Fawlty Towers Central

It was Maureen who suggested it.  She said she’d found affordable (as in ‘cheap’) accommodation very close to the Conference and if I was quick I could snap up a bargain.  So not wanting to miss out, I phoned the Quest Apartments in King William Street and they told me I could have a one-bedroom apartment or a studio.  Given the studio was cheaper, I went for that option.

When I walked into the foyer I was overcome by a smell like when you’re in a hospital and you’re walking behind the dinner trolley as the food is being handed out, only thicker.  It alarmed me because these apartments don’t have a kitchen, there’s not even a mini-bar in my room.

Studio Apartment, Quest on King William Street

The Receptionist gave me the key to my room and after waiting ages for the lift, pressed the button for the first floor.  The lift started to move and it went up and it went down but the doors never opened on the first floor.  Eventually it stopped on the second floor and two chaps walked in and I said, ‘I think this lift is broken.  It won’t stop on my floor’.  One of them said, ‘Did you swipe your card over the sensor?’  And of course I hadn’t.  Because no one had told me to do so.

Some time later I arrived in my room that was small but adequate but what did alarm me was the high step from the living room into the bathroom and my problem is that I feared that if I had to get up in the middle of the night I just might forget there was a huge step into the bathroom and fall flat on my face and break my nose.  I asked Maureen if she had a step into her bathroom and she said, ‘No, my flooring from the living room to the bathroom is completely flush’.

Never mind.

The bathroom step

Later that night I arrived back from dinner and as I was heading into my room I was overwhelmed by the smell of curry.  I went into my room and then I heard yelling.  And the yelling between two men went on and on and on for about 40 minutes and by then I’d had enough.  I went out into the hallway to work out where the noise was coming from and it was from the room next to mine.  I knocked on the door and an Indian man came to the door with strong curry smells instantly wafting into the corridor.  I said, ‘I’m in the room next door.  Do you think you could stop yelling?  It’s late and you’re being really loud.’

‘Very sorry ma’am.  Very sorry’.

So with that sorted I went to bed but lay awake wondering how it was possible to make curries in such a small kitchen.

The ‘kitchen’. Not sure this is purpose built for curries.

I made it through the first night and had arranged to meet Maureen in the lobby at 9am to head out for breakfast before the start of the conference.  At 8.30am I thought I’d better get into the shower so I stripped off and went to turn on the taps.  Well the hot water tap was fused rock solid hard and I couldn’t budge it, not even a little bit.

Emerging from the bathroom completely starkers I then picked up the phone and tried to ring reception.  There’s a little button on the phone that you press and Reception is supposed to answer.  But the line was dead.  I then ran around, in the nude, trying to find the phone number of the Apartments so I could call Reception from my mobile.  I couldn’t find anything in the room with their number on it.  I then googled the Apartments from my computer.  Finding the number I phoned and when the Receptionist answered I said, ‘The phone in my room isn’t working.  I pressed the button but it didn’t work’.  She said, ‘Oh, you don’t press that button, you dial ‘9’.’  More information that was kept in the vault.

I then told her I couldn’t turn on the hot tap to have a shower.  She said she would send up the maintenance guy.  I quickly dressed as I didn’t want the handyman walking in thinking this was some kind of a scene out of a low-budget porn movie and he arrived quickly with me dressed but looking less than perfect.  He tried to turn the tap but said it was broken and that he’d go back down to Reception and get me a key to a different room.

I phoned Maureen to let her know I would now not be ready by 9am as I had a few issues going on and then started packing my things for the move.  The handy-man returned and handed me a key and said I could go and shower in a room at the end of the corridor.  I asked, ‘Am I being moved into that room?’  And he said, ‘No, just have a shower there and when you go out for the day we’ll fix the tap’.

I was beyond arguing and so gathered my shampoo and conditioner and hair brush and clothes and keys and i-phone and when the coast was clear I hurried along the corridor smelling curry all the way, to the room with a working shower.  I washed my hair while wondering how people could cook curry for breakfast, towel dried myself, threw on some clothes, then when the coast was clear, scuttled back to my faulty room.

And Maureen gave me not one ounce of sympathy.  She thought the whole thing hysterically funny.

If you’re looking for budget accommodation in Adelaide, do try the Quest Apartments but book Maureen’s room on the 8th Floor, not mine on the 1st floor next to the yelling Indian cooking curry.

Quest Apartments

82 King William Street, Adelaide SA

08 8217 5000

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  1. Sounds like a less than great first day. I’m not very fussy and would have stuck with the room as you did but most everyone I know would have asked to be transferred to another room immediately. Hope things improve at the conference.

  2. Oh no!! I can’t believe they didn’t move you to a different room. I have found Quest’s generally quite good, but also sometimes not good at all – it sounds like this one is good only if you get the right floor and right room and right neighbouring guests!

  3. Oh dear! What a terrible time you’ve had. I was wondering what you meant by your instagram message but I can see it definitely wasn’t quite the same type of hotel! 🙁

  4. I’m sorry. I’ve had too much to drink tonight, but I can’t stop laughing either. 😀 That step to the bathroom is an absolute corker, it made Pete roar with laughter. Are you staying there again tonight? xx

  5. LOL I would have given all to be there and see that. Sorry charlie but its a tiny bit funny. 😉 These things happen to us here in india often, you should have seen the places I have come across in my travels.

    You are right by the way, I still dont understand why my husband enjoys reduced hot curry for breakfast. ^.^

  6. OMG! I am laughing hysterically! I thought such odd things only happened to me.I know they are maddening at the time,but Charlie, you get over it so wonderfully and tell these things so well!
    Although I hate to see you more inconvenienced…bring it on! You made my day!

  7. We Indians are very resourceful! We can find ways of making curry anywhere 🙂 I am sorry about your horrid stay, but I did laugh the entire time I was reading your post.


  8. Oh dear. I had a similar situation in Montréal a few years ago. The company I worked for put me up in the crappiest hotel I had ever stayed in. The key did not work in the door. It didn’t have real furniture, but that built in stuff you might find in a camper. Like I would want to steal that crap? The bathroom was one of those molded plastic bathrooms where the shower it part of the floor and everything just fits into a small room. They were renovating and my room had a hole where the heater/A/C used to be. Outside. It was february and -20°C. I checked in after a full day around 11pm. I was tired. I called down and they said they would change the room. We checked FIVE rooms and they all had holes outside. I finally got into a cheap room and barely slept. I would have had reams of sympathy for you, Charlie.

  9. A funny story, Charlie, though I can imagine it was less than humorous at the time. At least you had fun with all the blogging folk!

  10. Sounds awful. When you are staying somewhere that isn’t your home, it’s especially important to feel comfortable and secure. Sounds like the opposite of your experience! I am sorry!

  11. Okay that is simply just not the holiday of the year! God loud neighbours, high steps, bad bathroom – honestly I don’t think you missed anything out!!!
    And one thing you should know is that any Indian person will be able to make curry anywhere, even while camping 😉
    Hope next time you have a better experience with quest!

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. Ha! I now understand your questions about my accommodation! I hope your experience improved last night and this morning.

  13. The bed looked comfortable.:-)

  14. What IS it with Curry? That’s happened to me a couple times, too. That stuff lingers, lol. I’m sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience 🙁

  15. Oh no!! You really don’t have the best luck! Oh we’ll, at least you will have fun at the bloggers conference, I don’t know how your family is surviving without you!

  16. Hell!

  17. Gasp! No mini-bar???

  18. I’ve bookmarked this post, Charlie. If I do go there and get booked onto the first floor, I may need their phone number and it was very thoughtful of you to conclude your post with it. 🙂

  19. Oh dear, a quest that brought more than you bargained for! I wonder if they know yet that they are being exposed on a blog? I’ve just read an article in the NZ Listener written by a journalist who stayed in a boarding house (undercover) for 3 weeks and then wrote about it. Nothing can be kept secret any more. Blogging is powerful. I hope the conference is fun anyway.

  20. I would have been so much meaner than you Charlie! You poor thing, so many little frustrations add up quickly, don’t they? I think you should have just moved into the room with the working shower and not budged 🙂

  21. Gosh, I haven’t thought of Fawlty Towers for years! Such a funny show. All the cast were great, but Manuel (the waiter) was my particular fav. And I like curry a lot, but breakfast is too much even for me! Funny story – thanks.

  22. Only you could have so many things go wrong with a hotel stay. I have to say that I would have been down at the front desk for another room. I hope things get better and that you enjoy your conference.

  23. I am with Karen, down at the front desk demanding another room. Hope the rest of your trip goes a lot better.

  24. Hahahahhahahaa!!!! That was hysterically funny, hehehehehee!

    If it’s Indian men, cooking curry for breakfast, then they are from South India and they can make killer South Indian food in any size kitchen, even without it. And trust me, it does taste out of the world. If you can live with some yelling, it’s worth giving that food a try, lol!

  25. Curry in any sized kitchen! Hope the conference is better than your accomodation.

  26. Hehe. In college I lived in the International dorm and curry or rice were on the one burners 24/7. You never get used to the smell. Next time, switch rooms with Maureen.

  27. You surely will have lots of memories of this hotel. At times like this a minibar would come in really handy.

  28. I’ve been quite fortunate enough never to have asked to switch rooms – I would feel bad about asking but at the same time you’re paying for a room so we should get something that’s up to standard if not better.

  29. Maureen’s right Charlie it’s hilarious! As I went to bed on Saturday night a little thought of ‘I hope Charlie makes it through without tripping into the bathroom’ flashed across my mind. It was even more entertaining hearing about the curry! Hope you made it home alright with no more incidents although I’m picturing you wedged in between two large people on the flight home? At least you didn’t get arrested for photographing security!

  30. Oh what an experience. I would have been so annoyed. Mental note not to stay here.

  31. Oh Im so sorry to say this, but I was laughing very hard at your story as I have had similar experiences including curry smells!!!! Hope you get the better room next time! 🙂 …..giggle snigger……

  32. Hey Charlie, great to meet you and share a wine (or two) with you down at McLaren Vale this weekend. Sorry to hear about the crappy room, pleased to hear there were no step-related incidents though!

  33. Oh no Charlie, what a pain!
    I am sure the conference will make up for it though.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  34. You said you wrote this! LOL Folks, all of this is true and I think she left some bad bits out. I know I should have been sympathetic but honestly, after reading Charlie’s blog, wouldn’t you laugh too?

    When I broke my sandal on the way to the conference she didn’t give me much sympathy either as I stepped, dragged, step dragged my way to get some new shoes.

  35. EEk, thanks for the heads up.

  36. No working shower. Noisy and disruptive guests. I’m out!

  37. Oh Gosh Charlie you didn’t end up telling me the story the other day 🙁 It’s horrible and definitely the Fawlty towers! Thank gosh you were only there for 2 nights and now you know next time not to stay on the 1st floor ~ So nice to see you again xox

  38. LOL! It’s amazing how creative people can be when they are hungry. What I’m amazed at is that instead of moving you, they just sent you to another room for a shower. Didn’t see that coming.

  39. Oh Charlie! You just can’t get away and relax, can you! I am sorry to be laughing along with Marueen, but what a strange list of odd occurrences! I think the two gentlemen could have offered you some of their curry as a form of apology! Ihope she shower got fixed. LOL!

  40. What a bad experience from Day 1! Sorry to hear about bad hotel experience, and we had similar experience before and demanded another room. Kids were both sleeping but we had to carry entire luggage and sleeping kids to another room. You and Maureen are so funny. I feel your pain from the post but still, but I think you are the best person to describe the scene and experience of this memorable hotel… 😉

  41. LOL. Last year we bought one of those secret wotif deals and we ended up in the CREEPIEST room I have ever been in in my life. I stayed awake the whole night waiting for a ghost to appear. At least you can laugh about it now 😛

  42. I think everyone has a crappy hotel room story.. but curry?! That’s a new one! You were brave to go knock on the door, but I guess you couldn’t call front desk now, could you? It sounds like you girls had so much fun!! xx

  43. Haha God bless Maureen!

    But no seriously, such rotten luck for you to be stuck in a hotel room with a non-functioning shower, a phone that didn’t work and the smell of curry invading your senses. Argh! 🙁

  44. While I’m sure it wasn’t all that funny being there it is all a bit of a hoot reading about it. I must remember to avoid them when looking for accommodation!

  45. I wait in front of these apartments every day for my bus to work. Funny to know what it is like in one certain room.


  1. […] arrived on the Friday afternoon and after checking into Fawlty Towers I went for a walk around Adelaide city then met for the first time, Claire from Claire K Creations […]

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