What's the seediest hotel you've ever stayed in?

The title pretty much says it all. Something described in another thread triggered a memory, so I thought I’d open up a thread for comments.

To kick things off: this didn’t happen to me, but to my family. The first year I was in college, my parents and my brother came down to visit me and to see a football game. Though I told them it was “Family Day”, my dad hadn’t thought it necessary to make reservations for a hotel.

Well, surprise surprise, they get into town and every place is booked solid. I was living in the dorm, so they couldn’t stay with me. The only place they can find with any vacancies is on the highway leading out of town. Warning sign number one: rooms were $15 a night. This was in 1991.

I visited this room, and thank God I didn’t have to stay there. The beds were extremely worn and lumpy. The carpet was threadbare and holey. The towels were like large sheets of thin sandpaper. Oh, but that’s not the best part! The best part was the stain on the doorjamb that appeared to be a blood stain! It was about as high up as the head of an average-sized person, with trickling paths reaching almost to the floor. Staying at this hotel, my family was awakened twice in the night: once, when a train rumbled past, about three feet from their window, in the early morning hours, and once by some law enforcement officers who were looking for the buddy of someone they were arresting outside.

To this day, we remind my father of this hotel. In fact, I once told this story to my girlfriend, who works at the local rape crisis center. Her eyes got very wide when I mentioned the place; she has, shall we say, heard of it more than once.

I’m sure someone here must have an even better story than that. Share!

Here’s a good one. My MOM and I are driving through New Jersey to drop off my niece at JFK airport, it started getting late, and we were really tired from driving, so we decided we’d better stop somewhere before we get too close to the city. We got off the highway in Hackensack, of all places, saw a sign for one of those well-known hotels, not sure which, but something like Holiday Inn. It was ratty looking, the room was expensive, but we were so tired it didn’t matter. We pay for the room, and my mom and I grab our bags to bring them to the room. We get to the elevator, which we notice has one door that has fallen over at an angle. Ok, no big deal. I push the button, and we wait for a minute. The doors finally open to reveal a nasty-looking teen-aged couple…coupling in the elevator. The guy’s got a nose ring, and the girl’s got purple hair. The guy is the one looking at us, the girl is facing the other way. He just looks up, growls at us, and pushes the button to close the door.

No, we didn’t use the elevator that night. The stairs were fine, thank you.

One night in Sydney, I accidentally stayed at a seedy backpacker’s hostel (sorry, forget the name – it was in the general direction of UTS).

A friend and I were supposed to be staying at a friend’s house, in the north of Sydney. All three of us went out that night, eventually catching up with some very cool folk from England who we met the week earlier, backpacking in Queensland.

All was going well until our Sydney friend hooked up with some guy and disappeared in a taxi. She didn’t seem to remember the fact that she had two boys from Perth staying at her house (we had, in fact, arrived in Sydney that very day), but we were too far gone to even notice her absence for a good hour or so. But when we did, my mate and I realised that (i) we were 3500 kilometres from home; (ii) we had nowhere to stay for the night; (iii) our gear was an hours train journey away, in some unknown Sydney suburb; and (iv) we were far to drunk to deal with this.

In the end, our new English friends took pity on us. They said we could sneak into their backpacker’s hostel and stay the night. The hostel slept eight (!) to a room, which seemed a little much, but not unbearable at 4am in the morning. However, during the night, the room filled up with MORE lost souls. Turns out the people sleeping next door were evacuating their room, since, “John [not his real name] was shagging some bird”. This was in the middle of the Australian summer, so needless to say the room became very hot and very crowded. The sweat was practically dripping off the peeling paint on the walls.

So I’m trying to sleep, trying not to be sick, trying to ignore everyone, but then I notice another couple engaging in a not-so-subtle screw on one of the top bunks. I felt almost obliged to point out the hypocrisy of vacating the other room only to fuck in our room, but decided it’d be better just to sleep and let it all go away. (Of course, who can sleep when the whole room was almost rocking?)

In the morning we discover, (i) some English bloke has urinated in a wardrobe (all over his mates’ clothes), somehow mistaking it for a urinal; and (ii) the very friend that dumped us the night before was in fact the “bird” “John” was shagging in the next room.

And that was my seedy night in Sydney. :slight_smile:

There’s a hotel in my town, called Hotel Valencia, that’s so dreadful and scummy that I’m shocked the health board hasn’t closed it down yet.

I stayed there for one night when I was 19; me and my girlfriend at the time were feeling amorous, but we both lived with our respective parents, so we usually just did quickies in our rooms and splurged on a hotel once or twice a month. Red Roof Inn got too expensive for our almost non-existent incomes, so we went to the Valencia and got a room for 20 dollars.

I’ve never been to Bangledesh or Somalia, but I imagined a room in those counties was probably comparable to this one.

The carpet hadn’t been vaccumed in years, it seemed; huge patches of it were torn up, and various evil looking dark stains were splattered around like a Pollack painting.

The bedspread was paper-thin and also stained and speckled with cigarette burns. Underneath lay crummy, stiff, indifferently laundered sheets and two pillows that were about a inch thick.

The TV was about 20 years old, and the channel knob didn’t work. We were stuck with Lifetime.

The paneled walls were gouged and also stained. Several deep gouges looked like someone had been throwing a knife into the walls.

There was ONE LAMP for the entire room, and it cast a sickly yellowish glare.

We looked around distastefully for a moment, then stripped all the sheets off the bed and humped on the bare mattress. Afterwards, we visited the bathroom, and that’s were things got out of control…

No shower curtain. 1/10th of a roll of toilet paper that had the consistency of notebook paper. The mirror above the sink was cracked. The floor hadn’t been swept, and there were cigarette butts, pieces of toilet paper, and a old dirty sweatsock scattered about. We took a look in the bathtub and were revolted to see several large ROACHES hanging out at the bottom of the stained, unwashed tub.

We went out on the balcony that ran along the front of the rooms to sip at our wine; it was a lovely spring evening. Sitting there for about 3 hours, we saw in the parking lot:

A. Several drug deals
B. A hooker bringing a customer back to her room
C. A man slapping his wife in the face
D. Several teenagers fighting in one of their rooms across the way (they had their door open)

We went back in the room to watch TV, but were distracted by the sounds of a couple of guys arguing in the room next to ours. “FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU, MAN!”

It was all too much, and we wound up doing another quickie and leaving for the night around 4 am to go back to our homes. The night manager asked us if we had a pleasant stay; we found we couldn’t look him in the face.

It was only years later that I learned something that should have been evident…up the road from the Valencia is Jessup, Maryland, a town that plays host to no less than two major state prisons (and possibly a few more…haven’t hung out there much) and the Valencia is the first place that released inmates check into after being sprung. Presumably to take advantage of the bargain prices and atmosphere. It’s also a popular spot for hookers and drug dealers, presumably because of the aforementioned prices and atmosphere.

I’ve never been back.

One last piece of trivia: The Valencia was one of the hotels that the 9/11 World Trade Center hijackers stayed in when they first arrived in the country, along with the Pin-Del Motel, another fine Laurel, MD establishment.

Up in Sydney a few years back to meet a friend arriving from London and to catch the Sydney Swans V St. Kilda footy match (don’t blame me…the drop-kick I was ‘courting’ at the time was a loony Saints supporter), we were doing things on the cheap so booked into a motel in King’s Cross. It was a ‘basic’ room…so basic that it was just a bed and a dresser (rooms in King’s Cross are often let-out for very, um…basic customers) . However it was not the lack of amenities, or the grottiness of same that disgusted me the most…it was the COCKROACHES crawling all over the walls that saw me sitting up in bed all night afraid to fall asleep.

Now, I know that cockies are the norm in Sydney, and do not imply a lack of hygiene (which this establishment didn’t have a heap of), but STILL…coming from Melbourne (where cockroaches only hang out in reeeally grimy joints) it was a definite shock to my sensibilities.

The only thing that saved that weekend was St. Kilda lost the match, and I dumped the cheapskate boyfriend. Really a rather satisfactory ending all up.


I have travelled extensively throughout the world, in all sorts of third-world countries, and have shared rooms with cockroaches in Thailand, stayed in a corrugated plastic lean-to by a bonfire on the roof of a house in India, caught a man masturbating at my hotel window in Vietnam - but I have never stayed anywhere worse than the Blue Anchor in Stamford, England.

Rooms above a pub. So we walked into the pub, which ws dingy and stank, to hear one of the waitresses screaming at the landlord “you fcking cnt! Fuk you, you fuckng cu*t!!!” “Yeah?!?!? Well you’re ucking fired, you slag! Now GET OUT OF MY FCKING PUB!” We coughed politely. “What do YOU want!?!?”

“Er… we have a reservation?”


It went downhill from there - the rooms were cold, leaky drafty, damp, without proper locks, the bedclothes dirty, smelly, and stained. Sweaty shirts were hanging in the closet; there was a burnt ironing board in the corridor; fish & chip wrappers littered the floor. Used condoms in the unemptied trash can. Unfortunately there were no other rooms available in the town.

Luckily we were there for a wedding and only had to stay one night, most of which was spent drinking. We left as soon as we could, but couldn’t shower because there was no hot water. A week later, my friend, who had paid by credit card, found that someone had gone on holiday to Lanzarote at his expense.

Two nasty place many miles and years apart.

First place was outside Pensacola about 20 years ago. I was going to visit an old friend who was stationed there, a spur-of-the-moment trip from Jax. I figured I could find a hotel with no real problem. And since I was cheap, I got a room in this cheap place. Oh baby, what a nasty place! Smelly, raggedy, noisy, uncomfortable bed, crappy towels and sheets… And apparently the hotel existed for random “encounters” to judge by the noise from the adjacent rooms. I was afraid for my life that night, and worried that my car might not be in the lot the next morning. Evil, nasty place.

About 11 or 12 years ago, I was driving to visit my family in Maryland. I can’t remember why my husband wasn’t along, but I had my daughter and our dog in the car. We stopped in southern Virginia because I was too tired to keep driving. The motel was cheap on so many levels. I’m pretty sure it was a series of old mobile homes parked together. The floor in the bathroom was kinda spongy/flexy - I was afraid to stand in there. The room was dingy and nasty looking. The heat didn’t work very well. The towels were a joke. But it was late and I couldn’t drive any farther. So we grabbed what was not much more than a quick nap.

I’ve since decided that it’s worth a few extra dollars to get a decent, clean room for the night.

Ok then…here we go…

Joilet, Illinois can’t remember the name of the place.

Bullet proof glass at the reception. Male prostitutes hanging out on the balconies, cockroaches running up and down the walls in the bathroom. My SO was a Public Health Officer, and he said keep the lights on and the cockroaches won’t come out. NOT TRUE

A small motel with a sign saying Truckers Welcome with the Pleasure Channel available. This consisted of cheezy porno movies playing 24 hours a day. Didn’t want to sit down on the bed.:eek:

Grand Hotel de la Poste in Marseille, about 30 years ago. I was with a school group. Some people complained about blood on the sheets. Others about the dead pigeons stuck in the iron shutters on the windows.

This is a tough question. There’s the place in Barcelona that turned away the previous customers (quite loudly) for asking to see the rooms. Then there is cheapest hotel in Cancun, Mexico- the lights didn’t work, the shower had dead bugs and hair in it, The sheets were disgusting, shady characters hung outside our window all night and the neighbors blasted Spanish dubs of old western movies late into the night.

But it’d have to be the Peace and Love hostel in Paris. I got stranded in Paris on my way to somewhere else, and just needed a place to stay overnight. I chose the first place I found walking around the train station.

At the check-in desk/bar (not all that unusual a combination) they said they had room for the two of us. So we followed them up the narrow staircase to the rooms. The place was packed. They made “room” for us by dragging two somewhat questionable mattresses and wedgeing on between a couple sets of bunks (incidently blocking the way to the bathroom) and putting one right in the middle of the hallway. The whole place was dark and nasty. The only washing facilities was a giant pink bathtub. I’m all for baths, but in it’s long lifetime of cleaning grubby backpackers, I don’t think this tub had every been cleaned. The grout was a living entity. The bottom of the tub was covered in a waxy brown coating.

We spent the evening getting drunk on cheap wine with a Canadian, and fell asleep in a corner because the matresses were a bit too scary for us. Good times.

I stayed in a hotel in Dudinka, Russia. Above the artic circle in December with no heat and when I checked in they issued me my toilet seat.

Hotel Zoech, right across from the train station in Vienna. Somehow I’d hooked up with these two other guys and we pooled our money for the room, which cost about $20.00, which was a lot of money for students bumming around Europe in the 1970’s.

[queuding up Gilligan’s Island theme…]
No lights, no phone…not a single luxury…
[/queueing up Gilligan’s Island theme]

We did get a dollar off in consideration of there being no electricity. Also, not surprisingly we were the only guests.

I stayed in a disgusting rathole for only $25 a night in Rockford, IL. We had waited too long to stop for a hotel, and I was peeved that the clerk at the nearby Days Inn wouldn’t quote us a good price at 1:30 a.m. So we went to this next place, which was called the Silver Farthing or something. Good Christ. We slept with our shoes by the bed so we wouldn’t have to walk on the carpet barefooted. We paid a linen deposit, too. Nice.

But worse, I think, was the rathole we stayed in when we went to the Indy 500. Everyplace was booked and expensive, or required a two-night stay. We finally found a room at this crappy shag-carpeted dump. The bathroom door didn’t close all the way (not cool when six of us were drinking heavily and eating grease). The thing that made this so terrible was the fact that they were gouging everyone. I think we paid $180 or something. AIGH!

Well, I have nothing to compare to some of these stories, but mine would have to be the Pension Fernandez in Oviedo, Spain.

I was traveling with a five-year-old guidebook, which listed two places to stay in the city center; one of them was in a building that had obviously been condemned for quite a long time, and at the other, nobody answered the doorbell. Undaunted, I started knocking on pension doors at random. It took me four tries to find a cheap single, and at that point I was prepared to find almost any place charming. I accepted the saggy mattress, was mildly amused by the stickers plastered all over the furniture (everything from Heathcliff the Cat to 3CV Motor Oil), and tried to ignore the fact that the place smelled a bit musty. Well, OK, very musty. I thought it better not to look in the corners in case there were mushrooms growing there.

Evening came and the proprietor’s (many, very noisy) children returned home. She spent most of the night arguing at the top of her lungs with her teenaged son about whether he was on drugs. As I had to catch a bus to La Coruna at 6:30 in the morning, I did my best to sleep through this. Got up at 5:30, when the house was finally quiet, left my key on the hall table, and got the hell out of there.

When I opened my backpack in La Coruna six hours later, I realized that the smell of mildew permeated everything I owned, including things I had never unpacked. It took several days of washing and airing-out to get rid of it.

Aggie’s Inn, Port Angeles, Washington.

Not as seedy as most of your stories, but just a generally unclean joint. I was afraid to use the pillow, so brought mine in from the car. I was afraid to stand barefoot in the shower, so wore flip flops.

Someone had punched a hole in the wall of our room. The walls were painted mustard yellow, and the bottom half was covered in some horrible brown striped “fabric”.

Nothing horribly disgusting, just a real dump. We still joke about it now, even though this goes back probably more than 15 years.

Heh, the Peace and Love hostel, what a dump. If that’s the one I’m thinking of, I never stayed there but knew of it by reputation, having lived for several years a couple of blocks away, on Rue Chateau-Landon.

BTW, when I was living in Paris, the city had contracted with the SNCF railway to park three sleeping carriages on the east side of Gare de L’Est. Compartment berths (four to each) were rented to desititute backpackers for 50 Francs a night; you had to check in by 8PM, there were no amenities other than a toilet at the end of the corridor, and you were locked in till morning.

My own worst hotel experience took place in some little village in eastern Ecuador. I was riding with the base manager of the company I worked for; we were to drop some gear off at a boat dock but the boat never showed and we were forced to hang out for the night. The manager’s brilliant idea was to sleep in the car, but the singer with the untuned guitar down the street, and some mook who spent two whole hours(!) knocking on a door next to our parking spot, put paid to that. I finally convinced the manager that we should try and find a motel, and finally did on the outskirts of town. The cost was the equivalent of one dollar US. The beds, I kid you not, were made of cement, and the mattresses stuffed with straw. Within a few minutes of laying down, I discovered I was being chewed up by bedbugs. We finally ended up back in the car, in the motel parking lot.

Hotel San Diego.

I shared a room with 5 other Marines on weekend leave and it was a shock we didn’t stick to the carpet. It was seeeeed-y.

The Warrick Motel in Augusta, GA.
4 of us in a room, bothered by constant knocks on the door.
10:30PM - girl asking to use the phone.
11:00PM - same girl asking if any of us wanted a “date”
12:00PM - guy saying he could get us any drug we wanted.
1:00AM - same girl back again, asking for taxi money.
1:05AM - same girl again asking for money, this time offering oral pleasure in exchange
1:15AM - the girl’s pimp, saying we had to pay if we kept using up his girl’s time.
2:00AM - huge fight in the parking lot, complete with yelling, tire squealing, glass breaking and door slamming.
2:30AM - cops show up, decide to sit in the parking lot and leave their blue lights flashing for (what seemed like) the rest of the night.

Let’s just say it isn’t pretty to watch a Girl Scout troop of 25 12 year old girls do New Orleans on a budget!!

The downtown YMCA was, in 1993, a den of ickiness- My room alone (shared with 1 other girl) had a hole punched in one wall, blood stained sheets (from the same altercation?) and brownish indoor-outdoor carpeting that released sewer smells when it got a bit damp. Given the humidity in New Orleans in the summer, it was always damp. The bathrooms were located at the end of the halls and had heavy stainless steel doors that locked automatically. We got to watch hookers and drug-dealers work the parking lot, and very much felt that we earned our group discount there!!

A name-long-forgotten pension in Tangier, Morocco. My travelling companion and I had taken the ferry over from Spain, which was a nice trip, but of course the boat arrived in Morocco late in the day, and so all the passengers ran off the boat and scrambled to find loging.

We found this dump of a pension in the heart of the casbah, knew it was a dump, but still took it because we were afraid that if we didn’t we would not find anything else.

The “beds” were burlap bags filled with straw. Living in the straw were tiny bugs (chiggers?) that bit us all night long.

Oh, and the day’s first call to Muslim prayer was broadcast to the faithful at about 5 a.m.

From a loudspeaker.

Right outside our window.

I shudder just thinking about that night, and it makes me recall Mark Twain’s famous remark about “that African perdition they call Tangier.”

A close second is the Backpackers Hostel in Toronto, Ontario (on Dundas Street, I think). VERY filthy.