We’ve invented a new game on this road trip, having exhausted our previous car-ride favorite of Airport Code Jumble, and while I don’t have a catchy name quite yet, the theme is “Name Hotels That Were Literally The Worst.”
I’m not quite admitting to the…let’s say eclectic nature…of our Romanian lodging selections as inspiring this retrospective, but will confirm that more than
once twice this week one or the other of us has said “C’mon, it’s not the worst place we’ve stayed together.”
Of course, we recognize that we have great lives, and the beauty of miles and points is that we’re able to stay at a generally higher caliber of hotel the majority of the time, so our “worst” hotels have still been mostly clean and safe and otherwise acceptableish.
We’ve still stayed at some pretty poor hotels over the years
Obviously if you’re going to play a game you have to have some basic rules. The parameters?
- We have to have stayed there together — so while we both had the pleasure of staying at the pre-renovation Concourse LAX, we did so separately, so that doesn’t count
- The hotel stay itself has to be poor overall — things like the flooding bathrooms at the otherwise lovely Hotel Metropol in Belgrade, or the shuttle situation at the Sheraton Gateway LAX aren’t enough to earn a property a spot in our worst-ever list
So which properties do make the cut? In no particular order:
It seems fitting to kick off the list with a hotel that is now a homeless shelter. Which is ironic, as some of the club lounge behaviors we observed over the years would absolutely not be tolerated in a shelter environment.
Not to mention the consistently unhelpful staff (other than the shuttle bus drivers, they were great), who once threatened to cancel a reservation a few hours before arrival unless they received a call-back — a tricky ask for guests of an airport hotel who are ostensibly flying in.
This hotel has since been renovated, but from 2014 to 2015 I think we stayed here a few dozen times (ah, the days of mileage running!), with the property deteriorating further each time.
We’re not masochists; it was at least appropriately priced (usually 42 GBP or less), and at a certain point I guess the comedic value of the funeral-home vibes provided an additional rebate.
The “D” Las Vegas
We were here for a conference, so didn’t do a review, but this is hands-down the worst hotel we’ve ever stayed at, individually or collectively.
The one redeeming feature was a cut-out in the shower glass so you could adjust the water temperature before you got in, but that hardly made up for the atrociously slow elevator, insane amounts of noise from Freemont Street, clouds of smoke permeating the building, or the inability to get morning coffee anywhere other than McDonald’s.
This gets into the challenges of managing guest expectations, but for an ostensibly luxury hotel in a major city, this hotel was quite disappointing.
The property was generally dirty and poorly maintained, the food was tasteless, and the furniture was so old the springs were poking through the mattresses.
Where to begin? The dorm-like feel of the place, the elevator that only went down, the charmless location, the tripe in the Club Lounge…
The highlight of this hotel stay, without question, was that Ben somehow bumped the power switch on his shaver while it was still in his bag, which led to said bag (and the floor, and the art on the walls, and the door connecting our rooms) vibrating intermittently throughout the night in an extremely haunted way.
Which was extra fun given we’d just heard a bunch of ghost stories about the property.
But otherwise the hotel was just big and bland and tired.
Hopefully it goes without saying that none of this is intended to further name-and-shame these hotels. Many of them have had major upgrades since we were there last, or have gone out of business entirely.
Rather, we thought it would be fun to share a lighthearted look-back at some of the less-aspirational places we’ve stayed, especially as it puts some of our more recent adventures in perspective.
And yes, we’re having a great time in Romanian rush-hour traffic today, why would you ask? 😉
What are some of the worst hotels you’ve “enjoyed”?