Written on: 04/08/2012
We have been staying in formule1s for several years. They used to be cheap clean and cheerful, but that is changing. As they have deteriorated we have tended to stay in the Etaps, but this journey we couldn't get in to the hotels we wanted so as it was Ausust and we have had exerience of there being "no room at the inn" before: we booked the formule one at Basel (which was always spotless) and the formule 1 at Calais (which was getting a bit run down last time we were there).
. How things change in a couple of years!!! The hotel in Basel: we had a twin room - clean, vinyl flooring - spotless- but the toilets - good grief cracked and filthy. However the staff were friendly and we sat outside with our take- away chatting to everyone from all over the world. I used the toilet next to the reception which was the cleanest, and altogether not bad value for money. (Management please take note: new toilet seats needed, and get the staff to clean underneath them!!!!!
But why have I resorted to writing a rewiew, the first time ever.... Calais:- We arrived early and booked in using our card (quite tricky but ok once you have done it before) This resulterd in us being allocated a smoking room - I unfortunately presumed we would be allocated a non-smoking room?????? By the time we returned after tea two bus loads had arrived and when I requested a change of room I had already realised they were almost full to capacity. I was offered a three bed room but decided that I would just put up with it. However the manager was realy nice and offered to spray the room to help remove the smell of smoke. I said I would do it as he was realy busy with his bus loads. However the spray stuff was potent and my husband sprayed the room (I have asthma) and we took our bottle of wine downstairs while the room cleared. THEN THE PROBLEMS STARTED;
First we were asked to vacate the tables in the conservatory area as they were only to be used during breakfast time, unhappy at this point we went outside to sit at the only picnic table available, getting happier on the internet and with a glass of wine we commented at how the Etap at CALAIS had improved as far as cleanliness was concerned and noted the NEW TOILET SEATS.........( BASEL -TAKE NOTE) - THEN WE WERE ASKED TO VACATE THE PICNIC TABLE at 2045hrs. Not happy teadybears now we went to our room - lo and behold the spray stuff had worked miracles- the room smelt fine. WHY COULD THEY NOT HAVE DONE THAT WHEN THEY CLEANED THE ROOM!!!!!!!
I realy think this manager is trying to improve Calais but is it realy so terrible to sit outside on a nice evening with a glass of wine, or sit in the dinning area with a cup of coffee?. It made the place SO UNFRIENDLY
And there you go: that is it : I think, having been brave enough to use the internet for some hotels in Italy (with great success) we will probably try and book different budget ones when we travel.