Looks like you can no longer assume that the maid changed the sheets before you arrived. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Life is messy. Travel is messy. We get that. But seriously, is it too much to ask for our hotel rooms to be clean? There is nothing worse than showing up at what you think is the perfect hotel for your travel needs, only to find filth. Yahoo Travel went looking for ick, hoping to spare you some travel pain. We found the funkiest, nastiest, most disgusting places that your fellow travelers have reviewed and documented in photos.
We found all of the reviews on TripAdvisor, and ruled out places where the majority of reviews were positive. After all, there are occasional incidents of poor cleaning in even the best of hotels…stuff happens. We should also note that each of these hotels also had a few positive reviews as well. What we looked for were patterns of grossness. We scoured reviews using the words “filthy” and “nasty.”
For the most part, we found that even though there are clear bargains out there, the lower the price of the room, the greater the likelihood that it will be dirty. The second thing we noticed is that airport hotels often seriously neglected sanitation, regardless of price or brand. Put on your rubber gloves and dive into our disgusting list from coast to coast to see what else we found.
The Motel 6 in Decatur has four years’ worth of bad reviews, including some from weary travelers stranded by this winter’s ice storms. Anytime the word “condom” comes up in a review it’s a bad sign.
For the most part, this state came out pretty clean in our digging, but the Parkwood Inn in Anchorage has more negative reviews than positive, starting with the most recent, written last fall with the headline, “Buggy!” And they weren’t talking about a carriage ride.
There are great places to stay in Tucson, and then there’s the Howard Johnson Tucson Inn — Downtown. The reviews mention roaches and hair in the bathrooms. One reviewer even felt like the sheets might not have been changed after the previous guest. Eeew!
We hate to pick on one particular chain, but another Motel 6 makes the list. This time it’s Little Rock — South, where we discovered a photo of makeup and lipstick on the inside of the door, near the peephole. There are no words.
Palm Springs is an oasis in the desert and an escape from the ugliness of the city. Apparently, the Travelodge isn’t part of that escape plan. One recent reviewer had this to say: “I would not let my dog stay here.”
Gathering up dirty laundry is such a difficult chore for hotel housekeeping. According to one visitor, the Travelodge in Grand Junction solves the problem by just leaving the dirty washcloths drying on the shower rod for the next guest.
It was actually hard to find the dirt in this state. The Days Inn & Conference Center in New Branford seems to have more of a maintenance problem than most, though. The first review we found was titled “Creepy.” Enough said.
This is another state on our list with fewer than average gross reviews. This Quality Inn in Seaford made up for the rest. One reviewer found a hair extension under the mattress. We don’t really want to know how that got there.
Reading dirty hotel reviews from the Sunshine State can make you feel like you should be packing a HAZMAT suit instead of your swimsuit. The Days Inn Speedway in Daytona has reviews mentioning cockroaches, pubic hair, and believe it or not, a feral cat living in a room.
The Hotel Indigo Atlanta is a real shocker. Sure, they have 488 above-average reviews, but when the reviews that are average or below add up to almost half of that, there is a problem. Reviews mention mold in the showers and filthy carpets. None of that should happen at this level of accommodation.
It can be a real challenge to find the perfect place to stay in Hawaii. Everything looks and sounds good when they mention ocean waves and show you a palm-lined pool deck. The Best Western Plaza Hotel has some good reviews, but more often than not, reviewers were disappointed, citing urine smells, bugs, and bathroom sinks that back up as reasons to find alternate accommodations in Honolulu.
The Shilo Inn Nampa Boulevard told one reviewer who found sex-toy packaging under her bed that they were getting ready for spring cleaning. Really?
Bodily fluids are everyone’s worst nightmare in a hotel room. When more than one reviewer mentions them, just move on. The Baymont Inn and Suites DeKalb had gag-worthy reviews and photos.
If you find yourself in Terre Haute, pass on by the Super 8. “Dry dog poop” near one of the beds is the only reason you need.
“Nasty, nasty, nasty” is not a very original review title, but if more than one reviewer feels compelled to use it, there must be a reason. People who reviewed the Bluffs Inn in Decorah say they would rather sleep in their vehicle than try this place again.
Dirty air vents are a common problem in hotels with low cleaning standards. The Motel 6 Topeka Northwest not only had filth oozing from the vents, it had roaches crawling from them.
After seeing the photo a reviewer posted from the Days Inn in London you may never sleep in a hotel bed again until you have eyeballed the mattress. Other reviewers used words like “foul” and “gross” to describe rooms that seem to seldom be cleaned between guests.
The Best Western Chateau Suite Hotel in Shreveport gets mixed reviews, but there is a consistent pattern of poor bathroom maintenance leading to overflowing toilets and tubs that don’t drain. Other reviewers mention mold, sagging bathroom ceilings, and stains on the walls.
Yet another Super 8, this one in Lewiston / Auburn, where mold and neglect top the problems reviewers complain about. One reviewer had this to say: “There were burn marks all over the carpet and a half smoked marijuana cigarette on the floor.”
There is a growing trend of hotels not using liners in the bathroom trash cans. The Royalton Hotel in Ocean City is a good example of what can go wrong when housekeepers can’t be bothered to clean the can. Double yuck! Another recent reviewer found garbage under the bed.
Courtyard is not a chain you expect to find on a list like this, but at the downtown Boston location it is teetering on the edge of some serious problems. Photos show dirty light switches, rusting bathroom fixtures, and stained sheets.
There is no excuse for food left in the fridge from a previous guest, but fresh blood on the sheets? Bleh! The Ramada Plaza in Grand Rapids has some good reviews, but just last week a reviewer posted, “Furry mold growing out of the light fixture.”
Another chain that doesn’t seem to fit our filthy profile is Radisson, but the Duluth-Harborview hotel has numerous recent reviews about nonworking elevators, closet doors, and Sleep Number Beds. Adding to the reviews, there are photos of mold and “curtains that looked like they had fecal matter smeared on them in several spots.”
The Broadway Inn Express in Biloxi is another hotel where reviewers advise sleeping in your car as a better alternative. A February reviewer went home with bug bites. A visitor last summer was greeted by “pee on da toilet.”
Our award for the funniest photo goes to the poor guest who discovered that the tub had a duct-taped hole covered up by a filthy bathmat. We are sure that they weren’t laughing when they checked into the Econo Lodge at the airport in Kansas City, but hopefully they can laugh about it now.
Hair in the tub is always gross; hair and standing water like someone just bathed is beyond gross. Another Super 8 takes a hit. This time in Glendive. One reviewer found “a dirty toothpick in the light shade.” How convenient.
The Economy Lodge and Suites in Lincoln has reviews titled “Condemned.” The reviewer killed five roaches in the first few minutes. And why in the world would a housekeeper not clean a disgusting microwave? Because most likely there isn’t a housekeeper.
The Circus Circus Manor Motor Lodge looks like a reasonably priced alternative to the main hotel. It is if you don’t want clean sheets, carpets, and toilets. Reviewers consistently mention smells, stains, and mold.
Moldy bathrooms would seem to be the number one complaint of hotels across the country. The Stone Gable Inn in Hampton has more than the average. One summer reviewer found her room also came with “cigarette butts & ashes all over toilet.” Delightful.
Money can’t buy happiness, and apparently at the Days Inn Atlantic City Beach block it doesn’t even buy you a clean place to stay the night. Reviewers report nonsmoking rooms that reeked of smoke and other “weird smells.”
The Super 8 in Belen is apparently in need of a vacuum cleaner, as several reviewers report carpets that haven’t ever seen a vacuum cleaner. When the word “vile” is used in a review, our advice is to find another hotel.
The World Hotel in the Bowery may just have the highest percentage of bad reviews in the country. One look at the traveler-posted photos is enough to make your skin crawl.
Yet another example of badly cleaned airport hotels is the Microtel Inn by Wyndham Raleigh Durham Airport. The words “yuck,” “roaches,” and “filthy” crop up repeatedly in the reviews we found.
The Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck looks lovely and has some good reviews, but the percentage of bad reviews is creeping up on it, indicating a potential problem is brewing. Just last week a guest posted a review describing an “old piece of stale pizza” found under the bed.
Staying in a hotel that primarily serves a transient community is always a gamble. Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham in Columbus shows a severe lack of maintenance when it cleans up after those long-term renters. Spraying a little Febreze is not considered a good cleaning job.
Just how often do you think hotel furniture gets steam cleaned? Not often enough at the Magnuson Hotel Oklahoma City South. Besides filthy furniture, one reviewer noted a dead cockroach squished on the wall and cigarette burns “on nearly every surface; counters, sink, tub, toilet seat, even the mirror.”
Here we go again with mattress stains. Do that many people die in hotel beds? That’s what these stains look like. The Shilo Inn Suites Hotel in Newport has a great view and beach access, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice sanitation to enjoy those things. Just a few weeks ago a reviewer wrote the rooms “stunk like a garbage dump.”
Four Points by Sheraton at the Philadelphia Airport lives up to the low standards of some airport hotels. A recent review is titled, “Fluids All Over!”
The Mainstay Hotel & Conference Center in Newport has reviewers writing about “peeling wallpaper and black mold.” And “sticky carpet” is never a term you want to hear about in a hotel room.
We understand that oceanfront properties are a bigger challenge to keep clean. But why is it that some manage just fine and others fail miserably? The Ocean Dunes Resort & Villas in Myrtle Beach falls into the latter category. Reviewers use terms like “shabby” and “beyond filthy.”
Someone needs to alert the housekeeping department at the Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls that vacuum cleaners usually work well under the edge of the bed. And then there’s the bedbug issue just reported last week.
Here we go with airport accommodations again. The Baymont Inn & Suites at the Nashville Airport has a disproportionately large number of bad reviews mentioning the word “filthy,” particularly in reference to the floors.
Hotels near amusement parks and stadiums can be a tradeoff between convenience and dealing with the mess left by the partiers that stayed there before you. The Baymont Inn & Suites in Arlington obviously is not up to that task. Here’s what one recent reviewer experienced, “I noticed dark patchy spots in the floor in which were sticky patches. Dried up specks of blood were found on my comforter. … uugh!”
Maintenance is a big issue for the Royal Garden Inn in Salt Lake City. A recent reviewer begs, “For the love of God don’t go here.”
Always look under bathmats is the lesson learned at the Super 8 in White River Junction. Poor heating and toilets that don’t flush are among the recent problems cited by guests.
The Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront is another example of beach hotels with maintenance problems. Multiple reviews mention mold. This one last week said, “had black mold on the curtains, stains all over the covers, and sheets.”
The Comfort Inn & Suites at Sea-Tac Airport might be convenient, but a recent guest had this to say. “Room has an old motor home smell. Carpet had stains and hairs.”
The Motel 6 in Charles Town leaves you wondering if there’s any hope of finding a cheap hotel room anywhere. One reviewer says, “There were what I think was huge sex stains on the chair.” It’s that bodily fluid thing again.
Ramada Milwaukee Downtown had one reviewer so afraid of bedbugs he or she didn’t bring luggage into the room. Another guest said, “The toilet leaked water all over our clothing, some ended up ruined.”
Mold in the bathroom is something that plenty of hotels know how to avoid, but apparently not the Ramada Laramie. A guest last month summed it up with this: “Would work well in a horror movie involving a serial killer.”