You just never know what to expect sometimes, when it comes to staying at a hotel.
There’s the good kind of surprises like stellar service and a free breakfast, then there’s the bad kind:
Dillion, a spry young man in his early 20’s felt like he’d been set inside a house of horrors after finding bloody Band Aids strewn throughout his hotel room on Halloween night. Before settling in, he begins to hear screams of someone being stabbed and an awful, terrible crying along with rattling chains: “I flew out of my room to tell the front desk, and they then informed me that they had set up a haunted house in one of the rooms next to mine for kids staying at the hotel.” Because he’d moved so many times, he kept the room and endured the sounds all night long.
Never trust the front desk to keep you 100% safe according to this travel writer: “We were in Denver and one of the guys we were traveling with woke up in the middle of the night with a strange, drunk man passed out next to him,” says an unnamed travel writer. Turns out, the guy had forgotten both his key and his room number. He asked the front desk for a spare, blurting out whatever number came into his inebriated mind first, and the desk clerk willingly turned the keys over.
In virtually ever part of the world we travel, “you get what you pay for” is a pretty accurate dictum to use for hotel selection, especially in in the jungles of Guatemala: “We came back to the room, and immediately I saw a huge cockroach crawling over one of my bags,” says Joe, in his mid-30s. The couple killed the creature themselves, but that was just the beginning. “We pulled back the curtains, and they were literally crawling with cockroaches.” The couple stormed up to the front desk, which was curiously prepared with anti-cockroach spray. “The staff asked us if we had food in the room, which we didn’t, and then they asked if we had toothpaste, which of course we did.” Apparently cockroaches have a burning desire for toothpaste. “We sprayed the room, aired it out, and cleaned the carcasses off the floor. I think were about twelve in total,” Joe says. There were no other rooms so the couple pulled the bed into the middle of the room, left the light on, and slept very little.
Even if you can do sit-ups in your room, sometimes it pays to just go to the gym anyway. Ashley Norman wishes she had followed that advice: “How about the time I was doing sit ups in my hotel room in Chicago. I looked up and found a used condom stuck to the underside of the bed.” She jumped up and called the front desk, which sent up a young man with rubber gloves to remove the thing. “I guess that’s what I get for not going to the gym,” she said.
Have you had walls so paper-thin you could hear every word and sneeze coming from your neighbor? Annoying, but what about walls so fragile you could just knock them down? Listen to what happened to Bruce Northam tells us and his brother: “I was in a hastily constructed hotel in Bali with my brother. I gave him a humorous shove and he bumped into the brick wall, which then completely collapsed! It was a stand-alone wall dividing two rooms. Hello neighbor!” They were staring at two Indonesian honeymooners.
An unnamed couple found they were not alone on a trip to the Caribbean island of Dominica: “The absolute worst happened in Dominica, when I woke up at 4 a.m. to see an intruder climbing out the window right next to my side of the bed. He had taken a ladder and broken into our second-floor room while we were sleeping. He must have been in the room for a little while because he had walked all the way around our bed and rooted through our clothes until he found SO’s wallet. Beyond the annoyance of losing money and credit cards, it was a really scary, unsettling experience to have on the first night of a trip; we were jumpy for the rest of the vacation.”
Fear of the unknown doesn’t just apply to sneaky intruders, travel journalist Michael found some stains on the bed of his 5-star hotel that resembled “chocolate”: “I dared not approach, since there was nothing else in sight to suggest their nature. And yes, I thought the worst — so many people use the same sheets in a hotel that stains could go unchecked.” The writer called the front desk, which sent a member of the cleaning staff to investigate. Soon, they uncovered a half-eaten chocolate bar stuffed under the covers.”
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Happy and safe travels!
Main image Credit: Gia Ciccone/Flickr