We found Hotel Walkabout from the internet, having given up walking around and asking at other hotels for a room for the night on a last-minute two-day trip to Bristol. Having stayed at the Premier Travel Inn the night before for €58.95 and been happy with what we got for our money, we expected, having parted with €59.95 at the Hotel Walkabout reception, to get an excellent room for the extra €1. No such luck, I'm afraid.
The room was small and cramped and the bedding was old and faded. I don't think the décor had ever seen a good day. No care had been taken at all with first impressions. It was like being in an NHS hospital.
There was no access on one side of the double bed, given that it was up against walls top and side, so small was the room. The television was on a bracket set so far up the wall that you'd have to lay on top of the wardrobe to be comfortable watching it. There was tea and coffee, which we were grateful for, but no biscuits or snacks - a small thing but it would have made a difference. The shower was set at a peculiar angle, with no option to change it. It looked like it had been broken off at the top somehow. It was perfect for soaking the floor when you turned it on from outside, as it was set so the jet went straight out the open door and onto you. The water was hot and cold, with neither option a definite however the dial was turned. There was no hairdryer, but they supplied, strangely enough, an iron and ironing board. However, with instructions not to use the iron close to the smoke alarm in the room, we were left with the option of standing the board on the bed and ironing there or not bothering, so small was the room.
The room was noisy and chilly. In fairness, we were warned about the noise. Apparently we had chosen to arrive on the busiest day of the week for their Walkabout Inn next door. (Tonight we had the pleasures of ‘Spankstudent Night' - very tasteful.)
The heating didn't seem at all effective, but the heated towel rail, operated from just inside the entrance to the room, at least did its job, for what it was worth. One of the two lights above the bed didn't work, which left precious little light in the room without the main light being on.
The staff were quite frustrating. They were either deaf or difficult, it was hard to say which. Perhaps ‘inexperienced' would be a more generous description.
On the positive side, a brochure was provided in the room, which was very useful. This is a little thing that a lot of more upmarket hotels tend to forget. Not everyone is a local; some, like us, had never been to the city before. Security was good but a bit oppressive, particularly for getting back into the hotel.
We went into the adjoining Walkabout Inn for dinner. My partner was very much taken with the promise of ‘authentic Aussie tucker'. We planned on something like kangaroo, springbok or perhaps lobster or something and the menu looked very promising. When we managed to get ourselves heard at the crowded and incredibly noisy bar and struggled to find a seat where we could at least hear ourselves speak (the place was littered with at least 20 widescreen televisions set on the walls and music was thumping out over the sports commentary), we ordered a kangaroo burger and a rump steak.
"Sorry, no kangaroo."
"Springbok then, please."
"Sorry, no springbok."
It was looking less and less ‘Aussie' by the minute. It was quicker to ask them what they did have. We settled on two rump steaks, one with jacket potato and one with chips. Ten minutes later the waiter came back to the table to say sorry, no rump steak and they've run out of jacket potatoes. Incredible!! This place billed itself as an authentic Aussie eating place. We ended up with two overpriced rib eye steaks and were disappointed to say the least. Hardly ‘authentic Aussie tucker'. What a complete and utter letdown of an evening.
In summary, unless you're under 25, a student and an insomniac with low standards expected of your choice of accommodation, then avoid it. For €59.95 we expected far, far more than we got. The negatives far outweighed any positives. And breakfast wasn't even included in the rate.
We won't be going back!