30 Of The Worst Hotel Experiences, As Told By The People Who Survived It
Hotels can be surprisingly hard to get quality sleep in. There can be plenty of reasons for it – unfamiliar environment, loud neighbors, city lights beaming through the curtains... But as you are about to see, these examples are nothing compared to what some people had to go through on their travels.
To remind you to do your homework the next time you're booking a place, we at Bored Panda put together a list of the absolute worst hotel experiences we could find online. From roaches to broken appliances and irresponsible staff who refuse to take care of those things, continue scrolling to check out the things that lurk behind the registration desk.
I paid like $300 a night to stay at a fancy hotel for work in Park City, UT in the summer for a conference. They put me in this room with a kitchen and a living room and so many doors. Like four closed doors. So I go to open one and it’s locked. And the next one is locked. All of them are locked. And then I realize there is no bed. Not even a couch bed. Just a couch. They literally gave me a room that didn’t have a bed. It was the adjoining living room for other hotel rooms. And I checked my reservation and it said I booked a room with a bed. I felt like I was in the twilight zone when I went to the lobby and asked where was my bed at my hotel and they didn’t see the problem. It took almost three hours to get it sorted while I’m arguing that paying for a hotel is for the bed.
A cheap Comfort Inn in Kingsville, TX. Went to use a blow dryer... pointed it towards my head and turned it on, and then an object blew out of the dryer, slapped against my forehead and bounced into the sink. Took me a moment to realize it was a live cockroach.
My dad went to a hotel once and checked in to a first floor room. He went in the room, put his stuff down, opened the curtains...and a man was hiding there.
My dad went “excuse me”, closed the curtains, got his stuff and left. Went to the front desk to explain that a man was hiding in his room. Turns out the guy had just robbed a place and somehow got into the room with an open window.
I needed to find a hotel in Dayton, OH because of my daughter’s gymnastics competition. I read online reviews and the Travel Lodge there got good reviews. The price was good too, so I booked it.
I had difficulty finding it because it was dark and their sign wasn’t lit. Parking lot was pitch black. Just outside the entrance there were 2 sketchy guys that looked like they were negotiating a drug deal.
Inside the motel lobby was dimly lit with flickering lights. The room was no better. Stained sheets, holes in the bedspread and hair in the shower. The fitness room consisted of a stair stepper that was broken and an old tv on the ground that was also broken.
I told the front desk that I wanted to cancel our reservation. She said, “I don’t blame you. This place is gross. I had an I interview at Kohl’s & hope they hire me so I can quit this place.”
Was in Vegas with my Mom (she likes road trips and gambling so why not?). We were sharing a room and both in our beds ready to crash when we heard definite sounds of enthusiastic f*****g next door:"oh GOD!""*grunts*""Don't stop!*
OK, nothing that's not to be expected, just pretty dang loud. A minute later, the deed is done. Yay, sleep time! But alas, not 30 seconds later another commotion begins: Singing, at the top of their lungs. And what were they singing? Religious songs! All about how great God is and how blessed they are.
Oh HELL no! I'd had waaaay more than enough (sex sounds being preferable to this cacophony) and I bang on the wall, telling them to to STFU, and that what they just did was a sin against everything right and holy (me being able to sleep, of course). They did quiet down, but I've never been kept awake before by post-fornication religious singing.
In Fresno (the worst town in history, way worse than Jonestown). Clerk is like, "You don't want to stay here. Seriously, here's the key, go check it out." Door wasn't locked, light wouldn't turn on, but I could see the cockroaches crawling on the mini-fridge. Yeah, ok, nope.
Happened over Christmas time in China. Came back to the hotel after dropping my boyfriend off at the airport so was clearly not in the best mood only to find a lot of my belongings moved around the room and items missing... including my passport...
There was food that she moved into the bathroom, my deodorant was in the shower and my shower gel was on the tv cabinet, things were taken out of my suitcase and other items were put into my suitcase, jewellery was on the floor etc. Just really random stuff had been moved.
I had to go to reception and try to speak Mandarin (I was studying) and explain the situation. My passport was the main issue and I managed to get it back but I had gifts from my mum that were thrown out.
Turns out the cleaner had taken my passport with the sheets to the laundry room which is crazy as it was actually in a cupboard (no safe available). Checked out 2 weeks early and got a refund for all the missing items as she admitted to throwing them away but she wouldn't say anything about why she had gone through my things or why she had moved anything.
My now husband and I were driving from St. Paul to L.A., and stopped in Rapid City the first night. We had reservations, but they somehow got "lost," so they charged us more for a bigger room. We had been driving all day, it was freezing cold, and all we wanted was a hot shower and some food. There was no hot water. There was no room service after 8 PM and they wouldn't tell us if any restaurants nearby would deliver. At checkout I tried to get them to reduce our bill AT ALL and pretty much got laughed at. This wasn't even a seedy motel either; it's a large chain that I'm sure could afford to take off $50 for generally sucking.
Edit: I guess I'm allowed to say the name. F**k you Days Inn.
Honeymoon in Key West. We were moved to three different rooms in the 5 days we stayed there because of "palmetto bugs" aka Giant Cockroaches. We've stayed in Florida many times before and rarely had an issue, so the extent of this infestation was a shock. The bugs got into our food (that was stored in the fridge) and were swarming on the sheets at night. Not sexy to wake up next to your new husband and ~30, 3" long bugs! All the hotel did was send someone with a can of Raid at 4:00am... Not cool. They lied about comping the room too, which thankfully we checked up on and got in writing before we left. The manager also threatened to "make him (my husband) pay" if we dared write a bad TripAdvisor review.
Probably not the worst but hilarious -- I checked into the Delta in Ottawa, pulled back the sheer curtains to admire the view of the river / Parliament, and there were BIG RED LIPSTICK KISSES all over the glass doors.
I got upgraded to a suite!
Mine was so bad we left. I was about 6-7 and we got a late start on the 8 hour drive to Orlando, so my parents decided to make a stop at a hotel. Well, we get to the room and everything felt off. They brought in a folding bed for me and the blankets and sheets looked faded from age and disuse. Look in the bathroom and there was 4 spider webs in the shower and roaches all over the place. Parents checked the main bed and there was bugs and hair under the blanket. We noped out of there in less than 30 min and got our money back. 97 was a wild time apparently.
Finally a topic I have a decent story for!
Many years ago I used to be a foreman for a commercial painting contractor. We were doing a big city hall/jail/courthouse building and grabbed a room at a certain hotel chain that was kind enough to “leave the light on for us.” My boss was notorious for being a cheap a*s with hotel rooms but this place took the cake. Upon entering my room I found 3 used syringes on the floor. Of course I noped out of there and told the front desk, which to my surprise really didn’t seem to think that it was a big deal. That should of been a giant red flag. We get new rooms and after about 45 minutes someone knocks on our door. I open it up and it’s a cracked out girl asking if we want a blowjob for $20. I told her thanks but no thanks and shut the door. About 45 minutes after that I hear a long bang on our door. I open it and the cracked out woman is unconscious, bleeding from her forehead and laying against our door. I call the front desk and tell them to call the cops but they say “no no don’t do that, we will come take care of it.” Second red flag. I shut the door immediately after calling the front desk because I don’t want any part of this mess. Well the woman starts to wake up and starts screaming “he hit me, he hit me!” Now I’m thinking great, this crackhead is going to try to say I did this?? Luckily I had a coworker in the room so I wasn’t really worried about getting in trouble but didn’t want to deal with the b******t. Well turns out she was talking about her boyfriend that she was staying with at the hotel. Guy from the front desk comes and tells her to leave, they start arguing, boyfriend comes out and starts getting in the face of the employee and it’s just chaos. I stuck my head out and said “hey I called the cops so don’t go anywhere.” Immediately they all cleared out like roaches when a light comes on, even the hotel employee.
I proceed to fill my boss in on all this when we get back into town and he says “well there is a reason it’s cheap” and we ended up staying there for 6 weeks.
I checked into a hotel the morning of my wedding. The first thing I notice is a cellphone charging on the desk. I call the front desk, and they have somebody come get it. I then proceeded to take a shower and start preparations to get ready for said wedding. There is a do not disturb sign on the door. No pressure in shower. I get out and dry off, then walk into the room barely holding a towel in front of me. The maid unlocks the door and walks in without knocking. I frantically cover up and ask why the hell she’s entering without permission and ask her to leave. She doesn’t. She says she forgot her phone in the room. I inform her they took it to the front desk and ask again for her to leave. She continues to talk about her phone and come further into my room as I am barely covered in a towel. I more loudly tell her it’s at the front desk and to leave immediately. Continues to blabber about her dang phone and how she needs the pictures from it. Yell for her to get the F out. Finally get her out and have to call security. SMH
The hotel seemed pretty luxurious on the website. It was extremely cheap too. When we arrived the lobby looked like the pictures on the website but when we got to the rooms, damn, looked like mfing cheap apartments. anyways, when me and my parents got to the room, dad jumped on bed to lay down (he was v tired from driving twelve hours) My dad gasped because the mattress was hard and thin. So we took off the blankets and stuff and it was a fridge carton box filled with papers and old blankets. We took our asses out of there inmediatly lol
I was about 4 at the time, so this is mostly based off my siblings stories, even though I remember a few still shots.
We were at a hotel with some family friends and their kids (5 kids total, us included, ages 4-13). Parents put us all in the same room to chill in the evening as they went out to do adult things (probably a fancy dinner).
Was chilling on the bed watching a movie, and then all of a sudden we heard a loud noise, the floor vibrated a bit, and then, I s**t you not, hundreds if not thousands of mini spiders started flowing up the walls, in from two of the bottom corners in the room.
After a butchered attempt to defend our ground by using marshmallows and ice cubes as projectiles, we huddled up in the bathroom where we had the bottom of the door sealed with a towel. I slept in the bathtub with my sister that night. There were no phones to call for help (this was before kids/teens ever had cells) and we were very clearly instructed to not leave the room under any circumstances. We took those instructions a bit too seriously.
My parents discovered the crime scene in the middle of the night, and probably woke up the whole floor with their initial scream. We all ended up okay though.
TLDR: As kids alone in a hotel room, we got swarmed by a metric f**kton of spiders. Failed to defend ourselves. Huttled up in the bathroom where we spent the night with no way to call for help.
Edit: thought it might be interesting to note that my sister is still arachnophobic to this day because of the situation. (Also added TLDR)
Edit 2: Fixed spelling.
My girlfriend and I walked in after being gone all day, and felt something wet on the floor. Lights were out and it was night time so we couldn't tell what it was. Turn on the lights to see the toilet is just broken. Didn't overflow, the tank is just cracked and water is pouring everywhere. The entire bedroom and bathroom is soaked.
Go down to let them know and request money back and cancel the room for that night, they offer us another room instead. Okay, sure. Walk into the new room, someone is already f**king staying there. The poor woman looked horrified when we walked in. Got ALL our cash back after that and left.
We choose a ground floor hotel room in Cancun, unfortunately their was a gap on the bottom of the front door and the room was overrun by palmetto bugs.
The damn things fly, they sound like little helicopters. Girlfriend woke me up asking what the sound was, turned on the light and holy s**t they were on the floor, the walls and on our bed.
We literally just put on our clothes after shaking them out a few times and went through the balcony exit, went to the concierge and demanded a room on the 4th floor.
After they saw the room they stopped arguing and comped us dinner and drinks plus gave us a new room.
Checked into a casino hotel in Shreveport, La. Put our stuff in the room and then went to the casino. Came back hours later and could not get into our room. Traipse to the front desk to find out why the card key was not working. Was informed that our room had to be exterminated due to "an infestation". When I inquired what type if infestation? I was told that the desk clerk was not allowed to divulge that information. Got hotel manager and he lead us back to our room, let us in and the place was tossed: furniture overturned, mattress off of bed, etc. There was out luggage and belongings pretty much where we left them. Manager than took us to our new room and gave us the key cards for it. I asked how the hell do you check someone into a room then discover it is infested with whatever? He was unable to adequately answer my question. I asked him about what type of extermination chemicals they used because our stuff had been exterminated as well. He again could not comment. Wound up throwing out any consumables, didn't wear anything from our luggage and checked out early the next morning, never to return again to that hotel. When we got home washed everything in the hottest water available. As an aside: itched for a couple of days afterward but this was probably power of suggestion.
Motel in Charlottetown, PEI. Our hotel room was in the basement down a long, dark hallway with half the bulbs burnt out and around two or three corners, was fully prepared to meet a [criminal] in the dark. Got into the room, whole bunch of stuff was duct-taped together. Air-conditioner duct-taped in several places and duct-taped into the window. Shower head repaired with duct tape. Duct tape holding the couch and desk together. It was like being in Red Green's motel.
Stayed at a Holliday Inn in Toronto and the rooms around us were doing.... Something. A party, or dealing drugs or... Something but a lot of noise, a lot of people coming and going and a lot of people slamming doors. We called front desk a dozen times and they didn't do anything!!! Kick them out, move them to another floor, SOMETHING!!! I shouldn't leave a hotel wishing I had just driven home instead. Incredibly frustrating. I have a pretty low bar for hotels. I want a comfy bed and some quiet so I can sleep. That's it. Don't care that much about wifi, tv, fancy amenities etc. I'm just here for a good night sleep, and I don't think we went longer than 30 minutes with a wall shaking door slam.
There's a hotel in the north of England calling itself a "Castle Hotel" like that's a genius piece of marketing that is so bad it's almost comically good. It used to host some events I went to, so staying there was more simple but it really was a lottery every time you stayed there. I'll compile a small list of just some of the issues.
1) "Seaview" room, where the sea could be seen, just over one of the towers if you pressed your face against the window at just the right angle.
2) Twin room with skylight. Skylight turned out to be very thick white plastic and was the only source of light in the room other than a bedside lamp. The skylight also leaked directly onto one of the beds.
3) Triple room, except the third bed overhung the bathroom door meaning you either propped it shut and had to move the bed every time you wanted to go in or just leave it open the whole time.
4) Bed bugs experienced in various rooms.
5) Breakfast included food I'm fairly certain was formerly on display in a kitchen furnishing store.
6) The area near the bar hadnt had its carpet changed in what seemed like 40 years, so smelt of stale beer regardless of the time of day.
7) To take advantage of the sea views, there were glass (plastic) hallways. As it was plastic and poorly fit it leaked and stunk of mould. It was also freezing in those parts.
It's just a bizarre place. It's like stepping back in time to the early nineties in the least positive way possible.
Some seedy place in Montreal: the whole place stunk of cigarrette smoke, but the icing in the cake was that someone came into the room and switched on the light during the night, waking me up. I was sleeping naked and was too scared to move (I was 20 and spending my first night in Canada) so I just stayed perfectly still while the person stood at the door. After probably 20 seconds, the light went off and they dissapeared. Left on a bus to Quebec City early the next morning so never found out what it was to do with.
Went to an MtG tournament in Baltimore, stayed in a Motel 6 because we couldn't get our s**t together and get a room at a decent hotel sooner.
The place was about a block from the light rail, which went right to the convention center. That was about the highest point of the whole trip.
Apart from food poisoning and my binder worth a few thousand getting stolen, the room had a decided dip in one corner where I'm sure the floor was rotting away. When it rained, the bathroom started to leak through the light fixture, and our bonehead roommate put ALL THE TOWELS underneath it instead of, I don't know, the garbage can. Which meant we couldn't dry off too well the second day.
I know it was more or less our own fault for not acting faster before hotel prices jumped, but the place was a sh**hole even by Motel 6 standards.
Went to a weekend long LAN party for an online group I was part of. Around a hundred people. The LAN was in a ballroom of the hotel. We rented a room, it was me, my younger brother, and three friends in a 2 bed room.
At some point one of my friends really had to s**t, and preferred the solitude of the hotel room, which was close to the ballroom so he went back and did his deed.
A couple hours later, we decided to go to a electronic store to buy some s**t, so while leaving our pc's in the ballroom (it was guarded) but we wanted to take our personal belongings back to the hotel room.
As we approached the door, the carpet got squishy. We opened the door and the entire room was flooded, and the toilet was still running and overflowing. This was hours since he pooped.
My younger brother freaked out, since he just bought an xbox 360 elite console earlier that day, never opened but it was on the bed and not damaged. We grab our s**t, anything on the floor was soaked.
We did not go to the store. I ended up working with the front desk to get a new room, my friends stayed near the car with everything we removed from the room until I got the new room. Once we got a new room, time was spent doing laundry in the hotel laundromat. And my friend Captain Commode has not lived it down since. He is actually proud of his poop causing the chaos.
Stayed at a Motel 6 outside of Chicago. Room was kinda dirty (dirty walls, bathroom not entirely up to par, etc) but didn’t think much of it. Shower didn’t drain either, but whatever we weren’t there long. What really got us, though, was when we were going through the drawers before checkout and found a waist trainer, some loose unused diapers, a little bit of cereal, and a full French loaf of bread. If I had to guess, I would bet the hotel just doesn’t even employ housekeepers. Safe to say our next vacation will have a bigger hotel budget.
Motel 7 in El Paso had a software problem, lost track of occupied rooms. Rather than checking, they issued keys to possibly occupied rooms and waited to see if anyone complained!
I twice opened my new hotel room door to find other guests in there. Jesus.
Drove halfway across Florida and collapsed into bed in an Econo Lodge in Crystal River. Noticed a funky smell coming from around the headboard. I lifted the mattress and found a used condom.
On a work trip I was put in the most disgusting hotel room, to the point where I didn't feel comfortable and couldn't sleep. A pile of dirt and dust in the corner that I imagine would take years to accumulate, brown stains on the lampshades, food under the bed, water damage in the pictures in picture frames, the whole room smelt moldy, the hairdryer was sticky, tv remote was stickyand covered in food, stuff all over the walls, hair in the shower, the toilet bowl was stained red, everything felt gross and grimy. Hot water didn't work in my room (cold showers anyone?). I felt like a walking zoombie that work trip, it felt so disgusting I really couldn't sleep.
My coworker in the next room over, his room door didn't fully shut. And he used the latch at the top to close it. The door was still open a couple inches and he put a chair in front of the door, and didn't sleep at all that trip either.
Edit: The hotel room on my last work trip was much nicer.
Had a reservation booked @ a hotel in KY before TripAdvisor was a thing.
We got there, and the motel (so, doors open to the parking lot instead of an inside hallway) room we were assigned had a door with a broken/no lock. When we went back to complain, they tried to refuse to give us a refund. Luckily they changed their minds after a firm discussion.
The worst part? The parking lot had a lot of people “lounging” at 2 in the afternoon, and they perked right up when we pulled in and parked. It was unnerving. I don’t want to think about what would have happened if we’d stayed the night there.
H syringes under the bed and the complimentary bible in the night stand had schizophrenic type post it notes littered throughout it's pages.
For $35 a night I couldn't complain.. I slept in my clothes though haha.
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