Noise in hotels is something that happens, but there is acceptable noise and unacceptable noise, and if the latter then I take action!
I was staying with my travel group in Plymouth, England at a fashionable traditional hotel, on a street leading up to the famous Hoe where Sir Francis Drake supposedly finished his game of bowls before defeating the Spanish Armada (bit of history – can’t help myself). After dinner we all went to bed about 10pm. We were tired having been out all day to St Ives and Polperro.
At 11pm I was suddenly awakened by very loud music, shouting, and a deep pulsating bass guitar from the hotel next door, just across a laneway. My bed was vibrating from the loud bass sound!
From the sound of the shouting and laughter it was some sort of a party. This was midweek, so quite unexpected. Within minutes, I had phone calls to my room from some of my passengers asking if I could do something to stop it.
So I rang our hotel reception first – they were not at all helpful. Sorry, but we cannot do anything. Weak!
Next I rang the hotel next door. They were less than helpful, and said it was a private party and the music was within limits. Rubbish!
So I rang back to our reception and asked for the telephone number of the Plymouth police which they supplied. I rang them. Excessive noise was no longer a part of their jurisdiction they said, so they gave me the number of the Environmental Protection Office. Fat lot of good that will do I thought. Time for a different approach.
So I asked the policeman what would happen if there was excessive noise which resulted in some disgruntled sleeper taking direct action? What would they do? He replied that they would then have to attend. I could hear the concern in his voice.
OK. Good. So I told him that I was now going over to the hotel and pull out their speakers. All of a sudden he took serious notice, and started to caution me against doing such a thing. But I insisted that I was about to do it. So I thanked him politely, and promptly hung up.
I then rang the hotel next door, and told them that if the noise did not stop immediately, I would personally come over and shut it down by pulling out the speakers. Then I hung up.
I am by no means a macho muscle man, but I was very angry. But without realizing it, at the time I had three things going for me.
Firstly they hadn’t seen me so were not aware that I was not exactly Mr Universe.
Secondly was my polite, but forthright way of speaking in my Aussie accent, which they would have instantly detected. We do have a bit of a reputation for being a bit wild and impetuous at times, so that would now perhaps have been in their minds.
But thirdly, the very successful movie Crocodile Dundee had been released a few years previously, and Paul Hogan with the knife may have been fresh in their minds!
I could just see the front of the hotel next door from my window, so I waited a few minutes before acting. Sure enough, five minutes later two police cars screamed to a halt outside, and 4 police entered. A few minutes later the music and shouting ceased, and that was the end of that. No doubt my threats of causing a disturbance of the peace was enough to do the trick. And Crocodile Dundee. Thanks Paul (Hogan).
Next morning at breakfast I told our driver what had happened, and he must have told the passengers. As I joined the coach there was much laughter taking place, and I was given three cheers. And our hotel manager came out into the street to see us off and thanked me. But I think he was glad to see me go.
Do I feel embarrassed about telling you what I did? Not really. The partygoers had no respect for anyone else, and the steps I took were effective (perhaps unorthodox), and achieved the desired result. I rest my case Your Honour.
Now I look back – did I really do that?
Would I do it again? Probably. I hate unnecessary noise and inconsiderate people.
What would you have done? Do you have a story to tell about taking action overseas? If so tell me below in Leave a Reply so we can all share it. 🙂
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