17 Bad Hotel Experiences You Need To Avoid

Bad Hotel Experiences

Before I get in trouble, I have to point out these pictures do not depict the actual room or persons involved. They are just representative to get your imagination to run away with you thinking about the potential horrors!

1. London Hotel Claims Mildewed Basement Room To Be Best In Hotel

Bad Hotel
We paid about $135/night and for that we got a subterranean room in the basement that was cold, mildewed and questionable bedspreads.

The bathroom was covered with mold and mildew and so narrow that we had to dry off on my side of our body, leave the bathroom, turnaround and go back in to dry off the other side. When we complained the “management” indicated that this was the “best” in the house!


Ray Miller

2. Quaint Canadian Hotel Turns Into Strip Joint After Dark

Bad Hotel
One was is a quaint little coastal town on the West Coast of Canada. The hotel has a beautiful view of the Strait of Juan De Fuca.

When I checked in at 3pm, the town was quiet, the weather was fantastic and my room which was on the third floor was small but clean and tidy. I took a walk around the lovely little community.

Because I was planning a very early morning departure, I went to bed early, about 8pm. At 10pm I was awakened by loud music that seemed to be coming from deep within the building someplace, literally rattling the windows. There was loud shouting and noise on the stairs.

I got dressed and headed downstairs to find out what was going on. I followed the sound of the music. I went through two sets of swinging doors to find I was in a large room with flashing lights, a DJ and naked women in various poses sliding up and down greased poles.

It appears this delightful little hotel turned into a strip club after dark. Also, after dark the rooms could be rented by the hour.

Now, I am sexually liberated and I don’t care what other people do, but I do care when it cuts into my sleep. So, I headed back to my room to pack.

On my way down the stairs to check out, I was stopped by several of the local constabulary who were in the process of raiding the place. I spent the rest of the night having to explain my presence in a brothel.

3. Greek Hotel Ends With Sharing A Room With 37 Cats… And One Bird

Bad Hotel
The second experience was in Greece. I had a reservation in a small B&B in a small coastal village on Crete. The view was fantastic. The village was very quiet and peaceful. I was planning a three night stay.

The innkeeper informed me that he had made a mistake with the reservations and that he only could accommodate me for two nights. However, he had arranged for me to stay with his aunt for the third night. She lived next door. I said ok.

On the morning of the third day the innkeeper came to my room and moved my luggage to his aunt’s house while I was out. When I came back late in the evening he told me my things were now in this aunt’s house. I had been on a archaeological dig that day and I was exhausted, so I went with him next door.

When he opened the door the odor slammed me in the face. He introduced me to a petite happy Greek woman who did not speak any English. I speak no Greek. She showed me to a lovely room with a view of the ocean.

The only drawback was the odor. She said something to her nephew, which he translated. Basically she wanted me to pay her for the night’s accommodation, which I promptly did. She left the house. Later she came back with some bags of food. She evidently went to the grocers.

Then the show started. From every corner of this house, from under every piece of furniture, to include my bed, cats emerged. This woman housed 37 cats. It appears my boarding money allowed her to feed her cats. The source of the smell was revealed.

I went to bed, with the window wide open for air, so exhausted, I didn’t care about the smell any more. In the middle of the night, I was awakened by a terrible cacophony of noise.

It appears a bird landed on the open windowsill and was fair game for any one of the many cats sleeping in my room. The cats fought over the kill. Auntie slept through it all, and, I dressed and went to the beach to watch the sunrise.

Judy Thompson, PhD

4. Chicago Hotel Customer Service Falls Flat

Bad Hotel
Checked into a hotel near Chicago O’Hare with a fully guaranteed reservation, where our trade group was holding a major meeting. All they had was the lower half of a 2-story efficiency.

The tiny space had only a fold-out sofa with a steel bar right in the middle of the mattress. When I couldn’t sleep and protested they said “take it or leave it,” so I took a $25 taxi to another hotel (my expense both ways).

The next day our association protested, so the hotel people apologized and gave me a room, but after schlepping my luggage what seemed like a mile I discovered that the key they gave me didn’t work. They sent someone with a key and another apology.

When I got home they sent me a voucher for a free night — good only on a “space available” basis.

I returned the shreds of the voucher by mail.

Al Kennedy

5. Oklahoma Motel Security Guard Moonlights As A Pimp

Bad Hotel
My worst motel experience took place in Lawton, Oklahoma three years ago.

My colleagues and I had reservations for four rooms at the Red Lion motel, but when we arrived late at night we found that they had inexplicably been cancelled. It was graduation weekend at nearby Fort Sill, and every property in town was booked to capacity.

The manager of the hotel that turned us away suggested we try the Motel ___ down the street. (I’m not naming the place for fear of litigation.)

I should have known something wasn’t quite right when the desk attendant said we should inspect the rooms first to see if they were acceptable, pointing to the sign over her head: “NO REFUNDS.” Since we knew we had no other choice, we decided to check in anyway.

We drove around to the back, noting that there was a LOT of activity in the parking lot for 2am.

It turned out that the motel security guard was soliciting business for a group of nearby prostitutes.

Tom Bearden

6. Russian Hotel Vents Sewage Back Into Bathroom

Bad Hotel
I was staying in a “classy” 4-star hotel in Kaliningrad (Russia).

When I got to my room, the first thing I wanted to do was relieve myself. Entering the bathroom, I was overwhelmed with a strong odor I first detected when I entered my room – think “summer afternoon in an outhouse”.

As I sat, I noticed a “floor drain”. Proceeding, I soon heard a tinkling sound at my feet, and realized it was coming from the “drain”. Nope, it was an air vent, venting… you guessed it, the sewage line from my toilet. Open windows in the winter was insufficient to diminish the odor that emanated from the vent.

My stay there was not short enough… The next hotel had a similar vent, but there was no odor. Luck of the draw.


7. Belize Resort Gets Flooded By Raw Sewage

Bad Hotel
Several years ago my wife and I were spending a week on Ambergris Key, Belize.

The resort was a little shabby at the edges but the people were very nice and accommodating. It started to rain the day after we arrived and did not stop for three days.

The sewage treatment plant that was located 50 feet from our back door over flowed and raw sewage was spreading out over the resort.

I grabbed my wife and all of our belongings and ran to the end of the pier. I flagged down a passing fishing boat and paid him to get us to the other end of the island where we managed to find a room and watched it rain for three more day.

We have never returned to Belize.


8. Major Hotel Overbooks But Tries To Get Customer To Still Pay For The Room

Bad Hotel
It happened just the other day. I reached my destination hotel after a really long day with a confirmed reservation only to find there were no rooms available.

In spite of that, I was informed that I would be charged for the room, since I hadn’t cancelled my reservation before 6 pm!

I argued to no avail with the manager, who would only say that I should have arrived sooner (what’s the point of a guaranteed reservation, then?).

I eventually had to resolve the matter with the company’s customer relations department, who wasn’t all that willing to help.

This wasn’t at Motel 1 in some 4th world country, incidentally. It was a major worldwide chain right here in the USA.


9. Hotel Booking Website Mix Up Ends Up With Charges For Two Hotels

Bad Hotel
In 2002 I took my wife and two young sons to London. I had a confirmed reservation at a big London hotel made through an online hotel booking website. A taxi delivered us, exhausted as usual after the flight from Chicago, to the hotel, where I presented the complete paperwork of the hotel reservation, which the hotel clerk maintained meant absolutely nothing.

I persevered, of course, eventually speaking to a manager, who declared that we absolutely had no reservation. With the family now sitting on our luggage at the curb side,

I found a pay phone (no cell phone in those days) and called the website’s 800 number, but, if I recall correctly, the only people available were those making reservations. “Customer Service,” or whatever they called it, would not open until 8am in their U.S. office (which I think is, or was, in Texas).

To make a long story short, I deposited the family in a coffee shop and began hiking to a list of hotels I got from the one where we were supposed to stay, found a room, and got the family settled.

Later that morning I finally got Customer Service of hotels.com on the line and told them the story, which they insisted was impossible. They said they would call right back after “checking into it,” but they never did.

After our return, the entire bill for the hotel where we were turned away appeared on my credit card account, in addition, of course, to the bill for the hotel that we had had to find on our own.

My protests to the hotel booking website were met with replies that as a “no show” I was not entitled to any refund! It took multiple phone calls (cheaper, at least, than from London) and the usual ascent up the management chain before I finally found someone who pronounced herself satisfied that I was sincere–paper records apparently being inadequate for that purpose.

She agreed to issue me a credit for the hotel bill, but, just to add insult to injury, less $50 or so for processing! Judging that I had reached the point of diminishing returns, I agreed.

I now never depend upon a hotel booking made through an intermediary (especially when travelling with children) unless I have direct email, fax, or other confirmation of the reservation from the hotel itself.

Jim Lattis

10. Surprise Pair Of Underwear Left In Hotel Bed Sheets

Bad Hotel
About 10 years ago I took my two (then) young sons to Princeton, NJ, for an overnight trip. We checked into a new chain hotel, and all went well. As we were getting into bed, my boys were fighting in their bed together, so I separated them and put my youngest son in bed with me.

They were still pretty active and my youngest crawled down by my feet. He then said, “here, mom” and handed me some underwear.

I told him to put his underwear on but he said, “they’re not mine!”

Imagine the horror!

There was a pair of men’s underwear left between the sheets – gross!!!!

Needless to stay we never stayed at that hotel again!

Beverly Buffkin

11. When An Amorous Couple Is Only The Second Worse Thing To Wake You

Bad Hotel
So, the first night I spent in the hostel was interesting.

I was in a room with seven other people, and trying to fall asleep at around what to my biological clock was 8:00pm. I succeeded, but at 4am I was awakened by “oh yeah, so nice! Oh yeah, so nice! Oh yeah, so nice!…etc.” On the bed directly below me.

Everyone was awake by the end of their little escapade, (which we got to hear narrated in great detail) staring at the ceiling, knowing we asked for it for $20 a night, but still.

They could’ve at least tried to be quiet but then they woke me up early as dawn the next morning playing a tin whistle in the room.

I mean seriously, if you get the urge you get the urge, but no one’s GOTTA play the tin whistle.

Earplugs will help you retain your love for humankind under these circumstances.

Rachel Strickland

12. Nepal Hotel Has Different Idea Of Hygiene

Bad Hotel
I was with a small group of travelers on the road from Tibet to Nepal, when our tour guide found out our hotel was overbooked. We were sent to another establishment down the street. I and another woman were assigned a room where there was a great glob of matter from someone’s nose deposited onto the wall directly above the bed’.

We asked to have the wall cleaned, and an employee said they would do so, but no one ever came. My roommate was so freaked out about the wall filth that she wouldn’t lie on the bed.

There was no other room for us to go to, so I pushed the bed away from the offending stuff, lay down in my clothes and slept as best I could that way. We were sure glad to hop on a shared truck and go over the bridge to Nepal the next day!

Oh – all of the toilets were situated directly over a raging stream that tumbled down the mountain – everything went into the town’s drinking supply!

Gail DM Giacomini

13. Arizona Hotel Has “Coachroach Wallpaper”

Bad Hotel
My husband checked into an interstate motel somewhere in Arizona. He called me from his room. While on the phone, he noticed the wallpaper on the wall across the room was different – it seemed weirdly animated, with movement!

Yes, it turned out to be a solid color wall with so many cockroaches on it he thought it was a pattern.

Caris Turpen
Fort Worth

14. Lincoln Hotel Blames Bloodstains On High School Wrestlers

Bad Hotel
Driving back from a ski trip in Colorado to Chicago with two children under age 10, we stopped at a chain hotel in Lincoln, NE.

It was 10PM and we were exhausted. Got into our pyjamas, brushed our teeth, and pulled back the sheets — to find bloodstains on the sheets.

Hotel management completely stripped the beds, including the mattresses. We were too tired to leave.

The excuse was there had been a high school wrestling tournament during the weekend and housekeeping was over whelmed!!

We never stay at this particular hotel chain.


15. Towel Saves Couple From Mice, Vomit Smells And Fighting Drunks

Bad Hotel
I was 24 years old “Eurorailing” it with my girlfriend for two months. Our last stop, and our worst hotel, think “Bates Motel” was in Amsterdam. We went to one of the cheap hotels listed in Frommer’s, or Fodor’s, or Who Knows What.

It was a room over a bar; normally not a problem, but this, definitely a problem. I think everyone at the hotel was an alcoholic regular who leered at us as we walked by.

We shared a communal bathroom down the hall – neither of us would go to it without the other. The hallway smelled like vomit, and it sounded like the drunks were fighting in the middle of the night.

On top of it all, when we turned off the lights, we heard a scurrying – sure enough – mice. We thought we chased them all out, and then heard them again. They were coming in under the gap of the door.

We chased them out again and then stuffed a towel under the crack of the door. Not only did it help keep the mice out, but the smell of vomit, and sounds of fights.

Needless to say, we checked out early in the morning and paid a little more money for a safer place.

M. Moore

16. Hotel Uses The “Bait And Switch” Method To Charge Higher Prices

Bad Hotel
My wife and I went with another couple Toronto which neither of us had previously visited. When traveling we stay at Bed & Breakfasts whenever possible while our friends had never stayed in one. I made the reservations via the Internet.

The internet site contained a glowing description of the accommodations to include a gourmet breakfast. Upon arrival, I knew something was drastically wrong. The place was located next to a boarded up building. In front of the “B&B” garbage cans were overflowing. Out of curiosity we went in and were greeted by the manager.

The hallway walls and the room he showed us were filthy, to include a leftover condom wrapper on the bathroom sink. The sheets and towels looked as if they had been previously used. The so-called “gourmet breakfast” consisted of boxes of cereal from which to choose.

As we started to leave the manager made a quick phone call and implored us to go to their other B&B located nearby. Upon arriving at it, we found that it was the one described on the Internet and was more than double the price.

How do you say “bait and switch”? The owners had deceptively used the single description for both of their accommodations. Needless to say, we did not stay there either. I advised the owner we were cancelling our reservation. She stated she would have to charge me one night’s stay. I told her not to but she did anyways.

Subsequently I did a charge-back on my VISA to cancel her charge. I also wrote the Toronto B&B Association and AAA about our experience. We and our friends had a good laugh. It was worth seeing the expression on their faces when we pulled up to the first accommodation.

I believe they still stay in hotels.

Jan H. Zimmerman

17. Customer Awakes To Find Maid Stealing Wallet

Bad Hotel
My worst hotel experience was waking in the a.m. to find a maid reaching for my husband’s wallet which was lying on the dresser.

Only moments before, my husband had left our room for his usual 6 mile morning run and had encountered the cleaning person outside our room & had requested that she not disturb our room since I was still asleep.

(She ran out of the room when I confronted her.) When I reported the incident to the Security dept., I was told there wasn’t anything to be done since there was no way to tell who it could have been.

No one was assigned to the floor? Needless to say I’ve never stayed at another of their so-called 5-star establishments!



A Mobal World Phone has rescued a number of our customers from nightmare situations just like this.

If you’ve stayed in a bad hotel then please share with others, to help to avoid these experiences.

1 Comment

  1. Tanja

    I feel lucky that I can`t tell a story like these ones. But some of them sound really funny (at least if you aren`t the one that made this experience) while some others are really shocking…

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