Horton Hears a “Booooo!”

So last weekend, a little Padres baseball staycation weekend, hosting SF Giants.   I decided on Horton Grand Hotel, not because it’s on the same corner as Fluxx, rather its general Gaslamp proximity.  That and the Victorian Era hotel seemed to have an old-timey, baseball-y feel.   For $300/night, I wasn’t imagining I’d be pampered, but modest conveniences were expected.   Plan was…arrive Friday, check out Sunday morning, attend Friday and Saturday games.   I roll up Fri evening to the valet area expecting a reasonable hotel-guest parking rate, perhaps free.  Nope.

It’s $25/night,” valet tells me.  “Sunday checkout?  — $50,” he says.  “Wow.  It’d’ve been cheaper to park at home, and cab to/from this place,” I tell him, half-hoping he’d be sensible, maybe negotiate to, saayyy… $30.  Nope.  Since parking on the street is free between 6p-8a, I parked there instead.   Saturday morning I paid $8 for a 12hr spot one block away.

Before heading to the game, I moved my car back onto the street and popped a few coins in the meter to get it to 6p.   Sooo, instead of $50, I paid $9.  Boom, that’s five [5] extra overpriced beers at Petco.  Checking in, I asked about Wifi, since a $300 nightly rate must include Wifi, right?  Wrong.  $10/day.  Dumb.  If you’re not sensing my escalating frustration, let me be clear, a single eyelid is twitching while the check-in clerk explains $0.75 local-call charges.  The A/C, while quite loud, did keep the room cool. The really good news is that it wasn’t coin-operated as I’d expected.  Friggin nickel ‘n dimers.  The room itself was expansive.  A big, open floor space without the clutter of such things as appropriately-sized furniture. Here’s Room 442… at its finest.

Wall décor was similarly themed… in that there wasn’t much.  Although the wall behind the couch was splattered with some sort of cola. Neat.

The room did have a microwave, too bad I forgot to pack my Orville Reddenbachers, so that amenity went unused.  And despite not expecting to spend time TV-lounging, it was laughable (with plummeting panel tv costs) that the Horton Grand folks decided to stick with a mid-1990s 25” Zenith tube model.

One thing I’m sure of… Horton did not use their TV savings to upgrade their decorative silk plants, as the artificial-est looking artificial plant was set atop the dresser. I had to double-check the brochure to verify I wasn’t in the Howard Johnson Grand.

There was a balcony, barely.  It was standing room only; at 2’ deep, it was useless for enjoying one’s morning paper/coffee.

The uncapped sprinkler directly above the bed was not just unsightly, I fully expected to see a large spider (or scorpion or mouse) crawl out, take a look around, then cruise down to enjoy the room with me.

Also in the “unsightly” category was the blown-out bedside lamp shade, the fireplace pilot light which burned above the faux wood, and the dirt/mold crusted bathroom ceiling.

Just outside my door… someone had pressed a hot iron to the wallpaper. Classy.

And, as a bit of a grammar enthusiast, I love finding these gems, in elevator promoting not just the hotel restaurant but, apparently, quotation mark usage.

MMmm,  Room Service… that sounds good, I’ll have that.  Saving a few bucks by choosing some ESL sign-makers?  Investing those savings into… word-of-mouth campaign they’re receiving right here, I’d say.  Do yourself a favor… if you’re staying downtown SD, there’re plenty of other fine choices.  If you must choose here, don’t forget the microwave popcorn.





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