Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Tale of Two Hotels

Ella and I left the house at 4:15 this morning for a 6:00 flight to Denver. From there we headed down to Colorado Springs for US Climbing Nationals.

I had booked pretty much the whole trip using points we’d racked up on our credit card while renovating the old house, so I was feeling pretty smug. Until I saw the hotel I’d booked us into.

When faced with the options available, I thought I chose wisely – something in the middle price range that had free breakfast, a nationally known chain that might rhyme with ShmoJos.

I got completely turned around and lost coming into Colorado Springs, and as a result I drove past the hotel before I could turn in. As we went past, I thought “Please don’t let that be our hotel. Please.” I looped back around so I could make the turn through the alley that lead to the parking lot and realized the hotel was even grimmer than I’d first thought.

The hotel office had a window with a slidey drawer type thing and a speaker box, I guess for after-hour check-ins. The area where the “free breakfast” was served looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in a while, and the only coffee was instant. But I soldiered on, and checked in, begging for a non-smoking room.

As we lugged our suitcases upstairs, we found the employee smoking area – two torn and disgusting sofas wedged under the stairs, surrounded by cigarette butts. When I opened the door to the room, the smell of stale cigarette smoke, air fresher and mold almost knocked me backward.

It just got worse from there. I told Ella she was absolutely, positively not allowed to be barefoot in the room, and I stripped the bedspreads off, holding them by the very edges. The sheets didn’t look much better.

Thanks to raging insomnia, I have been awake since yesterday morning (so if this post makes no sense, that’s why), and I desperately wanted to lie down for a bit. I set Ella to reading, and I climbed into bed fully dressed. Instead of sleeping I listened to the ice maker that was located just on the other side of the wall from my head and a couple having a loud disagreement over who lost the keys.

We lasted for about an hour and then fled the room. After a lovely drive up to Pikes Peak, we headed back, filled with dread. I ran in to grab my computer, and realized I just couldn’t spend four days with that smell. I had already started wheezing, and I knew a migraine wasn’t far behind.

Since the hotel had no Wifi, Ella and I hung out at a Shmarbucks and watched it snow and searched for different hotels online. I finally settled on one that was reasonably priced and had good reviews.

We went back to the hotel, grabbed our suitcases, which we hadn’t even opened, and loaded up the car. I went into the lobby to check out, and when the clerk asked why, I told her I couldn’t stand the smell of the room. She offered me a different room, and all I could do was shake my head and mutter something along the lines of “Worst.hotel.ever.”

To confirm that I’d made the right decision, as we drove out, we saw a man peeing against the side wall of the hotel.

When we checked into the new hotel, I mentioned to the clerk that it was our second attempt at finding a place to stay. I told him where we had been, and his immediate response was “Good god, no! That place is the worst in town.”

Now we’re at a nice little La Quinta that isn’t new or fancy by any stretch, but it has brand new paint and carpet and the sheets don’t look like they carry contagious diseases. And we have Wifi.

I think we’ll stay here.


Unknown said...

Oy! Good call to move on!

Abben said...

I have read your blog and i must appreciate you for sharing a nice experience.I am also thinking to write my experience.

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Becky said...

I hope you put this on Trip Advisor so other innocent cute folks, such as yourself, don't make the same mistake. GROSS!

Ann in NJ said...

Good call. We've stayed at a few horror stories, but none as bad as that! And it's always been desperation, "last rooms in town" situations.

It's SO hard to tell from online listings some times. You would think you could trust a brand name, but no.

Susan said...

Oh the perils of the internet! Glad you got out of there - yuck.