Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hotels - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I enjoy various types of hotel experiences but every now and then unexpected and sometimes memorable things happen. Maybe the hotel I booked wasn't quite what I was expecting or somehow things just went wrong.   Most of the time these adventures end up being part of my vacation story because they can be both remarkable and memorable. For instance my kids still talk about the family vacation when we were staying outside of Boston and ended up in a room with soaking wet carpet and ants.  The most memorable part of the story was that the manager of the hotel was mad about having to move us. So strange.

Then there was the time we were staying at the historic Hilltop House Hotel in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and the staff kept talking about the ghosts. The hotel was amazing and had the most extraordinary views but my kids were terrified. None of us slept a wink but we've never forgotten being able to stay in a haunted hotel. Apparently they have closed this hotel and what a shame.  It is a beautiful location with lots of history (and ghosts)!
From the Portfolio Photoseek website
Then I had my own fear of ghosts when traveling to LA.  I was trying to stay at a reasonably priced hotel near where we were holding a conference and I was so excited to have found the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel.  It is a beautiful and a lot of exhibits so that guests can learn more about the history.  If you love old Hollywood there's lots to enjoy.  And they have ghosts.  Not just one, but many, and after hearing that the Black Dahlia walks the stairwell, that was it.  I moved every piece of furniture in front of my door to block out any unwanted guests and of course I never slept that night either.

India was one of my most favorite places to visit. Ever. In India our accommodations covered a range of places - from home stays to a 5-star, depending on the city.  But there was one place we are not likely to ever forget - Don't Worry Chicken Curry.  It is the scariest place I've ever stayed. The location of the hotel was creepy, the hotel was not at all what it appeared to be on the website (the website has been revised I see) and the staff was insulting to our guide.  Scary, creepy, poor accommodations and rude. Worst. Hotel. Ever.  And I was ever so thankful we made it through the night. Again, no sleep.

Soggy towels, no toiletries, air conditioning out of order and this was the toilet paper provided. It was too scary to open the window so we toughed it out but it was scary!
This fall while in Morocco we stayed in the strangest place. Nice but strange.  Most of our trip we stayed in gorgeous riads but then there was one hotel we stayed where we could be close to the sea.  We got an upgrade when we checked in and it sounded great, but it had the strangest decor. The place had a living room, a bar, a balcony, multiple rooms but all with the weirdest decor. I couldn't stop taking photos.

It's wonderful when everything on a trip goes as planned, right?  After all, it is a vacation and a time to relax and enjoy. But over the years I've learned that some of these weird hotel adventures add to the travel memories and sometimes make the trip even more memorable.

I'm very grateful for TripAdvisor.  I'm a level 5 contributor and I'm always grateful to travelers who share their experiences - good and bad. What travel forum do you use when you plan a trip?


  1. I rely on Tripadvisor also, though you have to be a bit careful about some of the reports. I've reviewed hotels all over the world, and try to be positive about them, but some writers are so critical.
    You certainly have had some interesting places to stay!

    1. Sometimes I feel like I'm too positive with my comments but when I give a negative comment or score, that means bad!

  2. Oh, we have a few hotel stories too. It's funny to look back and laugh, though at the time it wasn't so funny. '-)

  3. Morocco looks super wonderful. The ornate decorations are pretty darn neat.

  4. Great stories - a great reason for travel! You have certainly had your share of weird and wonderful experiences. We once stayed in a ghost filled hotel in Denmark. I can't remember if I've blogged about it - will have to check! More recently....a colleague and I stay at the same hotel when we travel on business every other month, for a week. The hotel is new-ish but it has a my colleague's room. She is not afraid of it, and is getting used to its antics. I would be spooked!

  5. Wow, what travels you've had! And I agree- even not so great hotel experiences can create memorable family team building memories! Nice to see you again!

  6. You've had some adventures in your hotel stays! Ours have been very tame by comparison. I look on Trip Advisor, or rely on guidebooks like Rick Steves. We've begun using AirBnB and have been very pleased with the online reviews there.

  7. Oh you made me laugh, such funny experiences at hotels all over and specially at the exotic places! Thank you lovely friend for your good wishes. We are sorry for the small places and parts of the country affected, thank goodness not in our town.
    Blessings my friend.