Sunday, January 4, 2015

Remember The Rent House From Hell?

By Leann

I never thought anything could beat the Rent House from Hell where we lived for two years while our house was being built. But our stay at a certain Econolodge in Atlanta came pretty darn close. All I can say is, thank goodness it was only for one night.

I have to start this little story by stating my husband is always looking for the "best deal," while I will forgo the "deal" for comfort most of the time. I've never stayed at the Ritz. I like a bargain as much as the next person and I have never been extravagant. I'm just talking about a nice, clean motel room like, say, the kind the Hampton Inns offer. But the guy I live with always complains about the price (mostly because he is stuck in the 70s and never really prices things like motel rooms) and is always complaining when I book the room.

This time, I decided to do it his way. We had to drive to Atlanta (3 hours), spend the night and park the car at this motel. There are plenty of options like that in Atlanta since people come from small towns to travel. I chose the cheapest one. The total price for 9 days of parking and an overnight stay was $85 (tax included!).

Here' what we got for that money: no phone in the room, we had to pay a deposit for ONE key, no glasses or cups, a 19" old TV without a working remote, a filthy bedspread, a heating system that had two temps--hotter than all get out or freezing--a sink that took 15 minutes to drain and a room that had been painted orange and burgundy in the 60s. The bedspread was discarded as far from us as possible but there was no blanket on the bed or in the room, so we both slept in our clothes on top of the sheets.

I won't even go into the "rules" that were posted in the motel office. When they are
charging a full night's price for four hours or less and have to post it ... well, you understand who stays in motels for that amount of time. YUCK.

Our only saving grace was the shuttle driver. He didn't run every 30 minutes as advertised on the website, but he came right away when I called. He was friendly and kind. I was lucky enough to get his personal cell number to call him when we returned and that helped out a lady who had been waiting for an hour at the airport for the same shuttle we needed. She was trying
to talk to the man at the front desk and was getting nowhere. She was grateful. When we both wondered if our cars would still be there when we arrived to pick them up, the shuttle driver assured us they would. See, that guy was also the night shift security guard. THANK GOODNESS! I like happy endings. Our car was fine and started right up. We couldn't get out of there fast enough! And I do believe there will be no complaints the next time I book a motel room.

24 comments:

mary kennedy said...

Hi Leann, it sounds awful!! A nightmarish experience. (But maybe you can use it in a book someday?) Glad you survived!

Booklady said...

I thought the hotel I booked for Santa Barbara Avon Walk for Breast Cancer was bad. I was trying to raise more money for the charity and less for expenses. So I went with the bargain deal. It was about 10 miles from the event hotel. Had no tub - just a shower - a tub is what you need after you have walked 40 miles. We were there two days before we found the elevator - and yes our room was on the second floor. I thought my husband was going to have to get a rope and haul me up the stairs. At least the room was clean. This past year when we did the New York Avon Walk, I splurged and stayed at the event hotel. It was nice, but they charged us for breathing. It seams there ought to be a compromise. Still both experiences don't compare with what you described. I just hope that this year for the San Francisco Walk, I get something in between the hotel in Santa Barbara and the one in New York.

Anonymous said...

The good thing is the car survived! Plus, you will be able to laugh about this...eventually...after the shock wears off!

Annette N said...

I had to travel for a job with a federal agency. What you describe can be found all over the country.....isn't that sad? One of the worst for me, a place that only had one light bulb, dirty everything and a door which did not lock. (did not stay there) Or maybe the one where drug deals went down in the halls all night long. (only one night there) Leann, I am glad you were safe and that you found someone who was a caring person to help ease you through a difficult situation.

Karoline Barrett said...

I had to laugh because I think I'm married to the same guy! My husband is stuck in the 70s about pricing, too (and clothing, but we won't go there). If we are gone for one night only, I told him I will go no lower than a Red Roof Inn (and some of those are iffy). More than one night, has to be Hampton Inn or Marriott Suites, or the like!!

Carol B said...

That sounds really awful, Leann. I suspect you are correct that there will be no complaints about your room booking ever again!
lovesdogsandbooks (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mia said...

This reminds me of my 'honeymoon'...nearly a year after we got married and I was 4 months pregnant. We went to San Francisco and stayed a couple nights there, then moved over to Oakland to be closer to their baseball stadium. Hub booked an ok hotel in Frisco but a motel 3 (actually a Motel 6 but Tom Bodette not only turned the lights off, he didn't pay the power bill or the exterminator for this one) in Oakland. The room was beyond filthy. The sheets had stains I didn't even want to think about what they were. I called and demanded new ones. The new ones were worse--even had burn holes in them. I refused to use the bed at all. Sometime in the middle of the night the hooker using the room beside us was getting the crap beaten out of her and when I called the front desk they said not to worry, they'd be gone in a few minutes. I asked if they were going to call the police and the guy says "what for?" Had I not been suffering from pregnant brain I would have insisted we leave. I'd rather sleep in the car at the airport than there. But one thing is for sure, not once in the 22 years since then has my husband even blinked when I have booked rooms at the Marriott or someplace with a three digit/per night price tag. He knows better because he doesn't want me to remind him of THAT night...lol

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Mary. Memorable and not enjoyable, but it served a purpose. We'll go my route when we travel from now on! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

I hope you do, too!! You get what I'm talking about!! You know, I never even LOOKED at the tub in that bathroom. I wouldn't have used it and didn't want another bad surprise!

Leann Sweeney said...

Yes, we are laughing already. And our car is just fine. (There were a LOT of cars in that parking lot!!) Others shared in our not-so-wonderful experience it would seem. :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Annette. Maybe we stayed in the same place! (We only had 2 working light bulbs!!)

Leann Sweeney said...

Yup, but when even HE can be shocked at the place, and he was, then I think he learned something!! He now has a new appreciation for the Hampton Inn. And yes, he's stuck in the 70s as far as what he wears. Nerdy engineers are like that! LOL.

Leann Sweeney said...

Oh yes Carol. When even the cheapskate complains, point made! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Oh my goodness, Mia! How horrible! I am hoping this experience has taught 'someone' a lesson. (You had a phone, which was useless, but the lack of a phone is what really freaked my husband out. Go figure.) :-)

Mary Holshouser said...

My husband always looked for cheap - but he would turn up his nose if it was too bad (thank heavens). Sounds like you had an interesting experience. But one you won't want to repeat. take care

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Mary. Interesting is a good choice. But as a writer, it's all grist for the mill. :-)

Dawn Frazier said...

Leann! Lol! Wow that sounds terrible! I'm glad your car was safe though. I'm glad my husband is as picky as me. Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express work. Lol!

Leann Sweeney said...

It was a crazy night and one we will talk about for years! I love both the chains you mentioned and I get a little goodie bag at Holiday Inn. What a difference a few dollars makes!

Lynda Turpin said...

I totally understand this. Twice I have experienced hotel/motel's from Hell. Once, a co-worker and I had been working in our LA office for a week. We decided to move our fight home back a day and go to Disneyland. We rented a cheap room near the airport, since we would just stay there one short night. When we got to the room, it was so dirty and musty (and the carpet cleaner was so strong, probably used to mask smells) that there was no way I could stay there more than a few minutes. So I bit the bullet and brought my luggage in long enough to change clothes. Then we went to Disneyland and slept the rest of the night at the airport. Well...she slept and I sat there.

The other time was on a trip home from Las Vegas. My niece and I were both so tired that it would not have been safe to go further. If you know the route north from Vegas, you know that towns can be very far between. However, when we got to Baker, there were no vacancies. We finally saw the "Astro Motel" and got the last room. The door had been broken in at one time and now had a flimsy slide lock, the fire alarm was hanging from the ceiling, the headboards were a slab nailed to the wall, no night stand - phone sitting on the floor (don't know if it worked), paint peeling off the walls, a GIANT dead cockroach in the tub (we named him Astro), the toilet backed up on the first use, linens so stained we stripped them off but were horrified by the mattresses so we put the sheets back on, the floor was so dirty I wouldn't take my shoes off, etc..... We were so tired that we brought blankets and pillows we had in the car and put them on the beds (because we both have back problems, we couldn't sleep in the car). We didn't want to leave our purses in the car, but were afraid we would take home cockroaches. We thought about putting them in the microwave, but it was so dirty it made me ill to look in it, so we hung them in the "closet" (a rod in a small recess). Everything else we took to the car - including suitcases. In the morning when we were leaving, we saw a BMW with two young girls speeding away (past the empty swimming pool and the person dumpster diving). The manager was running after them yelling about the key. They just have him the finger and a few choice comments and kept going. Guess their room wasn't much better than ours - LOL.

Now, I check out rooms BEFORE I pay for them.

Linda Rima said...

always stay at Hampton Inns! Found they're consistently clean with everything in working order. Friendly and caring staff. Located in safe areas with well lit parking areas! Most have a free real breakfasts (at least here in Texas),

Leann Sweeney said...

Well, that sounds like so much fun. I knew taking the cheapest room wasn't the best idea but I get so tired of arguing about it that this time I said, okay, you want cheap you'll get cheap. I don't think we'll have that disagreement again! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Yes, that's always my favorite choice. We needed a park, sleep, fly option where the car stays at the motel while we're gone. Hampton Inns doesn't do that--probably because their parking lots are always full with people staying there! :-)

Mary Jane Maffini said...

What a nightmare, but so well told, Leann! I see a movie version. Glad you've away from it now.

XOXO

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks MJ. The raven got it right. Nevermore!