it, such as where it is located, how much the cost of my four week stay is, how many stars it has, you get the idea. The second section is called "First Impressions" and in that section I am going to detail my first impression upon entering the hotel. The third section is going to be called "Second Impressions", and in that section I am going to detail my opinion of the hotel after having stayed in it for two weeks. The fourth section of my article will be called "Final Impressions" and it will be what I think of the hotel on my last day of vacation. Last but not least is my "What to Bring" section, in which I will give you a list of things that I would recommend bringing with you if you are planning a holiday at this hotel. Today is my first day on the job, so I am starting at the bottom of the list with Cockroach Towers. Wish me luck!
About the Hotel:
Okay. Brent here, reporting a little bit of background information about Cockroach Towers. It is the cheapest resort on the Neolodge Hotel list, costing only sixty-five neopoints for a single night's stay with all the extras, or one thousand, eight hundred and twenty neopoints for a four week stay. It's located in the poorest district in Moltara, in a run down one story warehouse somewhere behind the water tower. This one star resort doesn't look too bad from the outside. I'll admit, the former reviews of this place have been a bit shabby. Maybe they just can't rough it like I can.
The first thing that I noticed was the dust. Rock dust, obsidian dust, metal shavings, dirt, regular dust, you name it, they had it, and it was everywhere. There was a blanket it of it on the floor. Layers of it sat on the chairs and on the coffee table in the lobby. The receptionist had to wipe a sheet of it off the desk before they could check me in. After handing over a small sack of neopoints, a grumpy Skeith grabbed my suitcase and dragged it to my room. I half-heartedly gave him five neopoints for helping me. Once he left, I slid my key into the door and walked into my room.
Any room at an Economy Hotel (a hotel that has a one or two star rating) isn't very big. There's only room for a bed, a side table, and a chair. Sometimes there is a bathroom attached if you pay extra. This room was absolutely no exception.
My room was about half the size of your average cardboard neohome room. The walls were made of tin, and I could tell that they had once been painted a bright orange color with spinach green pinstripes. By now, most of the paint had been chipped off the walls. I couldn't tell what color the floor was. There were at least three inches of dust in the way. I trudged through the dust in order to reach my bed. At least, what I think was meant to be my bed. It was a large slab of some kind of grey stone. On one end were two straw filled pillows. On the other end was a thin dirty sheet that had been wadded up, probably by the previous user. Next to the bed was a sturdy by simple metal side table with a half melted candle resting on top. There was a window on the opposite wall with a chair propped under it. The chair was missing a leg and several chunks of stuffing. I didn't think I'd be using it much while I was here. After sifting through the dust that covered half of the hotel, there was nothing that I wanted to do more then take a bath. I cautiously opened the bathroom door, not sure of what to expect. It was much smaller then I expected, and I was expecting it to be small. There was less then a square foot of space on the floor on which I could stand. There was a tiny stone toilet, a grimy sink, and an even grimier bathtub. That was the last straw. I walked right out of my room and headed straight to reception and asked them to send maid service to my room right away. The receptionist gave a grouchy nod, and told me that someone would be there within five minutes.
Fifteen minutes later, a Grarrl wearing a tattered uniform walked in with a skeleton cart of cleaning supplies. She took a look around the room, and then looked at me. "What's wrong with it?" she asked, clearly upset that I had wasted her time. "Why, it's filthy!" I exclaimed, just as upset. "Just look at this place!" She took another look around, paying a bit more attention this time. "It looks fine to me," she replied, and this time, she took her cart of cleaning supplies and walked out the door. I figured that I wasn't going to be getting much help from the maids around here.
I heard my stomach rumbling. I realized that I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. I realized that I didn't know very much about Moltaran cuisine, and I figured that this wouldn't be such a bad time to try some. I took a stroll down to the restaurant and was dismayed to find that it had been closed by the Neopian Health Department. Just as well. Burgers are more reliable than foreign food. At least, any burgers that aren't made at Cockroach Towers. I soon discovered that their burgers were burnt to a crisp and smelled like burnt tofu. At least they were vegetarian.
After choking down what I could of my dinner, I trudged back through the dust to my hotel room, thinking that at the very least, I could try to take a bath and wash some of this dust off. But when I returned, I realized that I wasn't alone in my hotel room. Not one, not two, but three cockroaches the size of my hoof were sitting inside the bathtub. Admittedly, my hooves aren't very big, I'm just an Ixi, you know, but still! There was a fourth waiting for me in the sink. I'd like to say that I was brave about the situation. I wasn't. I screamed like a little girl. All four of them scattered across the floor and exited through a small hole in the corner of the room. I wanted to go home, and I had no idea why I ever even thought about taking this job. I didn't have the chance to take a bath, either. There was no soap in the hotel room.
For the first night, I thought it was hopeless, but things actually did get better from there. I went in to town and went on a shopping spree. I bought a broom, a dustpan, a mop, a bucket, a six pack of sponges, window cleaner, gallons of liquid soap, Magic Cockroach-Away Spray, and laundry soap. (What they had at the hotel was really cheap.) After that, I went to Molten Meals, where I managed to find some Molten Lasagne, Singed Dinner Rolls, Lava Butter, Fire Rice, and Sparkling Carrot Juice. I realize that it's a lot of food, but believe me, I was one hungry Ixi. The owner let me wash up in the back room before eating, and then I devoured my lunch. I had a lot of work ahead of me.
I spent the next week or so cleaning my hotel room. I swept all the dust out of my room and tossed it out the window to reveal a plain grey tile. It wasn't very exciting, but at least I didn't have to trudge through it. I mopped the floors until they sparkled. I washed the window, and I scrubbed the bathtub, sink, and toilet. I sprayed every inch of the room with the Magic Cockroach-Away Spray. After that, I went to the self-service laundry facilities and cleaned my clothes, the sheet, and the pillowcases with my laundry soap. They came out almost white. After that, I was finally able to relax in my hotel room. My nice, clean hotel room. It took a lot of work to get it that way, certainly more work than I ever expected to have to do on vacation, but it didn't look too bad. I took great pride in my hotel room and worked hard to keep it clean.
I also discovered that there was actually one decent entertainment facility in the hotel. The sauna. The swimming pool was dingy and stagnant at best. The Jacuzzi was filled with boiling lava, which might be okay for a magma pet, but not a blue Ixi like myself. The tennis courts had a cockroach nest nearby, and I didn't feel safe in the area. What they called a fitness center was a thin straw mat. But the sauna was magnificent! Moltarans use steam for a lot of different things. It's used to clean and sterilize by engineers everywhere. Believe you me, you have never experienced a sauna until you have experienced a proper Moltaran sauna. I spent hours every day in there, just relaxing in the hot steam.
I stopped eating at the Burger Bar, and I never ate at the restaurant, even after the Neopian Health Department reopened it. I went out to Molten Meals every day. I can't say that burning hot food was easy to eat every day, but it was easier to eat than anything served at the hotel. My holiday wasn't going so badly after all.
Cockroach Towers is not in the least a relaxing resort. It is the lowest, most grimy and disgusting place I have ever had the misfortune of setting foot. I realize that it's cheap, and a lot of owners send their neopets there because it costs so very little to feed them there, but to be honest, it makes pets miserable. However, if you have the money and are willing to put the work in, the hotel is not necessarily such a bad place to stay. It's true that Cockroach Towers is completely deserving of its lowly one star rating, and it isn't at all the sort of place that I would want to spend my holiday, but it's not true to say that the hotel has no good features. Like I said, the rooms are not all that bad. I actually got used to having a stone bed. It stayed cool during the night, keeping me cool even on the hottest of days. Once I put the work in and cleaned up my room a bit, it wasn't such a terrible place to spend my holiday. Who knows; I might even return someday.
What to Bring:
Okay everyone, I worked on this list my entire trip, and it's quite extensive, but here you go.
- Soap: Do I even need to explain why you need this?
- A broom and dustpan: To help keep all that pesky dust under control.
- A mop and bucket: To help keep those floors clean.
- Window cleaner: To keep those windows sparkling.
- Magic Cockroach-Away Spray: To keep your room completely cockroach free. It's not called Cockroach Towers for nothing.
- Laundry Soap: They do offer this at the hotel, but it's terribly cheap and doesn't help much.
- Neopoints: The hotel may not cost much, but the food at Molten Meals sure does. Unless, of course, you like burnt tofu burgers.
- Some reading material: It's true that they deliver the Neopian Times. But even a great newspaper like that doesn't last forever. There's a bookshop in Moltara: Take some of those neopoints and pay them a visit. There isn't a lot to do in hotel rooms.
- Your own towels: The hotel doesn't really provide very good ones.
- Shampoo and Conditioner: Not provided by the hotel.
- A fan. Moltara can get pretty hot, and the hotel doesn't have any air conditioning.
- A travel brochure or tourist map: There are some pretty cool sights around Moltara. Get out of the hotel and have a look around the city. You'll probably learn something.
If you can just remember to bring these things along with whatever else you planned to bring, and you aren't planning to get much rest on your holiday, you can have a not too terrible stay. I'm sorry to have troubled you with the description of this horrible hotel, but I do hope that it may have presented you with an accurate idea of what this place is like. This is Brent, setting down his quill for a little while. Have a great four weeks!
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