Thursday, 12 June 2014

To the workers' paradise, by EasyJet!

A huge, wide angular building in plain beige with concrete and metal railing balconies ...
Ordinary, unelaborate interior with a large lounge bar with entertainments stage ... stocky chairs and tables...
What kind of holiday would you have in a place like this? A retro workers' break-style vaction, like the ones organised by Eastern Bloc trade unions in the days before the Berlin Wall came down?
At 7am, the hotel wakes with a start. Loudspeakers crackle into life, blaring out a mixture of revolutionary songs and socialist-era pop. Those guests still asleep are roused by a hotel worker with a whistle.
Bleary-eyed and yawning, the holidaymakers are dragged out onto the hotel lawn for some vigorous open-air exercise.
In fact, the first passage has nothing to do with the second. Although it sounds like something from a Soviet-era holiday camp, the first passage describes a perfectly average* three star hotel, in a popular Mediterranean holiday resort, as reviewed by Gazetteers dot com, which describes itself as 'the travel agents' Trip adviser.' To me, the professionals' honest, unflinching description of the holiday brutalist school of architecture is actually more appealing than the sugar-coated version offered up to the public in holiday brochures and on web sites. I've always like the idea of what you see being what you get.

It almost makes me get the niche appeal of a spartan, ostalgie-themed holiday, although I'm probably too much of a grumpy old git to really appreciate all that early morning 1950's Butlins-style 'Wakey, wakey!' malarkey. But, apparently, not everybody is quite so curmudgeonly about the idea of organised fun as I am.

*The review also notes, in its no-nonsense way, that this is a 'Large, spacious establishment with nothing particularly notable about its style ... has a good range of facilities especially suited to families ... Generously sized adults and children's pools ...Lots of room inside and plenty of sunbathing space', so it's not that the place is actually bad, just ugly.