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.
Here’s a link to the Hermitage hotel site:
Great Googly Moogly says
Classic Motor Inn -Indianapolis Indiana in the early 90s.
Total dump. A snazzy “motor inn” of yesteryear which had decayed along with the surrounding area of Indy called Speedway. Derelicts and alcoholic traveling salesman in the “Lounge”, whores and drug dealers all over the place. Every piece of furniture in the room had at least one leg missing and was held up by telephone books. Cig burns on everything. Floor was a carpet of filth.
You know you’re in a bad motel when the stripper you take home from the club (Las Vegas Circus Showclub in Indy) tells you that you’re staying in a fucking dump.
Great Googly Moogly says
Oh I should mention that The Classic Motor Inn made a couple of appearances in the the TV show “COPS” over the years.
Um, Jason? Why would you mention that ‘Melanie’ is from Germany when you’re booking a hotel room? Just curious.
tony tony tony says
I stayed at a hotel in Indy a few weeks ago. It was a long weekend and I just got off work, and wanted to stay in a place that didn’t reek of cats/ferrets/and dogs (my place I stay in Indy). I forget the name of it even though I drive by it almost daily. Dollar Inn maybe? 50 bucks. I wanted a nice bath and shower, no stopper for the tub. Ground floor. Felt like I had bugs under my skin all night so it wasn’t a good sleep. And then my tire was flat in the morning. Good times. I did get to see Transformers though.
Staying at a hotel in Indy in December to see the Colts/Bengals, I have a feeeling it’ll be muuuuuch nicer.
Son of Sam says
Westward Ho in Vegas about 5 years ago. Whores and dope heads everywhere. Got scalded in the shower one morning…nice. The cab drivers just called the place “The Ho”
Erik in Follansbee says
A few years ago while I was playing lab technician for a concrete company, we traveled to Gallipolis, OH. The company reserved 4 rooms for execs at a Holiday Inn, and techs got to stay with the truck drivers in a little place that smelled like currey. A/C broken, stale sheets, sticky carpet and a great little running fridgerater. Oh well, we were there for work, big deal. As I was using the “facilities” thinking it could be worse, I noticed a toenail roughly the size of bigfoot’s just chillin on the bathroom floor. Who the hell cuts their claws at a hotel?
The worst by far was the Ramada at Niagra Falls, in New York, this side of the border. This trip was about a year ago. I actually sent the company a very “nice” letter explaining why we were not completely satisfied. It could have been the frosted dirty broken windows that wouldnt stay open on their own. The A/C was broken and Julio couldnt get it to stay running, so we used the broken pieces of lumber that was in our closet to prop the winders open. It also could have been the beds that were probably 50 years or so old, sunkin and swayed like a yacht every time you moved. But the thing that really burnt my ass, literally, is when I got up about 4 am to water the elephants and the toilet was steaming! Yes steaming, there was not one drop of cold water in the place, both sides of the spigot was piping hot, and the toilet, filled with heated funk. Nice. So good to be back home after that one.
Max Girth says
Several over the years…
Every time I have had one of these memorable stays I have noticed the same phenomenon. Perhaps other have seen it too.
There are people on the property who seem to live locally, but have rented the room for the specific purpose of drinking/partying? What in the star-crossed hell??? Why would Whitetrash rent a place just to get hammered? Can’t do it at home in case social services drops by? Do they know what kind of damage is going to result from a bender? It has always amazed me that folks who obviously can’t rub two nickels together would go out and pay what must seem like an exorbitant sum to get plastered and yell at the TV. (& of course each other) Sometimes there have been small business women dropping by after the party got going and I could understand where Jethro has probably learned not to send out for hookers to drop by the house. But several other times I have witnessed (mostly by sound through several walls) that it is just the family unit on a tear.
Has anyone else seen this?
Wow. I’ve hit a few less-than-perfect lodging choices in my day. But one stands out: It was some pirate-themed joint in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where a crew of us had gone for Easter break. Obviously, it’s still a bit cool this early in the season, but there was no heat in the room. We had to warm up by turning on the oven, throwing open its door and standing in front of it. Real nice.
They also had this scam-type thing going with the shower, for some odd reason. If you happened to have someone come and visit you at the hotel (as I did with my girlfriend), the hotel professionals were ever-vigilant about showering. I swear they must’ve had peepholes in the walls or something, because they’d know immediately if someone showered, show up at your door, and demand $5 to cover your guest’s shower. Of course, we were just lowly college students, so we paid it. If they tried that shit with me now, I’d give them a shower in return (a golden one).
I also had a colleague of mine, a couple of years back, who got scabies at a hotel in New York. And the staff didn’t even seem that concerned; they just gave him a handful of change to go to the laundromat and wash all of his possessions.
One more – the Hilton in Hartford CT. ABout 11 years ago.
Threadbare carpet, nonworking elevators, chipped paint on the steel doors, knockdown celining finish that didn’t need a knock to bring it down, sheets with rips in ’em, etc. Add in the hollerin’ masses of clientele (who apparently set their volume on ’11’ and broke the knob off) and you’ve got yourself one fine establishment.
After going to see a ballet and have a nice anniversary dinner, it wasn’t the most welcoming thing ever.
Lew in Bama– I’m with you -the really nasty places you can’t even take off your shoes. And sleeping fully clothed sound familar, too. Proximity to I95 is always a plus.
I took the cross country trip with my grandparents, great-aunt and cousin when I was 9 or 10 and every night my granpa would go check out the room before we decided if we were staying or not. This consisted of mainly sitting on the beds to see if they were firm enough?? If we were going to stay he would get his traveling bar out of the trunk and start with the highballs.
I love the Peabody.
Why is hotel sex so much better than at home sex?
Hey Tiff! Glad I’m not the only reporter on the wrong cycle…
Bill in WV says
Bill in PA – I have also stayed at the Beverly Hills Hilton. Extremely nice accomodations, to say the least. I was staying there for a conference during the time when Jeff had just moved to CA. He and I sat in their bar and enjoyed $8 Heinekens. I think he’s told that story here before.
I’m not real sure. I think they were asking if I was from the area, if we travel much, etc. And it kinda popped out.
I think hotel sex is better because it’s a strange bed. If you want a REAL thrill break into your neighbor’s house while they’re gone and have sex on their bed, couch, kitchen table, etc. That’s what we do.
Bill in PA says
Bill in WV- Was the bar called “The Library?”
I remember a lounge somewhere out there
where the walls were books from floor to ceiling, very cool.
My stay in Beverly Hills was completely comped,
so all the Drambuie, French wine and all meals were on the Boss!
All the better!
When I was a kid, my parents took us on the required American Historical trip through Washington DC, Philadelphia, through Boston, etc.
My Dad, being the cheap bastard that he is, booked lodging by price only. This was back in the days of AAA Guidebooks, before TripAdvisor, Yelp, and the Web in general.
In Boston, we rolled into this downtown dump which looked OK until an obvious hooker came up and propositioned me (at 13 mind you). End of that place.
In Lexington, VA, we tried a place that had a pool, which was exciting except that it had become ground zero for the states mosquito population. Also the windows in the room were all broken so the mosquitoes joined us for the evening.
Bill in WV says
It was 1996 when I was there, so I’m not sure what the bar’s names were. There was one in the lobby and a pub in the basement that was pretty cool. The night Jeff and I hung out, the hotel was having NBC’s internal awards show in the main ballroom. Saw all kinds of celebrities that evening. It’s the hotel that the Golden Globe Awards are held at every year. Pretty cool stuff !!
Man I sure could have used me some update today.
And not for nothing, it’s hotter in this office than a 6 weasle orgy in a gopher hole.
The Days Inn in DC on Connecticut where one patron was complaining at the front desk that she had discovered a fist-sized hole behind the bedside table that led directly into the adjoining room, and she and her husband were up all night listening to the man next door snore.
Raleigh Polly says
I am sorry that I missed this yesterday, and hope I am not too late to jump in.
Several years ago, my boyfriend and I were traveling between NC and Ohio and decide to camp along the way in WV. My boyfriend found what looked to be a really nice state park and campground right off of I-77, got directions, and booked a site for us. Right off of the highway, we see the “Camp Creek” sign and pull into an eerily still field in which the only noise is a weather vane creaking in the wind, like something out of a David Lynch movie. There is no forest, just a field and a small farmed plot, but there are two other tents set up so we get out of the car. The three men who were sitting in the front of a pickup truck, trying to jack the radio out it, stop what they are doing to silently stare at us as we go into the lodge to check in. Inside, everything is covered with a thick layer of dust and the windows are so yellow that they filter out most of the light. My boyfriend, thankfully, suggests driving farther down the road to look for a place to camp, even if it is on the side of the road. Less than two miles down the road, we see a sign for… Camp Creek? We pull in to what actually looks like a state park and inquire about the property right off of the highway. The ranger chuckles fondly and tells us that those people steal the “Camp Creek” sign from the state park so often that they just let them keep it.
Not long after that, the same guy and I are engaged and making another trip from NC to Ohio along I-77. After the Camp Creek experience, he asks me to make a hotel reservation near Charleston. He is a stingy bastard, so I find an inexpensive Red Roof Inn literally in the cloverleaf of the highway exit. Well, you get what you pay for. Crackheads, hobos, and God knows what else were lurking around that filthy place. We dead-bolted the door and didn’t open it again until the sun was up. He never let me live that down.
A few years after that, we are taking a trip to the USVIs in an attempt to resurrect our failing marriage. In an attempt to make me happy, my husband booked an “eco-lodge” on the far side of St. John. Suffice to say, the suite was filled with bugs. Holes in the screen let in hordes of mosquitoes. We return from a fantastic dinner the first night, walk into the room laughing and happy, flip on the lights, and my husband freezes mid-sentence. Giant roaches, so large that they had shadows and you could see underneath them (that is *not* an exaggeration), were on the wall above the bed. I left the room while my husband dealt with them. We pulled the bed away from the wall and laid awake with every light on that night, despite the warnings to conserve energy because the solar-powered generators only had so much. As soon as the lodge desk opened in the morning, we demanded to be moved to another room on the other side of the property. That room had ants, but in comparison, I was not complaining.
Three short months later, we are separated and I take a solo trip to Cornelius, NC. The bathroom door literally will not close because the toilet is right in front of the bathroom entrance and in the way of the door. A huge chunk has been beaten out of the door, likely by countless patrons in an attempt to force the door closed. To add insult to injury, when one is using the toilet, she is able to stare at herself in the full-length mirror which is on the wall across from the bathroom entrance, and can also see the room’s bed in the mirror (meaning that anyone on the bed would be able to see anyone using the toilet). Good stuff. Thankfully, I am alone in that room.
Raleigh Polly says
I also spent a few months volunteering in Angola, which is a country in Africa that is south of the DR Congo and north of Namibia. The first night there, our new boss put the 5 of us up in 1 room in the nicest room in the capital. 4 women and 1 man shared 2 small beds in that room. We also shared the 2 mosquito nets, as there were no screens on the window. All of the rooms on a floor shared a common bathroom, with several showers, sinks, and toilet stalls. We girls went traipsing into the bathroom with our toothbrushes, only to soak our shoes and socks in the disgusting sludge that had overflowed out of the toilets and across the entire floor. A few inches of standing human waste in an African bathroom…. priceless.
Raleigh Polly says
Damn… that should have been the nicest “hotel” in the capital.
Did it smell like hot garbage where you were at in Africa?
Here’s a room I ran across in Plains, TX while riding my bike from Arlington to Phoenix.
Our worst experience was in Flagstaff, Az. Some no name hotel. It was really late, the kids were little, and we couldn’t wait to check in and get to bed. Everything is fine for the first half hour, as we settled in to bed. The room was clean enough and the beds fairly comfortable.
Then it came. A loud rumbling. We thought we were in an earthquake!
Do you know how many trains go through Flagstaff every night? At least one every half hour. And don’t get a room where the train has to cross an intersection, because they have to blow their horn!
Every time I was almost asleep, a train came through. Fortunately, the kids were exhausted and slept through it. We checked out instead of staying three days, and got a place a little farther from the tracks.
Raleigh Polly says
Jason, I can’t actually describe the smell that is “Africa”. Occassionally, I will catch a whiff of something that will transport me right back there. Hot garbage, huh? I would describe the smell as having a bouquet of rotting fruit with topnotes of body funk and scorched earth…. Oddly enough, I didn’t notice the smell of being there so much as I noticed the absence of smells once I returned to the U.S. Where were you?
David Goliath says
The worst motel ever…
Inn Town motel on Broad St. just west of downtown Columbus Ohio. We should have known when we seen a sign that said “hourly rates available”. Everything in the room was bolted and chained down, and there was condom wrappers on the floor next to the bed. We were lucky to get clean sheets!
#1: Friends booked us a room at the Hilton or Holiday Inn or some other such great-name hotel in downtown Toronto. Must be good right?
This was the smallest room I’ve ever seen and there was four of us in it. There was barely enough room to get from around the bottom of the beds. It was the first time I’d seen a (valuables) safe in a hotel room (this was about 2002 but they aren’t in most hotels around here). Nasty people glaring at you from behind other room’s doors and people running up and down the hall all night. Might’ve heard gunshots in my blurred memory.
But the worst thing was at about 1am we hear this loud squeal as a streetcar rounds the corner just outside the hotel. And then another. And then another, etc. We were situated just beside the parking garage where all streetcars come to spend the night. I don’t know how many streetcars Toronto has – let’s say a hundred. And everyone of them came squealing around that corner in quick succession.
The next morning we tried to have breakfast in the restaurant but left because the evil-looking owner wouldn’t let us sit with the friends we came with – “You sit here!” Got scared they’d spike our eggs and got up and left for a McDonald’s.
#2: Little motel outside a campground where we were visiting friends. Again, we thought it must be better than camping right? Dirty, creepy and the floor tilted so much you could put a ball on one side and it would smash into the wall on the other.
P.S. Am I having deja-vu or have I already told those stories on a previous WVSR thread? Ah well, doesn’t matter – they’re still good.
while working at a large resort in French Lick Indiana we were very short on housekeepers so on days we were slammed we were told pull the down cover back if sheets look clean run vac hose with attachment over them to remove any skin, hair etc and spritz with freshener and remake bed. Talk about disgusting. I had to clean up after a man defecated all over the bathroom. Had to wipe it down and then use all purpose cleaner to go over bathroom when done. No disinfectant etc. I used to take my own Lysol, Clorox wipes etc so at least people coming in would have germ less room. I looked at extra blankets that were kept in bags in closets and they were often cluttered with pubic hair, head hair and stains. I once opened a “packaged” spare blanket and there was a mayonnaise packet in there. The rooms there were 150-300 and some even more per night. I now operate a small motel and can tell you I personally clean my rooms and though outdated they are CLEAN! I would never ask a guest to sleep in a room I wouldnt let my kids sleep in.
Friend, I’m against swearing and much of the language in this post, but I couldn’t help but share a hotel experience I had when I was very young.
We were on the way to Walt Disney World, and I was around six years old, so I am reciting from retellings.
We did an all-nighter, and were forced to spend the night at a hotel in a town somewhere near the Florida-Georgia border, possibly farther into the Sunshine State.
It was about one or two A.M., every single hotel was booked. We managed to get a spot, past midnight, at an unnamed and wretched motel. The room was intended for TWO PEOPLE. We had eight. My great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother had to sleep in a small bed for two, and everyone else had to make due with the floor (my sister and I got a pallet to sleep on) or hard chairs. By everyone, my sixty plus grandfather, and my late thirties father, who were so sore in the morning.
Now, the part that unnerved my family was this. The room had, according to the staff, “just opened”. Now, what kind of two-occupant room becomes available that late?
Exactly. It was clear to my family that the room had been suspected to an unholy aspect of society. We shiver at that to this day.
My family thanks God that the staff kindly provided us clean sheets and a low rate! The floor was dirty (with outdated and dark-colored carpet) and the bathroom, according to memory, was ALL a stained white, and I think the sink was cracked. The shower… I don’t think anyone dared to get athlete’s foot at 8:00 A.M. .
We escaped that hotel as fast as possible, asnd I don’t think we ever checked out of a hotel that fast for the rest of my days.
However, compared to the poor souls who had to experience the overnight torture listed above, I can say that the eight of us slept in the Ritz-Carlton!
The other bad hotel experience was one I’ll never forget. I was about thirteen or fourteen this time around.
We had heard of a radio advertisement. Six Flags Over Georgia had opened its gates for FREE for a whole day!
We thought there would be a crowd, and a huge one at that, so we thought up the idea of sleeping in a hotel one exit from the park. Thus, we did.
Al hotels were mighty expensive, sadly, so we chose a Super Eight inn which had a $50 a night rate. That price should have said something.
Valerie O says
The Harbor Inn at Philipsburg PA STINKS, is moldy and filthy. There were spiders and roaches even in the bedding. It has been acquired by foreigners and they seem to think cleaning consists of spraying a vile smelling chemical into the air. Stay away from it!!!!
dont go to budget inn fla. blvd. baton rouge la. its a cheap motel but still they should treat people like humans instead of animals . they charge .50 for each local call you make and they listen in on your calls , also they wont allow you to have visitors. at all.