Welcome to Grim Yelp Reviews, a new regular feature where we share people's worst experiences at the worst places. This week: hotel, motel, Holiday Inn, oh my God, is that a bloodstain? I think that's a bloodstain.
All you really want when you check into a hotel are the basics: clean sheets, hot water, free cable, continental breakfast, a minibar if you're feelin' fancy. Things nobody wants: ghosts, axe murderers, stains of mysterious provenance, unexpected and menacing guests (human or animal), unholy-smelling things bubbling out of the drain. Is this all too much to ask? It's not, right? Why is it, then, that motel stays so frequently seem to turn into the first 10 minutes of Evil Dead?
The inspiration for this week's theme is brought to us by commenter Lydia Warren, who shared probably the greatest Trip Advisor page I've ever seen, a hotel in Virginia that supposedly features broken plumbing, filthy rooms, and, in Lydia's words, "many cats" living in the hotel rooms.
In general, grim Yelp reviews of hotels and motels are divided roughly into two categories: gross and disturbing. In a few cases, we've found some rare double whammies, and those are included in their own, truly gut-wrenching third category.
As always, to protect the names of the innocent and not-so-innocent alike, we've redacted the names of the businesses, as well as the identities of the Yelpers who wrote the reviews. We realize you can probably find out all of that information by employing five seconds of Google magic.
Let's start with the brave souls who stayed in all the places where I'd elect to pee my pants and run away:
I guess I'm glad the next Yelper is so... stoked about a spa that reminds her of an old-timey mental institution?
As for the spa, it is TOTALLY creepy and gross...but awesome! Definitely has a 1940s asylum vibe, with outmoded facilities and an air of decay. Sort of Scarlett O'Hara meets Nurse Ratched, ya know?? MUCH more interesting than some stupid fancy Vegas spa!
I don't believe a single word of this one, but I also haven't stopped laughing at "Bro, haunted like a mofo:"
I think Hemingway probably wrote this first one:
This is a great, great run-on sentence about what sounds like a very bad night:
This place is a dump!!! Not joking bugs remote broke then got a different one had to walk back down there to get it and it was broke tv was junk door lock broke no dead bolt no fire alarm no covers on outlets bathroom yuck tube/ shower black asked for my money back and the guy refused to give me my money back but we still left it was to yuck to stay here please don't go there just keep driving I give this no stars because it was so gross and dirty I would never stay there I would rather sleep in my car
Wait, so what was on the remote if there were no buttons?
Probably the best category of angry Yelp reviews is pissed moms going off:
Outside, the place looks great. Nice landscaping, well maintained exterior, sparkling pool. Inside is the stuff that nightmares are made of. Nasty, smelly carpet. Peeling paint. Drug addicts hassling me for money. Bright orange walls in the room. Dust everywhere. Broken toilet seat. Feces on the floor. Yep, this place is a REAL winner! I observed all of this nastiness in 5 minutes. I didn't even set my bag down, I went down the hall to the room that I reserved for my mom and son, and told them that we were leaving. The relief on my poor mom's face was almost comical! As we were leaving, my SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD son was propositioned by a hooker! My mother thought that she and my husband were going to have to bail me out of jail! This place is so very disgusting, I would be willing to bet that a men's restroom at a seedy truckstop would be better. We got back in the car and drove 10 minutes to an absolutely lovely Holiday Inn that was only $20 more per room! PLEASE, DO NOT STAY HERE!
The Terrifyingly Disgusting
From the department of "Good God, No," a stay at a Motel 6 somewhere down south:
This was one of the cleanest Motel 6's I have visited. That being said, after checking in and performing my standard "what's under the mattress" check, I was shocked to find a syringe! Luckily, when I told the front desk, they were equally concerned and very apologetic and immediately moved me to an "upgraded" room. I guess in the Motel 6 world, an upgrade means a room free from junkie paraphernalia and bedbugs. Good enough for me.
A word of caution to single ladies staying at this hotel: beware of creepy men who will make catcalls and whistle at you.
Also, while I was standing outside my room to get some fresh air, there was a strange man who was trying to sell me "pills" - all in all, it was a pretty typical stay at the Motel 6.
This next one... you would leave, right? I would leave. Immediately.
The first thing I noticed upon entering the room was dried up blood on the table in the room. Then looking at the floor there was a large blood stain on the carpet, I cannot believe that CSI doesn't clean up after an investigation. The security lock on the door was broken off; it looked like something bad went down in that room.
[Editor's Note: The Yelper included a picture of the bloodstains, viewable below.]
And finally, something that's disgusting only in the moral sense, and probably the freakiest scam I've ever heard of:
We stayed at the above motel on a drive cross country. At 2:00 a.m. a call was put through to our room (obviously without the operator verifying which party/name the caller was trying to reach). The man identified himself as Ron Henderson, the Night Manager/Auditor there at the motel. We were sleeping and obviously disoriented. He said there was a problem with our credit card and we needed to come to the office immediately. My husband got up sleepily and started to get dressed to go down to the office, but I maintained they could deal with it in the morning as it was cold and in the middle of the night.
We went back to sleep to be awakened 15 minutes later by the phone again. This time the man stated, "you said you would come down to the office to get this taken care of and you haven't. Either you come down or I will have security escort you off the premises." This worried my husband and angered me. He had grabbed his wallet and was ready to head to the office at 2:15 a.m. when I called the front desk and a woman answered. I asked for the night manager and it was a Debbie. I asked about the name Ron Henderson and they didn't know anyone by that name. I asked why 2 calls were put through t our room at that time of night and the operator said she figured they knew us although they had only asked for a room number. They made no move to advise us what to do or to send someone out to check on things.
The next morning we complained to the office when we went to check out. We figured out that is was probably criminals who sit in parking lots and call rooms to lure people out in the middle of the night unsuspecting. I was concerned that if my husband had gone out they could have robbed or killed him. They obviously were watching our room or wouldn't have known we didn't go out and head to the office. I can only imagine what would happen if someone fell prey to that scam.
Real grim. Until next time, lock all your doors and windows, and sleep with a bat, a rosary and a bottle of bleach beside you.
Image by Jim Cooke.