Not my Choice of Hotel ever again—

September 12, 2012

Let me just say in advance, I almost wish I had been blotto, so I could believe this was all just a blurred memory of a movie, like the glorious Agnes Gooch thought of her night out in the movie Auntie Mame— but it wasn’t.

Below is my response to Booking(dot)com when I received an email alert concerning “The hotel has notified us that you did not arrive at the hotel on the check-in date of your booking. Is this incorrect?”

“Booking(dot)com,

Your information on my “failing to check-in” is blatantly false, but I’m not surprised as that was the worst hotel experience of my adult life. I did check in at the original Rodeway Inn Mid Town (despite their claims I didn’t), and I had been in contact with management multiple times to remind/inform them that I would be checking in late. The Rodeway Inn Mid Town was chosen because it was within walking distance of the Baltimore convention center, which I was in town for on business, but they failed to have a room. I was then shuttled approximately 10 miles away, to a “sister” hotel called the Rodeway Inn & Suites on Pulaski Highway. I wasn’t given a key to the room, but informed that they would “let me back in” should I exit the room. The room was disgusting, with cigarette burned sheets (despite being designated as smoke-free), towels were old and stained, tiles were soiled and drooping from the ceiling, and the room was obviously intended to be used for evenings of “paid services” indicated by the inclusion of (and I kid you not- as I have photos of it) a heart shaped jacuzzi in the room with mirrors on the ceiling. I was never offered any sort of discount to my hotel cost, or a proper apology for my inconvenience. I will never stay at any Rodeway Inn of any sort, nor will I be using Booking.com in the future. I work in an industry where conventions and travel are a large part of how we do business, where I repeatedly meet and converse with, literally, hundreds of the same people, and I will be warning all of them- at every opportunity- to avoid this website, the entire chain of Choice Hotels, and specifically Rodeway Inns, at all costs.

This was, and I emphasize again, the worst travel experience of my life, which includes horrible airline service over the past 10 years— the latter of which seems a joy now by comparison.”

I failed to include a few important items in the letter, but the first hotel is actually a block or so away from where the booking facility of the Baltimore Police is, and a Shawshank Redemption prison looking structure, with barbwire around the top of the fence. To get to the second hotel, you also have to drive through, what I can only describe as, the set of “The Wire”, weird how that wasn’t mentioned on the hotel website?

Lastly, the second hotel was across the street from a neon clad strip-joint/bar, and that is never a good sign. There was no doubt that I’d be after sleeping fully clothed on top of the middle sheet, after pulling off the top cover because I’ve heard most hotels rarely wash them anyway. Somehow I was able to get to sleep, but I awoke to the odd feeling of plastic/vinyl at my finger tips. Apparently the hotel felt the need to include a medical type, protective cover for the mattress under the normal fitted sheet. Ewwww.

UPDATE: I sent the above Booking(dot)com, and a shortened version (because of character limits on their site) to Choice Hotels, and haven’t heard back from either of them regarding this. That only implies one of two things—

A) They don’t give a poop.

B) This whole nightmare is tame compared to other complaints they get.

God help the poor b’stards who’ve had worse.

Oh, and here’s that infamous tub— believe me, it wasn’t as clean as it appears from this distance.

Cleanliness is next to… well, not in this case.

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3 Responses to “Not my Choice of Hotel ever again—”

  1. OMG, you’re kidding?! That sounds awful. Sorry to hear you had such a trying experience in Baltimore. I love this city and hope you’ll come back. Try the Admiral Fell Inn in Fells Point next time.

  2. Haha, at least they rolled the towels up nicely for you.

  3. This would be funny if it hadn’t been such a monumental pain in the ass. Here’s hoping you have better luck next time Mr. G. Heart-shaped bath tub? Woah. 70s-kitsch-tastic.

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