As I’m sure many of you might be able to relate, I’ve been wistfully and pointlessly exploring the interwebs for places that I really would like to visit. But given the current state of an unprecedented global pandemic (and a generally depressing checking account balance) I don’t anticipate I will be traveling to them anytime soon.
Still, it doesn’t stop me from compulsively investigating various review sites. I’ll admit, my wife and I, to a fault, are a couple of suckers for review websites like Yelp and Trip Advisor. This scene from Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series Master of None was all too real for me:
Note, I know Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct in 2018, which I’m in no way condoning. However, the show, is well written, honest, extraordinarily raw, real, and I really enjoyed it.
I also am aware that Anthony Bourdain famously commented of Yelpers:
“There’s really no worse, or lower human being than an elite Yelper. They’re universally loathed by chefs everywhere. They are the very picture of entitled, negative energy.”
So I do my best to take such reviews with a grain of salt (#DADPUNFORTHEWIN). But what can I say, my wife and I like to do a little recon before we brave the world of modern consumerism.
I was scrolling through some reviews and found some that sound strangely familiar:
“Let me start out by saying that I consider myself something of a travel connoisseur. I’ve been to at least five hotels in my life. I’ve stayed at fine establishments like the Holiday Inn Fayetteville, affectionately known by some as ‘The Hotel My Parents Swore They Would Get Murdered In.’
I’ve stayed at hotels with pools. The best pools.
I’ve brushed shoulders with the likes of Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Doc McStuffins. I’ve even hugged Daisy Duck when my brother was too scared to.
Needless to say, I know a thing or two about travel and luxury.
And all, I can say is, the accommodations at this Orlando-Poopy-Pile allegedly called ‘my house’ are the absolute WORST.
Let’s start with managers. They genuinely act like they own the place. ‘Don’t do this, and don’t eat that, and wash your hands, and don’t sit on your brother’s head.’ I mean, who do they think they are? What corporate moron thought they would actually be any good at running this place? Unbelievable. Every now and then, the guy manager seems to be nicer (or at least weaker) than the lady manager. He’ll give me what I want even when the lady manager says ‘no.’ So on those occasions, I’ll let him be my friend.
Let’s move to the food: atrocious. Despite my elevated tastes for accommodations, I’m pretty simple when it comes to food. If you give me some pasta, pizza, cookies, ice cream, cupcakes, chocolate, frosting out of the bowl, or cookie batter that is unsafe to lick the spoon because there is raw eggs in, and I’ll be golden … but no.
The restaurant here keeps trying to give me green stuff. And other vegetables. And chicken. Haven’t they ever heard that the customer is always right? And really, what is so hard to understand about the fact that I don’t want my macaroni and cheese to be hot, but I don’t want to wait for it to cool down, and then when I wait so long for it to cool down that it gets cold, that I want it to be warm again, but I don’t want it to be warmed up in the microwave, so make me something else, but I don’t want anything else I only want mac and cheese?
See? Clear as glass.
And the facilities? I was so displeased with the temperature, lighting, access to just one more drink of water, and presence of malevolent shadows that I took it upon myself to simply move into the manager’s suite. Every night. And they think that they can placate me by simply purchasing a brand new bed that is three times as big and complete with the exact sheets and comforters that I requested? I am not so easily silenced.
And seriously, would it hurt so much to just buy a pool? The one manager leaves every day blabbering some nonsense about making money and taking care of sick people. So why doesn’t he just take some of that money and buy a pool? Complete with water slide, splash bad, and various floaties. I put money in my piggy bank all the time. I bet there’s enough in there to buy a pool. Because right now recreation is limited to taking walks. I don’t want to take any more stupid walks.
I will not stay here for a single day more than 14 years. At which point I might still stay.”
Princess Dylan, Age 4, Elite Yelper
“Long time reader of reviews, but this is the first I’m writing!
They say, home is where the heart is. I say, home is where the milk is. And this place has it. So at least they’ve got that going for them.
Otherwise, it’s pretty lackluster.
The managers are okay I guess. Though I swear it’s like they’re speaking a different language. They keep telling me things, but I just don’t get it. Sometimes they repeat it slower, or louder, and sit there with this dumb expectant look on their faces, and their phones ready to capture…I don’t know what.
Maybe it’s a cultural thing.
On the flip side, I tell them in perfect and very loud English: ‘Bah. Ball. Bah. Dah. Eeek. Mah. Squeal!!’ And for some reason it is unclear that I want my diaper changed, a cookie, a hug, a book read, and to play with all the most dangerous items in the facility.
People just don’t know how to communicate anymore. They’re too busy staring at their phones. Speaking of phones, the phones here are pretty tasty too.
The food is okay. Most days I’m content to make a mess of it, throw it on the floor, and refuse to eat anything. But then there are times when I’m screaming in hunger and it’s like chefs just don’t get what I’m saying. Read the signs people!
Facilities are fine. The bed will suffice. I don’t like sleeping in it for more than a couple hours at a time anyway.
There’s a nice selection of books. I’m personally a fan of reading the same book over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
So all in all, would I stay here again? If I had to summarize, I’d say ‘Ball! Ball! Ball! Balllllllllll! Ball!'”
Captain Myles, Age 1, Novice Yelper
“This place is amazing!
I wake up! The best!
I pee outside! The best!
I drink water from toilets! Delicious!
I snatch food from the other guests little hands! So fun!
I sleep most of the day! Wonderful!
Wake up again! My favorite!
Poop in the yard! Refreshing!
Eat the same food I’ve been given for nine years! My favorite!
Back to bed! Never leaving!”
Sarah, Bordeaux Mastiff
I really wonder about this place. Anyone else heard of it? Sounds questionable. Especially the managers.