Guests receive an apology

Post-hotel fire apology party invite, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

The promise of seeing the Chief Executive of the hotel personally apologise for the inconvenience caused by an outbreak of fire in the a la carte restaurant by the nearby marina was an offer too good to refuse.

In truth, it was the offer of a cocktail or two and the thought we probably wouldn’t be required to sign for them which persuaded Simon and I should make a point of going to the poolside Chill Out area for 1900.

However, I had spectacularly failed in reading between the lines of the letter delivered to our bedroom door earlier in the morning.

This wasn’t just a cocktail. This was in fact a cocktail party, with a dress code, something which failed to register in my mind when I slipped into my now favourite pair of jeans and oh-so-cliched cowboy check shirt.

My error was pointed out by some new holiday acquaintances. Angela and Jackie – here for a further eleven days after quite a considerable stay already – hit the nail on the head. “Typical man. Doesn’t read the detail.”

The four of us chatted about the fire, us expressing regret at not being able to witness it because we’d taken off to Bodrum when the drama kicked off. (It’s not that we’re rubberneckers, but really, the damage was quite spectacular and – we understand – it was dealt with really quite swiftly).

Inevitably the question of what happened to the live lobsters swimming around in the tank inside the restaurant came up. Did they manage to save them? Who knows, we’re not sure. They could have boiled alive. Such a terrible waste, if you like your food slaughtered shortly before you consume it.

Perhaps we were laughing just a little too loud. I’m sure it was about then that Chief Executive Axel stepped forward and introduced himself. Our host for the evening cut a dashingly handsome figure in his salmon pink open collar shirt, simple navy blue blazer and full head of hair. Consequently it seemed only right to compliment him on the fantastic hotel, the marvellous service and the effecient way the fire was dealt with . All this and the al-fresco lunchtime buffet continued as normal the day after.

His was an effortless charm. No wonder. No, there was no personal apology I had been expecting – although one might argue the three glasses of red wine I guzzled constituted an indirect apology – but Axel did tell us about the gala meal scheduled for the following night. “Our chef has prepared a special menu and there’ll be dancing with a special Latin band too.” Axel accompanied this with a quite impressive and obviously natural wiggle.

This wasn’t really enough to convince us. We subsequently checked with reception about booking a table for the gala night. Unlike the cocktails, this wasn’t going to be on the house. We’re opting to eat a main course in one of the other restaurants instead.