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Friday, October 16, 2009

Your worst hotel experience?

A recent hotel stay reminded us of just how bad they can occasionally be. We checked into a respectable five star city hotel in the early evening, did some work, then went out to dinner and checked out a bar afterwards. We'd had a really exhausting day - morning shoot, long drive, flat tyre, an important appointment we almost missed. You get the picture. We rocked in from dinner around midnight, got changed, and dragged ourselves to bed, only to find the bed - the sheets, the edge of the pillows and the doona (quilt, eiderdown), well, um... damp. I took a sniff. It smelt okay, like water. No air-conditioning above the bed. Perhaps the laundromat hadn't properly dried it and it then dampened everything else? I called the front desk and explained. Half an hour later a housekeeper showed up without fresh linen. We explained again. He disappeared. He returned another 20 minutes later with fresh sheets, but no doona, no mattress protector. Bring a friend, I called out, as he disappeared, as you'll probably have to turn the mattress over too. He returned another 15 minutes later with a colleague, mattress protector, and doona. However, when they pulled off the mattress protector to turn the mattress over, we saw an enormous yellow circle. Yes! Urine! Why on earth a maid had remade a urine-soaked bed in a five star hotel that clearly wasn't full was beyond me. By 1.30am, the Night Manager had moved us. Did I ever tell you about the bed bugs story? So, what was your worst hotel experience? 


Pictured? Definitely not the hotel in question - that's one of our better hotel experiences.

20 comments:

jessiev said...

that is SO nasty. i bet you were exhausted, too. i can't top that hotel story (for which i am grateful!)...

Andrey said...

Hello.
Interesting blog. =)

Tamara said...

You poor thing. there is nothing worse than a terrible hotel stay - especially if your expectations are high.

I remember it was exactly this problem that prompted me to start Mr & Mrs Smith!!

I still get terrible hotel stays but at least now I can champion the ones that really deliver!

Michael said...

I'll echo Tamara on this one. We've stayed at some pretty nasty places over the years - when cheap was the rule. Hairs you don't want to see, fleas even, mosquito central.

Now we're still trying to save money, but our standards have changed - significantly!

Erica said...

Ewww... That's gross! What's the name of the hotel? Want to make sure I'll never set my foot in there.

My worst hotel experience? Not as bad as yours. A strong smell of cigarette smoke faced me as I entered a hotel room in central London. I can stand cigarette smoke for a few hours or so, but much prefer to stay in non-smoking rooms. A bit annoyed that their website didn't say anything about smoking being allowed in the rooms, I went down to the reception to ask for another room. There I had to wait in line for what felt like half an hour, when I finally came to my new room I discovered I had forgotten my soap where I'd stayed the previous night and couldn't find neither soap nor shampoo in the bathroom. But this was no problem as the hotel was located near a supermarket and I could buy a new soap the same day.

On the whole, that's nothing compared to what some travellers have experienced - bed bugs, roaches, burglaries, sleepless nights because of loud noises, having to wait several hours to check-in 'cause the room isn't ready, rude staff, I'm sure there are way more examples.

I feel lucky that a bad smell of cigarettes, a lack of soap in the bathroom and no included breakfast in the price are the only bad things I've experienced in hotels (so far). On second thought, I'd have far more stories to tell if I had gone through some of my above examples.

Just remembered another bad hotel experience - a dirty shower in a two-star hotel in Bloomsbury, London. Apart from that, only good memories!

mark j said...

need a lot of effort to get such a comfortable hotel.Just make sure it become right decision.

Tess said...

That's a shocker! I stayed at a hotel on Phi Phi island, Thailand, and none of the staff could speak English, so when I called front desk to tell them that our hot water wasn't working, request a bottle opener, and fix the reception on the tv - no one understood what we were asking for. It was comedic to say the least.

meredith said...

i stayed at a ryad in fez marrakesh recently that was quite beautiful and clean. what miffed me and made this my bad hotel experience was the staff. they regularly misinformed me on everything....from the cost of a taxi to the cost of a meal that they served...to giving me dirty looks for wanting to do my own laundry rather than pay 1 euro per item. but apparently i was supposed to be loaded in order to travel thru that country.

Holiday Accommodation UK said...

i have been to some pretty terrible hotels but my worst experience was in pakistan with a bomb blast in vicinity.

Vacation Deals said...

awful!
very annoying that this hotel really screwed up you day rather your stay there..
it's nice that the management of the hotel did something about it.

Mark H said...

I can't outgun your description but one strange experience in Bangkok was to arrive at a hotel at 1am to find the whole bottom floor flooded (I waded to the hotel foyer). Saying that, they tried to accommodate everyone but some by sharing rooms (they had less rooms than bookings and little way to contact some folks as they were on planes). I was fine with how they handled it but several were very upset, but I'm not sure what more they could have done as several hotels had the same issue.

Anonymous said...

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Megan said...

Urine on a bed is pretty hard to beat... but I think I can.

I was staying in a hotel in Colorado after a long day of skiing, and as I pulled back the blankets to settle in and rest...

Blood. In a few different locations on the sheets. Blood.

Needless to say, I changed rooms.

bedandbreakfastworld.com said...

I've stayed in hostels that sound nicer than that! Out of interest, what is the hotel in the picture? It looks lovely (from that one picture!)

S said...

Ah Lara, I can feel your pain. Many so-called 'top hotels' are far from it. I'm thinking of starting an exclusive hotel guide for India, given the need for a serious Luxury Investigator!

See you in Melbourne m'dear!

Sarina Singh xx

Mary Jo said...

I stayed in a hotel in India that had a man sleeping on our balcony and a hole in the wall of the bathroom that lead into the corridor. It was a one night stay for sure.

Sydney Australia said...

That was a bad experience..by the way i like your page..its nice!

holidaymatters said...

Have arrived rather late to this blog post. I think apart from noise issues, this story would be hard to beat for grossness! Not only the presence of urine, but the slowness of Housekeeping to respond to your plight compounding things

We normally stay put somewhere and self-cater, but on the occasions when we use a hotel we do tend to seek recommendations from a respected website. I imagine that once you stray off the beaten track, it's much more of a pot luck situation, but you certainly don't expect any such experience from a 5-star city located hotel. Grrr!

Lara Dunston said...

Love the stories! Glad I'm not alone! I will tell you about the bed bugs story one day too... :(

Indian Hotel Search said...

At Trident-Hilton, Chennai - India.
It was I checked in at 9.30 pm, after a very very tiring day, if you know how hot and humid it is here.
I went up to the room, carrying my own bag. I was a bit disappointed. I didn't want to complain, but just go up, undress and sleep. But, as I went up to my room, the sheets were smelly and weren't clean, so I had to call the room service, and they took like an hour for that. I had also asked some coffee and toast, which they forgot. Hell, I had forgotten too, but they woke me up at 11 pm, when I was sleeping to give me the bland coffee and stale toast, and in the morning, I had asked for a cab at 8 am. Which arrived at 8.45 am. That was my worst hotel stay ever.