I never thought I'd ever have to move out of a hotel at 2am in the morning but it happened last night 😰
It all began with my unexpected trip extension. I decided to stay an additional week in Hokkaido after missing the flight last Tuesday, because flights back were so expensive and didn't make sense at all – The cheapest flight I found would bring me home on Monday for $390 (via Thai Airways if you're wondering)
So I had to plan a last minute itinerary and decide where to go for the extended week – I ended up booking a train to Hakodate to stay for two nights on short notice.
Took my first tram ride in Japan and also discovered that my hotel is a little far away from the station/city center where most of the attractions are… But it was alright, it was just a tram ride away although I was a bit sian that I didn't pay $100+ more to get a better hotel 😕
Checked into the hotel and it seemed nice and clean albeit a little small. The lobby actually seemed alright, but I felt a little uneasy when I got to my room (fifth floor) and saw that my room was at the end of a rather dim corridor.
I don't know if you have the habit of knocking on a hotel door before entering it for the first time, but usually I do so and I made a point to knock on the hotel door this time a bit louder than usual cos I felt uncomfortable.
Well the room seemed alright.. Kind of old but it was clean and well-maintained.
All was good, I headed out and had a nice dinner, booked my return tickets to Chitose, walked back 3km to my hotel just for the heck of it and even went for a soak at this gorgeous onsen at La Vista Hotel – The hotel I was staying at provided free transport back and forth to La Vista for guests to enjoy the hot springs so I was quite happy about that!!
Got back to my hotel feeling pretty good.
1.30AM – Bed time
I'd washed up and was snuggled up in bed, about to drift off to sleep.
I remember being half awake and falling into dreams when my dreams turned sort of sinister – I can't remember what was going on in my dreams. Suddenly my ears had a ringing sound in them, and I could feel myself zoning out of the present "normal" dimension, and the feeling of pressure all over me while I lay in a state of paralysis. This lasted for what felt like 30 seconds to 1 minute?
Wah piang ehhhh.
I started praying in my heart 😂 Because the rest of you simply can't move, but your mind is awake and your heart is pounding.
The feeling eventually released and I felt my ears go back to normal and the room come back into focus.
This is not the first time I've experienced the sensation of "被鬼压" but it's something I haven't experienced in a very long time, and I definitely not experienced it in a hotel room before?
I also know there are scientific explanations for this "phenomenon", but I personally feel that it's better to be safe than sorry.
Was already feeling a bit uneasy in that room and after the weird experience, we decided to pack up and see if the hotel could get a different room.
Turned to W who was travelling with me and told W that I just "被鬼压".
W then told me "I already felt uncomfortable earlier when we entered the room already but I didn't want to scare you. Let's go and get a room change."
We packed up in a hurry and got out of the room with all our belongings and got down to the front desk.
I think both of us were quite creeped out by this point in time 😂 So I went up to the front desk staff on duty and told him that the room was "unclean" and we didn't feel comfortable staying in it.
The manager on duty didn't speak very good english but conveyed to us that all rooms were full and there was no way I could change another room?!!
I definitely wasn't going back to that room, so we made the call to start looking for another hotel nearby and to move over straight away.
Went on my usual booking apps – Booking.com and HotelsCombined but to my horror, I wasn't able to book for the 11th August (that night) anymore as it was already past midnight 😑
Worse still, the apps showed that nearly all hotels in the area were fully booked already for the following night 😭
After repeated browsing on Booking.com, I had no choice but to first book an accommodation for Saturday night because I was worried about being stranded without a bed for two nights 😥 I was falsely relieved for a bit when one of the apps showed that I was able to book for both Friday and Saturday, but turned out it was a glitch and the booking only went through for Saturday zzz.
At that point in time, I was willing to pay almost anything already just to get settled somewhere else for the night 😂 Since there was no way to get a booking for Friday night and the hotel manager wasn't helpful, we decided to depart for Kokusai Hotel, the hotel I managed to book for Sat night and pray that they had a spare room for the same night.
We took a cab to Kokusai Hotel (complimentary of the first hotel which I suppose is the least they could do for us – They weren't able to get us another room, or refund us, or help us find another hotel) and I was keeping my fingers crossed that they would have vacancies that night.
As luck would have it, we encountered another night manager on duty who wasn't very good with English as well and there was no way I could get much help from him.
It was already 2.30am and I was so tempted to just give up and sleep at Kokusai Hotel lobby for the night. 😂
Since the booking apps were of no use, my last resort was to look for nearby hotels online and call them one by one to look for rooms. Hope was running out fast because I remember checking just hours ago and seeing that almost everything was booked out online.
Thankfully, on my second call, I found a hotel that not only spoke good english, but told me they had a room for that very night after putting me on hold briefly 🙏🙏🙏
Guess what. Ended up at the really nice hotel with a gorgeous onsen that I'd just went to a few hours ago??
I remember checking out the hotel on booking.com which said it was fully booked so…. Very glad we got a room there!!!
This hotel is totally gorgeous. Very comfortable and came with free breakfast, super nice onsen, front desk spoke good english and the whole place is so nice! Definitely highly recommend this place and I would book it again in future!
It's "La Vista Hakodate Bay" 😍
The nice front desk manager even gave us a room with a view although the gloomy weather made the view a little less spectacular.
Came with a cool coffee machine too and cute popcorn snacks!
Finally got settled in and only got to sleep at almost 4am.. But I woke up at 9am specially to soak at the onsen 😂 It's such a nice onsen!!
The outdoor onsen with a view – It was raining and windy though so I only stayed out for about 5 minutes before I retreated back to the indoor bath. But still, felt so good!
Moral of the story is….
#1. Don't always go for the cheapest option just to save money.
#2. Online booking websites aren't the most reliable – Call up the hotels to check if you really need a room!
#3. When shit hits the roof.. Saving that little bit of money will go to naught cos you just need to pay. anyway.