Spent the last couple of days in Washington DC.. I've learnt that 4th of July weekend is very possibly the worst time ever to be in the capital city. There were people everywhere, the Smithsonians were packed and so took waay longer to see everything. Also, something about it made me compare the people I'd met so far.. everyone I'd met, local to the respective cities, up until Washington DC had been friendly. The locals in Washington DC so far have the privilege of being the most unfriendly, and there is no such thing as customer service there - the most cordial person I encountered was a cat called Mona Lisa - she was at the Embassy Inn.

Since this is turning into a rant post, let us begin with the Embassy Inn in Washington DC which was my first destination in the capital after the airport. The Embassy Inn is a small, old "hotel" north of the downtown Washington DC area. As prices go, it was the cheapest place I could find to sleep at for the evening of the 4th of July everything else was fully booked. For a hotel, the establishment offered no form of assistance with baggage (so I dragged my two large bags up FIVE floors on my own), and the man that sat at the small reception desk (that resembled a closet), was cordial enough when checking me in, but he definitely managed to maintain an uncomfortable silence.

The room I was assigned was small, but seemed clean enough - and the people in New Orleans thought the room there was small?! That one at least had a bathroom that was larger than a 4 x 5 feet, the bathroom in my room at the Embassy in was about the size of my closet at home - so small the sink was in the room, not the bathroom. The "climate control" in my room was controlled elsewhere, and every time it tried to regulate itself there would be a mechanical sounding racket - thankfully the room got marginally cooler than the temperature outside.

The following morning at 9am when I ventured to the lobby where there was meant to be a "complimentary continental breakfast" between 7am and 10am, there was nothing, not even hot water to make a coffee. Then when I choose to check out a little while later, the woman at the front desk asked for my credit card again. I queried this as it seemed strange that my card be taken both at check-in and now again at check-out, instead of simply explaining that the number was simply kept on file before, she barked that I wasn't charged before - using supposedly polite words don't mean anything when the tone in which they are said were dripping with so much negativity and condescension. When I requested she call me a taxi, her response was to tell me to go out on the kerb and call one myself!

The Embassy Inn in Washington DC is quite definitely not somewhere I would stay at again - especially since I was treated as more (only marginally) of a human being at the HI Hostel later that day. I understand that people would say that since the Embassy Inn was "cheap" at USD$90 +tax that I shouldn't expect too much, however is it ever too much to ask to be treated like a hotel guest in a hotel? All I was hoping for was basic stuff like an offer to help with my bags (I looked like I was exhausted and struggling with them), provide at least beverages when "complimentary continental breakfast" is offered within the time you advertise, or be able to call a cab for a guest at the hotel? Seems all that is too much to ask for at the Embassy Inn. Oh, and the housekeeping staff don't smile.

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