Sharing THE Five Worst Motel Experiences - EVER

THIS IS A RUN-DOWN MOTEL

I CANNOT FIND THE ORIGINAL "RAT HOLE" MOTEL ON BRILEY PARKWAY, NASHVILLE, TO RUN IN THIS SPACE, BUT THIS PHOTO FITS THE BILL.
I CANNOT FIND THE ORIGINAL "RAT HOLE" MOTEL ON BRILEY PARKWAY, NASHVILLE, TO RUN IN THIS SPACE, BUT THIS PHOTO FITS THE BILL. | Source

MOTEL DESK CLERKS - -BAD AND GOOD

"YES, WE HAVE A SAUNA FOR OUR GUESTS. ALL FREE," CHIMES THIS PROFESSIONAL DESK CLERK. IT IS PEOPLE LIKE HER WHO MAKE THE MOTEL INDUSTRY THRIVE.
"YES, WE HAVE A SAUNA FOR OUR GUESTS. ALL FREE," CHIMES THIS PROFESSIONAL DESK CLERK. IT IS PEOPLE LIKE HER WHO MAKE THE MOTEL INDUSTRY THRIVE.
"YES, SIR. HOW CAN I HELP YOU?" SAYS THIS YOUNG FRONT DESK CLERK WHO IS BOUND FOR GREATER THINGS WITH HIS WINNING SMILE AND ATTITUDE.
"YES, SIR. HOW CAN I HELP YOU?" SAYS THIS YOUNG FRONT DESK CLERK WHO IS BOUND FOR GREATER THINGS WITH HIS WINNING SMILE AND ATTITUDE.
"YOUR KEY, SIR. HAVE A PLEASANT STAY," SAYS THIS PRETTY AND FRIENDLY FRONT DESK CLERK. THIS IS WHAT AMERICA NEEDS. MORE FRIENDLY FRONT DESK CLERKS.
"YOUR KEY, SIR. HAVE A PLEASANT STAY," SAYS THIS PRETTY AND FRIENDLY FRONT DESK CLERK. THIS IS WHAT AMERICA NEEDS. MORE FRIENDLY FRONT DESK CLERKS.
SEE THE SMILING FRONT DESK CLERK? A SMILE GOES A LONG WAY WITH ANY ROAD-WEARY TRAVELER.
SEE THE SMILING FRONT DESK CLERK? A SMILE GOES A LONG WAY WITH ANY ROAD-WEARY TRAVELER.
THIS ELDERLY DESK CLERK RESEMBLES THE DESK CLERK AT THE COLONIAL INN, BRILEY PARKWAY, NASHVILLE. HE WAS NOT ONLY ANGRY, BUT NATURALLY RUDE.
THIS ELDERLY DESK CLERK RESEMBLES THE DESK CLERK AT THE COLONIAL INN, BRILEY PARKWAY, NASHVILLE. HE WAS NOT ONLY ANGRY, BUT NATURALLY RUDE.

A couple of valuable things I have learned on HubPages in the nine-months I've been here are: A. Hubs do not have to be long to be interesting. Or fun to read. And B. Hubs are like fishing for prize Bass in a big-money tournament. Sometimes you have to wait until the right one comes along. And this is one that I waited on.

Actually there isn't that much of a set-up to this hub. I, like you and your family, have travelled our interstates and back roads on business or family vacations over the years and to be honest, we haven't had a one-hundred percent "perfect" track record of experiences with the various motel chains and the desk clerks who work for them. I never expected to have a totally-good time, every time my family and I hit the open road. I try to live my life with two eyes open. I am proud to be a realist.

From 1977, until 1990, my family (then) consisted of a wife who loved to travel and a daughter who was content to just be anywhere. Together we had our share of yearly family vacations that, in aggravation and unwanted stress terms, would rival that of the Griswald Family of the National Lampoon's "Vacation," films starring Chevy Chase. But we survived. Don't ask why. We just did.

NOTICE: the events, places, and names (then) of the motels mentioned in this hub are real. The desk clerks were real (I think). The towns were real. No names of any motel employee is used that might bring (some) of these rude and non-caring desk clerks' existing relatives any embarrassment.

My "Five Worse Motel Experiences --Ever," saga begins with number five and ends with number one being THE OVERALL, WORST, HORRIFIC, BLUE-RIBBON-LOSING, NIGHTMARE OF A MOTEL EXPERIENCE EVER ENDURED BY A HUMAN BEING.

#5. TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI - 1982. "The Holiday Inn," formerly in business on Gloster Street.

Motel signs can be deceiving. Remember that. One Saturday morning my wife, a trusting soul, said, "Hey, let's spend the night in Tupelo. I want to get out of the house." Would-be famous last words. We packed for an overnight stay. Rode to Tupelo, Mississippi, birthplace of Elvis Presley. The wife led us to Gloster Street where a beautiful-looking motel stood beckoning us to stop and stay the night. Fool like, we did. The room rate was steep, but then again, what wasn't steep in 1982? We carried our minimal amount of luggage to the room. It was now late evening. Near dark. Upon entering our room, the first thought I shared with the family was, "What is this, a nursing home?" The walls were barely covered in tiles from the 50's. The bathroom was mostly-antique fixtures. And the bathtub had a rubber stopper to keep your bathwater from oozing out. The room smelled of ammonia. I thought that was a good thing. Until I spotted human blood on the wall in our closet. I began to rant and rave. My wife, a trusting soul, said for us make the best of it. To be honest, we endured the worst of it. I would have left but a sign on the inside of the door said, "No refunds for rooms." Rooms? Why didn't they be honest and say,"mousetraps?"

#4. ATHENS, ALABAMA - 1984. "The Family Paradise," on main street.

Athens State College in Athens, Alabama, hosts The Mid-South Fiddlers and Bluegrass Convention the first weekend of every October. My wife loved this style of event. And the music. In "this disaster," she begged me to take her dad, mom and little brother with us to this all-American event. I gave in with little resistance. After a day or two of fiddles and banjos, it was time to head home, but it was early Saturday evening and again, my wife, asked if we all could stay overnight in Athens and head for home on Sunday. "Of course," I said in my finest David Niven voice. There it stood. Quaint. Peaceful. Restful. "Motel Hell." After paying (through the nose), we retired to our rooms, or rather "holding cells," for the night. No sooner than my wife, daughter and I had settled in, my daughter said, "Daddy, what is this thing?" holding up a discarded condom she had found near the bed. I didn't bother explaining the facts of life to an eight-year-old girl, so I said, "Hey, the, uhhh, 'Room Fairies,' left their magic vacuum cleaner," I will toss it in the trash. Upon more inspection, both rooms for my wife, daughter and her family must have been used for torture of animals. We found blood and dog hair in one bed. A broken knife underneath the bed. I had to tell the desk clerk. And I did. Tell this "person" over and over. The dazed look on his face should have tipped me off. "Solly, no speakie, Engwish," but funny, when he told us the cost, "One-hundred thirty-five dollars and sixty-cents, and here. Free road map as a courtesy," he said earlier. Mark another nightmare motel off of my list.

#3. CEDAR GROVE, GEORGIA - 1986. "The KOA Campground/Motel Oasis," just off Interstate 85.

When you travel with your family on vacations, if you don't plan ahead, you have two strikes again you when you leave home. My wife, a trusting soul, is, or was, a free spirit in this time frame. She stated he hated schedules. Plans. And for us to, "just go. Ride like the wind and see the country." I obliged like a good husband. It was on a Saturday evening. We were all three exhausted. My wife was asleep in the passenger side of our car. My daughter was "into" her Walkman. Remember those? With no one to stop me, I fell prey to the KOA sign that loomed brightly in the darkness ahead. I was amazed at how cheap the "room" was. Actually, I had been hood-winked. It was a camping space. But we had no tent. Just a few sheets and a quilt in our car for our daughter to sleep under when we traveled. We were all tired. And now concerned. The owner of this place was retired from the United States Air Force. He loved to talk. And drink Schlitz beer. One after the other. He made himself at home, dressed in tee-shirt, jeans and slip-on house shoes, with Schlitz in hand, sitting on the picnic table near our "camp" and talked non-stop for hours about the morals in our country. His love of guns. And how we should be careful of thieves who could just, as he put it, "drive in" to this place. "Don't worry none," he said with speech slurred by many Schlitz, "I'll handle 'em. I got enough guns in that office to hold off an Indian raid party." Man, was I ever relieved. "Oh, another thing," he said when he finally left. "Had to run-off some people way over that way last week for having a nude wife and husband swap party," with that. We all fell asleep. Except me. I never thought that rising before dawn to pack the car to leave was this much fun.

#2. ATLANTA, GEORGIA - 1988. "The Uptown Essex House," formerly in business on Peach Tree Street.

"Rooms here!" " Vacancy." Are words that are more like answers to prayers to vacationing people with little or no funds. I should know. My boss in the newspaper business talked my family and I into going to Atlanta one weekend. Not with him. Gosh, what do you take me for? But with my wife and daughter. We left home in Hamilton, Alabama with $125.00 cash. A change of clothes. And thank God, a coffee pot and coffee that my wife had packed. Said she had a premonition. I respect that. The "Uptown Essex House" was huge. 25-stories tall. People coming and going like mice. Dressed-up salesmen. Dressed-down "business women," and three Alabama rubes. Us. The cost of the room left us with $24.00. To eat dinner and gas-up for going home on Sunday afternoon. Well, a massive thunderstorm hit us that night while in the room. The building swayed back and forth from the gale-like winds. Rain hit the windows like BB's from an air rifle. My daughter was "into" teen romantic shows on television. I was getting hungry. "Sorry," my wife said. "That money is for gas tomorrow." Between the no sleeping for the all-night storm front. Ants we found in the kitchen area of the room. A desk clerk who was rude in telling us that "no one allowed in the snack area after 8:45 p.m." as he spied me at somewhere near 8:30 with a bag of Suntime potato chips, two Baby Ruth candy bars and Twinkie. "Problem," I asked. The jerk just stood huffing like a puff adder. That's a snake found in rural Alabama. Harmless. Just noise. He finally rolled his blood-shot eyes and walked away. The jerk of a desk clerk, not the puff adder. The snacks were fine. The trip home was even better. And no more "Uptown Essex House," in our future.

#1. NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - 1989. "The Colonial Family Inn," now formerly in business on Briley Parkway near Opryland.

The "number one WORST MOTEL EXPERIENCE EVER," goes to this "dump," and I am being generous here, called "The Colonial Family Inn," which looked great on the billboard outside of Opryland heading south. My wife, daughter, her brother and his best buddy, had made a day of it at Opryland. Remember that place? We rode the rides. Ate the popcorn. Now it was time to head home. And this was in late early September. I remember for the water was like ice on the water slide log ride. We pulled up to this "motel," of sorts. A sure-fire tip that a rough time lay ahead was there were no cars but ours in the parking lot. A neon sign flashing, "Hot Coffee," illuminated the motel office. My wife's brother and I went to check-in and check out this place that honestly resembled where leper colonies were kept in Tahiti. An old, rude, gent, obviously the owner, saw us and said, "Help ye?" "We'd like a room, please," we said. "Well, now, uhh, (cough, cough), let me see if I have one. . .hmmm, (cough), yep. One on the lower floor. Will that 'un work?" We nodded yes. FACT: this place only had ONE floor. The ground floor. We paid the charges. "Mind if we check out your restaurant? That fresh coffee sounds great," I remember saying as a way to be friendly. "Hey, you gest wait a minute! You can't go in thar! That place's been shut down since 1961!" he growled--looking intimidating through his Coke bottle glasses. "Why is the sign working? And the tables set for customers?" I asked. "You, uh, (cough, cough) gest' have a good night," he mumbled. Okay. The room. This is what we bought. A room with one bed. Our daughter was to sleep with us. My wife's brother and his buddy were to sleep on the floor. That was the plan. Until . . .we did some checking. The mattress had in black letters, "Property of The Tennessee Penitentiary," the 50's model window-model air conditioner was duct-tapped into the window. The bathroom was a place used for shooting drugs for the bloody syringes in the floor. And outside our only window, the shabby-looking trees were full of men's and women's underwear. And the ground covered in whiskey bottles. I mean. This place was so bad, not even the local prostitutes were visible for a night of pleasure.

Not many years from this time, I surrendered my life to Christ. If Hell is anything like "The Colonial Family Inn," I do not want to go there.

Hit it Roy. "Happy trails to you--until we meet again."




THIS IS ANOTHER RUN-DOWN MOTEL

MEMORABLE OF THE ONES MY FAMILY AND I HAD TO ENDURE IN OUR YOUNGER YEARS.
MEMORABLE OF THE ONES MY FAMILY AND I HAD TO ENDURE IN OUR YOUNGER YEARS.

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Comments 18 comments

missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas

Kenneth - wow! what a memory you have! These places were certainly dumps - scary too! This was an interesting ride down memory lane. The condom, blood and broken knife certainly made these scenarios freaky - to say the least. And a swaying building? yikes! By the way, that first hotel picture is certainly a dump!

Thanks for sharing, but sorry to hear you had to endured this :)


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

Geez! Dunno bout you now Kenny! You'd think after the guns and the snakes and such - you'da learned to stay home! I know i would have! LOL Hilarious (after the fact)


jenubouka 4 years ago

Oh man, you have seen and lived the worst hotels on earth. Or at least in your town vicinity. I would of slept in the car after screaming for a refund. As always you gave me a funny bone laugh. Only you could illustrate the best out of a situation or least know how to make me laugh.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

I have a feeling Norman Bates ran these establishments!


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

I've had some bad hotel experiences too, but I think these win the prize! Great Hub!


hoteltravel profile image

hoteltravel 4 years ago from Thailand

Kenneth, you manage to find humor in the scariest of experiences. This hub made a good read, but for you and your family, it must have been worse than hell. In this internet age, things have changed for the better if you are savvy enough. You can book rooms in advance and see how they look like and their facilities before parting with your hard-earned money. Voted up and funny.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Kenneth, this is just gross to hear of these rundown, scary places. It makes you wonder how some people live. YIKES!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

missolive . . .thank you so much for the comment. And to everyone on this comment block, these are just the WORST experiences to mind. I would have complained, but my wife is a true, blue pacifist and I respect that. But hey, a bed of ants and well, you can imagine...is not what I call a bed for sleeping.

That's why now, WE DO NOT travel. Except to one place every summer. That is to Joe Wheeler State Park above Florence, Alabama...low rates, clean AND BLOOD-FREE rooms. No syringes, knives or human skulls. Wheww. What a relief.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, and thanks a lot, ImKarn, for the truthful comment. Hey, "I" WOULD have been jumping for joy to stay home, but, you know, I was outnumbered. Nuff said about that. So I started carrying a do-it-yourself gas mask and liquid antiseptic for all trips. Better safe than infected.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear jenu,

thank you for stopping by and hopefully getting some advice from this hub. Oh yeah..another Holiday Inn in Mississippi, wont mention the town, we stayed a Memorial Day weekend there...changed rooms when we arrived. Looked in our room that we had reserved...fireants all over the bed and bathroom...desk clerk wouldn't take my word...had to walk to my room and see them for herself. I made HER personally inspect my other room...before I set foot inside. So what if my wife was mad for me doing that....it was MY $$$$$$$$$$$. Lol.

Good times. Bad rooms.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, breakfastpop . . .how did you know? In fact, I saw Norman Bates at the front desk of another hotel that had some "RED ROOF" in Georgia...he was complaining about his room being TOO clean and no blood stains on the sheets. That old lady with him gave me the creeps.

Kenneth.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

DEAR catgypsy, "Thank you, Sincerely, for your sweet comment. I guess that sometimes it's best to laugh....if you can than to cry over a non-refundable room that someone has used to sacrifice a virgin."

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, hoteltravel . . .thank God for the net. And I use it frequently to book our week stay at Joe Wheeler State Park near Rogersville, Alabama...they run a tight ship there, but the breakfast buffet is to die for...talk about good food and great "java," and at a price you can afford, it's Joe Wheeler State Park . . .this was a shameless plug.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

You are so right, Minnetonka Twin. Do not get me started on what I did see behind some of the managers of these dumps front desks. It would turn your stomach. Just saying...BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU TRAVEL. AND WHEN A ROOM IS TOO AFFORDABLE TO BE TRUE...THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG.

Kenneth


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Kenneth,

You sure have had some bad motel experiences. I have never had a bad motel experience,at least not with the condition of the rooms or service.

I do remember staying in a motel with my dad and sister when we moved to Toronto in 76. My brother and mom took the plane and my sister and I drove with my dad.

Dad, Joan and I shared a motel room. My dad's snoring kept me up all night. As soon as it was light, I went and slept in the car. He never knew. He asked where I was and I just said that I went out for some fresh air. lol

Voted up up and away!

Have a wonderful day :)


pseudo-scripto14 profile image

pseudo-scripto14 4 years ago from Philippines

I felt so relieved that I never experienced that! But what is amusing, is that you would able to put comic relief despite such odd scenarios to think that you're with your family! You really are a great hubber and wish I could emulate such "unique" style of writing! A photographic mind of yours despite your age should be envied by everyone here. The clarity and precision in describing a place is flabbergasting! Thumbs up and looking forward for myriad stories and aricles!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dearest Susan,

Thank YOU sincerely, for your comment. And you should be glad that you never went through "Hades Hotels and Motels," because it can be depressing. And "These" memories, I cannot forget. Guess it wasn't to be, eh? Thanks so much for the comment and much-valued votes. You have a great day, Susan. Come again soon.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Greetings, pseudo and THANK YOU KINDLY, for your humble words that I truly appreciate. Believe me, bad memories are great inspiration sometimes when you are looking for hub topics. And as for you wanting to emulate my style . . .thanks, but be content with your own style . . . I think YOU are a TERRIFIC hubber along with everyone on this comment section. I do value what you say, but I prefer to Give God the thanks. After all, HE allows me to live. That is a huge reason I want to give credit to the right entity.

Have a wonderful day, my good friend.

Kenneth

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