When I was little my Dad bought me The Cure: Greatest Hits and told me that it would be the best album I would ever listen to. It was received with thanks and an internal eye roll accompanied by the thought ‘Why would I want to listen to old people music?’. It took me a few years, but I finally discovered that he was right, so when they announced their world tour, a friend and I snapped up some tickets for their show in Wembley Arena and decided to mark the occasion with a hotel stay.
This year I have been lucky enough to stay in some pretty spectacular places, and I thought that as a travel blogger, it only fair to visit properties across each end of the spectrum.
After a glance through various travel sites, we came across a hotel that stuck out with its 8 out of 11 reviews on TripAdvisor being ‘terrible’. The Maitrise Hotel.
“WORST HOTEL EVER”
“NEVER EVER AGAIN”
“WORST HOTEL I HAVE EVER STAYED IN”
“WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE”
Once the accommodation was sorted, it was time to establish our attire for the evening. Questions once asked in preparation for a night out such as “Are you sure this isn’t too short?” and “Am I showing too much boob?” were replaced with “Do you think 3 layers is enough”, and “do you think I should buy a thermal vest?”. What were once priorities of cheap booze and after parties, our nights out now seem to be centred around comfort and warmth.
My friend met me at my office, where we had a chance to take a picture in the selfie mirror that I use for Instagram, before popping to the nearby Adam & Eve for a drink, a pub hidden amongst the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. We then stopped off in the quaint little pub I discovered in Covent Garden last month. As suspected, the christmas decorations were up in all their glory, and they looked wonderful. By the time we left, I had drunk 2 pints of cider and I was very close to dancing on the tables and singing ‘Just Like Heaven’ at the top of my voice (apparently this is the thing I do once I have had a drink).
A trip up the bakerloo line led us to Wembley Central, and we were pleased to discover that our hotel was less than a 2 minute walk away from the station. We dumped our bags in our basic room, complete with an oversized cork board and hole underneath the bed for murderers to hide in.
Looking back at the videos I took, I have discovered that we are probably quite annoying people to stand next to at a concert. We jumped a lot, and we sang a lot. The band looked and sounded amazing, and I am over the moon to have been able to see them perform live. There is a great review of the whole concert here. Our brief flirtation with the idea of finding an after party was welcomed with an uber back to our lodgings, where we were tucked up in bed by Midnight.
“Age may weary us, but as they enter their fourth decade as a band, they couldn’t be on finer form. Seeing The Cure live in 2016 is a celebration of their legacy, but they can hardly be called a nostalgia act when they still feel so vital. The Cure still matter.”
The Morning After
After opening the door to the shared bathroom to find someone brushing their teeth (the lock didn’t seem to work) I found someone standing in the doorway behind me, looking at me as if she were deciding on the best way to skin me. I thought it best to return to my room and decided to skip having a shower- it kind of looked like type of shower that would leave you feeling more dirty than clean anyway.
Breakfast was great fun. The small room was furnished with 5 very oversized round tables and some interesting garden chairs. Each table sat a very miserable looking couple, sitting amongst piles of dirty dishes and crumbs. While we waited for one of the gigantic tables to become available, we went to get a drink from the ‘buffet’, but despite having plenty of hot and cold drinks to choose from, there didn’t seem to be anything you could use to drink them from. We also noticed a plate of nicely arranged cheese next to the baskets of jam. I think that was the buffet.
After sitting in a very quiet room, full of very ‘I’m thinking about killing you’ looking people, we were finally bought our eggs on toast, without cutlery, and we sat on our oversized table, amongst the dirty plates, and the crumbs, and the stray strands of hair.
The verdict? Everyone should stay here. It was brilliant. The grand price of £50 gets you a bed (complete with ‘killer storage’), a breakfast (kind of), a chalk board (in case you suddenly want to put documents up on the wall) and a whole bunch of funny memories. What more could you want? I am going to say that this was probably an unforgettable stay, much more fun than staying at The Hilton (which is on Wembley Arena/Stadium doorstep).
Suffice to say the rest of the weekend was slightly written off (apart from a day spent walking round Portobello Market on Saturday, which was lovely). I don’t really drink that often, so the 4 pints of cider that I consumed on Friday night has still left me feeling hazy on Tuesday. But at least I got to perform my version of ‘Just Like Heaven’, at Wembley….