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Full Of Eastern Promise

Logo of the new Palm Court Hotel. Few would guess it enjoys Middle Eastern backing.

Casa Enrique - the wholly Threadbone Leisure / Viking Cruiselines-owned luxury hotel conglomerate - has confessed to “teething problems” following the opening of its latest property the Canford Cliff’s Palm Court Hotel. The fifth joint venture of its kind - undertaken in conjunction with global partners Threadbone-Anglo-Saudi Ltd [TASiL] - the Palm Court Hotel was hailed as a breakthrough in business/conference/leisure provision and a state-of-the-art 6-star benchmark of which other less well capitalised providers could only dream [and toward which they could only aspire - and likely fail].

Stylish according to some, the new Palm Court Hotel is, detractors say, out of scale with its surroundings and not wholly in keeping with the Dorset landscape

Costing in the region of £1 billion to construct, its massive scale and elaborate design was, from the outset, a source of controversy; opposed by small-minded local interests and branded by other sea-front hotels a stylistic anachronism ill-suited to its location and disproportionate in its environmental and other impacts. “So tall is it”, one opponent stated, ‘that it makes even the impressive spire of St Pariah’s Parish Church - formerly the highest point in the town - look like a lego miniature”. “And who wants a gargantuan middle eastern hareem in their midst?”, asked mother of 14 and former Salomé tribute act - Ms Sara Glio.. Her husband Ali Pasha agrees adding, “the sooner the place is closed and converted into a bingo lounge and slot-machine emporium, the sooner my wife and I can get back to the business of having children”.

A far cry from the Canford Cliffs of old, the palm Court Hotel and its like area looking to attract a different kind of customer.

The aforementioned seriously existential "teething problems" include, according to undercover hotel inspectors, delays in the arrival of luggage [software controlling the airport-style foyer-to-room suitcase chutes is said to contain more bugs than the bedding in all the Palm Court's rival hotel's put together], fluctuating temperatures in the 12 Olympic-sized rooftop pools ["you could boil a lobster one minute and preserve it in ice the next"], inconsistent cocktail mixes in all 120 bars and 18 restaurants ["whether its some kind of Russian protest I couldn't say, but my vodka martini was as Cossack as stick of Weymouth rock"] and an "annoyingly variable" number of chocolates on the pillows following routine hourly bed-linen changes.

Though dismissed by Manager Ali Naday-Swirk as "minor start up issues", hotel expert Ali Bin Thare-Dunthat, says that the kind of customers attracted to the Palm Court expect better. "If you are paying more than £1,800 per night for a single room you expect a few things to work properly. I booked a full massage with a joint happy ending and, despite my best efforts, the girl was very slow to arrive and at one stage I thoght she was never going to come".

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