As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I love a bit of Springsteen. To me he’s one of those musicians that are few and far between. He’s up there with the best names. Only Jay Z has ever had more Us number 1 albums. He beats Elvis, Queen, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Madonna…
He was a ‘must see’ for me, so when my Parent’s offered to treat me to tickets, I was very excited! We were only going for one night but sometimes that’s all you need to feel like a ‘break’. We booked ourselves in to The Park Inn by Radisson, nice and central and only a tiny walk to the stadium and the main shops/restaurants. Perfect… or so we thought.
After a long drive, we arrived in the hotel lobby (left photo below) and were pretty impressed by the modern bar, seating area and general design. We headed upstairs to check out our 4th floor room and encountered our first issue. 1 lift out of order, and the other bouncing between ground floor and the basement. Wonderful start…
As we opened the door to the fourth floor we were greeted by a faint smell of sewage. Unlocking our room’s door, the smell hit you in the face like nothing else. There was something seriously wrong. Oh, and we had a twin room, not the double we’d booked.
In a rush to get out and find food before the gig, we quickly changed and raised the issue with reception on the way out. We were told they’d look in to it and hopefully get something sorted before we got back.
We grabbed tea in Carluccio’s and made our way to the Millenium Stadium to see The Boss. Despite a long wait and being up in the gods (check the ant like people out in photo 2 above), we were in for a treat.
3 and half hours of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. A real good mix of classics and new material. As usual he took requests from the audience and had people up to “Dancing in the Dark” but a real highlight for me was him inviting a young boy up, who’d queued for hours with his Dad to get to the front, to sing with him. A real “aww…” moment.
They’d played past the curfew and the stage crew arrived to start dismantling. ”Ignore the boys, just follow me…” they strung a few more songs on the end whilst the crew patiently waited (left photo above).
They finished the encores and the lights came up. People started to make their way out and just as we neared the doors, he broke in to an acoustic set. The men in yellow jackets began to take the stage down around him as we were spoilt with a solo version of Thunder Road (right photo above). This man loves performing and you can see it in every second that he’s on that stage. We were all in utter awe of his energy. It felt like he wanted to savour every last moment of this tour – it might be his last.
We decided to head back for a few drinks before heading to bed. It was still hot so we sat out on the Hotel’s veranda and enjoyed the warm night.
Back in the hotel room, things were still not good. The sewage smell was stronger than ever and nothing had been done. I called down to reception and the shift manager came up to investigate. She offered us air freshener and a complimentary drink, I really didn’t think that was enough but the hotel was full, we couldn’t be moved.
After a night in the sewage stench, we were glad to check out. Our toothbrushes had absorbed the smell, it was foul. The shift manager acknowledged the issue and said had we have booked with them rather than with lastminute.com, he’d have given us a full discount. How does that work? Surely the hotel still get their cut and our statutory rights as paying customers still stand?
We headed in to Cardiff to spend far too much on sushi and treat ourselves in the shops to makeup for the horrendous stay.
What a whirlwind 24 hours. It might have been a short break but it was a much needed one. The hotel situation continues… I got in touch with their customer services who again, only offered a 50% discount on a future booking. Do you think that’s good enough? I certainly wouldn’t want to go back to that hotel, or any other in the chain after the service we’ve received.
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