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Your Worst Hotel Experience?


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My wife and I are making a quick trip to St. Louis and didn't have much time to plan it. It came down to one very nice, but very expensive, hotel or another one that is less pricey. Always one to save a few bucks, I check out some reviews of the latter. Here's a sampling:


-"Room was old and filthy."


-"Had to be moved two times due to the filthy conditions . . ."


-"Bathroom was beyond disgusting."


-". . . afraid after reading prior reviews that our car would be broken into."


One of every three ratings was "Terrible."


I've stayed in some pretty bad places, but this time we'll be spending a bit more. I'll bet you all have stories to share . . . .

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I just walk out of any place that is suspect. I've never had anyone refuse a refund.


One day in Birmingham AL I checked into a major name brand hotel. Went to my room, opened the door and some kid was lying on MY bed. In my state of surprise, I said "What are you doing here!!" The poor kid took off. Later, the front desk admitted the kid was with a group of traveling school kids and had been given that room. Was the hotel's fault, but I felt bad.

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Santa Cruz Ca in 1976. Someone used a key to get into our room when we went to the boardwalk and stole $140.00, Bad. They missed the Mauser Luger hidden in a drawer. Good.


Ft. Bragg Ca., 1985. Stayed and then didn't in a motel room with my Wife and Boy on a skin diving trip that gave us fleas and smelled like a dog had pissed all over the room.


1990 Santa Cruz, Ca., When checking out of the room we were charged $28.00 for a phone call that we never made. The clerk called the cops and told them? "De compuuterr never lie". We paid and then cancelled the credit card charge.


1987 Lake Tahoe Ca., Made confirmed reservations at a motel, paid with a credit card only to find that (even tho we paid and told them we would be late)they gave our room away. (9pm). Then when I protested, they had their German Shepard try and attack me. Then found that they had indeed charged the credit card for our room.


Coming back from the Ca. bay area about 1983 we stayed at a highway motel with our young son and the couple next door kept doing the nasty all night from various places in the room. Next morning we purposely stayed close to look at them and the lady was about 25 and the gentleman was about 70. What a way to lose a night's sleep.

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Really more of a confession of something terrible I did to a motel room, but here it is...


My wife, myself and our Brittany Spaniel were travelling cross country in her new luxury sedan. Whenever it was time to let the dog strech his legs I would pull off the interstate somewhere in the country and find a field or meadow for him to run around in. One of these stops happened outside Mt. Vernon IL just around sunset. The dog bounded off into the tall grass. Moments later I heard him bark like he was on the trail of a critter - followed shortly by "YIPE YIPE." :eek:


We could smell him before we could see him. Poor Riley got sprayed by a skunk which was bad. But worse was that we had another 500 miles to go and Lisa's new leather interior would never be the same. We wrapped him with his blanket, opened all the windows and sped away from the scene. We pulled over into the cheapest motel with room doors on the outside that we could find. We paid cash and checked in under a false name. I snuck Riley into the ill-fated room and directly into the tub. Lisa went out to buy up all the tomatoe juice she could find and cheap towels from Wal-mart. Even in our sorry desperate state we knew we couldn't use the motel towels for this. It's just too evil.


I washed him with hotel shampoo until she returned with the supplies. I was starting to think he smelled better but when Lisa came back she was met at the door by the powerful skunk smell assaulting her senses and making her eyes water. I guess my nose had mercifully give out by that point. We used all the tomatoe juice, dried him up, threw the new towels into a dumpster, and skipped town.


So if you are ever in Mt. Vernon, IL, avoid any hotels with doors on the outside. I'm sorry...



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Mike, that's a two edged sword.


One week after we finished building a semi-detached motel unit we were called back by the owner to do extensive fire damage repairs. The very first "guests" were two young couples who rented both units (there was a shared door between the units). They decided to have a fire in the fireplace but didn't want to pay for the fire wood at the office so broke up the coffee tables and used that as firewood. The asshats didn't know about dampers. Needless to say there was a lot of smoke damage. The youngins skipped out and when the motel owner charged for the damages against their credit cards he got a letter from a lawyer. He eventually backed down from a suit and absorbed the repair bill.


Second incident was another young couple at another motel who decided to do the nasty in the shower. They ended up shearing the tap off so couldn't turn the water off. They simply packed up and left without even trying to get help from the office to deal with the issue. Major repair bill on that one too.


But here's my favourite. At a hotel with villas a party hardy group was sharing one of the units. The unit had vaulted ceilings but the bathroom walls only extended up 9 ft. The flat bathroom ceiling was glass (the type with wire mesh imbedded) to take advantage of the skylights in the adjoining living area. Smart guy decides he's going to jump up on the ceiling and moon his buddy in the bathroom. The glass gave way but not the mesh. The next day the cleaning lady found the caved in bathroom ceiling and all the towels covered in blood.


I could go on.



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Central Dijon, France.

We had booked ahead from another hotel in the chain (franchised).

On arrival they took payment on or CC (as is usual in France) and then showed us to our room. The room stank of stale sweat, then we saw the prostitute leaving the adjacent room with her client. The hotel would not refund, but we left anyhow and found a best-western down the road.



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One day in Birmingham AL I checked into a major name brand hotel. Went to my room, opened the door and some kid was lying on MY bed. In my state of surprise, I said "What are you doing here!!" The poor kid took off. Later, the front desk admitted the kid was with a group of traveling school kids and had been given that room. Was the hotel's fault, but I felt bad.


similar experience here but the person I walked in on was a 300 pound guy in his underwear asleep. I was outta there before he could react but the desk had mixed up room numbers. :eek:


the only other memorable experience I can recall was the night I had the flu and was trying to get some sleep and there was a shoe salesman convention going on in the place. I don't care what stereotype you can conjure up for a group like that but those guys could party with the best of em' I didn't get alot of sleep and was too sick to complain. :(



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Dave McReynolds

Last January, we were driving through Arizona when the roads were closed because of snow, and we couldn't get through to our destination in Sedona. We saw a roadside hotel, and I went up to the desk and asked the room clerk if he had any rooms available. He said, "Sure, who would want to stay here?" It was kind of a crummy motel, compared with what we were anticipating in Sedona, but not that awful. I just appreciated the hotel clerk's humor.

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1976 - El Segundo. Attending training in Vallejo, but stopped in LA area to see a friend. Too late to search (pre-internet days)Just drove in from Albuquerque. Hot. Dusty. 9 PM. Looked for a motel. "This one looks OK" - courtyard in front. Found office with Dutch doors. Very timid Asian couple opens top of door, slowly.

Me: "I'd like a room"

Them: "For the whole night????"

Me: "Yes"

Them: "All we have is a king size"

Me: "Fine"

Went to room. Laid down on bed. Looked to the left: large mirror on wall. Looked at ceiling: Even larger mirror. Much activity in adjacent room. Finally fall asleep.

Next morning, turn on TV. What do I see? A guy with a shaved head and large handlebar moustache in a leopard skin suit with the words "High Prices" on his back. Then we see Cal Worthington wrestle him. Of course...Cal wrestling High Prices...priceless.


1984 - Laytonville, Ca. Again, late at night. With-then-girlfriend-now-wife. Overpaid for a room, then found the bed sagged...badly. The kind where each of us rolled toward each other in the middle, and can't escape. Looking at the door, could clearly see 2 inches of daylight under the door, which led to the outside. Way enough room for many a critter to enter the room, though even they knew better.

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On vacation in Italy about 70 miles SE of Rome. Very limited selection and we needed to be in that area. Hotel had beautiful, park like gardens that they rented out for weddings and receptions. Built in 1940s and never updated.

First night, hot and no AC, open the window to get no sleep due to reception noise going on. Second room had sewer gas backing up into the bathroom.

Next morning the wife is ironing with a borrowed Italian iron. Consists of an iron and a base unit about a foot square that holds water for the steam (Its and Italian thing requiring the most difficult way to complete a task). Anyway, there is no ironing board so she sets up on the floor. Plugs it in and goes about her business while it warms up. When she goes to use it she realizes that the base unit is also to set the warming iron on. The base of the iron has melted into the carpet creating a really neat clear plastic patch out of the carpet. In her defense it was standing up like we do here in the states, but the bottom of the iron about 4 inches square was just as hot as the iron itself.


Round 2:

BVI and the shower head comes off in my hand. Finish the shower with the water that is gushing out of the wall. Go down to the front desk and the receptionist is sitting there with her head laying on the desk.

Me: Excuse me but the shower is broken in our room.

Her: OK

Me: Do you think you can see about getting it fixed?

Her: OK

Me: Thanks

Her: No response


Her head NEVER left the counter and the shower was not fixed during our stay.


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Long ago, driving from Chicago back to New Hampshire with my 10-year-old-or-so brother-in-law in tow. Wiped up, I stopped at a place in western Massachusetts. It looked okay, though not great from the outside. "Well, we've only got one room left and we don't usually rent it."


I insisted that it would do. We ascended a stairway to what used to be an attic. Exposed rafters. The whole bit. But there were two twin beds and it would do. I collapsed and when I awoke the next morning, I explored the room a bit. The "closet" turned out to have a hole exposing it to the great outdoors and it was filled with bird poop. In the light of day, the rest of the room wasn't much better.



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Then there was the time I stayed at a Howard Johnson's hotel in Milwaukee, maybe the last one in the world. Throughout the night there were a variety of bad things happening in the hallway and the nearby rooms. Lots of shouting in languages I did not understand. Most likely arguments between pimps and Johns, and a few drug deals.


I was truly sure it was the last night of my life. But, hey, someone else was paying for the room (the U.S. Air Force), so I wasn't about to leave. I moved every piece of furniture I could against the door, hoping that it would stop the intruders I was sure were ready to bust in. Not a lot of sleep that night.

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Wife and I "won" a weekend stay at a downtown Baltimore hotel. When I went to make the reservation I was told that it was a Saturday night stay. That was their definition and since I won it, I couldn't say a whole lot. When we went to our non-smoking room, it was clearly occupied, although said occupant was not there. In addition, this person was clearly a smoker and the room smelled of it. Once we explained this to the management we were moved to an upgraded room.


Dallas Texas, a business associate and I were in town for one night. Whe I got to the room the key (yes, a real key) would not go in the lock. I got down on one knee to try and see why, when the door opened up from the inside. I apologized and went down to the front desk to ask for a new room. Again got an upgrade, not that it mattered for the one night stay.


I guess mine don't really compare to the others, but that's all I've got.

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Paul Mihalka

8 years ago my brother who lives near Geneve in Switzerland was throwing a big family reunion weekend for his 75th birthday. No place in his house, but he found us a nice little old style hotel/bar/restaurant in the nearby village. Nice old fashioned place. The room had it's own bathroom, a luxury. Only bathtub, no shower. So we both took a bath. Going down in the morning owner lady complaining that we bath too long, it was leaking from the roof over the bar. We went around places all day, so we needed another bath. We didn't finish bathing yet when owner lady was knocking on the door. It's leaking strongly downstairs, how come we are bathing again? Well, we walked all day, we needed a bath. Well, she had movie stars as guests and they only bathed once a week. Are we crazy to take a bath every day? :)

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As an airline pilot it is hotel room dejour. I get my worst experience over and over - often even after I specifically ask not to get it. The dreaded next to the ice machine room. And I always offer a quick security check of the flight attendants rooms for them. No comments. It's legit...

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1. Bed too short, slept with feet hanging off, and they didn't have any parking. Had to use meters on the street.


2. Power kept going off in the night, extension cords everywhere, lizards running through, proprietress was emotionally disturbed, advertised gorgeous B&B breakfast was old dry toast and a banana.


3. Cabin in Michigan, wonderful on first glance, utter indescribable filth on closer inspection... lesson: look up, and behind, and under.


4. That same hotel someone already described, except it was in Florence. And oh yeah, man did you hit the Italian ethos on the head.


5. Another Italian hotel, 300' up a cliff. The only place they actually spoke no English at all. Get to room with luggage (no they won't take it up for you), and collapse on bed. Leg breaks off. 3" heavy steel with good welds. Fatigue? Nothing in the English to Italian dictionary for this. I carry the leg down the cliff. After two minutes of fruitless non-communication, her eyes go big when she realizes finally what it is. They had a new bed in by the time we were back from dinner. ok. So in the morning we and 20 others want to leave our luggage and walk the paths (Cinque Terre), no luggage check. Everyone in disbelief they will not keep our luggage. Day ruined.


6. The sagging bed. We now get two beds anytime we can unless it is a 3 star or better establishment. Got burned this fall in Park City. 3 Star with beautiful appointments, and a bed they bought off a truck in a parking lot, that went downhill from there. No sleep. Fail.

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Checked into a hotel cause I was too tired to make it all the way home... hot summer night, as I'm walking to my room a bevy of ho's are cat-calling me, their a group hanging out on the railing. Scared like a little kid, I got into my room peered out through the peep hole and saw it was crack whores, pimps.... grabbed my sh*t, left in a hurry not saying a word to the ho's who again were "accosting" me, went right to the front desk, demanded my money back (and got it!) and drove the few hours home...


I'll never forget...

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Mrs. Caddis

Honeymoon 1983. We were on a limited budget and camping our way down the Oregon coast. We had just spent a very rainy night at an on the beach campground, everything was wet and full of sand and the rain was forecast to continue. I, of course, was very grumpy and NEEDED a dry room for the night. Neither of us had ever rented a hotel room before (being from thrifty folk who camped or stayed at friends houses for vacations). The El Rancho was cheap, filthy and had a mattress that, like Shaman97 said, sagged... badly. I did not feel badly about the amount of sand we left in the room from trying to dry out our gear. To this day I can not go past anyplace called El Rancho without renaming it "El Rauncho".

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Early June, 1998, more or less. Snowville, UT.


I was a bunch of hours out of Seattle, hoping to get to SLC for the night, but close ahead I could see lightning indicating weather hell in the dark and the nearest place back was waaay too far up in Idaho. So I pulled off into a truck stop at the interchange and asked if there was a motel in town. The kid at the register said he thought they were still open, so he called.


Five minutes later a car pulled up and another kid jumped out. Said he'd lead me to it.


Now, when you're in Snowville, you're not really anywhere at all and I didn't think the place could be that hard to find. It wouldn't have been, either, except there were no lights on, not a sign, not an office, not a door light. The place, from what I could see as the drownpour started, was circa 1955 and hadn't been updated.


The kid gave me a key, pointed at the room, and left.


So I went in and flipped on the lights. It smelled strongly of S**T, reason being that the toilet was backed up to the rim. The shower stall obviously shared the drain pipe because it, too, was, uhhhh, "nasty." When I ran water in the sink it didn't drain, which told more about the situation, so I didn't push it.


It was a toss-up which would be the more desirable place to bed down: the floor, the bed, or outside on the mini-porch. Since I had my camping gear I just unrolled my sleepy bag on the bed, prayed the bugs had all died, and went to sleep listening to the rain beat the shingles off the roof.


It looked worse in the morning, if that's possible. I suspect, really, that it had been closed by the owners and their kid had custody of the keys and saw the opportunity to make a buck off a benighted traveller.



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In a hotel in Nashville. Dead tired. Hear strange sound but semi asleep semi awake. Ignore Goes on for a while. Someone banging on door. Open the door to discover fire alarm at 3 am. Firemen say go to that exit, down the stair, go outside. Try to dress...no time. Grab shorts go out barefoot no shirt. Go down stairs somehow end up in kitchen, then basement, then storage, finally get outside and firemen determine false alarm. Send all back to bed. Alarm goes off at 4. Ignore. Few minutes smell fire. Go down steps end up in kitchen....fire in kitchen...get out. Stand outside in shorts for 4 hours until firemen say all clear.

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Two stories:


First marriage, 1971. My fiance and I had spent some time that summer down in Baja, half way between Tijuana and Ensenada, at a hotel and restaurant called La Fonda. Fabulous food. Rooms on a cliff overlooking an ocean with a setting sun. Absolutely incredible. Decided we wanted to spend our wedding night there. Our mistake was that we got married in early Feb.


Got down there from SoCal after a 10AM wedding and a reception that lasted until 3PM. Long, tiring drive. But we were young and we could always summon up the energy.


Restaurant had closed 15 minutes before we arrived. Oh well, hungry, but with other things on our minds. Got our keys and off we went just as the office closed for the night.


Being February and on the coast, no one had been in the rooms since October. No one. Except spiders and rats. I spent my wedding night with my new wife's can of hair spray and a Bic lighter torching black widows from the shower, from under the sink, from under the mattress (which we toppled, not in ribald joy, but in fear). From the light fixtures. From behind the toilet. From inside the dresser. From lamp shades. From every freakin corner. We burned every single inch of that room (it was a new, TALL can of hair spray). We finally felt done, but the stench was unbearable. So we opened the windows which let some 40-degree air into a place that only had a sheet and a blanket. No bedspread. We huddled and were freezing, hoping the shivering would put us to sleep, when something moved. And it wasn't me.


She screamed. I turned on the lights and two rats (not mice, BF RATS) headed for the underside of the bed. I looked underneath but couldn't see them. Toppled the mattress AND the box spring. They were in the box spring. I torched that box spring (and the rats) so bad we didn't know if we were going to be able to put the fire out, but some cold, wet shower towels did the trick. Now, if we were going to shower in the morning, we'd have to dry with wash cloths. At least we each had one. The rats, singed and squealing, found their way back into the hole along the bathroom wall from whence they'd come, and we soaked and used one of the wash cloths to plug the hole.


We decided to sleep in my truck. I was poor and she was still in school, so all we had was my Datsun pickup with the bolt-upright bench seat. We had put good U.S. gas in it before we crossed the border, so I started it up, let it idle, locked the doors, cracked the windows, and turned on the heater. It barely put out any heat, since the engine wasn't getting very warm. We slept about 2 hours.


Next day we headed back to San Diego (instead of to Ensenada to shop), and got as far north as Oceanside before we collapsed. Spent that night at the Bridge Motor Inn near Camp Pendleton. Marriage wasn't consummated until the next morning.


- - - - - -


Second story:


I'm going to Twin Falls, Idaho to cover the Evel Kneivel Snake River Jump for Cycle World. I'd made reservations, but they'd been "bought out" from under me (I suspect) by someone as unscrupulous as the Travel Lodge desk person. Nothing left in town. Nada.


Got a bunch of dimes and started calling around. Found a place in Jerome, ID. Last room in the place. Six bucks a night, but it was the mid 70's. It was as clean as 20-year-old thread-bare carpet and an overpowering disinfectant, torn lampshade and a TV on the floor could be made to present. It was where I learned the term, "Taco Bed." You lie down and the sides fold up around you. I trekked from there to Twin Falls every day, except for the night before the jump when I attended the most raucous party at the jump site. It wasn't a particularly "bad" stay, but certainly one of the most memorable in my life.



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By all accounts, I am a lucky traveler, but not completely without incident.

I would have to say that my worst experience, so far, was this one.


Date: September 2009 (Our 25th Wedding Anniversary)

Location: Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Nevada


The Problems:

Air conditioning was out on the entire floor.

Management was aware, and assured us that it would be fixed soon.


Water pressure in the room was running at maybe 25%.

Enough to brush your teeth, but a shower was out of the question.

Management was unaware, will send repairman soon.


Repairman shows up within minutes and resolves the water issue.


Air conditioning is never fixed, fans are provided.


In the end, management was gracious enough to reduce our rate by 10%.

Never again.... :mad:


And now I have general complaint that is becoming more widespread all the time, and it has to do with room air conditioners.

When the room cools to the set temperature, the unit completely goes off.

I suppose this is a power saving feature, but it is very annoying to me.


In effect, the noise level in the room is going up and down by maybe 10 - 20 db every 10 - 15 minutes.

And this makes it nearly impossible for me to sleep.

If it was on all of the time, or off all of the time, I would be good to go.


So I am forced to sleep with ear plugs, which I do not prefer to do.


Hotel/Motels with older units in them don't do this, but newer placed do.


Is anyone else bothered by this besides me ?


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Bed too short?????

That doesn't count or every hotel would get a zing.


Travelling for club volleyball.

Hotel on an island in Mobile Bay.

Get to room, on first floor.


See high water mark at the edge of the ceiling.

It was still wet.


The place was closed last time we drove by.


Numerous room double bookings but the best was when they fixed it by upgrading us to the "honeymoon Suite" sent up chanpagne and strawberries.

Apparently they did not eneter the booking into the computer.


Shift change and someone else was assigned that room.



I now secure every door with "the wedge" a metal doorstopper that has a built in siren if someone activates it trying to enter.


Had booked crosscountry trip to Whistler, British Columbia.

Pipes broke at home causiong a flood and jeopardizing the trip.

Worked day and night for 24 hours to repair and left on trip.


Checked in, eventually, in Whistler after all day 2500 miles.

Woke up, put feet on the floor and there was 4 inches of standing water.


For a minute I thought I was back at home.


Turned out on the floors above a bath flood had collapsed a ceiling and sent water below.

Checked for a new room.

"I'm sorry, there's X in town and there are no rooms available, anywhere."

Looked him in the eye and said, "fine, where do you live?"


"You heard me, we're staying with you."


Out of all the guests displaced by the event, guess who were the only ones to get another room?

I didn't ask.


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I think La Fonda is still there. Ah, maybe you wouldn't want to go back there.

I don't know about you people, I never had any real bad experiences like you all mention. I think the worst I ever had was the smell of cigarette smoke in the room. I do hate that.

Maybe I don't get around enough. At least not to all the wrong places.


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A few stories here...


As part of a high school orchestral group touring Europe in the 70s, stayed in a hotel in Geneva, sharing with 3 other teenagers. When we arrived, the room was hot and stuffy, so we opened the window and left for dinner. When we came back, we discovered literally thousands of spiders crawling everywhere. Evidently they had come in through the window. As teenagers, it never occurred to use to ask for a different room. We spent a couple of hours coming up with new methods to kill spiders. Sure Antiperspirant (without flames, Fernando!) seemed to be very effective.


On a business trip in Oyama, Japan in the 80s woke at about 1:00 AM to a very disgruntled 300+ Lb Japanese gentleman literally destroying the interior corridor of the hotel. It took staff over 2 hours to get this guy under control. Since the entire tirade was in Japanese, and I spoke no Japanese, it made for an interesting night.


Have been in 2 hotels where the fire alarm has been triggered in the middle of the night (Chicago, and Lake Tahoe). Alarms are excrutiatingly loud, and even if one didn't want to evacuate, the noise drives one out.


Lastly, in research for Unrally IX, before settling on Topaz lake as the site, I stayed in a motel under consideration at another location. My report after staying at this fine establishment:

Room had a musty odor to it (not mildew. Never could identify.). Baseboard heater was hanging off wall. Floor lamp unstable and would fall over at the slightest excuse. Mattresses were hard on the edges and soft in the middle causing one to roll into the center of the bed (Taco bed! Thanks, Fernando :grin:). Plastic chairs (multiple) outside rooms all broken in one form or another. Walkway lamps just above eye level all spider web encrusted. I was charged $98/night including room tax....

As I recollect, there were also plumbing issues which I didn't bother to mention...


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Les is more

Motel in the middle of nowhere, Texas. Exhausted from a long ride, nothing else in sight. One room "left". An odd double room with a waist high partition between 2 sleeping areas. Both areas VERY sleazy. Opened a closet and there were boxes of cereal and cans of food on the shelf. Opened the fridge to find moldy food. We picked the least offensive of the two beds. Dressed our pillows in t shirts and slept in our clothes. YUCK!

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Motel in the middle of nowhere, Texas. Exhausted from a long ride, nothing else in sight. One room "left". An odd double room with a waist high partition between 2 sleeping areas. Both areas VERY sleazy. Opened a closet and there were boxes of cereal and cans of food on the shelf. Opened the fridge to find moldy food. We picked the least offensive of the two beds. Dressed our pillows in t shirts and slept in our clothes. YUCK!


That place is on Bob/Killer's "cheap places to stay".


Vanhorn TX I think...LOL.

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Motel in the middle of nowhere, Texas. Exhausted from a long ride, nothing else in sight. One room "left". An odd double room with a waist high partition between 2 sleeping areas. Both areas VERY sleazy. Opened a closet and there were boxes of cereal and cans of food on the shelf. Opened the fridge to find moldy food. We picked the least offensive of the two beds. Dressed our pillows in t shirts and slept in our clothes. YUCK!


That place is on Bob/Killer's "cheap places to stay".


Vanhorn TX I think...LOL.

Hey - there's nothing wrong with The Vanhorn Palace!
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I scheduled an overnight in VanHorn on one of my cross country trips. Even the chain hotels are pretty grim.


I average about 230 nights a year in hotels and have surprising few horror stories. Mostly because Hampton Inn is about as low in the food chain as I'll willingly go.

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1977. We were on our honeymoon. Took train down to Washington DC to see the sites. Not knowing the area and on foot, we looked for a place to stay. Found what we thought was a decent place. Checked in and told the clerk we wanted a room for two days. "Two DAYS??" Sure, wanted to see all the sites. Paid in advance. Room was a cockroach infested mess. Spent one nite fighting off the buggers. Guess the place was one of those that usually rents "by the hour". Ooops. Checked out next morning, and couldn't get a refund. Cancelled the charge on our credit card.

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About 20 years ago, we visited the UK and, as part of our trip, we took our ageing Aunt and Uncle on a visit to Cardiff, South Wales.

We booked the hotel through a Chicago travel agent. We discovered the hotel in a nice side street, parked the car outside and it looked quite nice. However, upon entering, it was all red velvet carpet and curtains, smelled a little must and felt a little suspect. With reservation in hand, we went to the check-in desk where they greeted us with raised eyebrows but took our credit card, gave us our room keys and up we went!


Oh MY!! The hotel was, as we discovered and to be polite, a "knocking shop"! When we came to our room, the door was open and, upon entering, we discovered it to be small, dirty and smelled like sex and sweaty socks. There were clothes on the floor and it looked occupied! Auntie and Uncle's room across the hall was also open and as we looked in there we saw clothing on the floor and unmade beds...same situation!


We hurried back down the stairs to the front desk, asked for a refund (which they gave us with a smile) and we hurried out the door. Fortunately, Uncle was an ex sailor and thought the whole thing quite hilarious...poor Aunty was mortified. We managed to find a Trust House Forte hotel around the corner and they had two rooms. When we go back (which we are this month), Uncle loves to recount the story over a couple of pints.


We still have a great laugh over it, although it wasn't very funny at the time !!!



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Paris France - came in very late, got room, supposed to be 2 single beds, (2 GI's seeing europe on a dime) too tired and late to go look for someplace else. Off to bed, bath down the hall of course. Turn out the light and in 10 minutes the roaches were so thick couldn't stand it. Left the light on, slept in a kitchen type chair. Moved the next night to a real hotel.

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Dad had a friend named Howard Johnson. He stayed at a Ramada across from Howard Johnson. They put on the sign, Howard Johnson sleeps here.


Last year riding home from Black Hills (after the rally) bugs forced me to quit before planned. Got the last room in Mitchell The AC was leaking and the carpet was wet and stinky. No other rooms in town due to some convention or something. I always take antihistamines and NEEDED them.



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It's not much of a story but, about 36 years ago before kids, my former wife and I were traveling. We'd pushed ourselves a little too far and we were bone tired. We pulled in to a national chain hotel and got a room. We dragged ourselves up to the room. It was clean and the bed was made. We unloaded a suitcase, got our clothes off and pulled the covers back only to see and empty Trojan wrapper and some pubes in the bed. Grossed us out. So we complained to the hotel and got another room without arguement. This time we pulled the covers back first before we got undressed again.

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About ten years ago I was on one of our bicycle club tours. Our first day was from Sacramento to Sonora. It was a very hard day and I was exhausted when we reached our hotel where we had made reservations. As I sank into bed looking forward to a good night's sleep, I heard a terrible racket and loud music beneath me. It turned out they gave me a room directly above the bar where there was loud live music. I stormed down to the lobby demanding another room. I was told there were no more rooms. I said I was checking out and demanding my money back as I had not paid to hear that racket all night. They miraculously found me another room.

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Back in '88, stayed at a Motel 6 in Amarillo Texas for a few days after my girlfriend wrecked my van on the freeway.


The water came out of the tap dark brown, and the sheets didn't seem very clean.

It was pretty hard to change lodgings, with no vehicle. But we did, a little too late.

Turns out the sheets WERE dirty - we both got body lice.


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Worst Motel Story 1


Heading east out of California on I-80 in 2001, I decided to ride ‘till dark, thinking I’d easily find something around Reno. I forgot it was Friday night. D’oh! Lots of decent inexpensive places, all of them full up. So there I was at 10:30, checking out the sleazy “hourly rates” places off the strip. Signs scream $25.00! $35.00! Monday through Thursday that is. Friday at 10:30 pm they are $100.00...$110.00...$120.00. Finally I pull into the Capri parking lot. I’m tired and the manager says $90.00. I briefly consider finding a highway rest stop. I’m tired. I’ll take it. The manager sounds almost apologetic, assuring me that no matter what the room looks like, she launders the sheets herself. As I find my way to the room, I note that the lot is littered with garbage and shady looking characters. The room looks like a crack house. OK, I’ve never seen a crack house except on TV and in movies. It was a dump. Rags for curtains. Ripped shag carpet that looked like it was last clean when they installed it in 1962. A table with a 2x4 in place of one of the legs. Wires coming out of the wall where an outlet was supposed to be. An A.C. unit making a racket that would wake the dead. The “cable” promised on the sign? A set that was probably from the early ‘70s and a cable box from the ‘80s. Snow city.


I pulled off the bedspread and threw it on the floor before turning in. Bed and shower, 90 bucks.



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Worst Motel Story 2


Heading home from Torrey 2 years ago. I’m looking for a room just east of Denver. I see a Motel 6 sign and exit the highway. The desk clerk says no vacancy. She directs me to a motel a few blocks further down the road. Set deep in a huge parking lot, it looks like an abandoned office building with the first floor converted to a motel. I pull up to the lobby and go inside. A sign on the door says “absolutely no loitering, police will be called” and “lobby closes at 7:00.” Hmmm. I get a room and ask about the internet noted on the sign, “is it wifi or wired?” She says “wired.” No problem, I carry a cable.


I park outside the room and go inside. It’s a bit shabby but nothing to freak out over and I only paid 35 bucks for the night. I start bringing my stuff inside. Ten minutes later, I turn around and see a scraggly unkempt 40ish woman in the doorway. She’s literally shaking like a junky as she asks me if I can spare a few dollars. I give her a 5 hoping to get rid of her. Yes, I know, it was probably a stupid thing to do. All I could think of was “if I don’t give her something she’ll come back in the night and slit my tires.” After she leaves, I decide to take everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING off the bike. I then take a walk to get something for dinner. On the way, I see the same woman and a man sitting in front of a liquor store drinking something out of a paper bag. At the restaurant, I relate the story to an employee. “Did she have black stringy hair?” Yes. “That was Bertha, a local hooker. I’m surprised she didn’t offer you a roll to get more of your money.” Sheeesh.


Back in my room, I look for the ethernet connector. Nothing. I walk back to the lobby, which is now closed and locked. The clerk comes to the after-hours window.


“I thought you said the room was wired for internet.”


“Oh, no, we have a computer in the lobby for guests to use.”


“You mean the lobby that’s closed and locked at 7:00 pm?”


“Oh, like, you wanted to, like, use it, uhh, like, now?”


I throw my hands up and walk back to the room.


Bed and shower, no internet, 35 bucks. No, wait, 40 bucks.


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Nancy and I stayed at Kentucky Dam Village Lodge on our honeymoon.


Twin bunk beds! Oh those were the good old days.



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Jerry Johnston

Sound’s like everyone has had some bad experiences. I’ve stayed at motels that had no heat in the winter, motels with no air conditioning (and extremely noisy ac) in the summer. Stayed in one place (Kalispell Mt) that the door didn’t work, we had to climb through the window) Beds on the Oregon coast that sagged badly even when they put two mattresses (one on top of the other). I’ve learned to be leery of motels with only one room left, motels above a tavern and make sure your riding buddy doesn’t like dumps in order to save money.

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