Hotels & Vacations

Covid Hospitality - Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste (Toronto)

mordylishus | Apr 30, 202107:03 PM     21

Covid regulations require a three-night stay in an approved Covid quarantine hotel and then 11 days in self-isolating quarantine of the traveller’s choice.

Mordy has just emerged from his quarantine hotel, the Crowne Plaza on Carlson Ct., Toronto, 26APR21 to 29APR21.

The Crowne Plaza was his second attempt. He first had made a booking by phone from overseas at the Hilton Doubletree on Dixie Rd for $701.59, as the approved quarantine hotel list website showed. This price was several hundred dollars less than that requested by the other quarantine hotels, so he booked Hilton. When he got there, he was told that $701.59 was without the quarantine package and he was asked for about $1,100. He protested but lost, so he got mad and went elsewhere, to the Crowne Plaza, notwithstanding that it was for almost the same money. It’s the principle. Mordy did have a good view of downtown Toronto from his new hotel room. He had three days to look out the window. Nights too.

The rate for the Crowne Plaza on an aggregating hotel bookings website for three nights ordinary, 3MAY21 to 6MAY21, is from $400 to $490. Breakfast is included with the room. Mordy got charged for a three-night “quarantine package” $1,075. Further about the package.

I will switch to the first person at this stage.

I showed up in the afternoon and asked for supper. I was told it was butter chicken or vegetarian Indian. I don’t like Indian cooking, I had tried a few times, but it made me vomit the few times. So they said, as a special exception, this time only, I could get a burger from the menu. Well, I ate it, but I would never order and pay for something like this if I could exercise free will.

The next morning, breakfast was eggs, no meat. It was what you expect from a low motel. Imagine the scrambled eggs with water leaching out; the dry and cold English bread toast.

I missed the next breakfasts but this was no loss judging from the first breakfast.
The next night I got supper, see photos.

I started with the salmon tray. The salmon was so overcooked that it was too dry and hard to eat. It was topped with sweet and sour glue.

I called down and said that the meal was unpalatable and asked for the alternative. I got sent the Indian vegetarian tray.

The roll things were filled with lentils, They were too dry to eat. The vegetables in goop were unpalatable. The rice with red beans was OK.

The fruit, when on a tray, of course was institutional- unripe Red Delicious apples or industrial fruit cup.

I escaped quarantine without even viewing the last lunch- my checkout time was prior to meal delivery.

I wonder how many other “guests” miss many of the allotted meals.

I have had better airplane meals and I fly economy. I feel ripped off.

But I don’t feel hungry. Fortunately, I had asked a friend who owns a restaurant to bring me some meals and a crockpot. His cooking was excellent.

I called the Crowne Plaza Hotel number for reservations to ask what is included in the quarantine package. I reached a call centre in the Philippines. The Voice’s English wasn’t that good. She did use English words but not as sensible parts of speech. She could answer only the most ordinary questions, whether or not these were the questions I asked. She gave
the answers as if from a manual. Finally, she told me that I could call another number and speak with the person who looks after quarantine enquiries. I wrote down the number, read it back. I called and got a telephone sex call line. This Voice promised to fulfill my dreams. I stayed on the line expecting to be transferred at any moment to the quarantine person.
I called again and after a while, I was told that I couldn't quarantine without the meals and that only the meals were included in the quarantine package.

I asked, where do I complain at the corporate level. I was transferred to “guest relations”. Also in the Philippines. I said to the new Voice that complaining to the Philippines is a waste of time, I wanted head office. Then I was cut off.

Do as you think advisable when you travel.

P.P.S. The hotel required absolutely nothing of me with respect to quarantine. As for the government(s), the sole quarantine related requirement was that I play on my phone on some app and tell it how I felt.

Canada is the third country in which I have been in quarantine in the past 7 months. The other two countries took quarantine seriously. The tougher was New Zealand; it was as if I was in a prison camp for two weeks.

Ontario is a farce, but I think that no one is laughing. In the meantime, some people are doing quite well from quarantine.

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