The Traveling Neopian: Neolodge Reviews: Stop #3
Hello, everyone! It's me, Brent! You should know who I am by now. I'm kind of a celebrity. But, in case you haven't been reading my articles, I am required to introduce myself. My name is Brent. I am a blue Ixi, as well as a journalist for the Neopian Times. I have been given a special job. I am reviewing Neolodge hotels. I receive an all-expense paid trip for four weeks to each Neolodge resort, courtesy of The Neopian Times, and while there I experience everything about the hotel and I review it. There are five separate categories in my review, all of which are pretty self-explanatory. First there is my "About the Hotel" section. In that section, I talk about the hotel. Where it is located, how much it costs, what class of hotel it is, and anything that I have heard about the place. Cleverly titled, right? Next is my "First Impressions" category. In that section, I write about my first impressions upon entering the establishment, and I go on to detail my first day. In my "Second Impressions" category, I discuss my impressions of the establishment after having lived there for two weeks. Then I have my "Final Impressions" category, where I write about my opinion of the hotel after having lived there for four straight weeks. My final category is entitled "What to Bring" in which I detail, well, what to bring. What the hotel doesn't have that you should. I imagine that this list will grow shorter and shorter with each review. All right, enough explaining. It's about time that I started telling you about the Cheap Hotel!
About the Hotel:
Somewhere at the southern end of the Neopian marketplace lies a large brick building known as the Cheap Hotel. It's not terribly fancy, a modest two star hotel, rated an economy hotel by the Neolodge Board, but it has an unusual history that I think is worth sharing with all of you.
As you all know, the marketplace in Neopia Central is the largest marketplace in all of Neopia. Neopets from all around the globe come to go shopping and trade with the merchants. But there was a huge problem. No one could stay. There was no place for weary travelers to stay the night. Most had to stay with relatives, and if they didn't have relatives to stay with, no one outside of Neopia could come and do their business in the marketplace. Stores lost a lot of profit. It was unanimously decided that a hotel needed to be built somewhere nearby so that travelers could come and trade without having to worry about being on the last boat of the day. It was also decided that the hotel needed to be cheap and affordable so that visitors could spend very little on their overnight stay, and spend more on their shopping. But there were a lot of road blocks when it came to building the hotel. The funding was cut short, since the hotel was going to be cheap, and it's hard to find nice furniture on a budget. The shopkeepers of Neopia didn't take no for an answer. They wanted that hotel built, and they made it possible. Each store was responsible for donating at least one brick to build the hotel. The more bricks donated, the bigger the hotel could be. Small stores donated a single brick, while some of the more successful stores donated as many as a thousand.
After a few months, the hotel had been successfully built, but it didn't have any decorations. So, once again the manager went store to store asking for donations and cheap furniture, spending as little as possible on the furnishings. Three months later, the hotel made its grand debut in the marketplace. Hundreds of Neopians from everywhere flocked to the marketplace in hopes of turning a profit. Over a hundred thousand neopoints were made on the first day, which is saying something, since one room at the hotel costs a mere twenty neopoints a night. If you pay for all the extras, it costs only eighty neopoints a night, which still isn't much. But it's amazing how many Neopians flock from all corners of the world to stay here. I'm looking forward to staying here myself. My first two star hotel, you know, and the only one in all of Neopia. It can't be too bad, right?
The first thing that I noticed was that they rolled out a welcome mat on the front step. How nice!
The lobby was a mishmash of donated furniture. At the far end of the room was a donated marble desk with a rolling chair. On the left was a big red fireplace, and in the center of the room was a coffee table with an elegant table lamp set on it, along with a number of unusual books and magazines. Around the table were a number of donated chairs.
I lugged my suitcase with me as I approached the front desk. A cheerful green Wocky asked me if I had a reservation, and offered me a biscuit from the snowflake biscuit jar on the desk. When I told her who I was, she was rather excited. She said that her name was Maisy, and that she had always dreamt of being a journalist for the Neopian Times. She informed me that she had read all of my articles, and that she was a huge fan. She already knew that I was staying for the entire trip and gave me a key to the finest room in the hotel, a suite donated by a wealthy shop owner. She also called for a bellhop to come and help me with my suitcase. A casually dressed Scorchio helped me find my room and carried in my suitcase.
I was amazed with my room. After staying in dusty rooms and straw rooms, this room seemed like paradise. The furniture even matched. As Maisy had said, a wealthy shop owner had donated all the items in the room, which was a funky blue and orange theme. A circular bed had been set along the center of the back wall, right underneath the window. On either side of the bed was a funky lime table. To the right was a funky blue and orange desk, paired with an attractive funky blue and orange rocking chair. Against the opposite wall was a matching coffee table with a curved blue and orange sofa in front of it. A fresh copy of the Neopian Times was waiting for me on the coffee table.
I opened the door to the bathroom, which was pieced together with a disco toilet, sink, and bathtub. A little girly for my tastes, but the bathroom was bigger than some of the ones I have used. A fresh white towel was draped on a rung next to the sink. There was even hand soap, but I'd have to pay management a neopoint per use. Maybe I'll just purchase my own that I can use as often as I'd like.
After doing some unpacking, I decided to head down to the lobby and have another look at the books on the coffee table. I was hoping that something would grab my attention. It had been so long since I had last read a book. I found a tattered copy of "Grarrl Comics", a "Little Book of Puzzles", a worn copy of "Maps of Neopia", a well treated copy of "The Art Of Cybunnies", a copy of "The Magic Apple Tree" for little ones, last week's edition of "Neopia Weekly", and a bright green copy of "Neovian Business". Nothing in particular stood out, but it was better then nothing. It was free after all, donated by the Book Shop.
I heard my stomach rumbling, and I decided to head down to the burger bar. I hadn't had a proper burger in ages, and I was hoping for something hot. I must admit that I was disappointed. Instead of a burger bar, there were huge pots of soup propped against the walls, donated by the Soup Kitchen. It smelled delicious though, and a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup was exactly what I needed.
After that, I went to check out the extras. They say you shouldn't go swimming right after you eat, but the swimming pool was the first place I dove for. Unfortunately, it wasn't very big, and it was packed with guests. So I walked across the hall to check out the fitness center. It wasn't bad, overall. It had weights, pull-up bars, jump ropes, yoga mats, and other crucial pieces of equipment. Everything was donated, of course, with a nice little engraving on the left side saying who it was from. I wasn't in a workout mood at the time, so I strolled down to the end of the hall and I found myself in a grooming parlor. An ecstatic Usul offered to shampoo and condition my fur, then trim it and tie it up with pretty pink bows. I think I set a record for least amount of time leaving a room.
I decided to head back to my room and spend some time there, since I didn't have anything better to do. I paged through the copy of the Neopian Times that I found on the coffee table I enjoyed the rest of my evening. Then I took a bath (finally, a nice hot bath!), and I turned in for the night. I haven't slept so well since I started this job for the Neopian Times. Nothing woke me up. No heat, no pesky petpets. Just the odd loud Neopians passing through the hallway.
After two weeks of staying here, I have not had many complaints. I suppose that staying in lesser establishments has really made this place feel like Meridell Castle. I have been relatively comfortable here, having a soft bed, a hot bath every evening, plenty of reading material, places to go shopping in the afternoon, decent food, well-kept facilities, and a good location. However, if I ran this hotel, there are a few things that I would like to change.
First, I'd like to change the style in this place. Everything is terribly mismatched. I'm no professional when it comes to interior design, but even I could design better rooms than they have. Purple, yellow, burnt orange, and hot pink do not belong in a room together, especially if that room is a sauna.
I might also like to change the menu a bit. The soup delivered from the Soup Kitchen is fine, but the restaurant could use a little work. Not only does the room totally not match, but there isn't a menu. The hotel staff goes out into the marketplace each day to buy one neopoint food items. They don't care what they buy, so long as it's one neopoint and you can eat it. I'd like to filter out some of those yucky gross foods. The food doesn't have to be gourmet, but just because a coconut cream steak is one neopoint doesn't mean that it's a good purchase. When I get tired of eating soup, I walk to a little user-owned cafe down the road. They make great scones there.
I might also raise the quality of the laundry soap. It's too cheap to really clean your clothes. And there's something else missing... hmm... Oh! I know what it is. Soap in the hotel rooms. If you don't have soap, you either have to buy a bar in the marketplace or pay an extra twenty neopoints for one from the hotel. Who charges for soap, really? And that's not all they charge for. In fact, if it's not an extra that you pay for with your stay, and it's not in the room, they charge you for it.
There is maid service twice a week that comes to tidy up my room, but I wouldn't mind having them come three times a week. My room could use a little extra cleaning. Budget cuts. I'm sure you understand, especially if you own your own business. Two times a week is fine though. I'll live.
Now that I think of it, there is one problem with this hotel. There isn't much to do. All of the facilities are crowded and overused, and I can't ever seem to get a good spot in any of the extras unless I sign a three day wait list. The only other thing I can do is go shopping, which is a huge drain on my neopoints. That is, after all, why this hotel is so cheap.
After having stayed here for an entire four weeks, I am pleased to say that this hotel is not at all a bad place. There are no glaring issues with it, and it's pretty comfortable, if a bit crowded. Crowds can be a good thing though. I complained earlier about the them filling up all of the extra facilities that I had paid for, but when I stopped and talked to some of them, I found that they were an interesting crowd. I said before that travelers from all over Neopia came here so that they could do some shopping in Neopia Central. Well, after keeping a careful tally, I met someone from every land in Neopia. I have never had a better educational experience about different cultures across Neopia. Who knew that there were so many? Overall, this is a not-too-bad place to stay if you have a tight wallet and you don't mind mismatched, donated furniture or eating soup for two meals a day, seven days a week. This place is cheap, but they sure know how to find bargains.
What to Bring:
There are a few things that you should bring if you plan on staying here. Or if you're a bit tight on packing space, you can easily purchase all of this, along with a bunch of other stuff, in the Neopian marketplace. Assuming that you have a lot of neopoints, that is.
-Neopoints- I usually list this last, but in this case I think that neopoints had better come first. You need them for just about everything.
-Grooming supplies- Nothing at this hotel is complimentary.
-Laundry soap- What they provide at the hotel is extremely cheap and it doesn't clean well.
-A couple of good board games- Like I said, there are lots of interesting people at the hotel. Make a few friends and play some games.
-Earplugs- Sometimes there are loud Neopets in the hallway, especially at late hours of the night and early hours of the morning. Quite often, actually.
-Seared Tuna Steak- Okay, this isn't really a requirement, but it sure makes for a tasty and easy-to-make dinner.
Well, that's it really. This list gets shorter and shorter every time. Before long, I hope that I can get away with putting nothing on this list. Only time will tell, but I'm sure that there will be one perfect resort out there. Maybe Astrovilla. I've heard a lot of good things about that place. I can't wait for my last stop. Well, one stop and a time y'all. I'll get there eventually. This is Brent, setting down his quill. I'll see you all in four weeks!
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