May 19, 2004

Giving Euphamism a Bad Name

When I spoke of a lack of hotel options yesterday, I had forgotten that for a certain period in the 80s and 90s when the Irish economy was slow, everyone and their mother had been encouraged to open a B&B to leech a few tourists. (One of my cousins has one, come to think of it.)

Gulliver.ie (AKA goireland.com) has not forgotten. I'm not quite sure what it says about a government-allied reservations clearing house when they name their website after one of the world's most hapless and na´ve travelers. Other than that it'll probably have --- and indeed proved to have --- many accommodations in my price range.

It's tough judging a place off of, at the most, two pictures, one exterior, one interior. It helps to have a vivid yet skeptical imagination: to see in an odd camera angle that camera's operator hunched cattycorner in a cramped room, to smell the faint, mossy, plasticine funk brought to mind by that particular mid-70s collision of orange and brown in a paisley coverlet, to sense the hard, abrasive, tautness of the aged polyester upholstery depicted in the photo of a worn and dim sitting room.

Fortunately, I say immodestly, I believe I have been blessed with such rare talent. (An impartial panel has yet to render their opinion):

*****

Donnybrook Hall, eh? "This tastefully restored Victorian house retains many features." You can't elide me, Donnybrook Hall. I saw 1900 House. I'll just bet you feature coal-fired heat and all the original plumbing fixtures, un-marred by anachronisms like hot water or a functioning shower. Still, you have a picture of the bedroom and it looks, remarkably, pleasant, and have taken the lead on style points --- Donnybrook was the site of the medieval version of Spring Break, a site of such historic raucousness that its name has become an eponym for an utter, rowdy, drunken, debacle, complete with fisticuffs. Which is obviously the kind of pedigree I look for when choosing lodgings.

****

I dunno, "The Barony." For such a nobly named house to list only a TV, a teapot and a hairdryer en suite as the amenities gives one pause. As does the fact that you don't offer up any pictures of the interior.

Snooker and a sandy beach nearby. Well, now. You don't say.

*****

That is a hell of a picture window, Autumn Leaf. Your begonias are stunning. Still, I would have preferred a peek at the bedrooms. No kids, but gay friendly. Hmmm. What do you get up to at week-ends? Don't know if that's enough to put you in my good books.

*****

The Dergvale Hotel "was once the home of Michael Cusack, co-founder of the GAA. Today it is still a famous meeting place for Gaelic fans coming to Croke Park." So, it's the spot of ancestral worship for hurling hooligans, eh? Seems a bit like saying your B&B is on the site of the Red Grange Homestead.

Still, your location is central and your rates quite reasonable.

*****

Well, I've made my reservation and am left with but one question: Why did no one tell me that "ensuite" in this context meant "private toilet" instead of "attached sitting room"? The ensuing shock upon learning of the existence of proper hotels with communal showers wipes away any benefit I may have had by being previously sheltered from this knowledge, let me assure you.

Posted by Diablevert at May 19, 2004 01:13 AM | TrackBack
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