A couple of years ago, my partner and I were preparing for a two-week roadtrip across the north-eastern US states. Ten states in two weeks required quite a lot of research, and TripAdvisor quickly became one of our most trusted allies in the search for decent motels. Now, if you’re no stranger to TripAdvisor, you’ll know that the wise TripAdvisee tends to filter out the best and worst reviews as the dumping ground for the over-enthusiastic (such as Alec Baldwin’s guest appearance in Friends):
Or the overly-negative:
Anyway, we spent considerable time researching motels in Atlantic City (top tip: Don’t stay in a motel in Atlantic City. Trawl and trawl until you find a special offer at the Golden Nugget, for example. On arrival, put on your most English accent and say you’re only in the city for one night, it would be bloody brilliant to have a room with a view. Result: hopefully end up with this):
Whilst trawling TripAdvisor, we came across a motel review so bad that it put the fear of God into me and is seared into my brain forever. It’s been taken down now (the review, but hopefully the motel too?) but the gist of it was that, on top of the usual broken lift and aircon, there was a pair of dirty pants in one of the drawers (note to our North American friends – that’s actual undergarments, not trousers; note to older readers – that’s a pair of drawers in the drawers). And…horror show, old bloodstains on the wall above the bed and a mysterious head-shaped stain…
It got me to thinking – was this the worst review on TripAdvisor? Could it get any worse? Several highly amusing searches later, here are my results, in no particular order. It goes without saying (and yet I’m saying it anyway) that obviously my heart goes out to anyone who had to endure these hotels, no matter how briefly – but I hope you, like me, can see the funny side of horrific hotels which are more Fawlty Towers than Palm Dubai. Names have been removed to protect the innocent (and the guilty!).
Military Training Required
“The neighborhood that surrounds the Inn was not pleasant. You constantly hear through the night the outside noise from the cars driving by… As well as the people standing outside at all hours of the night talking as loud as they can. I entered the room and all I smelt was pee. I wasn’t sure if it was human or animal. There was a long black hair in the tub. I found out in the morning that the tub did not work… When I packed up my car from the first night and last night of staying there I was being watched by 5 different people just chilling outside the hotel. I was aware of my situation and with my Military training ready to defend myself if I had to, but no one should ever feel like they have to defend themselves.I feared for my life and my Mothers. I will never ever go to this hotel again.”
“While in the pool a carton of rotten milk was thrown from window next door onto the pool deck and covered all my belongings in milk. We reported it to office and they didn’t do anything about it; didn’t even pick it up. Next morning while checking out we noticed everything was left untouched and the carton was still lying on the floor.”
“This Place Made Me ITCH”
“Not a place I would recommend… I mean if you wanted to get high off of crack this is a pretty cheap and convenient place… Heater didn’t work, toilet didn’t flush and there were mosquitoes in the room in the WINTER!!! Dirt bag place.”
“Hell on Earth”
Our room was the size of a closet! A bunk bed and the door…that’s it! No window but a hole cut out of the wall at the top so we could hear other people on our floor. The sheets were dirty, there was a rat in our room, and I would not for the life of me use the NASTY toilets and showers! They were so disgusting!!! We left early because we couldn’t stand it!!! NEVER EVER STAY HERE! Spend a bit more for a place you can actually sleep well and clean yourself…a nice B&B in Brooklyn if Manhattan’s too expensive. I’d rather pay extra for a nice place and a subway ride to the city than stay in what I think Hell might look like!
“A strange old man who is always angry”
“I will start with the only positives – our room was quite big, and we had a TV with BBC. But it’s downhill from there… the location leaves a lot to be desired, unless you happen to be a freelance exotic dancer. Nestled in a district of sex shops and strip clubs, the area attracts the sort of people that you would cross the street to avoid. As you enter the hotel, you are greeted by decor that is almost medieval – and a strange old man who is always angry; and ironically smoking a cigar next to the ‘no smoking’ sign… Our room had only one bug (which was in the bath when we arrived) but other rooms did have bed bugs – we were lucky! The bathroom was covered in body hairs, and for the first two days, the sink wouldn’t drain at all. There was no shower curtain, and the shower was very inconsistent in terms of heat. There was a not so mysterious yellow stain under the toilet and brown stains on some of the towels. There was also a man going around rooms when we arrived asking to use peoples showers (I don’t know why he’d want to). Once informed, the hotel owner grabbed a stick and went searching for him. And before you ask yourself, ‘can it really be that bad?’ Trust me, yes it can.”