My Worst Hotel Rooms

Travel Blog  •  Alexander Basek  •  05.11.09 | 10:59 AM ET

Photo by Pear Biter via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Lists are in the air lately, so I decided to get in on the action. Herewith, my four worst hotel rooms, lifetime. I won’t name names, because I’m a gentleman. And also, because the parties in question might hunt me down and throw tiny bottles of shampoo at me.

Singapore: I was at the edge of Singapore’s Chinatown, which, as it turns out, is also the edge of Singapore’s red light district. Not that I caught on—I thought all the scantily-clad women peering out from cracked front doors were zealous about saving the environment and keeping that AC indoors. My hotel room here was easily the darkest I’ve ever stayed in: a deep red and purple color scheme lit by one dirty window overlooking an airshaft. The only outlet was in the middle of the wall above the bed. 

Amsterdam: After much researching, I found a boutique hotel on the Prinsengracht in a townhouse overlooking a canal. Beautiful from the outside, but tiny. And ugly. I really could touch both sides of the room at the same time if I extended my arms.

Miami: At a wannabe hipster hotel on Collins, I got upgraded to the Penthouse Suite. Huzzah, right? Not so much. Everything I touched broke. The whole room looked fantastic, but was made of particleboard—the IKEA school of hotel decor. Sure, it felt like I had super-strength for awhile, but then I busted the stereo by turning it on, and the closet just by opening it. Not fun.

Connecticut: This one is not really the hotel’s fault. After a massive meal and lots of red wine, I collapsed into bed, only to be woken by my girlfriend around 1:00 a.m. “Alex,” she whispered, “I don’t know how to tell you this…but there is a giant rat on our nightstand.” Half-asleep, I believed her. I slowly crept out of the bed to the light-switch, turned it on and whipped around. Nothing. My girlfriend, meanwhile darted across the room and hid behind a desk chair, shouting directions. “Check under the bed! Look in the bathroom!” After ten minutes of searching, I suggested that maybe, just maybe, it had all been in our heads.

Still, I’ll take invisible rats over a dark room with no outlets any day of the week. 


Alexander Basek is a food and travel writer based in New York City. He is the Best Deals reporter for Travel + Leisure. His writing has also appeared in the New York Post, Time Out New York, and Fodor's.


3 Comments for My Worst Hotel Rooms

Grizzly Bear Mom 05.12.09 | 8:43 AM ET

In Brownsville Texas my friend and I found a room at 11:00 PM.  I was so dirty I just wanted to take a shower.  Alas, the room was dirtier still!  I was afraid to walk around barefoot, or bring my luggage in.  Somehow I could only get the shower to hit me in the head.  It was plenty big enough though, and had no rats, imaginary or otherwise.  If I had known I couldn’t get a decent shower, I would have slept in the car.

Christian Haugen 05.13.09 | 3:26 AM ET

Worst hotel I’ve stayed in so far was Hare Rama in Pahar Ganj, New Delhi. It had a hole in the ceiling, mouldy carpets and a toilet that was beyond redemption. We moved as fast as possible..

chile vacations 05.13.09 | 10:38 AM ET

Worst hotels that I have come across was in Russia..

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