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Hotel Horror Stories

Hotel Horror Stories

Your accommodation can make or break your trip. These hotel horror stories show exactly how that can happen. From those that just become a funny story to tell to those that are absolutely horrifying and horrible. Reading reviews can certainly help but sometimes reviews are not available. Sometimes situations occur. I do believe that the word hospitality is really being diminished in the hospitality industry and for that reason, I want to use this post to call out the horrible horror hotel stories to warn you where to avoid, but also to simply provide some great entertainment. If you have a hotel horror story, we would love to hear it!

The Flawless Bathroom by Alexis Cannella

In 2018, I embarked on my first ever big solo international backpacking adventure through Southeast Asia and Oceania. As a backpacker, I gave up so much of my comfort to save money. I would stay in the cheapest hostels I could find, only eat street food, and would wash my clothing in a sink when it absolutely needed cleaning.

I was cheap. And well, when you are cheap, the majority of the time you really get what you pay for.

I often stayed in hostels that had no windows, rooms without locks, bugs crawling around, dirty bed sheets, on-going construction next door at all hours of the day, rooms with 16-20 people in bunk beds crammed into a closet-sized space, and had bathrooms that were not always maintained.

However, my worst hostel experience was actually the first hostel I ever stayed in on that backpacking trip. I was exhausted. I had arrived to my hostel in Little India, Singapore after 11 pm and I practically crawled up two flights of stairs with my backpack. It took me a couple tries to find the correct room with it being so dark and my eyes did not want to stay open. When I finally found my room and my assigned bed, I threw myself into bed with my clothes still on and passed out cold from exhaustion.

The next morning, I took my time waking up and getting myself somewhat unpacked. I grabbed my toiletries and travel towel and walked down the hallway to find the bathroom. I needed a shower. Badly.

I walked into the bathroom and I did a happy dance when I saw one of the two shower stalls unoccupied. I immediately staked my claim and locked myself inside. I turned around and shuddered in complete disgust. My eyes scanned the entire shower from top to bottom. There was mold and grime all around the walls and shower head, a large spider web and spider hung in the left corner of the ceiling above my shower, and the drain was full of mold, dirt and hair. You have no idea how happy I was that I had my flip flops with me.

I turned back around to the shower door to find no hooks, or at least any functional hooks. Luckily, there was a ledge for me to put my toiletry bag. I quickly stripped down, threw my clothes over the door and walked over to the shower knob. The shower was actually a decent size, but the puke-green walls did not make it any more inviting. It took me at least a minute to figure out how to turn the shower on.

The instant the cold water hit me I squirmed and let out a little squeak. A cold shower…yay!

I slowly rinsed my entire body in cold water and reached for my bag on the ledge. I screamed so loud that I bet the entire hallway heard me. There were worms and ants and spiders crawling all around the ledge and around my bag! Eww!! I almost vomited.

I squatted down in the shower just in case I was to vomit and I wish I hadn’t looked down. I saw even more worms and bugs crawling down the walls and in the shower corners. I felt so gross and wanted to scream again. I stood up so fast and I grabbed my shampoo and body wash and took the fastest shower I think I have ever taken in my life. I turned off the cold water, dried myself off and quickly put my clothes back on. I closed up my bag and rinsed off the bugs crawling on it with the shower water.

Ew… Ew… Ewwwwwww!!

I unlocked the door and got the hell out of the shower. I was shaking and still wanted to vomit. My shoes squeaked all the way to the sinks. I set my bag down again and immediately picked it back up. The counter was full of more bugs and worms and the sinks were hair and bug infested as well. Ewwwwwww!!

I threw up in my mouth that time. I shuddered and saw my look of disgust in the mirror. I held my bag in between my legs and fished out my toothbrush and toothpaste. I turned on the tap and rinsed my toothbrush and I watched every single bug crawling around my sink and all the flies on the mirror. I had barely brushed my teeth before I was already rinsing it out. I removed my bag from between my legs and quickly squeaked out of the bathroom.

Never again. Never again. Never again.

I shuddered all the way down the hallway and back into my room. I checked my toiletry bag before I set it down on my bed and shook with disgust. I laughed to myself, remembering how much I had paid for my hostel stay. You really get what you pay for.

The fact that the shower locked was the best part of my entire morning.

The “Triple Room” Resort – Paraty, Brazil

Margarita from thewildlifediaries.com tells the story of her worst accommodation: Pousada Kaetê in Brazilian coastal town of Paraty looks superb on booking.com. Tucked away on the side of a hill, it has a forested setting, ocean views, and a very attractive pool. It is not one of the cheapest properties in Paraty, but tempted by the photos, my two friends and I decided to splurge on a triple room for 4 nights.

We arrived in Paraty late at night and were gutted to discover that the room was not even close to what was advertised. It was tiny. And instead of one Queen and one Double beds, most of the room was taken up by the single Queen bed. The owner, who let us in, did not speak a word of English, so we had to be very expressive to communicate our distress.

When she finally understood that the number of people did not match the number of beds, she proceeded to move some furniture out of the way and then pulled out a thin single mattress on wheels from under the bed. This, in her opinion, made the room a triple. Despite the fact that there was now no access to the bathroom for anyone but the person who would sleep on that mattress. In fact, the head of the mattress was squarely in front of the bathroom door.

It was too late in the day to start looking for a better place to stay, but thankfully, the English-speaking family member, Matheus, has arrived shortly and promised us a refund for the second night, in the morning.

However, when we announced our decision to leave in the morning, the entire family got into a heated argument, most of them refusing to even consider a refund. At the time of booking, we had to pay a 50% deposit – the cost of 2 nights out of our 4-night intended stay.

After about a 20-minute argument, the family came up with an ingenious solution. They ran a Google image search for a ‘mattress’ and since most mattresses that came up did not have wheels, they took it as sufficient proof that what we had in our room was not a mattress, but a second bed. Therefore our request for a refund was not valid.

It would’ve been hilarious if it wasn’t so infuriating. In the end, we left without a refund, found a pousada with a ‘real’ triple room and never looked back. You can read more about things to do in Paraty, Brazil here.

The Drunken Air BnB Host, Toulouse, France

Wendy from thenomadicvegan.com certainly didn’t appreciate this drunken air bnb host

My husband and I had lucked out with an incredible AirBnB on a recent trip to Toulouse, France, so we were hoping for a similar experience when we visited Bordeaux. Unfortunately, we were not so lucky this time.
We messaged the host to say that we were on our way, and she told us she would meet us at the apartment to let us in. We waited outside in the dark and the cold for at least half an hour. When she finally showed up, she was on foot and was pushing a bicycle alongside her.
I didn’t think too much of this at first, but when she struggled to get the key into the door, I realized why she hadn’t been riding the bicycle. She was so drunk that she would have fallen over if she’d tried.
We stood awkwardly waiting for her to get the key into the lock, uncertain whether we should offer to help. She knew that we knew, and everyone felt very uncomfortable. Finally, the key turned in the lock, and we all went upstairs to the apartment.
Our host kept apologizing and saying how embarrassed she was, and we told her it was fine and not to worry. We just wanted the whole thing to be over, so we tried to shoo her out of the apartment as quickly as possible.
After she left, we realized that we didn’t know where to find the sheets or blankets. But we rummaged around in the cupboards and eventually found everything we needed. We were just glad to be out of the awkward situation. Thankfully, we didn’t have to see her again during our stay.

Weirdest and worst accommodation experiences I’ve ever had – Incheon, South Korea

Angelica from thingstodoandeat.com has a story out of a Hollywood drug cartel movie.

“Yes I will have the money ready. No please, don’t hurt my family. I SAID DON’T hurt my family!”

Heard outside of the hotel I was supposed to be staying in, was the front desk person yelling and crying over the phone.

Minutes earlier, he couldn’t find my reservation and said that they were completely booked and I couldn’t stay, so I walked outside to get some fresh air and try to figure out what to do next. It was well past midnight. I was in the middle of nowhere in a new country. I had no cell phone service or data. I had just gotten off the plane for a 22 hour layover, and I really just wanted to go to sleep.

I walked back inside after he finished crying, and he said he found a new room and I could stay. Not sure I really wanted to stay after the phone conversation, I went back outside to think about my options. Now that there was less yelling, I noticed that basically all of the visible hotel rooms were people loudly having sex, and it didn’t look consensual. “Is this a sex hotel?” I wondered. “Is this how he’s getting the money?!”

This was probably one of the weirdest and worst accommodation experiences I’ve ever had. To avoid this in the future, I learned that location and reviews really matter! Even if you think you’re on a budget, don’t just book the cheapest place with bad reviews and that’s far from everything, just because it’s cheap. And I also learned that some airlines offer a hotel with overnight layover flights if you contact them, which is really what I should have done!

(Although the sunrise the next day makes it pretty awesome)

Sunrise in Incheon, South Korea the day after the horror hotel stories

Sex Hotel in Zambia

Heather from reason2roam.com had one very interesting hotel!

10 pm in a border town in eastern Zambia. All the hotel rooms are fully booked.

We found ourselves in a closed restaurant of a fully booked hotel on the edge of town with two men. One of the men must have sensed our desperation as he suggested this hotel might have something. The other guy said it wasn’t up to our standards to which we replied: “we have no standards.” They finally relented and took us to a room that was available in the “staff quarters.”

We walked in the dark towards a small building at the back of the hotel. Men were coming in and out of the building and a man standing outside handed each “client” a small package approx. 1.5 inches square.

Matt tried to tell me they were tea bags. We both knew what they really were.

The room was one of four in the building. The sheets were crumpled in a heap on the single bed. The guy who took our money made an effort at making the bed while apologizing for the wet spot in the middle. He blamed it on the hole in the roof (there was no hole in the roof). The pink satin pillowcase added a piece of class to the experience. We paid full price for this room with a lock – but got to use it for the whole night!

All night, cars pulled up outside the building and the “clients” made use of the square packages in one of the other rooms. I didn’t get much sleep. I was wearing every piece of clothing I owned and managed to only place my right hip bone on the bed. I reminded my self all night that most STI’s can’t live outside of the body and our vaccinations were up to date.

Matt: he slept like a baby.

We learned two valuable lessons from this experience:

  1. If you arrive in a border town on payday – book your room online first!

  2. We actually have some standards and this room was below them (well, I do anyway).

Sex hotel Zambia, Hotel horror stories

Dirty, Dodgy Hotel in Brussels

Danni from livein10countries.com

I planned a lovely long weekend in Brussels and thought I could make it affordable by booking last minute with a combined Eurostar train and hotel package. I was up late one night and kept trying to book on a third party site, but all the best hotels kept selling out within seconds.
I ended up panic booking a one-star hotel, the Hotel Albert, in my hurry. But, thinking it would be very basic and simple, but still clean – off I went with my partner. As soon as we got there, we realised that it was in the worst part of town, in fact it was just by the Red Light District. We felt really unsafe and the building was obviously dingy and derelict as we approached. Oh dear.
As you’d imagine, the room we got was filthy and crawling with bed bugs. We walked out immediately after taking photos and tried to get a refund as we hadn’t spent any time there. But they totally refused saying that they had a policy of not giving refunds. We fought for months and the hotel still kept our money.

Moldy hotel in brussels from the horror hotel stories

Hotel Horror Stories from Twitter

We asked out twitter followers for their hotel horror stories and here’s what we got. Ps: Follow us here @sheroamssolo


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Hotel Horror Stories

1 Comment

  1. What an experience you had here! These are definitely horror stories. This is why you should always plan and book ahead. Avoid panic bookings!

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