Real Life Stories From Travelers About the Worst Hotels They Ever Visited

Hotels have to be pretty bad to be memorable. All it takes to have a good stay at a hotel is a clean bed, plenty of towels and a smile on the person at the front desk. When hotel staff fail to meet even these basic requirements, it’s obvious that your stay will be anything but comfortable. 

These real life stories recount people’s experiences at hotels around the world that were less than accommodating. From messes under the bed to doors without any locks, these hotels were truly the stuff of nightmares. Pair that with some inattentive staff and some truly strange guests, and these hotels should be more than prepared to read the bad reviews that are inevitably coming their way.

I’ll Change the Sheets Myself

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This happened to me in Daytona, FL. I was down there working and had a super long, stressful day. Finally time for bed. Pull the covers back, and blood. A bunch of it. And it wasn’t dark and dry, it was bright red and still wet. Nasty! Then they send up a guy, who resembles the creep in Scary Movie 2, with new sheets. I said thanks, but I will change them myself.

Story credit: Reddit / 17girlsinarow

Someone Left the Mini Fridge Fully Stocked

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My family had gone to Florida for vacation and were staying in a cheap but relatively nice hotel. After the first three days we noticed they had a minifridge in the room, so naturally, my brother looks inside. Some sick bastard before us had opened two of the soda cans in the fridge and half drank both of them, which placed back in the fridge upside down. After a few days, what seemed like the hotel’s entire ant population had swarmed inside the fridge through god knows where. When my brother opened it, so many came pouring out that it may have looked like a miniscule interpretation of the Killer Ant scene from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The fridge was promptly shut, and after my brother’s quick shower, we decided we didn’t want to stay in the hotel after that night.

Story credit: Reddit / NikolaTesla1

My Stuff Was All Gone

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Ramada Inn – Tyler, TX – Mid 90’s

I was traveling a lot for work. Over 4 years, I averaged 2 round trips per week. I never cared about getting into a quality hotel, just not a dump. This trip is more involved than average, so I’m there for 2 nights.

I got in on a late flight and to the hotel about 11 pm. There was only 1 other car in the parking lot – that should have been a sign. It was obviously an older building, but I’ve been in older. I check in as usual and drop my bags in the room. A quick look shows some cracks in the bathroom tile and sink – nothing functionally bad. The carpet is cheap and stiff – not crunchy though. The TV gets 1 channel – it was either weather or in Spanish.

Hungry, I stop at the desk to ask for a recommendation. Not only is is not the same person that checked me in 10 minutes ago, they don’t know of any restaurants in the area. I go find something on my own. As I walk past the desk on my way back an hour later, it’s another new person behind the desk greeting me. Still the same one other car in the lot.

At 3 am, there’s a pounding on my door. It’s a deputy with what appears to be another new person from the front desk (turnover can’t be that high, can it?) hovering behind the cop. The deputy is here to evict me. According to the desk guy, I owe rent for a couple weeks and he wants me out “NOW!” He hands the deputy a clipboard with the paperwork. Half asleep and reading upside down, I say ‘That paperwork is for room 301. This is room 103. I assume we’re done here.’ The deputy apologizes (not the desk jockey, though) and I shut the door and go back to sleep.

I go to the client site the next day and pass yet another new person behind the desk. I opt out of the ‘breakfast’ offered. Another vendor onsite offers to buy dinner, so I head to the hotel for a quick shower. My stuff is gone. All I left was an overnight bag, since I travel light and took my laptop to work. I talk to the new guy at the desk (I seriously never saw the same person twice). He checks the computer and says I was only checked in for one night. We sort out that error and he makes a couple phone calls. Apparently, the maid locked my bag in the maids closet and I have to wait because she has the only key. An hour later, he gets a phone call and goes to get my bag for me. I strongly suspect someone took it home hoping something of value was in it.

After a quick shower, I meet the vendor for dinner and tell the whole story of the hotel so far. He says there’s plenty of room in the Holiday Inn across town he’s in, but I feel like I have to stay through the end. I get the feeling there has to be a punch line at the end of this joke of a hotel. On the way back to the hotel, I had the idea that I was going to see a crane with a wrecking ball in the parking lot when I woke up – just a random thought.

After a relatively uneventful night (some noisy people in the halls is all), I check out. There’s a new, handwritten sign at the desk stating ‘NO REFUNDS’. After I sign my receipt, I point to it and say, ‘My butt. I’m getting every penny back.’ The new guy at the desk says something about the policy that I interrupt with, ‘I’ll get it from corporate, easily.’ I get to my rental car and there are 3 bullet holes in the rear driver’s side door.

On the flight home, I type up an email summary to my travel coordinator. I try to keep it on the humorous side and include all the relevant details. At the end, I request never to be booked in a Ramada and recommend the company be dropped from preferred vendor status. She forwards the email to Ramada and CC’s my manager. Ramada is pretty much blacklisted by the company and the email makes the rounds through the company for the humor.

A week later, I get a refund check from Ramada. It’s handwritten and includes a stack of coupons for free stays at any Ramada Inn. I cashed the check and returned the coupons with a note stating that I have no use for them since I will sleep in my car before I stay at another Ramada Inn.

Story credit: Reddit / greymud

We Just Need a Place to Spend the Night

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We needed a place to stay just one night after attending a concert an hour or so away from home. It only needed to be a simple place to stay, but I found a cheap little place with a spa in the room and though it would be fun to use the opportunity for a bit of romantic night away. We arrived before the gig and found the place painted a cheesy shade of pink, and the layout of the room was like a shady drive in motel, stained carpet and plastic furniture. The toilet broke two seconds after arriving and we had to call maintenance to fix it. We left for the gig, laughing at what a dodgy place we’d found ourselves in. Later in the night we arrived back at the hotel a little wasted and ready for some fun in the spa. As soon as we entered the bathroom we were hit with the unmistakable sound of obvious intimacy thumping through the walls. It pounded through the room and we giggled at the raunchiness of it, and when it stopped suddenly we panicked a little that they’d heard us. But we just heard chatting coming from the room next door; small break. Five seconds later, moaning and screaming. Suddenly, regular conversation. These guys were going from being intimate to polite conversation in seconds. Eventually, we realised; it was an adult video. They were making suggestive content. This ebb and flow of screaming and chit chat continued for HOURS, constantly, until they finally packed up all their equipment in a van at about 4am and went home, after 7 hours of ‘hard’ work.

I better recognize that room one day.

Story credit: Reddit / Spoon_Shaker

A Wake Up Call Without Any Phones

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Driving cross-country from Wisconsin to Florida. Three o’clock in the morning, we’ve been on the road for hours, and neither of us can keep our eyes open anymore. We agree we have to stop at the next hotel, motel, Holiday Inn…anything.

Shortly we come upon an exit with a hotel. It’s easy to tell this, because its name is just “Hotel”.

We go in, and it looks pretty shady, but it’s late and we’re exhausted, so we get a room from the nice Pakistani fellow behind the desk. We only need a few hours sleep, so we request a wakeup call.

Opening the door to our room, we see that it’s definitely shady, as everything in the room has been bolted and/or chained to the walls or floor.

At least, everything had been, because it’s all gone now. The television, the mirror, the fridge, the end tables, the phone…they’ve all been stolen, and judging by the conditions left behind, usually, a good amount of force was employed.

We pile our bags between the two beds and both sleep with knives under our pillows.

As I drift off to sleep, my exhaustion-fogged brain catches onto an important detail I had missed earlier…how are they going to leave a wakeup call when we don’t have a phone?

7:00 a.m. – KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK “HELLO IN THERE! IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO BEING AWAKE NOW! HELLO! YOU MUST BE GETTING WITH THE WAKING UP!”

Story credit: Reddit / slamdancer

The Front Desk Didn’t Answer My Calls

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Planned a trip once and looked into motels/hotels about 30 minutes outside the city. I can’t remember the name of the hotel because it wasn’t a national chain, plus it was 7 years ago (and I think my mind’s done its best to shut out the experience as best it can).

Anyway, the pictures on the website all looked nice. Rooms looked good for what I needed and with a free breakfast, what could go wrong? It was $100 a night, seemed reasonable.

So I get there, and in the large hotel parking lot, there are only about 2-3 cars outside.

I go in, and it takes roughly 15 minutes for someone to meet me at the front desk. I check in, and start off to my room. The elevator door opens and boom, dark hallway, no lights.

I was like “wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut”. It was being renovated or something, and you had to walk through the renovation to get to your room.

I get to my room, and it’s roughly about half the size I thought it was. I go to the bathroom because I want to shower after a long roadtrip. I turn on the water and the cold water doesn’t work. I turn on the hot water, and it never gets hot, it just stays cold.

At this point, I’m getting really frustrated cause I’m paying $100 for this experience. I’m so tired that I say whatever and try to take a nap. I go to sit on the bed and something moves. I don’t know what it is at this point, but I know I saw something small move.

I lift the pillow and………..spider nest.

I immediately pack my stuff back up and again walk through the renovation to the elevator. I press the lobby button, the doors shut, and……you guessed it, elevator gets stuck. Now I’m trapped, and after about 3 minutes in there, the lights also go out.

I pull my cellphone out and try calling the main desk. It takes 4 calls before they pick up. They say they’ll send someone. After 2 hours, finally someone gets the elevator working and I’m let out.

After I get to the front desk and get my refund, I storm out of the place and toward my car. On the way, I trip on one of those long concrete barriers at the front of parking spots, and promptly break my wrist.

Story credit: Reddit / Giantxbones

The Only Bad Review I’ve Ever Left

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We stopped around midnight to find an available room on our way home from vacation, when I decided I was too tired to keep going. We pulled off at an exit that had two options, a La Quinta and a Days Inn. I voted La Quinta, but my husband stressed that he really wanted to see if there was something available at the Days inn first since we happened to stop in at one on the way to our destination and it was actually really nice.

We get into the lobby and they set us up in what was one of the few rooms remaining. Very nice front desk agent tells us that it’s just gone done being renovated the price is decent so I figure why not. We get inside and the room is way different than the last Days Inn. The room is painted these super bright almost highlighter type colors and the room smells like paint. At this point, I feel like I am just being picky, but we try to put the a/c on since it’s July and it doesn’t turn on.

They give us another room, upgrade us to a “suite” for the trouble. So we start walking to the room and are forced to pass these 3 guys leaning against the wall to get to our room which is about two doors down from them. As we walk past and unlock the door they make snide comments about the two of us getting the suite and what we’re going to do inside. Super classy, but whatever… I’ll get over it. This one smells like paint AND cat pee, but whatever I want to sleep. Try to go and take a shower and the set up is super weird. In every other hotel/home/apartment I have ever been in has had a normal tub spout. This one just has a very tiny tube underneath the handle for the shower and when I turned the shower on it caused a strong stream of water to shoot out. It’s actually so strong that it hits the wall at the back of the shower and sprays out into the bathroom. Its strong enough to be semi-painful to my hand, and it is at crotch height for me. Not into this and no way to stop it. Take a video, partly because at this point I cannot stop thinking “what the heck?” and head back to the front desk.

The wonderful front desk clerk is apologetic, asks to see the video and is also very flabbergasted. Offers to escort us to the 3rd room.. the last one they have available. Off the 3 of us go. The last one smells like paint, still terrible colors all of which I was expecting. AC works so I walk into the bathroom to make sure there isn’t some stupid issue here. The shower doesn’t work at all, neither us nor the front desk can figure out how to turn it on. We get back to the front desk where the poor woman is apologizing over and over and the “owner” is waiting. Front desk agent refunds our card while the owner keeps talking about how she saw nothing wrong with the shower in the second room.

That was both the worst and the oddest experience I have ever had and has so far been the only bad review I have ever left on trip advisor. They tried to publicly smooth things over with an apology response but I think the shower video speaks for itself.

Story credit: Reddit / AmativeDame

They Let New Guests Into Our Room

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Hotel in Kings Cross (Sydney), it had this door that would slam very loudly and quite regularly throughout the night. So our sleep was relatively disturbed anyway. Then on one of the nights at some point after midnight, housekeeping thought our room was empty and opened the door to let some new guests in.

Story credit: Reddit / balthamalamal

No One Checks Under the Beds

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My cousin’s son was about 3 playing in a hotel room in Florida and was stuck with a hypodermic needle he found under the bed.

Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]

I Slept With One Eye Open

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I paid way too much (probably a couple hundred) for a bad motel. It was obvious from the outside that it was bad, but we were desperate because some other plans had fallen through. It was winter in Utah in the middle of the 2002 Olympics, so all the places were gouging and it was way too cold to try to sleep in the car. So we found the one place that had a vacancy and figured we’d deal with it.

It was disgusting. There were stains on the floor and the beds. We bought a sheet at a dollar store to throw over the bed because we didn’t want to touch it. There were used towels tossed in a corner when we came in that housekeeping had never bothered to clean up. There were holes in the linoleum on the bathroom floor. There was no shower curtain. Just a disgusting mess of a room.

But that wasn’t the worst part. At some point I needed to grab something from the car, so I took the key (they were still using an old metal key), locked the door behind me, and went to get whatever I needed. When I came back I put the key in the door, heard it click open and stepped into the room. Then I got very confused because I saw someone else’s bags in the room and the shower was running. I backed out of the room and shut the door, then looked at the number and realized I’d gone up the wrong stairs. Ours was room 28, and I’d gone to room 38. But the key had worked. Did this cheap piece of poo motel only have one key for every door?

How many doors would this key unlock? How many keys were out there that would open our door? I slept with one eye open that night.

Story credit: Reddit / fishred

I Slept Like a Baby

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New Year’s Eve, 7 or 8 years ago. Was attending a decent sized outdoor shindig (~50-75 people) with my girlfriend at the time. Everyone was welcome to bring tents/crash on the floor inside, but there was a hotel about 2 miles away that seemed much more welcoming.

Checked into the hotel at about 3 am, walked into the room, and the phone starts ringing. A woman who was in the room below us was calling and complaining about the noise we were making. We had literally walked in and my GF had ducked into the bathroom. I don’t think we had even said anything. Tried to explain this to the woman, she hung up. A few minutes later my GF leaves the bathroom, walks to the bed and gets in, and the phone rings again. Apparently, the sound of a 110 lb woman walking 15 ft across the floor in this brand new hotel had once again disturbed her sleep. We chuckled about it, turned on the TV to a low volume, and started to wind down. We were pretty tired and quickly decided to sleep. I turned off the bedside light, took off my glasses, and accidentally missed the nightstand, dropping them on the floor. Again, the phone rang – “YOU THINK THIS IS A FREAKING GAME?” I told her in no uncertain terms where to go, how to get there, and what she could do upon arrival.

We briefly discussed the amount of crazy below us, and fell asleep. Woke up a bit later (20-30 minutes?) to beating on the door. She had called the police and told them we were partying, jumping on the floor, and trying to torture her. I explained the situation to the police, invited them in the room to demonstrate the lack of party happening, and just then… the phone rings.

She heard the multiple footsteps in the room (and it’s not like the cops were stomping everywhere) and called. I asked the officer to answer and sure enough, she immediately fell in on him, threatening to come up and kick butts, etc. The police were happy to go down a floor and explain that someone walking on the floor in the room above you is not a crime, but threatening people is. She wasn’t arrested, but they did shut her up, and came back up to our room to have a chuckle and leave.

Since I was pretty wound up and my shot at sleeping any time soon had been ruined, I unplugged the phone, grabbed my rolling luggage, and paced the room for about an hour and a half. Then I slept like a baby.

Story credit: Reddit / HawaiiFiveBlow

We Heard Gunshots

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My friend and I were working a fitness expo in Vegas and stayed at a cheap hotel to save some money. They have two sections to this hotel. The tower when you first walk in, which is equivalent to a nice hotel. Then they have the back section which you get to by walking through the entire hotel, EXITING the building, and entering another building. This building is next to some type of alley and anyone can just walk in without being seen by any type of employee or security.

That night around 2 a.m., there is a pounding on the door. It woke me up out of a dead sleep. I can see feet under the door and I just stayed as still and quiet as possible. He kept pounding and pounding on the door. He stood there for almost 5 minutes in silence (I could hear his heavy breathing and see his feet under the door). Then started pounding and kicking the door angrily, while making crazy noises. He eventually kicked one last time and then ran down the hall. Less than a minute later we heard 4 loud gunshots down the hall. I have never been so scared in my life. We stayed up all night and talked to the front desk (in the nice part of the hotel) the next morning. They claimed they knew nothing about any gunshots and happily switched us to the secure portion of the hotel.

Story credit: Reddit / bunnylebowski1

Humor Me

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Had a room reserved at a place in Tampa and it looked nice online and it had some good reviews. Driving in the nearby area and it was a little sketchy but I wasn’t worried. We checked in and we opened the door and turn on the lights and the walls were covered in roaches of all sizes. Usually, they run when you cut the lights on, but these all looked at me like they were saying, “are you gonna turn the lights back off?”

Went to the front desk and demand my money back. Front desk dude is apologetic and insists on looking at another room. At that point, I’m basically like, “okay buddy, humor me.” Open the door and more roaches.

Go back to the front desk and just laughed as the guy did the refund.

Story credit: Reddit / obsessedwithhippos

The Bed Was Soaking Wet

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My family checked in, brought our bags to the room, and planned to change clothes and head out to eat dinner. I sat down on the side of the bed to tie my shoes and noticed it felt weirdly cold. I pulled back the duvet, and everything looked fine. I pressed my hand down on the sheet, and water seeped up from the mattress.

We called the front desk and they sent someone to change the sheets. As they’re changing them, my dad pressed down on the mattress again and more water seeped up through the mattress and soaked the sheet. No idea what was spilled on the bed, why it was cold, or why it wasn’t noticed when the sheets were originally changed.

Story credit: Reddit / Notsocialinteraction

The Last Stop on Our Road Trip

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My cousin and I got to our last stop on a road trip. I get out to check in while my cousin waits in the car. Everyone stares at us. I walk into the tiny, dirty “lobby” and a man with two teeth emerges from his apartment behind the front desk. He makes strange small talk and tells me I look like a Stephanie and he’s going to call me Stephanie. He tells me he gets off at 11 and that he gave us the best room, right above his apartment.

I return to my cousin’s jeep and she looks horrified. She said a man came up to her jeep, touching it and peeking in until he realized she was still inside. He bolted.

Our room was the last one in front of a large deck and next to a ladder leading down to the man’s apartment. We quickly realize that the conjoining door to the room next door is open and has no way to lock. We prop something up against it to keep it closed and unpack. We see scratches down the walls and dents in the walls– signs of a struggle.

As I’m in the bathroom, the door has about a half inch between the door and the frame where anyone can see through. It’s weird, but I deal with it. My cousin calls to me. She points to the main door, where the deadbolt is busted clean off. There’s a latch, but nothing to latch onto. The peephole is also covered by a plastic sheet.

My cousin wants to leave, but I tell her we have until 11 until the worker’s shift ends and we can sit and think about it. Just then, my mom saw some photos I sent her from the room and sends back two words: “leave now.”

My cousin and I literally run to the car and speed out of that parking lot, never turning back.

Story credit: Reddit / fattypattyy

That’s One Way to Solve that Problem

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Back in high school, my school did a week-long musical exchange program to Cuba. It was absolutely stunning and I enjoyed every bit of it. However, the place we stayed at was a resort, and each room was a tiny cabana that held 3-6 people.

Everything was going great the first few days, until one day we heard this strange gurgling while sleeping. The toilet water was overflowing EVERYWHERE. Not just for one night. The toilet just kept overflowing at the same time, in our cabana every single night until we left. We had no idea why.

It got to the point where we just started closing the bathroom door and clogging the bottom of the door with towels. We took shifts with replacing the towels.

Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]

Pizza Makes Everything Better

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Found this one place, something of a converted apartment building, the rooms were huge. The office was separate from the building, and it looked like they tried to make more rooms out of it. On the second floor was a huge window duct taped onto the frame. We were tired and continued to the fourth floor.

We get to the door and there was no lock on the door, it was held closed from the outside with a chair. We were hungry and ordered pizza and went to pick it up, so we explored our temporary squalid abode for any more atrocities. There was a full fridge, filled with mold… and mustard, an attic door that led to somewhere dark and crusty, and stains in the bathroom.

Anyway, pizza comes back and we hear “we need to get out of here, there are some guys with knives hanging out.” We decide to get out of there. Race down the stairs, and the first floor smelled really bad. Sounded like a few fights coming from somewhere and we weren’t going to find out any more than that. We get to the office and ask for a refund.

They didn’t want to give us a refund since we were in the room for around 30 minutes.

I said, “Give me a refund, this place should be burned down. You couldn’t pay us to actually stay here. We are over 1,000 miles from home, give us something, seriously.”

Did I mention this was a family vacation?

Story credit: Reddit / -Mr-Jack-

I Was Just Trying to Save Some Money

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I was in Topeka. Decided to stay at Motel 6 to save some money. I get in the bed and feel something crawling on my leg. I throw the cover off, and insects are all over my legs. I get dressed and get out of there PRONTO.

I go to the front desk and they say I can’t have my money back, I already paid, no refunds. Finally, she says I can have a different room. I say no, I don’t want to stay at your insect-infested motel. I say bring the manager out. She says she’s not here.

I walk out and get a room at the Holiday Inn across the street. Wonderful people. Friendly, clean spacious room. I get to my room and go to bed. Next morning I call the manager and ask for my money back. She says no. I say my next call is going to be to American Express and tell them to block the charge. She gives me my money back.

Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]

I Used to Sleepwalk

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I used to sleepwalk when I was younger. On vacation, I unlocked the door and walked downstairs. Woke up in the corridor, had no idea which room I was in because it was the first night. I spent about 10 minutes banging on one room, finally, I hear an Asian lady so I ran down the hallway. Luckily enough the second door I tried was right.

Story credit: Reddit / nopantstoday3

I Got Electrocuted By the Light Switch

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I stayed in a cheap church-run hotel when I went to NYC on a school trip. It’s specifically for students, nuns, and clergy, so it was bare bones. When I went into the room, there was a giant flap of cheap paint hanging off the wall, with the plaster exposed. Then when I went to flip on the light, I got electrocuted. I couldn’t stand for a bit afterward.

Story credit: Reddit / 830_L

Early Wake Up Call

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Staying in some hotel just outside of Rome. This place was probably a former resort at some point in time, as it looked like it used to be nice.

We asked for a room with 3 beds. In reality, it was 2 beds and a tiny couch, so my 2 friends took the beds and I took the couch. We were woken up at 3:30 a.m. by a rooster just outside the window and an old dog that barked just like the rooster. it was horrible.

I went to take a shower and the water came out as if it was a power washer for 15 seconds, and then a nearly empty water bottle for 15 seconds. It was switching between scalding hot and freezing cold.

For breakfast, we’re eating last night’s dinner rolls and plain non-flavored yogurt.

I think I remember there being roaches in the room.

Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]

A Bad Apple in the Bunch

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Coming in after registering online with a pet-friendly hotel we’d stayed in before. They left us alone our entire stay and the moment we left I had a nasty email explaining how they were going to do an extra charge of $40 for our dog. They had no additional pet fee, so I asked what the issue was.

The next email was from the owner of the hotel going on a hateful rant about how we stayed there often enough that we knew they had a pet fee and that we were going to pay it because it had been charged to our card.

I forwarded all the emails to regional after contacting the company via Twitter for the address. We weren’t getting responses calling the hotel directly.

A few days later the entire hotel stay was refunded to my card along with the fee. I’m super confused. I have a new email from the president of this huge global hotel chain. He’s apologizing for the local hotel treating us so poorly and made the owner call and apologize. He then credited over a hundred dollars to our reward card for their company so we can go out again at their expense.

Never been back to that hotel but have happily stayed in other hotels by the chain.

Story credit: Reddit / SweetLittleButtercup

Likely Story

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Staying the night at a hotel in Texas. The hotel doesn’t look the best, but not the worst. Lots of families and kids. So anyway, they have an indoor pool. My 15-year-old daughter was accompanying her 4-year-old cousin from the hotel room to the indoor pool area via the only elevator. She gets on the elevator to a large group of men who were circled around the walls of the elevator. One of them was holding a knife and another one asked her what she was doing on the elevator. The doors hadn’t closed yet. She was scared and she ushered her cousin out and told us what happened. We went to front desk to let them know what happened and that we were scared. The front desk clerk said it was okay. They probably had a birthday cake up in their room and the knife was to cut the cake.

Story credit: Reddit / kiwifruitfa

The Lock Was Missing

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Earlier this summer a friend and I were driving from San Diego to New Orleans. My friend booked a place because it was cheap and a 3-star hotel. We got there around 2 a.m. and they said we couldn’t check in. They said, “we’ve already marked you as a no-show.” We wait 45 minutes while the guy gets it worked out. When we got to the room, the entire floor smelled horrible.

The room’s lock was missing, the shower curtain was covered in red stains, all the towels smelled clean but were covered in brown hair, the phone was wet and covered in something, and the beds couldn’t have been more uncomfortable.

However, we were extremely tired and already in the room so we decided to just call it a night.

Story credit: Reddit / bphilly_cheesesteak

We Left Early

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We were on route to Washington, D.C., when we started to lose daylight and had to find a place to stay. The motel we found didn’t have a paved parking lot and the air was full of dust. I think I recall seeing some piles of cement blocks but not much else.

We pull in and a lady with a pink muumuu and hair curlers comes out to our car, telling us she owns the place and that all the rooms are taken and the rest are being renovated. Behind her is her son: a meaty behemoth that may not have had all the lights on upstairs. She does have one room and she can let us have it at a discount. My dad jumps at this chance.

I remember there was a pool in a courtyard behind the main building. My mother scouted it out first and then insisted we were not to go anywhere near it.

Our room didn’t have a door lock on the front door. The bathroom didn’t have a door at all. The carpet was a long shag rug in dark blue and green. Nothing felt or looked remotely clean. There was one very hard bed and one lamp, and not much else.

My father phones the front desk to find out why the door lock isn’t working. The result was the son knocking on our door with a chair we could use to prop under the doorknob. My father spent the night trying to sleep in a chair by the jury-rigged door. We paid and left early the next day.

Story credit: Reddit / Wishingwurm

We’re Not Alone

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My boyfriend took me out to a hotel for my birthday night, to be part romantic, and partly let me sleep in for the first time in months (I had an almost one-year-old baby who still to this day wakes up at the crack of dawn). He didn’t know anything about hotels and accidentally booked us a night in the nastiest place with stained bed sheets, funky smells, bad TV, and the works. We sleep there and at 5 a.m. his phone goes off. I decided to just go take a nice bath and relax since I couldn’t sleep. I go into the bathroom, turn on the light, and at least 15 cockroaches are sitting in the tub. Couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

Story credit: Reddit / softandteeth

He Was Paralyzed

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My dad was staying in Thailand on business. It was just one night, so he was all packed and just using the room to sleep after a long and eventful day. He slept great and woke up when he realized that he literally could not move. He was paralyzed from the number of bed bugs that bit him through the night. It took like 2-3 minutes of intense focus and slow movements before he could sit up. His entire body was covered in small red sores from the bugs.

Story credit: Reddit / OldManJenkins30

False Alarm

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I had a traumatic experience at a hotel in Texas a few years ago. I was with my son, who was 9 at the time. First night there and all of a sudden, the fire alarm goes off. My son freaks out, and I try to calm him down, saying someone probably pulled the alarm by accident. As I’m putting on my shoes, he opens the door. Thick, white smoke barrels into the room. He is terrified and so am I. We are on the 5th floor. I know we have to get out, so I grab his hand, tell him we’re going for the stairs at the end of the hallway and to take a deep breath.

We get into the hallway, and the smoke is so thick we can’t see 2 inches in front of our faces. Breathing in means instant choking. Running on pure adrenaline, I run to the end of the hallway and start pounding on the wall to find the door to the stairwell. I find it, throw it open, and down the stairs we fly. We burst outside, exhaling white puffs while we cough and choke. Fire trucks show up, we are stuck outside with nothing but our pajamas. Finally, at 2 a.m., a fireman calls everyone over for an announcement. It wasn’t a fire, some jerks set off all of the fire extinguishers in the hallways and pulled the alarm.

Story credit: Reddit / pop_skittles

I Hoped For the Best

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Milan, Italy. Couldn’t find a hotel near the airport late at night. My wife asked a taxi driver where a hotel was. The taxi driver said, “follow me.”

Drove us to the sleaziest hotel in Milan. Weird people in the lobby. Trash all over. By then it was midnight so we took a room and hoped for the best. I literally slept all night with one eye open. Left at the next morning and left my car keys on the table in the room. Got back to the airport in the United States and found I had no car keys. Just the icing on the cake.

Story credit: Reddit / LuvinMclovin

There Wasn’t Even Free Wi-Fi

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Me and my wife stayed at a hotel in a rural place in Texas. We decided to cheap out a bit on the hotel cause we figured it couldn’t be too bad. It wasn’t spectacularly bad, but it was bad enough that I’ll never cheap out on a hotel again.

The hot water wasn’t working so they switched us around to a few different rooms before determining that the building’s hot water unit was broken. After taking a cold shower, I decided to try the complimentary coffee they keep in the room. Huge mistake.

That night we got treated to a serenade by the other people staying at the hotel that I think was titled “late night arguments.” It was a long serenade that lasted pretty much the entire 8 hours I was trying to sleep on a deformed spring mattress.

So the next day, after having a breakfast of stale cereal and warm milk, me and my wife go out. When we got back, we found out that they locked us out of our room. There was a different person working the front that day, so they were just as confused as we were about what to do about it. After about 30 minutes, they made us a new pair of key cards.

We had a bit of time to sit down at that point, so I decided to try out their free WiFi. It turns out the WiFi isn’t free. You had to be a subscriber to some network or other to use it. So I connected to the network of some adjacent business that provided a speed somewhere between dial-up and snail mail.

On the way back home, me and my wife decided to double our budget for a hotel in the future.

Story credit: Reddit / Timmeh317

The Sewer Line Below the Hotel Broke

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Our truck was in the shop and my co-driver and I booked a stay in a hotel nearby. The sewer line below the hotel had broke and the city was in the midst of fixing it, but the smell …

We spent several hours in our room battling the stench, but it was too much. We asked the front desk if there was another room we could have away from where they were working on the sewer line. They only had one other room. A smoking room. Neither of us smoke. The smell of smoke was infinitely preferable and even helped mask the oppressive stench from outside.

Story credit: Reddit / Lnzy1

Makeshift Bathtub

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I stayed at a place about 10 years ago and this place was barely a step above just sleeping outside. Hard beds, water spots, mold, faint smell of smoke, etc.

What really did it for me was when I wanted to take a bath. The bathtub had no stopper, and it wasn’t one of those deals where you flipped a switch to stop the drain, so I called down to the front desk to ask if they had any stoppers. Their answer? Get one of the small face towels and jam in the drain, fill the bath, and by the time the water slowly drained out, I would be done.

Story credit: Reddit / Calamity_Jay

There Was No Water or Power

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Stayed in a hotel in Greece as a part of a tour package. When we got there, we were told that the hotel, as well as the neighboring buildings, had no power or water. We were forced to carry our bags to the third floor with no help from any of the staff. After hauling all our luggage upstairs, we were told it would be another 2 hours before anything was fixed. Our tour guide decided to take us for a walk around town to pass time. Fast forward 2 hours later with no progress whatsoever. I decided to go to the hotel next door, only to see it is fully functioning. When I ask the front desk if they were having power issues they had no idea what I was talking about. I also noticed the room prices were half the price of what the hotel next door was charging.

I go back to my hotel to confront the staff about the situation. They look at me confused when I told them the hotel next door has power and water. When I mention the room prices there were nearly half price the last lady at the front desk became passive aggressive. The power was magically restored within 5 minutes.

Story credit: Reddit / iOpulence

An Odd Smell Near the Hot Tub

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On a family trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a few years ago. Everyone in the place would gather at the pool and hot tub area in the late afternoon, adults & kids. There was this really odd smell near the hot tub; an icky, rotting smell. Thought it was the trash since there was a communal grill in the same area, it was summer, and people are slobs. Three nights, every night hotel guests at the hot tub, kids dunking themselves in the water, playing and spitting it at each other, kid stuff. By the third night, the smell was really distinct. I was sitting with my 6-year-old, both of us in the hot tub. I was playing around with the filter lid for no particular reason when it popped out of place. To my absolute horror, the most wretched decaying smell wafted up and inside the filter basket was a huge corpse of a bloated half-boiled rat. Everyone screamed, freaking out ensued. Called manager and security. Not at all amused about the thought of all the diseases that me and my kid, along with the other guests, had been stewing in for three nights. Some kids had that decayed rat water in their mouths (not mine, yay!). I have never scrubbed myself and my son as much as that evening. I wanted to remove a layer or two of skin. They did comp the whole stay, but it was disgusting.

Story credit: Reddit / happypants40

I Would Rather Stay in My Car

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Every time I have ever moved, the house I was moving to has never vacated on time, so at the last minute, I’ve had to stay for a week or two at some motel. The most recent one I like to call Fight Club. I asked to be moved three times because I wound up next to a room with constant screaming matches going on. The parking lot, where no doubt a lot of crime was going down, had brawls happening every day. Sometimes it was homeless people, one time it was a huge gang of about a dozen people going at it. The fight actually spread to the inside of the hotel where they were chasing each other down the halls and they were kicking in doors. The front desk clerk got beat up. He had to go to the hospital after he called the cops, who showed up nearly an hour later. I kicked the leg out from a table and held it like a baseball bat, and I waited by the door waiting for my turn, waiting to see if anyone was going to kick my door in. After about a week of this, I left and I spent three days sleeping in my car waiting for those people to vacate my house.

Story credit: Reddit / Patches67

Paris in the Summer

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A hotel in Paris. It was in the middle of summer. There was no air conditioning, and the windows barely opened. It was the size of a shoebox, the carpet and furniture were all the same color (light purple), and the service was horrible. Want your room cleaned? They will do it when they are ready. Want an extra towel? Better go to a store and buy one yourself. Want some restaurant suggestions? Scoffs.

Story credit: Reddit / elephantsarechillaf

Don’t Dare Ask For a Washcloth

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The Westbury Hotel near Earl’s Court, London.

My girlfriend hadn’t traveled much internationally, and the Westbury was the default option in a package trip we were buying. I tried to tell her it wouldn’t be anywhere near as nice as the average U.S. hotel, but she didn’t believe me.

The common areas of the hotel were fine, if a bit tatty and rundown.

We got to the room, however, and it was a nightmare. There wasn’t a bed: the mattress was actually on the floor. It looked like the carpets hadn’t been vacuumed in a couple weeks, and there were crumbs and crumbled up straw wrappers on the floor. The TV looked like it was from 1994 (this was 2004). There was a small balcony, but someone had removed the doorknob; the ever-resourceful people who owned the place had stuffed paper towels in the holes to keep the cold air out.

The “shower” was a tiny corner of the bathroom. There wasn’t a door or even a “lip” around the shower area – it was just a corner of the room where they’d installed a shower head, drain and curved curtain rod. The shower curtain was covered in mildew, so you didn’t want to touch it, but that was impossible, even for my 5’2 girlfriend — the shower was that small. This was especially puzzling because the bathroom itself was quite large — almost as large as the bedroom. But here was this 18″ shower that flooded the whole bathroom when you used it.

I think my favorite thing was this exchange between my girlfriend and the front desk girl after we noticed that there wasn’t a washcloth in the room:

Girlfriend: Excuse me, could I get a washcloth? There doesn’t seem to be one in our room.

Front Desk: YOU AMERICANS! EVERY TIME YOU COME YOU ASK FOR WASHCLOTH! WHAT ARE WE, WASHCLOTH FACTORY? PEOPLE ASK ME 50 TIMES A WEEK, ‘YOU HAVE WASHCLOTH?’ I TELL YOU WHAT I TELL THEM — NO! NO WASHCLOTH HERE!

GF: But if you get asked for a washcloth ’50 times a week’, don’t you think that’s a sign you should maybe order some?

Story credit: Reddit / tunaman808

They Must Have Fake Reviews

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The Chateau Royale Inn in Lake Geneva. Great location, awful hotel. It was so bad I wonder if it’s a front for something illegal. Everything was dirty, service was awful, it was truly a nightmare.

It’s in a popular tourist town. It seems like with just a little effort it would be very profitable, so I just don’t understand the business plan. Maybe there’s an unlimited supply of overflow from the crowded hotels elsewhere in town, but I highly doubt that any legitimate tourist stays there twice. If it’s the only hotel available, don’t stay there, look for something 30 miles away and commute.

I also wonder about some of the reviews I see online. Some are legit and say how bad it is. But hundreds of others do not, making me think those are fake reviews.

Story credit: Reddit / wjbc

I Stayed For About 15 Minutes

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Econo Lodge in Pasadena California. I checked in, got to my room and laid down on the bed. When I looked over to turn out the beside table lamp there as a used rubber hanging off of the lampshade. I decided that I wasn’t going to stay the rest of the night. I packed up, got my money back, and went to a different hotel. My total stay was about 15 minutes.

Story credit: Reddit / RunnyPlease

It Was a Converted Warehouse

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Metro Hotel in Hagersten, Sweden, right outside Stockholm. It was a converted warehouse and had interior windowless rooms, which is a fire code violation in the US. The location is in an industrial district bereft of anything but sketchy people. My bag gathered dust bunnies on the roll down the hall. The bathroom smelled like pee. I told my kids they could not walk barefoot nor take a shower without wearing flip-flops. The curtain was so thin that the industrial strength security lighting lit up our room at night. The elevator was a cargo elevator, which was kind of fun. And, if you canceled any portion of your reservation without a minimum of 24 hours notice, they charged you the full reservation amount plus a cancellation fee.

Anyway, the moment I got my computer on the wifi, I booked us into a much better more expensive hotel for the rest of our stay in Stockholm, but one I knew was clean. When we drove away after two nights, we were missing a license plate.

Story credit: Reddit / Queen_Starsha

The Lobby Was Impressive

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Hotel “Turkmenbashi” in, well Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan. When you pull up, it looks like an emerald, sitting above the Caspian Sea with the desert behind. The lobby is highly impressive, with green marble and large fish tanks.

Then you get to the rooms… I don’t think they’d been cleaned since the Soviets left.  The AC hardly worked (it was well over 100 during the day and not much better at night), the food was horrible, and to this day I have no idea how I didn’t pick up bed bugs.

On the upside, the bar opened at 10 am so my “translator”, my Ukrainian colleague and I would drink the local drinks through the day.

Story credit: Reddit / Slow_D-oh

I Don’t Know if He Worked There or Not

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It was in Jiangxi province, China. I roll into town at like four or five o’clock and I need a place to stay, so I walk into this modern looking place by the bus station. Turns out it’s so modern it’s not all the way built yet. There’s no one at the front desk, so I yell, and the guy I passed in the parking lot doing donuts on a scooter comes in. He’s inebriated. He quotes me a really good price for a room so I take a look at it; there’s exposed concrete everywhere, wires coming out of the walls (live, maybe?), basically a construction site. But I’m only going to be there one night and the price is right so I take it. As best I can tell, I’m the only occupant of this massive hotel.

So I go hiking the next day and when I’m back and ready to leave the hotel guy, still inebriated, asks me where I’m going next. I tell him, and he says, basically, “OK cool, I’ll get beverages and tickets”. Which he does. He’s off like a shot. So he blows off his job and goes with me to the next town, four and a half hours away, sharing his drinks with the bus driver and being pretty cool for a random hotel clerk.

We get dinner when we arrive (which was incredible), but after that he wants to find some *ahem* female companions, so I excuse myself and flee to the next province.

I still wonder whether he worked there or not.

Story credit: Reddit / discountErasmus

They Did Have Air Conditioning

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A small dusty hallway ending in an unmarked staircase. Climb the stairs to the fourth floor (this information wasn’t provided but the fourth floor was the only one with lights, so we figured).

The stairs are completely dark, there’s old furniture strewn across the steps.

The rooms were cramped and stank, the lady who ran the place only spoke Chinese, and the price was higher than advertised.

On the upside, the room had air conditioning, which is a big deal in Taiwan in the summer.

Story credit: Reddit / AlaysSpellsCorectly

It Was Also a Tattoo Parlor

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We booked a place that looked really nice in the advertisements. When we arrived, it was actually a man’s house, out of which he ran a tattoo parlor. The kitchen was covered in week old food, the entire house smelled like pot (while we were there), and he had guys coming into the living room to get ink. We were feeling pretty nervous by the end of the first night, so we decided to move. The owner got so angry he started threatening us and we ended up having to bribe him to be allowed to leave.

Story credit: Reddit / professorstitches

The Cleaning Staff Reached In Through the Window

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A French budget hotel where a friend and I stayed before embarking on a camping trip. The rest of the clientele looked like women who charged by the hour. As my friend and I were getting dressed in the morning, one of the cleaning staff stuck their hand through the open window towards my handbag which was sitting on a table! Yeah, I started using Tripadvisor after that…

Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]

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