An unfriendly welcome
Posted Sep 14, 2011
We arrived at a reasonable time (between 6.45-7pm on a weekday evening) to find a door with a sign advertising the Welcome Rest Guest House. The sign had an 0800 number and e-mail/web address details on it, but nothing further. We located some bells, and in the absence of any other instruction, pressed both several times. Eventually, an extremely surly man answered the door and let us in, while saying "Go on, press that bell one more time, I dare you" in a very hostile manner. It turns out Steve-o (the name he gave me) is a long-term tenant and not even employed by the company! He explained to us that we were supposed to have been contacted in advance with a code to unlock a key-safe outside the main door. In the absence of this, he contacted the day manager (who had gone home for the evening) and eventually she texted back with the code and we had the keys to our room. The running of this place for evening arrivals is an absolute nightmare - apparently we were supposed to ring the 0800 number for an out of hours call centre, but there was no indication of this and it would've been an expensive call from a mobile phone.
The room itself was basic, clean, and reasonable comfortable. The location isn't bad for the train station or the university, and most places in Plymouth are walkable.
Be warned, though - if you're arriving after 5pm, Steve-o may let you in, may be unfriendly, and may make you feel less than welcome. What a joke!