The tiny room

by Candice Rafferty

This story is part of our 'Unforgettable hotel nights' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our recent travel writing competition.


My most “unforgettable” night in a hotel happened just two weeks ago when visiting the vibrant city of Hong Kong to attend a conference.

As times are still “tough” in my industry my boss asked me to please stay in a more reasonably priced hotel than the conference site, the JW Marriott. Being a good sport I happily obliged and booked myself into the Ibis North Point as suggested by a friend. As I was booking at very short notice, I stupidly did not check out – as I normally would – all the hotel’s particulars, just the price, location and inclusions.

I arrived at the hotel on an overcast Wednesday afternoon buyout with freedom from the office and full of hope, promise and a good dash of naiveté. Check-in was a relatively painless affair, being prompt and efficient as most things in the Pearl of the Orient are. I was even up-graded to a 22-floor “harbour view” room as it was the only non-smoking one currently available – bonus!

Trailing only a small trolley case I eagerly fling my door open only to have it immediately smack the wall behind and swing back and hit me in the face. Humph, not an overly glamorous way to start my trip. I somehow manage to hold the dog open with my right foot and awkwardly swing my case in on my gimpy left arm and straight onto the bed which is only approximately 30cm in front of me. Yep, that’s right, the room is only 11 m². Like H-E-L-L-O, I’ve had shoe closets bigger than that!!!

As I kick the door shut behind me, the enormity of my “predicament” sets in. Besides the very small double bed, there is only a built in desk under the window, a small TV table and bar fridge, slim wardrobe, tea/coffee nook, side tables and bathroom; leaving just a tiny-winy strip of carpet running around the bed. This gauntlet around the room quickly becomes my arch nemesis; thwarting my desire for speedy perambulation at every turn.

Not wanting to be a party pooper, I decide to unpack and make the most of my meagre surrounds; this is, well, disastrous. At nearly every turn I manage to stub a toe, whack a knee or stumble over something. My desultory condition only gets worse when I finally inspect the miniscule bathroom and realise I have to sit with my knees high-up under my chin, so as to avoid the vanity unit, just to use the loo.

The really hilarious part was that I had made the BIGGEST mistake in the world whilst staying the SMALLEST hotel room in the world! As I rubbed my sore toes, the irony was not lost on me…

I would like to tell you that the story ends with a “happily ever after” ending, but it is not so; it ended with two more nights sleeping in a shoe-box and countless more toe/knee/head bumping incidents. So what is the moral of this story I hear you asking... simple: always always always do your hotel research before booking!

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