A few years ago I went to Miami with a couple friends and we reserved a room in one of those art deco-style hotels that are all over the place there that was a block from the beach. If the lobby of this place was the mouth to hell, our room was literally Beelzebub's anus. All the mirrors were broken, the floor was layered with dust, dirt and suspicious-looking hairs, the mattresses were wrapped in plastic and oozing what looked liked creamed piss. Not only that, but there was music blasting, people screaming and fighting and shady activity in the hallway and in the alley outside our window. It was like being at Lohan's house.
After a battle royale with the Nurse Ratchet-esque desk clerk, we got our money back and, thankfully, got upgraded to a sweet resort hotel with a private beach for our troubles. (In case you're wondering, the hellhole in question is the Parisian/Geneva Hotel—the Geneva is literally the back of a Thrifty Car Rental place. Seriously.)
The moral of this story is: never book on hotels.com. And always check TripAdvisor.com before you go.
I was reminded of this sordid experience when an esteemed colleague sent me a link to TripAdvisor.com's 2008 10 Dirtiest Hotels List. Frankly, I was a little surprised that the Parisian/Geneva didn't make the cut, but from the looks of this year's "winners" there are some places out there that are just as bad, if not worse. I mean, at least we didn't actually see cockroaches, although I'm sure they were lying in wait for the right moment to descend and kill. And lucky for us we didn't actually sleep in the beds, which were probably swimming with bedbugs, crabs, nits and probably worse.
While you're pretty much guaranteed to gag at some point while reading some of these reviews, they are also wildly entertaining at the same time. Some of the horrific experiences are beyond crazy, and some of the descriptions are hilarious. The best part is that this gives the poor travelers an outlet to not only warn others about the unsanitary shitholes some hoteliers are "running", but it also gives them a chance to collectively humilate the proprieters in public.
So if you've ever had a Parisian/Geneva experience, don't just share that sordid tale with your friends. Write a review on TripAdvisor so no one else has to bathe in rat turds and roach juice. For your enjoyment (and revulsion) here are some of the choicier comments and stories from this year's "winners."
A transfer to Guantanamo Bay would have been preferable to a stay in this hell hole. Liked—The view in the rear view mirror as we left.
I wished for the first time in my life that I had a handgun license, as the first thought that struck me as I entered the creaky gates of Hades (from here on out to be referred to as Room 34) was 'Oh good God, how do I survive the night?!' This place is an absolute disgrace, a miserable den for who knows what illicit activity.
Upon arrival at the hotel there was a CSI team in front of the hotel investigating a triple shooting at the hotel the night before.
The woman who checked out in front of us was lucky enough to have used hypodermic needles in her room as a bonus.(Note: this one's from Lancaster, PA, aka Amish country, and don't get me started on the Amish...)
If you have a choice between the Bates Motel and the Eden Roc, choose the Bates. At least Norman was pleasant and gave you a nice sandwich with a glass of milk before you realized what a terrible mistake you've made. Mother.
I started to check in when I noticed what looked like a pimp and two whores. If you and your frat boys are looking for a place to have a kegger and trash with no remorse then this is it. You don't have to worry about damaging much here. Don't bring your wife or girlfriend here for a romantic getaway unless you are trying to get rid of her.
I got LICE staying at this location. I couldn't believe it! I'm 32 years old! with Lice Bugs!
We chose the facility because of location, price and shuttle service. We didn't realize it was the "Hotel California" or the next thing to hell.
He fumbled with the key and the door, but nothing happened. Guess what he did to get in the door? He got down on his back and kicked the entire AC unit inside the room. YES KICKED IT IN!!!!! He then crawled through the hole to unlock the door. My three year old son thought it was the coolest way to enter a room, he wanted to try it too.
The air conditioner sounds like a Boeing 727 coming at you all night long.
Disliked—The Hungarian beast-woman in the resteraunt
The location suckered us in but it's not worth the whole family going home infected with scabies.
The room was haunted. The first night the lights were flickering on and off and the shower was turned on when I got there. The TV was the same as the TV in poltergeist. Other then that, I loved the location —originally an old indian burial ground. But is close to Times Square.
The whole place smelled like a dollar hooker parlor. I wouldn't let Satan stay here. Actually he probably owns the place.
When we got into the room, the smell was awful, a cross between smoke from cigarettes and drugs, foul sex and vomit. There were syringes in the trash can, and someone had taken a dump and the toilet was not flushed. My wife complained, but came back with what I knew would be no help. Apparently when she commented on the dump in the toilet she was told that it was "complementary Steam Boat Dumplings on the house!" Not only did it not make much sense, it was gross and the people at the front desk laguhed at it.
We awoke in the middle of the night to find a possum in the room! It scared us half to death.
The overall vibe of the place edgy and threatening. I should have left when I was asked to sign the waiver for theft or 'any personal injury' on the premises. Half a star to the cheery shuttle driver who brought me from the airport, singing Temptations songs all the way—deducted for not warning me what I was getting into.