Under Review

18 January 2012
Remember the old days when you had to rely on the opinions of people you knew, liked and trusted when making decisions about places to stay and eat? No more! Now thanks to internet reviews, there's the opinions of thousands of random strangers to ignore when making holiday decisions! At least, I can only assume online opinions are being ignored, otherwise why on Earth would people continue to stay here? I've walked past this place, and it looks like what you think it's going to look like. So who is staying there? I can only surmise either people who don't log on to review sites until after they've visited a place, or people who have read the reviews but think that for them, somehow, it will be different (there's a third, terrifying category - those who see this as some sort of hardcore, Ultimate Accommodation experience). Admittedly it's not all bad. At least it won't be your generic Holiday Inn experience where it doesn't matter if you're in Prague or Anchorage, you're getting the same dull sterile hotel room. As for "the manager threw a tape measure at us when we complained" - that's the sort of personalised service you just don't get in your big chain shitty hotels. Some may even see it as a sign of hope that the entire world has not yet succumbed to the sterilising effects of corporatisation. Me, well I can only goggle in horror that there are twenty hotels in Sydney with worse average reviews.

If entire nations had reviews, this guy needs to carefully read the review for Australia. He sounds fairly typical of his sort - a young(ish) British media type who has had enough with the pitiful state of his home country, what with the economy and the rioting and the weather, and has decided, without ever stepping foot here, that Australia is the answer - the sunny, peaceful, happy answer to his apathy in the UK. He seems like a nice enough young man, and we do have boundless plains to share - we'll be happy to have him here. But does he really know what he's getting himself in for? Does he realise our Prime Minister is more despised than cool, and that the price of property and nearly everything else is ridiculous, and that his dream of heading to the beach on the way home from work is a reality for only a tiny percentage - that if he lives in Sydney, it is more likely he will finish work and spend ninety minutes on a crowded, smelly, and non-air conditioned train heading home to a suburb he can afford to live in? Does he have any idea how cut off from culture he will feel compared to his life in London? Does he know that, forget the whingeing Pom, Australians are engaging in a national orgy of collective complaining, convinced life has never been so hard for the "average" of us?

Like with the the hotel patrons though, I'm sure if he did read all this, he wouldn't believe it, or think it applied to him. Well, come on down then, but don't say you weren't warned.


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