So… the Arundel Mansion Hotel is awesome, but there are few things you need to know before you book in.
1. YOU WILL NEED EARPLUGS. They are supplied, but it’s noisy down here.
2. You should probably bring an extension cord if you want to charge anything in your room overnight.
3. If you are scared to operate an elevator which is roughly the same vintage as a Boer War survivor, don’t come, or stay on the lower floors and use the stairs. The elevator is not automatic and it makes unearthly noises as it moves. It is, however a complete delight. I love it.
4. You WILL have to wash just about everything you need in the kitchen before you use it. You are at the mercy of the housekeeping standards of the previous tenant, and the previous tenant didn’t even rinse the f*cking percolator. I was employed for about ten minutes in the effort to restore it to some semblance of food safety.
5. A claw footed tub is beautiful, but the surface finish may not meet your standards for cleanability.
6. The wifi is not wonky, but it is slow.
7. It is simply not possible to keep a place of this vintage to the cleanliness standards of modern hotels (such as they are, since everybody knows what happens if you turn a UV light on in a hotel room.) That said, the linens and bedding are completely clean.
8. It’s a sketchy neighbourhood, but I’ve never felt threatened. If drug deals in the parking lot below (the one with the vintage Rolls Royce…) skeeve you out, you won’t like it.
9. There is lots of food of varying kinds and quality and easy transportation and nice walks and touristy stuff close by. The Keg, alas, is closed – there’s some kind of structural problem.
TL;DR – If you’re OCD, have no personal qualities such as adaptability, a sense of history and equanimity, and expect South Korean style internet access, you will hate it. If history, quirkiness and creativity appeal to you, this is like a steampunk luxury indoor camping experience, and I love it, and I will be back. Keith and Paul loved it.
A friend came over for coffee in the morning, and Paul and Keith took me to supper at the Heritage, and I wrote 1500 words in the middle, which is much less than I’d hoped and much more than I’ve done recently. I pronounce myself pleased. I’m gonna take video of the elevator - it is a TRIP.