This blog post was updated on November 22, 2021.
Lost and driving in circles, I searched for my hotel in Portugal.
I finally stumbled upon a nothing town. Behind two giant doors and encasing walls, a compound of a hotel lurked.
The owner looked more like a Mafia Don than a hotel manager, complete with visible chest hair and gold chains.
Keeping the rest of the world out, I felt trapped, as I was seemingly the only guest.
When I learned he would be heading to New York and Miami, I began to wonder if I really was staying on Portuguese mafia grounds.
Booking a hotel can be a difficult process. Pictures usually do not do a hotel justice, but in the reverse manner. From Psycho looking establishments to surly service, we have all been there with bad hotels, kicking ourselves we booked such accommodations. Here are just a few signs you may have booked the wrong hotel and need to check out.
No one is at the front desk: This summer, I showed up to a hotel in a little town in Sweden, only to find no one to meet me. When I called the hotel’s number, some woman said they were closed but a “man” would come and open up my room. If the hotel is deserted and even lacking staff, that is probably not the best sign. Run for the hills or it might be a hotel you will never check out of.
There are stains on the bedding: Usually hotel chains are pretty standard. You know what you are going to get, but I have checked into rooms and suddenly noticed visible stains on the bedding. Being that I don’t want to stick around to catch a disease or a bed bug, those rooms with questionable bedding are a common hotel deal breaker.
The reception desk doesn’t greet you: I walked up to a hotel desk in Copenhagen, said hello and got no response from the man standing behind the wooden partition. If your job is to receive people and you can’t even muster a hello, it is time to seek a new career path. Hotels that are surly right from the start clearly don’t know a thing or two about hospitality.
The maid barges in unannounced: For my birthday I splurged on a nice hotel in southern Italy. As I got ready for my birthday dinner, I heard a knock on the door. Before I could put the curling iron down, the maid was in my room, looking around. I’m not sure what she wanted although I suspect it was either to steal or to snoop. Perhaps it is a cultural thing, but I have stayed in numerous hotels where the maid never knocks. She just barges right in.
The hotel used to be a hospital: No offense to anyone that loves hospitals, but they shouldn’t be converted into hotels. In Portugal, I stayed in what seemed to be an old hotel, but in reality, it was an old hospital. It had been converted to look like a hotel/hospital with monstrous doors and long, narrow passageways that weaved in and out. I kept waiting for the nurse to come by and give me my medication. There is something eerie about staying in an old hospital. If you are using a hotel to sleep, the spooky surroundings tend to defeat the purpose.
What are some of your hotel deal breakers?
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