What’s the worst hotel/motel room you’ve ever encountered? I can think of three, right off the top of my tiny Duke head, that register fairly high on the ol’ turdometer.
So, let’s run ’em down, shall we?
I’ve told this story before, but when I was a kid our family made a stop at Niagara Falls on vacation. Since we’d never been into Canada, my brother and I lobbied my parents to stay norf of the border for a night. They were planning on the exact opposite, but we finally broke them down.
So, we drove onto foreign soil for the first time (exotic!), and chose a motel that looked OK. It had two floors, in an L-shape, with a pool out front. Kids were doing cannonballs off the diving board as we entered the parking lot, and it appeared to be a prudent lodging choice.
But as we were walking to our room, it became apparent that the place was actually pretty rough around the edges. It was painted and maintained to look nice from the street, but it was all an illusion. None of us said anything, but we knew we were about to bed-down in a shithole.
Indeed, the room was shabby, with beat-to-hell furniture. And roaches scampered in every direction when we turned on the bathroom light. Above the beds was a framed print of The Blue Boy, with one eye missing. It looked like someone had shot it with pellet gun, or was it a spyhole? Gulp.
My brother and I howled in protest, and said there was no way we could sleep in this terrible place. My Dad, who is usually pretty laid-back, got really pissed at us, and insinuated we were a couple of Niles and Frasiers, years before Niles and Frasier had even been invented.
So, there was massive tension in the air. Dad almost never flew off the handle like that. Mom? Well, that’s a different story… But it’s kinda disconcerting when the good cop turns on you. Ya know?
Yeah, we’d be spending the night with the roaches, and that one-eyed poofter in pantaloons, after all. A very distressing turn of events.
And as we were marinating in the bad vibes, my Dad looked over at a bottle of Coke (or whatever) sitting on the night table between the beds. The table had no legs, it was just a platform attached to the wall, and was radically slanted, as if someone had been sitting on it. And my Dad said, “If that Coke starts moving, somebody catch it, OK?” Pressure relieved…
We asked if we could go swimming for a while, and there was (I kid you not) a turd in the pool. Everyone scampered out of the water, screaming bloody murder, and the brown invader floated around, as if propelled by a tiny motor.
A boy, about our age, was providing the play-by-play, and announced to the crowd, “She’s breaking up! She’s breaking up!!”
And shortly after we moved to California, Toney and I came back to Atlanta for a desperate homesick visit. We stayed at the Red Roof Inn on North Druid Hills, and was assigned one of the worst excuses for a room I’ve ever seen.
It was normal-sized, I think, except for, you know, the elevator shaft running through it. Seriously, the elevator was almost literally inside our room. Oh, it was all walled-in, and everything, but it was inches from our bed.
So, all night that thing would run up and down, up and down. Rattling and clanking and wheezing… And the size of it ate up almost the entire room. I had to turn sideways to get to the pee-catcher, it seemed like the elevator was putting off heat, and the noise was just incredible.
I bitched like I was entered in a bitching contest, but they said they were full and couldn’t move us. I think they knocked a percentage off the price, but it wasn’t enough. I told them I’d never stay there again, and they told me that would be OK with them.
And lastly… an ex-girlfriend and I were having trouble, years ago. The writing was on the wall, but we were trying to make it work. We decided to visit the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, for a “romantic” weekend getaway.
Knowing it’s basically a tourist trap, we decided to just book a room when we got there. Hell, there must be a million hotels and motels in that area, right? Maybe we could find a cool lodge, or mountain cabin, or something.
Yeah, that turned out to be a tactical error. There was indeed a million hotels and motels, and every one of them had a NO VACANCY sign out front. We ended up staying at a scary-ass place, way out in the middle of nowhere, with tractor trailers parked all around it.
Wotta dump. The bathroom was filthy, the furniture was loaded with cigarette burns, and there was evidence the sheets hadn’t been changed since the previous guests checked-out. Blecch.
It was, in my estimation, little more than a long-haul trucker jack shack. The ghosts of a million Junior Samples yelling “Hee Haw!” haunted the place, and I slept fully-clothed, with a Wal-Mart bag between my head and the pillowcase.
Oh, and I almost forgot… It was located in a dry county, so we couldn’t even buy beer to take the edge off our disgust!
And outside our door some freaky guy sat in a lawn chair all night, staring silently ahead. His head was just a skull with skin over it, and he never said a word to us. In fact, I don’t think he even blinked. It might’ve been a cadaver, for all I know.
Yeah, it was a fairytale weekend, alright. Extremely successful. It wasn’t the reason my girlfriend and I broke-up, soon thereafter. But it sure didn’t help.
And now it’s your turn. Tell us about the worst, most disgusting hotel/motel rooms you’ve encountered in your travels.
And I’ll be back tomorrow.