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Side note: this post is in retrospect from September 2019 and doesn’t reflect recent accounts.

I can’t ever remember regretting a travel decision more, at least not recently. No one ever expects nor wants the little gift under the bed that we found!

Of course there was that time my best friend Rebecca and I stayed overnight at the biggest dive on the Sunshine Coast and I won’t even talk about the Backpackers dormitory on the Gold Coast that had their own mould-growing lab in the shower. I think those stories belong in a “worst ever” story – what this space.

We had driven from East Kent to Wales for a long weekend with my youngest daughter Mackenzie and her cousin Mia. We took our time and didn’t plan too far in advance, we are very much a “wing-it” family and for the most part it all works out.

I’ll share with you now the only pictures worthy of looking at – Iron Bridge and Ogmore Castle…luckily the places to visit along the way were incredible.

Iron Bridge
Ogmore Castle

We stayed at The Queens in Horton the first night after a last minute booking, and foolishly believed that it would be no problem to book a room in the vicinity of Cardiff. We had underestimated the onslaught of holiday makers on long weekends here and whilst we usually tried for Premier Inn or Travelodge, rooms were in short supply. We managed to book for this second night a room with two doubles at Days Inn, Magor and online it looked basic but ample and clean.

It was late by the time we drove out of the Snowdonia National Park, and pitch black when we drove through Brecon Beacons National Park heading toward Cardiff on the south coast of Wales. It didn’t bother us that we would be arriving late in the dark, with minimal cars still about meaning no traffic, it was quite the pleasant drive.

THE REVIEW: On arrival, the chaotic and dishevelled energy that greeted us set the tone for our stay. There was no “welcome” or service, only “your rooms not ready” and “you will have to wait” – it was almost midnight and the bare apology lacked any real sincerity.

I’m entering the room we did get somewhat close to what we expected, at first glance of course. The room was a little musty but that’s not uncommon for the UK at different times of the year depending on the location. What struck us as alarming was how dirty the room and bathroom was, it was clear that it had not been cleaned after the last guests. The bathroom was visibly unclean, there were even fresh lipstick marks on the glasses. That however was not the worst of it.

My poor husband happened to be the one to fall victim to the “item” in question. As we began to enter the room and get the girls ready for bed, my husband set up our phones and chargers beside the bed. Walking alongside the bed his foot catches something, and on inspection finds his shoe snagged on a visibly dirty pair of women’s underwear! The look of horror on his face was a true “Kodak-Moment” we all immediately wished our car was big enough to sleep in.

After advising reception to attend immediately and to bring gloves, it conspires that for some reason they had just transferred guests to another room and didn’t bank on it not being cleaned. The communication between the two staff members on duty was unprofessional to say the least. There were no other rooms so we had little option that to stay put, so we were refunded our room fee and we prayed for sleep so we could be rested enough leave early the next day.

Our verdict: we would not stay at this particular location again.

Our suggestion: if you are travelling book your accommodation in advance, especially on bank holiday weekends.

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