Worst hotel you've ever stayed in

I’m fascinated by sketchy hotels. Is prostitution really the only thing keeping them in business? What percentage of the guests are packing a gun at any given time?

I’m not brave enough to go stay in one, though, so my own bad hotel story is not very exciting. The worst one I ever stayed at was on a family trip during my childhood. My parents decided to take us out to Colorado, and one of the themes of the trip (besides mountains) was dinosaurs. We visited some museums, sites where dinosaur bones had been discovered, and other dinosaur-related attractions.

As it happens, there is a small town in Colorado called Dinosaur – they have a cute statue and everything – and there’s a motel there called the Dinosaur Hotel. So my parents figured we had to stay there.

I don’t remember much other than it being generally shabby, with some insects in the rooms. Mainly what I remember was how unhappy my dad was! I didn’t quite understand why he was so worked up about it; we sometimes got bugs in our house, after all!

I’m sure some of you have far more hair-raising bad hotel stories to share.

I had an early flight out of Hartford/Bradley and stayed in a nearby hellhole Ramada. From the email I sent to my brother that evening:
“It smells like a combination of rotten feet, diapers and guido cologne, and the second I took off my flip flops I could feel the leprosy/cholera germs crawling on my feet. So far no sign of bedbugs, if I’m lucky the guido cologne stench is really insecticide.”
Pretty much says it all! Was very glad to leave.

Many times I’ve walked past the Hotel Carter in NYC, often described as the worst hotel in the world. I would love to stay their one day, but I haven’t the guts.

I stayed in a truck stop in Siberia that was skanky as all get out.

The El Nazereno hotel (left building) in El Real, Panama is one of my contenders, certainly for the worst hotel in Panama. El Real is pretty much of a dump itself, a shabby little river town, unreachable by road. El Nazareno for years was the only place to stay. The walls and floor were so eaten by termites that you had a real chance of falling through them if you leaned or stood on the wrong plank. It was run by an ancient surly little woman who would charge you extra if you wanted a room by yourself, even if all the rooms weren’t full.

The bathrooms had never worked in the 20 years I’ve been going there. You have to flush the toilet on the ground floor with a bucket, and bathe using a gourd and scooping water from a barrel.

There are cantinas on either side, which play ear-splitting salsa until 3 AM. There are fighting cocks tethered in the alley next to the hotel, which start crowing when the cantinas start to die down.

The funniest thing is that they have a certificate from Panama’s tourism agency in the lobby saying that they are approved accommodation.

The last time I went to El Real I slept on the floor in the Colombian Refugee Center (which was vacant at the time) and it was much better.

Back in '89 when I first moved to Atlanta fresh out of the Army. I would stay at the Falcon Hotel when the weather was bad. I was working out of a labor pool for under twenty bucks a day. The Falcon was $7.50 for half a room. If you didn’t bring your own roommate they’d assign one to you. There was one bathroom per floor for around 20 rooms. There’s a TV in the lobby inside an expanded metal cage. The cashier was also in a cage and he did not come out. You went in at your own risk. Crack was sold and used openly in the halls. I would buy a gallon of cheep gin and sell dollar shots.
ETA: It was men only.

So why do you go there? Sounds like you’d be better off on a park bench.

When our daughter was still an infant, my husband and I wanted a little get-away, so his folks watched her and we went to Jacksonville Beach to get a beachfront hotel for a night out. The rooms were numbered, but the one we got was “B.” It was tiny and right next to the office, but it was the last one available and it was cheap so we took it. It didn’t stay noisy too long, and eventually we slept.

Next morning, my husband woke facing the wall, and saw a big dried-out booger stuck to the wall directly in front of him. That’s when we figured out the B was for Booger. :smiley:

We were young and broke and it made for a good story. But we never went there again!

:stuck_out_tongue: I’m guessing Room B used to be part of the office, till the owner decided to squeeze out a little extra revenue by creating another room. But how to do it without messing up the numbering scheme? (Replacing all those little placards would cost money!) Oh well, we’ll just call it “B”!

At least B didn’t turn out to stand for bedbugs!

Oh lord, I have some good ones.

The most uncomfortable night of my life was spent in a guesthouse (well, really a guestroom) in a fishing outpost along the Niger River in Mali.

I had been traveling for the previous two days atop a large sack of rice in a cargo canoe moving slowly up the Niger river toward Timbuktu. Traveling along with me was a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of Malians too broke to catch the bus. Progress was painfully slow, as the boat was too overloaded to navigate the still shallow river. At night, the slaves manning the boat would serve kerosene scented rice and a sliver of increasingly rancid goat. Then I’d spread out my shawl, lay on the dunes, and sleep until dawn.

On the third night, I decided I was sick of the whole thing and asked if there was any alternative. To my surprise, the crooked boatmen who had sold me the bogus ticket pointed up to a small settlment. He said myself and my companion would be free to stay in a local dwelling. We walked up, where we were greeted by friendly and not particularly shady fishermen, and were shown in.

PURE LUXURY. An enormous bed with a mattress and a sturdy cot were inside, each with a real mosquito net. Afte weeks of hard travel, much of it spent sleeping on roofs or in the dunes, it seemed like a gift from heaven. I claimed the big bed and immediately fell asleep, figuring that if they rob us blind- so be it.

Unfortunately, that night it began to rain. Rain in the Sahara is apparently not something plan well for, it it seems that our shelter was the one room for the entire camp. A couple dozen people came to join us. I joined the women, wedged together so tightly we only fit on our sides on the hard dirt floor. Rain dripped into the shlter, turning our resting place into mud. Mosquitos bit relentlessly through the night (and unfortunately, I have a very strong reaction), and I was too tightly packed to even swat at them without disturbing everyone.

Those were very, very, very long hours until morning. The next day, I hopped off the boat at the fitst sighting of a village of any size, assuming that I had to have better luck there than on that boat.

When I was a teen, my parents took my cousin and I on a trip through Canada. We stayed in a hotel in Montreal tha was hilarious.

When you were standing in the room, you could tell that the floor had a hellacious slant. My cousin sat down in a chair and the front corner gave out and pitched her onto the floor downhill. It really became obvious, though, in the middle of the night when it rained. Water was flowing in under the door, across the room, and into the bathroom. Fortunately, there was a drain in the middle of the bathroom floor.

Like I said, it’s the only hotel in town. And it’s pretty damn rainy in Darien. And the park benches are just outside the cantinas too, and the dogs (and sometimes drunks) sleep under them.

A friend of mine used to ask to stay in the jail in El Real, which was usually empty, in preference. I used to camp at the airstrip, but between the cows and cow sized mosquitoes, that’s not too appealing either.

I haven’t stayed at the hotel for a while. Sometimes I’ve stayed at the dorm used by the Darien National Park rangers. As I said, the most recent time I stayed at a refugee center.

I stayed in a government contract hotel in California where I found cockroaches in the bed, and the hallway smelled of stale beer and vomit. I slept sitting up in a chair as I had no options.

I also stayed in another motel (gov contract again) that the room had been broken into so often that I slept with a weapon.

Who says your government isn’t a good steward of tax payers’ money?

I can’t recall what event it was for but Mistermage and I knew it was going to be a late drunk night so rather than drive the 50 miles home we got a room close to where we were going to be. We checked in early, got fancied up, went out to dinner and then hit the event. He got hammered so I abstained. I drove us back to the hotel and we walked in.

He was staggering just a bit and I was holding onto him to steer him. Across the lobby I saw 2 hookers. And their pimp. It wasn’t Halloween so, yeah. Down the hall we head as fast as I can prod himself and in the hallway was the ice machine. It was overflowing and had cigarette butts in it.

We get in the bedroom, I hang my shawl over the mirror that faces the bed*, fix myself a very strong drink from a brand new bottle and then it hits me.

I bet what with my dressy clothes and actually wearing make-up and my hair fixed up ala 80s hairspray queen… I probably looked like a hooker bringing a John to his room.

  • A long time ago and in a galaxy far away I and various boyfriends would hit the local no-tell motel. It had hourly rates or for 24 hours and every room had a hot tub. It was way cheaper than any of the chain hotels and was pretty clean if you didn’t bring in that CSI stuff. Years go by and the last boyfriend becomes my husband. And the no-tell was scheduled for demolition due to road/bridge construction (a lot of my youth haunts were demolished, too).

So Mistermage and I decided to book the best room for old times sake. It had 2 rooms, an 8 man hot tub, an octagon waterbed and 2 tvs … both of which could play continuous porn or you could request any title they had on hand. Mistermage decided to peruse the “toys” and chatted the clerk up. Turns out they knew some of the same people.

We headed to the room and got down to reminding each other just why we got married. Then started watching some of the shows. We were flipping the channels trying to find something that would interest both of us when we happened upon a channel that had us exchanging glances.

It was in green and gray. You really had to look to see what was on the screen. It appeared to be some kind of cement room with piping overhead and down the walls. It was like the camera was just recording… nothing.

Yeah… we think they used to record any hot stuff that happened in the no-tell. We laughed because, well, yeah we didn’t make the grade. Or maybe since Mistermage and the clerk got along it was a courtesy.

But it did make both of us wonder if days gone by were shared out years back. And ever since if there is a mirror that faces the bed… we cover it up.

Try a weekly rental hotel room in San Francisco. I haven’t, but I’ve heard stories. I stay at hotels that start at $30-50 a night and never felt any were terrible.

My wife and I have taken some cut-rate bus tours, so we’ve stayed in some grotty hotels.

But the most memorable shabby hotel I can think of was when we took a local cut-rate tour from Nanjing to Beijing. The hotel we stayed in was owned by the Air Force, so there was some discussion whether they should let a foreigner (i.e., me) stay in it or not. In the end, I guess they didn’t care. The thing that was memorable about the hotel was that it was clearly a very nice luxury hotel when it was new (it was maybe 10 or 20 years old when we stayed in it), but it seemed that no one had done any maintenance on it, ever. So all of the nice carpets and bedding had cigarette burns in them, the marble shower only had hot water for ~45 minutes a day, the electrical connection on the TV set was extremely dodgy, and this big hotel was probably less than 5% full. What a waste!

On the bright side, they had bottles of beer for sale in the lobby for 2 RMB (which was about $0.30 Canadian at the time).

I’ve stayed in lots of dodgy ones in the Third World. If I had to name one, it would probably have to be the place we stayed at Lovina Beach, on the north shore of the Indonesian island of Bali. Even that wasn’t so bad, it was just decrepit as all hell.

I stayed a couple days in a weekly motel in downtown Vegas. The model room was clean and I was tired after spending all day searching for a place, so for this one, I didn’t bother asking to see the actual room. It turned out to have rust or whatever coming out of the bathroom faucets and shower, and worse, there was extremely loud bass rap music coming from an adjoining room past midnight. When I parked my car in the parking garage to move some belongings in, some guy angrily chewed me out explaining I wasn’t special. I moved elsewhere without staying the whole week.

Back in the 80’s in Phoenix, I almost stayed at a literal roach motel somewhere along the way to Tempe, but complained and got a refund.

I forget the name but I could look out the window and watch the guards at the Ensenada City Jail (which looked more appealing). I stayed at Hussong’s Cantina as long as I could that night.

I’ve stayed in some nasty places but the “best” was this one:

When I entered the room, there was a giant cockroach on it’s back laying in the middle of the floor. In the bureau, there was a soiled piece of women’s underwear. The showerhead was one of those wands you hold yourself, no wall mount. It was metal and had a metal armoured hose. Every five minutes or so I’d get a nice shock of electricity as the lights dimmed for a moment to set the mood.

Then there was the toilet. As I was finishing my business I leaned waaaay over to grab the toilet paper and promptly ripped the toilet out of the floor. It stood on an edge as I wobbled, “Woah!”, and it went back down into position. But not before pinning my shorts underneath, which then started to vigourously wick what I can only describe as “demon water”. This threatened to alter my reality in a way I was not prepared to address and I started to panic as my shoes were pinned to the floor by way of my shorts. I couldn’t escape! Then I realized I could just stand up and step out of my shorts. Into the garbage they went. Did I mention the bathroom door had a crescent cut out of it so it could swing through the space occupied by the toilet?