An almost-empty can of Hot Shot Bed Bug Fogger: the first thing I noticed when walking into my hotel room. The next were the two large peach pits (I prefer to think they weren’t roach carcasses) that didn’t quite make it into housekeeping’s dust bin. The box of Kleenex devoid of tissues was the next sighting, and I can’t remember if it was the gurgling water sounds emanating from the toilet I heard first, or the rattling, oversized air conditioner protruding from underneath the window. Normally I would have marched down to the front desk, mentioned my appalled state, and demanded another room, but in this glorified motel, it would have required walking outside through dark, suspicious corridors. For the first time in years, I slept with the light–and my socks–on.
How could someone so hotel savvy have picked such a dump to spend the night in you might ask? Well, I had no other choice. I was visiting a charming small city with a dearth of accommodations in the heart of town, where I needed to be. This Bates-like motel, a local favorite (really?), couldn’t have been more perfectly located.
As I checked out, forking over $140 for the night, I got angry. Yes, the bed was surprisingly swathed in soft linens, and yes, there was ample counter space in the bathroom for my Ziploc bags of toiletries, yet in a room where the carpet looked like it hadn’t been touched since 1977 and the TV was an old, clunky contraption, these felt more like serendipitous anomalies than the norm.
This property (which I learned, thankfully, is soon undergoing a tremendous luxury renovation) may get away with such slovenly behavior because of its choice locale. What a shame they choose not to maximize this asset by paying attention to details that matter. Let’s hope when they become a shiny new hotel, their approach to hospitality gets a serious upgrade to boot.