This story is part of our 'Funniest hotel experiences' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our recent travel writing competition. Photo by Stadfahrt-Hamburg.
About ten years ago I split from a long-term girlfriend and, being in my early twenties, decided it was the right time to see a bit more of the world. I embarked on a European train trip, taking in Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Bratislava – and Hamburg.
I arrived in the German city at about 8pm and immediately set about finding a bed in one of the many hostels listed in my ancient guide book. Unfortunately, they were all occupied.
At the last hostel I tried, I was pointed in the direction of a three-star hotel about 15 minutes away that had comfortable rooms at a reasonable price and served breakfast.
I arrived at the address I had been given and found that the door was locked. I rang the bell, desperately hoping the hotel would be open and have available rooms. My prayers were answered when an elderly lady opened the door and welcomed me inside.
I was guided into a reception area and waited while the old woman shuffled behind the desk. To my surprise, I saw that there was another old lady sat there, wearing a similar floral dress.
As I attempted to ask for a room, I noticed the ladies had a tiny dog behind the desk with them, sat on one of their laps – they were stroking it and grinning insanely. I managed to agree a room with them as well as breakfast, and all the while they were grinning at me in a strange fashion.
I was given a key and told where my room was, so I left the reception and walked down a long corridor to find it. The room was large, with a double-bed and a modern television. I settled in, found a Bundesliga football match on TV and drifted off to sleep.
At some point in the night I was woken by a rap on the door and a woman shouting something in German. I had no idea what she wanted so I opened the door. I was confronted by a woman of about 35 dressed in black, skin-tight plastic trousers and a white, see-through, off-the-shoulder jumper. Her face was heavily made-up. I told her that I didn't speak German.
“You want business?” she asked. “No,” I replied, suddenly realising that the woman was a “night-worker”.
She went to stroke my cheek and I politely shut the door on her. Roughly every 45 minutes for the rest of the night, I was disturbed by a familiar rap on the door and cries of “you want business?” from a succession of different women – and once, a man. I was terrified!
By the time I wearily trudged down the corridor to breakfast, I was exhausted. The old ladies were there, in matching dresses, serving middle-aged men their morning meals.
“Did you have a good night?” one of the ladies asked me with a wink. “Great, thanks,” I replied.
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