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Pandora's avatar

What was the best and worst hotels you ever stayed in?

Asked by Pandora (29251points) July 31st, 2015

Please describe what made them the best or worst.

Best hotel. Hilton or Hamilton (don’t remember) Large deluxe suite with living room, dining area, king bed and large jacuzzi tub
Worst: A little dive hotel in Madrid. Windows faced another building that was so close you could toss them a drink. The a/c felt more like a fan and you had to have your room card in the slot to make it work, so when you were out the room would heat up and barely got cool before you returned. The room was so small you had to single file to move around the room. (Though not the smallest room but the worst to sleep in) They didn’t offer laundry service and sucked at giving you directions to the nearest laundry mat.

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22 Answers

rockfan's avatar

Knights Inn. The sheets were the texture of cardboard, the mattresses squeaked every time you moved, the bathroom smelled like burnt hair, the toilet seemed like it was made for toddlers, and the TV only offered Fox News.

The best hotel I’ve ever stayed at is The Plaza in New York City, I stayed in a suite.

johnpowell's avatar

Best… Tijuana at a Howard Johnson’s. THERE WAS A REMOTE control for the lights. It was 1995. Also there was a pool and sauna and down comforters. 80 bucks a night for three people. And the breakfast in the morning was fantastic. Fresh squeezed OJ, sour dough toast, and crunchy hash browns.

The worst… Amsterdam (1999). We got off the train and there were tons of people trying to get us to stay at their place. Being idiots that didn’t plan anything in advance we went with a guy. The room was 15 bunk beds in the attic of a bar. We paid for three nights in advance. No sheets or blankets or anything. Bathroom (which was just a toilet) had a burned out lightbulb. Oh, and it was above a bar that had live bands playing until 4am. It was fucking horrible. All of Amsterdam was a shithole. Anne Frank was lucky that she couldn’t leave her hiding spot.

rockfan's avatar

@johnpowell The Anne Frank comment was really uncalled for. But I guess offensive humor like that is in nowadays

zenvelo's avatar

The best? La Residence Du Cap in Cap d’Antibes. Three staffers for every guest. Wonderful food, huge rooms. When you placed a wake up time, the young man gently woke you with a shake, and had your cafe au lait and breakfast ready.

Worst? The Travelodge in Millbrae California, right next to the train tracks and a quarter mile from the runway at San Francisco Airport. Noisy and uncomfortable.

marinelife's avatar

The best? Hard to decide but I think the Ritz Carleton in Orange County CA with a butler on the floor, free cocktails and hors d’oevres.

The worst? A motel I picked in Galveston that was so much better on the internet than it was in person. As we walked across the parking lot, they were spraying insecticide to kill mosquitoes., the furniture was shabby too.

JLeslie's avatar

I have a few favorites.

I love Turnberry in Aventura, FL. The room is lovely, and I always like to have a room that has a balcony out to the pool.

The Rhiga Royal in NYC. We stayed a couple of times in a suite with a long view of Central Park. Now that hotel is called The London and the prices went way up.

Another hotel I really enjoy is The Residence Inn in Sebring, FL. Sebring is nothing of a town, but that hotel is super clean, the free dinners are pretty good, the staff is excellent. RI puts a focus on making you feel like you live there. When I needed an envelope they just gave me one, when I needed to print something they gave me paper. When I asked for an extra blanket it was fresh out of the dryer (laws for blankets are something like they only have to be washed once every three months, it probably varies by state). The beds are triple sheeted. The suites are well appointed and very comfortable. I have a view of the lake from my balcony or window.

The Pan Pacific in Vancouver. Clean rooms and an incredible view of the water and mountains with sea planes landing and taking off all day long.

A couple bad ones were the Kenilworth Lodge in Sebring, FL. This place would be fabulous if it was renovated, but instead it is full of mold! I was so upset staying here. We checked out early, and even wound up paying for a night there and another hotel (double paid) I was so distraught about staying in that room another night. I seriously thought about sleeping in the car. Another was a hotel in downtown Cancun. I have no idea what the name was, and I barely remember it, it was so many years ago, but I was there with my dad (I was a teenager) and the next morning he checked us out and we moved to The Presidente hotel on the beach, which was fabulous. I think he was hoping to save money, but once we arrived there he decided the savings wasn’t worth it. Probably, he was worried about my safety too.

One thing that really infuences whether I like a hotel is staying in a suite. It’s such a luxury to me. I recently stayed at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal in Orlando and I loved the theme, and it had a lazy river pool, and if I had stayed in a suite I probably would have loved it much more. I would definitely stay there again, although, the one negative about those mega big Orlando hotels is its generally very crowded and you never feel like you have a private spot. When I say suite I mean two separate rooms where you can close a door. If it has a kitchen even better if it is a stay of 3+ days.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

My favorite was the Riad Dar Sbihi in Marrakech, Morocco. It was an oasis tucked away in the center of the city. The owners, a husband and wife, bought it and renovated it to traditional Moroccan standards. An extensive breakfast was served each morning on the rooftop. The wife would stop by our table and ask if we would like to dine in that night. After a day or two of wandering around the city and seeing the sites, it didn’t take long to learn that we were exhausted by the end of the day and preferred to head back to the riad each evening, clean up, and have a late, leisurely dinner on her authentic Moroccan dishes. We both slept like the dead and awoke each morning to the call to prayer from a mosque a couple of doors down.

The worst was a motel off of a Virginia interstate exit. I was too tired to finish the drive to Mom’s. It was in the middle of nowhere…not even a gas station nearby. I didn’t bother bringing the suitcase in, just grabbed the toiletries bag. I slept in my clothes, not because the bedding wasn’t clean, but out of fear that someone would come in through the bathroom window that was only covered by a screen or the door that used a metal key and had no deadbolt or sliding lock. When my siblings asked where I stayed, I told them the Bate’s Motel.

elbanditoroso's avatar


Ramada Express in Sterling Colorado. It was about 500 feet from the driveway to the State Prison there. it could have been a prison itself. Horrible hotel. I wish they had warned me when I made the reservation. Doors didn’t lock well, people banging on the door at 3:00am – just bad news. And dilapidated as hell.

best: Hard to say – there have been many. problably Loews in New Orleans – my room was on the 18th fllor and had a great view of the Mississippi River and the traffic on it.

Pachy's avatar

The best: an elegant old hotel in Hamburg, Germany some years ago (I’ve forgotten its name). The worst: roadside motels.

jca's avatar

Best: Probably the Fairmont in San Francisco. Two room suite, elegant, spacious, incredible lobby. I recommend visitors to SF go to the lobby and have a pot of tea and just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.

I have a good friend that owns a Wyndham Resort time share in the Berkshires (Massachusetts) and the units are like apartments. Two bedroom unit has two baths plus a hot tub, full kitchen with accessories and everything you need is supplied (except food). It’s spacious enough that you could envision yourself staying long term if you had to (and if you could afford it). Resort has everything from a movie theater to tennis to indoor/outdoor pool, etc. plus it’s at the base of a ski resort so in the winter it’s “ski on, ski off.” I’ve been there through power outages at home and it’s a nice home away from home, and only about 2–3 hours from my house.

Worst: Probably a motel in Rhode Island, from the days before internet and online reviews. Faucet handle broke off, floor was insanely dirty, college kids hanging out on a nearby deck, partying.

longgone's avatar

Best: A Hilton somewhere in Korea. I don’t remember much, but that hotel was very luxurious, from a teen’s point of view.

Worst: Rainbow Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. Very loud all night long, very hot, and lots of cockroaches. The doors to the hallway had a cockroach-sized gap at the bottom, so those guys could travel wherever they wanted.

rojo's avatar

The best has been the Perry Mansion I would stay there just for the view but the interior is relaxing and somewhat period and you are within crawling distance of The Porch in Terlingua a great place to relax with a beer, a sunrise and interaction with unusual characters.

The worst was some rathole motel in a tiny Mississippi town that we stopped at early one morning because we couldn’t drive any further. The proprietor looked like he stepped out of the set of Deliverance; you think he could have least put on a t-shirt under his overalls. They only took cash. The rooms were small and dank, not sure what color the paint was, the grime hid most of it. Only the cold water worked in the shower which looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the Nixon years. The bed felt like it was a 2” foam pad over plywood and we couldn’t bring ourselves to get under the covers. We threw our sleeping bags on top and slept in them. I think the only reason there was no bedbugs was because the roaches ate them all. We got about four hours sleep, mostly with one eye open then got up and hit the road again.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Worst: a $3.00-per-nighter on the old waterfront in Seattle about 1971. I remember hearing trains coupling and uncoupling all night long right outside my room. Fleas, bedbugs, alcoholics, peeling paint, filthy communal bathroom at the end of the hall, the smell of piss and stale beer and wine, the whole nine yards. One thing that sticks in my mind was the square foot of black, greasy filth around every door handle in the place. I’ve seen others like it in places like Mexico, Italy, Greece, Martinique… but never as bad as that. I was young, strapped but hungry for travel, and unwilling to shell out good money just for a few hour’s sleep in a place where sleeping on a park bench could get a foreigner an expensive fine or even a day in jail for apparent vagrancy. What the hell, I’ll admit it: I’m a cheap sonuvabitch when I travel alone.

Hôtel Céramic, Paris
This is the height of art nouveau design and architecture in it’s birthplace. I experienced , sincere service, assistance for the lost Barbarian in the City of Light. It’s perfectly placed in the center of the city on a relatively quiet street. Everything is within bicycling distance of this little hotel with fine balcony views of the Sacre Couer a couple of miles to the north and the rooftops of the Tuileries Palace and Louvre less than a mile to the south.
St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco If I were to show a foreign friend the height of luxuriant service and quiet comfort in our most fascinating city with access to the most beautiful coastal areas and forests, this is the place.
Arizona Biltmore, Pheonix Frank Lloyd Wright designed this place with the surrounding desert in mind. The gold leaf-covered lobby ceiling reflects the light emanating from the huge hearths on the mezzanine in order to best simulate the light of a campfire throughout the building. Frank got in a little trouble over that because of cost overruns. I couldn’t believe the service here. A guy opened up a sports clothing boutique at 3am simply because he saw me peering through the window. I had forgotten my workout clothes and was a bit pissed ‘cause I had a grueling seminar over the next few days and needed to workout every morning beforehand to stay sharp for twelve hours at a time. I had no intention of paying the outrageous prices in this store… but since he was so willing to open the place just for me…. I got out the plastic and regretted the puchases later, but I’ll never forget the service in this place.

Pandora's avatar

@Rojo yours made me crack up.
@Espiritus_Corvus You win in gross.

Pachy's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus, you’re so right about the Arizona Biltmore. When I lived in Phoenix I did advertising for them and spent many happy hours there. How ‘bout that gold-leaf ceiling? By the way, Wright had less to do with it than many people think. His designs served as the inspiration, but his students did most of the final design. It’s a gorgeous venue with great restaurants, but I always felt the rooms were pretty ordinary.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Pachy I agree about the rooms, they weren’t shabby by any means, they reminded me of a hotel I’d just left, the Westin in Chicago (another excellent hotel with rooms like all the others),but they weren’t nearly as unique as the hotel itself. And that mezzanine bar where back in the day Liz Taylor and Eva Gardner and others hung out till all hours when they were in town. When I was there, the bartender, a man with enough gray in his hair and the manner to inspire unquestioned credibility, told a great story about a tipsy Sinatra breaking out into song and dancing with an unsuspecting elderly lady one night. She wouldn’t let go of him.

That kid who opened the store for me that night was just a bellhop. I couldn’t believe he got the key form someone at 3 am and let me into the place. I hope he got a commission.

It makes sense that Wright turned a lot of the practical end of his work over to his disciples. He was a pretty busy guy. When the Biltmore was being built, he was occupied with the rebuilding of the his portions of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo that had been destroyed in the big earthquate in the 1920’s, but still found time to come to AZ for on-site supervision (I think I read that in the hotel’s brochure). Regardless, it is an amazingly beautiful place with service on par with the high art of the design.

There’s one more hotel, but I can’t remember the name. It’s a little pensionat, a ma and pa B&B in a four or five story baroque building, actually a little palace, where the upstairs rooms have fourteen foot ceilings and open through casement glass doors to little ornate balconies to a view just above the Spanish Steps as they lead up to the Trinity on the Mount Cathedral in Rome. The food was great Italian home-cooking and lots of it and the mealtimes were firmly fixed, but it was quiet and warm and homey in a very busy section of a very busy city. They would run deals every once in awhile back in the eighties and my wife and I would get out of mid-winter Stockholm for the weekend there. It was very nice.

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Pachy's avatar

In the late ‘80s Sinatra, Lisa and Sammy gave a big concert in Phoenix one year and afterwards went to the Biltmore for drinks. They wound up singing a few songs in the lobby piano bar! I found this out when my date and I arrived for a late dessert and was told we missed the three, all favorites of mine, by less than an hour! I’ve kicked myself ever since.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ve never had a bad one. Some fair but never bad. I almost booked one last year but then I checked the reviews and they were all horribly bad. “I wouldn’t stay here for free ” type.

jca's avatar

@Pachy and @Espiritus_Corvus: I stayed at the Biltmore! About ten years ago – at the time, there was a sign up saying that every US President had stayed there since it was built. Not sure if the past one or two presidents since then stayed there. The grounds were incredible at night, and the area surrounding the property was equally incredible.

Pachy's avatar

@jca, indeed! I lived in a condo just a few blocks away and jogged past it every morning. Nice memories.

Aster's avatar

Worst: a free dump in Las Vegas you got if you went to one of their “presentations” on timeshares. It was HOT in that room, my s/o was 255 pounds then and we “slept” in a double bed. HE slept anyway. What class: no a/c in over 100 degree weather.

OpryLeigh's avatar

My favourite hotel is Benleva in Drumnadrochit, Scotland. It’s not in any way extravagant but it’s cosy, comfortable, has good food and allows dogs. It’s also very close to Loch Ness and reasonably priced.

I’ve never stayed in a really bad hotel but there is something about Travelodges that I find really depressing.

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