The service industry is always the toughest to be in. Because even if you overlook the teeniest, most minute detail, it can send the wronged customer into a frenzy—and subsequently destroy your reputation.
Aside from the finance field, where you entrust your worldly wealth to an Account Manager, perhaps the most difficult among the service industries is the hotel business. As a customer, you demand only the best. Sure, you can’t really expect that if you’ve booked at a budget hotel at dirt cheap prices. But entitled people that we are, value for money isn’t top of mind—it’s getting the best treatment and service no matter what price we pay. And when customers are unhappy with their stay, there’ll be hell to pay. The hotel’s reputation can be all but tarnished with the bad reviews the customers give them, whether it’s in online travel websites or by word of mouth. Here’s a list of hotels that received some of the worst reviews from the most unsatisfied (and vocal) of customers.
Whiteleaf Hotel (London, England)
Being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the price of a three-star hotel in London can be the equivalent of a five-star hotel room in a developing country. With the Whiteleaf Hotel, which is described as a superior tourist-class hotel located in central London and near many of the city’s trendy restaurants and shopping centers, you’re merely paying for the location. In terms of sanitation, it was apparently known to be one of the filthiest hotels in the world. One hotel guest complained of red lumps on his skin which he claimed he got from the sheets of the bed in the hotel room. Upon further inspection, he found a maggot on the bed! Apart from that, hotel staff were known to be rude and unhelpful.
The Double Tree Club (Houston, Texas)
The name sounds sketchy enough, but the experience of staying at the Double Tree Club in Houston left such a sour taste in the mouths of two guests, that they went so far as to make a power point presentation of how awful their stay was at the hotel.
In the presentation, which spread around the Internet like wildfire, the two guests bashed the hotel’s customer service representative they dealt with when they made early reservations. There was a mix up and the guests were refused rooms, hence the massive complaint. But they have since laid the issue to rest, eventually taking pity on the hotel employee.
Plaza Hotel and Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Nope, it’s nothing like its namesake in New York. Though Plaza Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas is fairly affordable with rooms that are well-designed and have good air conditioning systems, many of its customers complained that these lovely-looking rooms were not so lovely-smelling. One said that her room smelled like a mixture of sour milk and foot odor. Aside from the bad smell, the rooms didn’t afford the guests any privacy. Apparently, the walls were so thin that guests could clearly hear any noise from the guests in the rooms beside them.
Hotel Carter (New York City)
It was sadly included in TripAdvisor.com’s list of dirtiest hotels in the US. Hotel Carter in New York City would apparently fail any sanitation police’s inspection. Apart from the stench that permeated through the building, it also had faulty plumbing and utilities. And there’s no worse turn off in a hotel than a dirty room. There were customer complaints of overflowing trash cans and used shampoo and soap in the tub, indicating that the hotel staff didn’t even bother to clean the room thoroughly before the next guest checked-in. And speaking of hotel staff, they were said to be disrespectful too.
Grand Hotel (Berlin, Germany)
For all its grandiosity, as its name aptly refers to it, Grand Hotel in Berlin was, according to guests, not only exorbitantly priced, but had some of the snobbiest clientele that one could ever encounter. So it seemed to be a lose-lose situation for those guests who’d been on the receiving end of the snobbery of their fellow guests. They shelled out good money to stay in luxury, but got treated badly. Not a great combination as far as hotels go.
Goldkist Beach Resort (Singapore)
If there was such a thing as an eye sore, the Goldkist Beach Resort in Singapore could apparently ruin your eyesight. In a nation that’s known for its impeccable cleanliness, this hotel stuck out pathetically. The beach the hotel overlooks had many homeless people sleeping and loitering around amidst garbage bins filled with maggots. Then there was the interior of the hotel: zero amenities, no free breakfast, and the hotel apparently reeked!
Days Inn (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
You’d think that Days Inn is a reputable enough budget hotel franchise to give their clients decent enough amenities. But surprisingly, Days Inn in Lancaster, Pennsylvania was sorely lacking in the facilities department. Guests complained that the hotel lobby had no air conditioning and though the rooms did have it, the temperature couldn’t even be controlled. Other complaints were broken door locks and grime on the edges of the floors.
Desert Inn Resort (Daytona Beach, Florida)
Just like the Days Inn franchise, the Holiday Inn franchise (of which Desert Inn is a part of) has a reputation to uphold in the three and four star hotel category. But some of the Desert Inn Resort’s guests posted complaints on the Internet, such as electrical outlets in the room that weren’t functioning, overly filthy carpets, no hot water, and no air conditioning. And the worst complaint to hear in the service industry is that the staff were unfriendly and not very helpful.
Raj Residency Chennai (Chennai, India)
The description of Raj Residency Chennai looks decent enough. It states “a comfortable hotel, ideally located in the heart of Chennai…” But it gets suspicious with another part of the description saying that you have the option to choose whether you want an air conditioned or non-air conditioned room. Apparently, that’s the least of a guest’s concerns. There were complaints of badly maintained furniture that looked to have been gnawed on by insects, bugs on the walls, dirty bed linens, and to top it all off, rude hotel staff.
Park Hotel (London, England)
The Park Hotel in London sounds like a decent enough hotel, if you’re going solely by its name. It sounds almost posh even. But several guests who stayed there complained of insects (possibly bed bugs!) crawling around the sheets on their beds. Perhaps the less pressing (though no less disgusting) observations in the hotel’s rooms were no hot water in the shower, dirty carpets, and toe nail clippings lying around the room.
Balmoral House (Brisbane, Australia)
With its main selling point as being conveniently located (convenient meaning just a few meters away from Brisbane’s largest hospital), it’s no wonder that a guest might falter in his decision to stay at the Balmoral House. It means that it doesn’t offer anything else worth mentioning, apart from proximity. Sure enough, a hotel guest complained that the sink in his bathroom was clogged and literally filled with vomit and it wouldn’t go down!
Quest Inn Motel (Springfield, Illinois)
Perhaps most known for landmarks of the late president Abraham Lincoln, Springfield has its own tourist traps with regard to the president’s brief stay there. One of the hotels that boasts of being in close proximity to said tourist spots is Quest Inn Motel. Unfortunately, the hotel wasn’t up to standards in terms of—well, basic cleanliness. A guest complained that his room’s previous guest had obviously been smoking marijuana, as evident in the stench and the stems found between the sheets of the bed. And just as bad, said guest also found a used tampon in the bureau drawer.
Hotel Y Cabanas Del Lago (Puerto Varas, Chile)
Old hotels have their charm, but the downside sometimes of old world charm is that certain areas and facilities are in dire need of updating. For the Hotel Y Cabanas Del Lago in Puerto Vargas, guests stated that the old wing was merely nice to look at, but actually quite dangerous to be in because its creaking walls and floors were falling apart. Good thing the hotel has a modern wing, though it defeats the purpose of experiencing remnants of the past.
Club Aqua (Gumbet, Turkey)
It’s a pity that Club Aqua in Gumbet, Turkey is named after the water. Because according to some guests, the hotel’s pool was not even worth dipping their toes into. They claimed the pool smelled of and filled up with sewage after every rainfall. And to make matters worse, even the staff apparently looked as filthy as the water! No guest would feel safe if the people handling their food and cleaning their rooms looked like they couldn’t even clean themselves!
Apartmentos Catalonia Gardens (Salou, Spain)
Catalonia is one of Spain’s major tourist destinations and for guests looking to stay for a week or more, it’s more practical to just rent out a service apartment for the duration of their stay. Too bad Apartmentos Catalonia Gardens was a big disappointment to some of its clients. Guests complained that there was an endless stream of drunken guests in the hotel lobby and room hallways, as well as service that was practically nil. And to make matters worse, they felt that the hotel was falling apart, with unstable balconies and stairwells that looked like they could crumble.