ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why I Will Never be a Travel Writer

Updated on May 20, 2013
Venable Hotel, Portland, Oregon
Venable Hotel, Portland, Oregon
Hotel room in Wisdom, Montana
Hotel room in Wisdom, Montana
Blenheim Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Blenheim Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Newark International Airport, Newark, New Jersey
Newark International Airport, Newark, New Jersey
Miller Hotel, Wausau, Wisconsin
Miller Hotel, Wausau, Wisconsin
Hotel room in Langdon, North Dakota
Hotel room in Langdon, North Dakota
Arcade Hotel, Springfield, Ohio
Arcade Hotel, Springfield, Ohio
Marlborough Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Marlborough Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge, New York City
Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge, New York City

I will never be a travel writer who rates hotels for a living. Though I have a critical eye, I rarely complain to the front desk no matter how bad a hotel room is because to me a hotel room is a place to sleep, not live. I don’t expect “ambiance” or “atmosphere”—I expect a good night’s sleep. As long as the bed doesn't sag, the water is somewhat hot, and the A/C or heater does what it's supposed to do, I am satisfied.

However, if I ever did rate hotels for a living, I’d start with the one I stayed at during a writer’s conference in an East Coast city several years ago …

I’m staying in an exceptionally sour suite at the Wall of Dis Hotel, which is sandwiched between scenic views of the river Styx and Phlegethon, the world-famous River of Boiling Blood, here in beautiful Sixth Circle, Hell.

Someone or something punched this room. Hard. Bruised and discolored jaundice yellow walls close in on me. Sticky and slimy carpet snatches at my shoes. Unidentified goo the consistency of hair gel and the color of minced asparagus clogs the drain in the sink. When I wash my hands, the water remains. I'm sure George Washington's wig hair is clogging the trap underneath the sink.

Goya’s Saturn Devouring One of His Sons is the only artwork, and it peers down at me from above the bed. It reminds me that I haven’t eaten. I will not be eating in this room.

I open the closet, its doors complaining in several languages, and it smells as if Fidel Castro has been smoking cigars inside it for fifty years. A two-dollar iron rests on a mildewed ironing board, and a clothes bar hangs off its moorings. It takes a degree in physics I don’t have to hang my suit on the bar. My suit falls to the floor. I hang it on the shower rod in the bathroom. It will later block water for my shower because there is no shower curtain—a blessing in disguise, I’m sure. Whomever was here before me most likely used the shower curtain to wrap up a body.

The tea bags on the sink were new during the 1976 American Bicentennial, and the complementary sugar in one unmarked, slightly opened brown packet has hardened to the consistency of concrete. The Colombian coffee’s potency most likely wore off during the Nixon administration. A spotted coffeemaker has rust on the heating element. It begs me to turn it on. I don't want to start a fire here. Yet.

Tile grout a bile-green color brightens up the otherwise dark gray mausoleum of a bathroom. The safe under the sink has no key and is large enough to hold half a debit card. This safe does not make me feel safe.

Closed captioning rolls across the bottom of the television and blocks much of the screen. The television doesn’t swivel, making it impossible to view from anywhere but the foot of the bed. Thousands of tiny fingerprints smelling of peanut butter and jelly dot the television screen. The remote control won't let me surf channels, returning me again and again to the pay-per-view channels at $9.99 per half hour. It also won’t allow me to mute the sound.

The clock radio has no visible words on or near any of the buttons, and there are no instructions, Braille or otherwise. It flashes incessantly no matter how many buttons I push. I pull the plug. It continues to flash. I try to remove the batteries. The battery compartment is screwed shut. I slide it under the bed--and find the shower curtain, now a moldy science experiment and bedbug collector.

The visitors guide is moth-eaten and tells me how wonderful Sixth Circle, Hell, was--in 1989. The phone book is missing most of its restaurant and bail bondsman pages. The Gideon Bible in the desk drawer looks pristine and undisturbed.

A crime scene investigator could probably spend twenty-four hours in this room, solve a dozen crimes, and find Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart under the soap scum and mounds of matted dog and human hair in the bathtub. This is a hotel room that got into a fight with someone and lost. Even Virgil wouldn’t bring Dante here. Though the bedding is clean, the towels are plentiful, and the pillows are firm (shock and awe), I have to give this room -2 stars out of 5 …

If I were a travel writer, I would probably go insane, and if I really did my job, no hotel in America would ever want me to come back.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)