Scene of the GrimeTripAdvisor just released its annual list of the dirtiest hotels in America, ranking establishments based on reviewers’ ratings for cleanliness. Thia year, one hotel took top honors: The Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Ford, Tenn. Among the attractions at Grand Resort: tobacco stains, spiders and greasy carpets.
“There was dirt at least half an inch thick in the bathtub which was filled with lots of dark hair,” one reviewer wrote. Even more damning was that 87% of reviewers wouldn’t recommend the hotel.
The Grand Resort Hotel responded by posting a full copy of its January 2011 health inspection report on its website and says it’s working on cleaning the facilities.
As MainStreet quickly found out, dirt and grime aren’t the only things travelers should worry about when booking an overnight stay. Read on as our readers share their worst hotel horror stories.
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Bells and BulletsKaren Jones regretted leaving her husband in charge of the travel arrangements the second she laid eyes on the hotel he booked for a family wedding in Washington, D.C.
“The first tip-off was the crime scene tape fluttering from the fence as we drove up,” she tells MainStreet. “The second thing was the room itself. The carpet was torn in places and you could see the cement floor decorated with various fluids. It was the kind of a place where you would wear street shoes in the shower.”
Being already late for the wedding, the couple had no choice but to honor the reservation, something Jones came to regret even more the next morning.
“We were awakened the next morning by a [man using a] bullhorn shouting ‘Put your hands on the top of your head,’” she says. Alarmed, her husband crawled over to the window to discover the hotel was being surrounded by cops advancing toward the room directly below theirs. The situation then went from bad to worse as a shootout began.
“I have absolutely never let my husband forget this one,” Jones says.
Photo Credit: alan cleaver
This Room Sinks.Matt Michel was staying at a hotel in Houston when, as he was checking out the view, he discovered his room had an added feature.
“There was a hole in the floor and the only thing preventing me from stepping through to the next floor was the carpet,” he recalls.
At checkout, Michel tried to tell the management that the room wasn’t safe to rent. The clerk, not understanding his compliant, unnecessarily offered to switch his room, then said she would send house-keeping.
“A few weeks later, I received a call from the hotel manager,” Michel said, but he was more incensed by the poor customer service than the hole. “He was mildly apologetic and offered me a free breakfast.”
Photo Credit: blakespot
Up in SmokeKenna Pope and a colleague planned a last-minute trip to a conference in Washington, D.C. and opted to stay at a no-name hotel whose website boasted renovations. Pope noted the lobby had been remodeled, but felt suspicious when the hotel asked them to pay their full balance at check-in.
It wasn’t until she walked up four flights of stairs to her room (due to a broken elevator) that she learned the truth: The hotel had caught fire and "renovations" had only been done to two rooms (not Pope’s).
“Our room possessed two rickety full size beds from 1962, a single wing back chair that resembled a murder scene [complete with body outline], a non-locking door, and a family living in the adjacent hallway room, screaming at each other all hours of the night,” Pope says.
The real highlight of the trip came later when she and her colleague ran into another guest – or tenant –dressed in sweats and slippers, cup of coffee in one hand and a plunger in the other.
“Needless to say, we had our names on every hotel waiting list within a 20 mile radius,” she says.
Photo Credit: Dr. Pete
Furry FriendsStacey Cusack and her fiancé knew something was amiss at their all-inclusive resort in St. Thomas when they discovered some snack bags had been eaten through, apparently by an animal. After a stakeout, they photographed the culprit (pictured), which is either a rat or as Cusack says, “a small mongoose.”
Regardless of genus or species, the rodent wasn’t the real problem. More horrific, Cusack says, was that hotel management didn’t seem to care that it was harboring unwelcome guests.
“They didn't send in housekeeping or maintenance,” Cusack says. “They didn't offer to move our room. They didn't do anything until three conversations and a day and a half had passed.”
The couple was ultimately offered a room upgrade, hotel credits and spa appointments, but Cusack says it was “all pointless as we were checking out and flying that afternoon.”
Photo Credit: Stacey Cusack
Twist of FateBecky Blanton and her mother were travelling cross-country, when one hotel room had more than they bargained for. They entered their room only to find a disturbing scene.
“Apparently, a young woman had attempted suicide and was sprawled out on the bed,” Blanton says. A trained emergency responder, Blanton started CPR while another set of guest called an ambulance. Paramedics arrived shortly and were able to revive and stabilize the girl so she could be transported to a nearby a hospital.
“I dont know if she lived or died, “Blanton says. While it was “horrible” to have found her, Blanton said it was fortuitous since she was able to help her.
Photo Credit: gwire
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