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(Level: 251.3 - Posts: 3742)
Fri, 10th Jul '09 11:09 PM
YOUR WORST HOTEL EXPERIENCE.
Back in March I wrote a Trivia Square called "3 Nights in an Overpriced Hotel," thinking it would be the low point in my travels. Nope. (If you want the gist of this post, just skip to the last line now.)
I'm now in a motel that I've stayed in several times before with no problems. Should have known the 'quality' had changed when the desk clerk addressed me as 'Dude.' Got our room keys and went to check out the room. Flipped the light switch. Nothing. Only light that works is in the bathroom, attached to the fan, which rattles loudly. Went back, told the clerk that a breaker must be off. He "don't know nothin' 'bout electricity." We walk back so I can show him the room, and the genius finds the problem. Whoever stayed here last stole every bulb in the room except one, which was blown. He tries to call the manager. No answer. He offers to change us to another room, but the only ones available are smoking, and if you're an ex-smoker like me, you know how rancid stale smoke is.
I ask him if he knows where the spare bulbs are, and he manages to find three. Instead of putting them in the empty sockets, he removes the blown bulb first. And drops it. Onto the chest. Where it shatters all over the carpet. Meanwhile my wife and our granddog are waiting in the car. The next nearest pet-friendly hotel is 10 miles away.
He vacuums up the glass and I tell him to leave a note for the manager that we will expect an adjustment in the rate. TV is snowy, but we don't watch much TV. Wifi signal is weak but usable. Their ISP is actually faster than my home service so I may try some challenges! Why don't we leave? Our other option is to stay with my chain-smoking mother-in-law, whom we've come to visit.
Anyway, what is YOUR worst travel experience (so far)?
(Level: 98.7 - Posts: 2144)
Fri, 10th Jul '09 11:28 PM
Bend, OR. I can't remember the name of the hotel but we called it the Bates. Not sure if that was the name or just one we assigned to it. We rolled in after midnight and everything else was full. We hit the Bates, grateful for the Vacancy sign. They even discount the room because its so late. I guess this would be a motel because you parked in front of your room door. Well, the door wouldn't shut or lock except for the chain. Everything was icky, nothing matched, it stunk, and then we hit the bathroom. The bathroom curtains were made out of towels, which guests had used, and they were filthy. The shower was so dirty that my nephew wrote "redrum" in the scum. But we were exhausted and there was nowhere else to go, so we crashed, hoping we would survive the night.
I have to say that the people at the front desk were decent. That makes a crappy place much more tolerable. And rude service can make a nice place seem crappy.
(Level: 251.3 - Posts: 3742)
Fri, 10th Jul '09 11:54 PM
I forgot to mention that the TV remote doesn't work, but at least the bulb thieves didn't steal the battery. I'm probably changing my neighbor's channels. And when I sat down in the desk chair to set up my computer, the springs on one half of the chair are gone. Ah well, we'll see what happens in the morning.
(Level: 42.6 - Posts: 839)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 12:35 AM
LOL! Lodi's room sounds like one My husband and I stayed, in Louisiana,but there were bugs! I sat up in bed all night with a flashlight..couldn't sleep,I was scared to death,and every few minutes I would turn the flashlight on and check the bed,wall and floor,I was so happy when morning came,and we got out there.I will never do that again,I'll sleep in the car from now on.
(Level: 133.4 - Posts: 838)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 12:40 AM
It was 10 years ago. Went to California for my Nephews wedding. Checked into a well known Hotel in Laguna Beach. Never thought anything would be wrong here. The first room the TV didn't work. They moved us. Got settled in then went out to lunch. Came back from lunch to find our room flooded ankle deep in water. Water coming down from the ceiling. People upstairs left the tub running. Thank goodness we left our luggage up on the Luggage racks off the floor. By the time we got into our third room it was time for bed. This room seemed ok until we got up the next morning . I went into the bathroom to shower and found the entire vanity covered with ants. When I reported it to the front desk, I was told there was nothing they could do, since there was no more rooms available. Needless to say we left . Thank goodness the Wedding was great. When I got home I wrote the Hotel Management ,and sent pictures of the ants. Never heard from anyone. Never stayed at that Hotel brand again.
(Level: 156.3 - Posts: 5315)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 1:00 AM
Last August our family went to Wichita, Kansas, when my son was marrying a lady from there. All the motels in town were filled because of some big conference going on. We did find a couple rooms; the front office looked pretty good. Our rooms were in a detached building in the back of the complex.
We walked in to the hallway to our rooms and discovered they were remodeling the place, plus doing some construction on the other side of the complex. The hallways were cluttered with buckets, plaster bags, tools, etc. It reeked of wet plaster (my granddaughter, 13, convinced herself it was from cat pee).
These were the hottest days of the year - about 112 degrees - and It was so humid outside and in the hallways it about sucked our breath away. Add the heat and humidity to the smell, and well, ......
I was in one room with my granddaughter and her best friend and my ex-husband took our grandson to his room.
The rooms were so-so. We went to bed about midnight. Around 6 a.m. we awoke to shouting in the hallway in front of the room next to us. Knew enough Spanish to know this big burly fellow (could sorta see him through the peep hole in the door) was cussing at someone in the room. This went on nonstop for about 10 minutes.
I decided enough was enough, so I went to the phone to call the front desk. But no phone service because of the construction on the other side of the building.
I got my cell phone and was going to call the front desk, but I couldn't remember the name of the motel, my ex had the receipt in his room (and I wasn't about to leave my room to get it) and I couldn't find any letterheads or envelopes with the name or phone number on it. I considered calling the police, but I didn't know what to tell them without the name of the motel.
In the meantime we had no idea whether this guy had a gun, or whether he would start knocking down doors. Sometimes the arguing got louder and more abusive, then it might go to a lower volume for a few minutes.
Finally after 30 minutes or so, he finally left.
The next night was uneventful (although I did make sure I had a business card with the phone number on it just in case). Only problem that night was no twels in the room.
Only bright notes - it was a beautiful wedding and my daughter-in-law was definitely worth the bad experience at the motel!
(Level: 264.5 - Posts: 202)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 1:26 AM
Orlando, Florida, May, 1994.
It was a place called the Las Palmas on International Drive. It was truly the deepest hotel pit I have ever been in.
On arrival, the place is in a shambles due to reconstruction of the restaurant. Informed by the front desk (if you can call it that, it was a table in the middle of the lobby) that the food service for the entire length of stay (three days) was going to be intermittent with no guarantees on quantity or quality. The bar had only the cheap stuff available because (they said) the construction workers might make off with it!
Finally got them to give me my room key. Needed to follow a circuitous path due to the construction. Opened the door and...
(1) bed was not made, no pillow(s) either; (2) total furniture, in addition to unmade bed: one table with two chairs (one of the chairs had only three legs and was on its side) and one bureau with NO drawers (just slots where they belonged); (3) bathroom had toilet that would not stop filling and a shower that looked as if it hadn't been cleaned since the Carter administration; (4) roaches parading across the carpet (if you could call the threadbare material on the floor "carpet"); (5) lighting consisted of a ceiling fixture that did not work and a chandelier above the aforementioned table; this chandelier had five positions for lamps but only three had the glass globes, so it hung crookedly, but it DID work;
air conditioning out of service; and (7) water stains and mold around both tiny windows.
That covers most of the encountered problems. I stayed there one night only and moved down International Drive to the Radisson.
By the way, on a subsequent trip in the early 2000s, I stopped by to see what the place was like. It had been redone into a Best Western and appeared to be in MUCH better condition!
(Level: 239.4 - Posts: 3301)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 6:10 AM
You all make me feel like an intolerant shrew. I've had some bad ones, but cannot match those - thank goodness!
(Level: 256.8 - Posts: 3936)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 8:14 AM
Darn, John. I stayed at that Best Western in 1998. Not anything to write home about, but wonderfully unremarkable. And cheap.
(Level: 251.3 - Posts: 3742)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 8:19 AM
Until Leaston mentioned bugs, I had forgotten one hotel (Thanks a lot, Polly!)
I took an academic team to the state competition at one of the major hotels in our largest city. We had four rooms in a row down one side: girls, two female chaperons, me, boys. We sat out in the hall and planned strategy until curfew at 11:00;
The girls went to their room. For about two minutes. They came running out, scratching, swatting and screaming. Termite swarm in their room. I called the desk; maintenance came and sprayed the room, we moved the girls down one room and found a new room for the chaperons.
The girls went into their new room. Repeat paragraph above... This time management sprayed the room and we moved the girls and chaperons to rooms in another wing of the hotel. It seems all the spraying was accomplishing was moving the bugs down the hall. Remember whose room is next in line? Right. All night long I felt things falling on me and my bed from the ceiling.
They've since torn down that hotel and our state conference has move to a newer one downtown.
(Level: 224.7 - Posts: 1088)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 8:50 AM
Algeciras, Spain 1980
My husband and I were stationed in Iceland at the time, and we took an extended weekend trip to Spain. We flew into Rota, rented a car and drove to Algeciras (by way of Seville--had a lovely day and night there) to take a hydrofoil across to Tangier for a day-trip. The hotel in Algeciras -- I don't remember the name -- reminded us both of something out of a Bogart movie. It must have been a classy place once upon a time with it's grand (but grimy) marble staircase and fabulous (but fly-specked) mirrored lobby with low-hanging, slow-moving ceiling fans and dim lights. There was a thin haze of cigarette smoke everywhere.
The room was tiny. The bathroom was the filthiest I had ever seen. There were surfaces that could not have been cleaned in ages. I cannot even describe the layers of black slime, dust, and bugs -- some dead, some not. The room had two small beds--more like cots--with mattressed that sagged both side-to-side and end-to-end somewhat like thinly padded canoes. I was sure they had to be bug infested and did not want to get into one alone. I don't know why I thought crowding into one bed would be any better; the beds were really too small for one, much less two. Neither of us got much rest that night, but somehow the lousy hotel made for a much more interesting story than any average hotel stay would have offered. The memory of it is so vivid, I'm actually glad that we had a chance to stay there.
We had a grand time in Tangiers, missed the returning hydrofoil because someone had "misplaced" our passports which, thank God, were returned to us in time for us to take the ferry -- a much slower, but much more fun, mode of transport because we spent the time around the bar with a mixed group of wildly partying Europeans from about six different countries. We had a blast.
In Algeciras we jumped back into the rental car and got back to Rota just in time to catch our return flight. It turns out we were the only ones from the trip who had left the Naval station at Rota -- they had planned to spend the weekend on the beach there, but it rained the whole time. They spent a miserable 4 days in the motel rooms. They probably don't even remember the weekend -- it has been almost 30 years since then -- but we will never forget our Spanish adventure!
(Level: 155.2 - Posts: 2478)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 9:09 AM
I've posted this before, but it fits the thread
I went on my honeymoon to Martinique -- my husband picked it because it sounded like my name - Martina -- insert your "aww's" here, because its the last time you will want to, in this story.
The travel agent, told him, it was a tiny island where they spoke English and French and that you could bicycle from one end of the island to the other -- sure, maybe you are Lance Armstrong.
English? Ha, We were there during the off season -- and it turns out that they hated Americans -- the only place they spoke English was in the bar -- and then only because my husband broke up a bar fight.
The food was dreadful, they seemed to specialize in things that required that the eyes, be left on, in, or displayed prominently.
We finally met another man who spoke English -- but when he FREAKED out, over being photographed, we were pretty sure he was a drug dealer.
Oh, and did I mention that they lost our luggage, which contained, my birth control -- for the first 4 and1/2 days. How I didnt get pregnant still astonishes me.
OH! I forgot to mention, that our 'Honeymoon Suite" turned out to me -- 2 twin beds, with an unit for storage etc, builit in between the beds, so that they couldnt be pushed together. We tried for a better "suite" but the man at the desk, suddenly lost his ability to speak english, despite the fact that he was speaking it when we walked up. He got another person, who then, decided that we were trying to check out, and tried to charge us DOUBLE, which my husband, actually got his credit card out to do.... I pitched a hissy, just in time.
The 4th night, we went to the bar and I had a really delcious drink called a Planters Punch -- little did I know that the Punch referred to how it knocked you on your ass -- no less that FOUR kinds of rum -- I had 3 of them. I think.
The next morning, I woke to my husband, pushing on my stomach, trying to make me threw up, more, to get it out of my system.... (grounds for divorce right there), but he needn't have done that, When I opened the sliding door to the balcony, the smell of the Rum Punch that he had left on the table, started me ralphing, all over again. Later that morning, my husband met a couple from Canada -- the wife, who only spoke French, gave him some pills, for my headache -- although I rarely took any medication, let alone, something I had no idea what it was -- I took it, I PRAYED it would kill me.
At last, the day arrived for us to go home. THANK YOU JESUS!
We got to the airport, as our flight took off.
The cabby, took us to another part of the island -- to a Hilton -- that had four different restaurants, to a room with two double beds, and they arranged for our flight home, the next day.
Things looking up? You would think -- but I started to have blood in my urine -- the hotel sent a doctor to our room and he gave an injection of anibiotic -- never mind that he spoke no English.... I had a case of "honeymoon cystitis" -- which is what happens when you, well spend LOTS of time with your new husband, but I had never heard of it -- so once we got home -- after all that I had to endure all the giggles and elbow pokes -- I didnt know enough to leave the urinary tract infection out of the story.
(Level: 42.6 - Posts: 839)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 10:03 AM
LOL! Anytime Michael!
(Level: 197.2 - Posts: 1302)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 11:05 AM
1988, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Slash was already asleep when I made it to the room. I had to wake him up to get a mere autograph.
(Level: 165.6 - Posts: 1982)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 1:23 PM
I have nothing to match these horror stories but I used to travel around the state witha perfomring arts company and our manager booked us into what we fondly referred to as the "Good Deal Motel".
My favorite was a place that had a very long list of rules about phone usage stuck on the mirror, but no phone in the room! No cell phones back then, so we had to go to the front desk and get the clerk out of his little apartment to use the phone!
(Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 5:45 PM
When I was about 20, I played rugby for the Indiana U. club team. One year we traveled down to New Orleans for the "Mardi Gras Bowl" I was just a skinny, fast wing, by the way.
It had been raining for weeks, and was still raining during the tourney. About 30 teams there, both men's and women's. The pitches were in a giant cow pasture-like field and everyone worried that someone might drown in a ruck. There were puddles 6 inches deep in places. You couldn't tell anyone by their uniform, everyone completely covered with mud.
Our "motel" was about 45 minutes north of N.O. It was the only thing we could get during Mardi Gras, and for a price we could afford. In Hamilton, maybe?
We were staying 8 to a room, pulling the mattresses off the bed etc. There was only one shower per room of course. You can imagine what it was like after a game. We played 4 in 2 days. It sounds like the motel would be complaining about us I suppose, but there was a big hole in the wall of our room, that you could see through, so we stuffed it with newspaper..
The motel was full of rugby teams from all over the country, and of course we all went to Mardi Gras. I don't remember anything else
(Level: 98.7 - Posts: 2144)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 9:34 PM
I think what she's saying is don't mess with Sandy or you'll get scrummed.
(Level: 251.3 - Posts: 3742)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 11:13 PM
I'm not sure if Sandy is complaining or bragging. For a 20-yr-old to be in New Orleans during Marti Gras must have been the experience of a lifetime. And over in the boys' rooms, they were having contests involving striking matches to cover the smell. And trying to figure out how to get into the girls' rooms.
(Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sun, 12th Jul '09 1:04 AM
It was really a blast. Fortunately, the boys found their own "girls" somewhere
(Level: 73.3 - Posts: 61)
Sun, 12th Jul '09 10:39 PM
My friend and I had traveled from Phoenix to Flagstaff with plans of spending a night then seeing the Grand Canyon the next day and returning to Phoenix. Being adventurous (stupid) we didn’t call any of the hotel chains to make a reservation figuring we’d find a motel when we got there. We found lots of them, all full. After driving around for about an hour we spotted a vacancy sign lit up. We pulled in and I went to the desk. That’s when the first alarm bell went off in my head. The desk clerk was behind a sheet of bullet proof glass and there was a drawer that opened up for you to put your money/credit card in. I got the room key and we went into the room. The first thing I noticed was the big water stain on the ceiling that matched the big water stain on the bed spread. Looking around I also saw that the door had been kicked in at some point and the jamb was poorly repaired. The tub had rust stains in it and the clothes rod was held in place by a couple of bent coat hangers. The last straw was when I turned back the bed, it looked like the sheets hadn’t been changed for quite a while. When I was walking back to the desk to get a refund I spotted an armed guard patrolling the parking lot. Luckily the clerk didn’t give us a problem and we did find a nice hotel about a half hour later.
(Level: 95.2 - Posts: 6648)
Mon, 13th Jul '09 4:13 AM
I've had a few complaints especially in Detroit. Michigan. There were little critters crawling around; so we left and got a hotel in South Haven.
This mom is really upset.
(Level: 260.7 - Posts: 2770)
Mon, 13th Jul '09 5:33 AM
We went on what must have been one of the first package holidays to Hammamet, Tunisia, around 1968.
Hotels still had to be invented there!
We were in, literally, a mud hut - well, a mud-brick built square thing.
Couch bed, no lights, rudimentary shower, communal 'hole in the ground' loo, and that was it!
Added to the 'genuineness' at least!
But at least we saw the area for real, before it later became the 'Benidorm' of Tunisia!
(Level: 255.5 - Posts: 1391)
Tue, 14th Jul '09 11:26 AM
I HAD to read Alan's. The communal loo hole reminded me of Shanghai in 1985. When flying in, the city of 12 million looked like a forest because they only had one 60 watt bulb per intersection to light it. All traffic (burros included) was handled by men directors on the corners.
The hotel water was hot on request ... for ten minutes per day. (two of us showered in those few minutes.) The food was served on our assigned table ... the same egg stain on the table cloth lasted all week. The steamed dim sung was the only variety for dinner. We skipped it because we had the runs after day one. The thermos for hot tea was the only drinking water so we used it to brush our teeth. The bed was a one inch thick straw mattress on a board and the bathroom loo was a six inch diameter whole in the floor. However, there was one amenity ... the room was bugged with at least six state of the art microphones.
(Level: 134.0 - Posts: 3777)
Tue, 14th Jul '09 10:09 PM
Nogales, Mexico (border town south of Tucson, AZ (1969)
My friend and I had just finished hitchhiking north from Guaymas. It was late, and we decided to get a room for the night. We would cross the border in the morning. We located a deluxe accommodation via the recommendation of a young lad who had moments before asked us if we wanted to "meet his seester" (yes, he really said it) after we had finally convinced him after almost two blocks that it was impossible for his to shine of Adidas shoes. Our room cost us $3.00US. Our host took us to our room and turned on the light. The room was brown, the shades of David Copperfield, it turned white. We were to tired to move on. But, we sleep ontop of the covers with the lights on.
(Level: 228.1 - Posts: 176)
Wed, 15th Jul '09 8:16 PM
In Plovdiv, Bulgaria the "deluxe " hotel had water runing from 4 until 5. Naturally all the guests tried to bathe at the same time so only a trickle of some brownish fluid poured out. Nevertheless my friend decided she must have a bath. She discovered there was no plug so I went to the lobby to get one. The man handed me 1 kleenex tissue and said try this. We gave up on cleanliness and opted to watch the antics of a lone cockroach since there was nothing else going on.
(Level: 118.4 - Posts: 1745)
Wed, 15th Jul '09 9:11 PM
Somewhat unrelated but I work in the hotel business for a upper end brand. I am still learning my new job, it isn't easy trying to learn nite audit (accounting) along with the front desk on busy weekends. Last nite I did something that is a hospitality workers nightmare, I booked a room to a guest and did not hit f10 to save the reservation. Thank god I remembered the room number, because I could have booked someone else into the room. It was scary because the first time I went up the room was empty so I thought I made a mistake. Then I saw the guests intials by the non-smoking policy, I went up and had to get guest into, embarrassing! Otherwise the guest would have gotten a free room, or I would have been in trouble. I have stayed in some really bad ones myself, but nothing to top your stories. PS don't tell anyone about my story!
(Level: 251.3 - Posts: 3742)
Thu, 16th Jul '09 1:59 PM
I sent an email to the motel manager about this last trip. Saturday night the same clerk who checked us in was sitting out in the lobby while his girlfriend practically gave him a lap dance. I asked him what happened to the brunette who was with him the night before. That should get him some grief. I suspect he lets his college (and maybe high school) friends used the unclaimed rooms when he's on duty.
While this was a memorable trip, I feel a whole lot better now that I've read your stories. Thanks, everyone.
(Level: 161.0 - Posts: 2301)
Thu, 16th Jul '09 7:45 PM
Trujillo, Honduras. On a medical mission the year after Mitch had hit. Hotel was a grand thing in its time, I'm sure. Before the banana plantations went under in the hurricane, Chaquita pulled up the old banana trees, replanted, and left town (they owned the schools, clinics, hospital and were the sole employee for the village) to wait 5 years for the trees to mature.
The grand old hotel was in disrepair. The light switch for the bathroom was inside (yes, inside) the shower stall in a large room that 7 of us shared. Hot water...not. Warm water early mornings. Electricity..except when it when off (which was at least twice a day). There was a fellow with a mule (the village electrician), who would trudge up the mountain (2 miles) to the power station to turn the electricity for the entire village back on. But..he didn't work on Sundays, didn't work after dark and didn't work if he had been offered a drink by a friend.
Rooms were clean if really crowded and we were given bottle water to brush our teeth, as water was bad.
Good thing - we were able to do dental and medical treatment on 640 children in 6 days and then spent 3 days on Roatan (if you don't know what that is LOOK IT UP). All in all, I'd do it again.
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