It can be tempting to save a little cash and bargain hunt, but save yourself the grief and find a better (if pricier) hotel. After a long road trip, I pulled up to the hotel at 11:00 PM. The first warning sign was a front entrance that required me to be “buzzed in” by someone working the desk. Once I got inside, I was assailed by the smell of marijuana and cigarette smoke. The service was slow (but courteous), and I eventually got my room key. On my way to the room, I noticed that giant rolled up tarps took up nearly every free space in the hotel and that a number of children were roaming freely (and loudly) throughout the establishment. Odd, but I proceeded. I got to my room and unlocked it, and I was met with horror. The room stank of unwashed bodies and more smoke. The bed was made but had an odd, lint-like residue all over it. The walls were paper thin, and I could hear everything (including the incessant herd of children) through the entire night. Perhaps the worst thing about the room was the lingering stench on the pillows. They smelled like a moldering gym bag. In short, the room was awful.
Equally awful was the location. After drifting off to sleep, I heard loud verbal altercations in the parking lot and genuinely feared that I was in a location where violence could break out. In total, I got three hours of sleep. After trying in vain, I got up at 5:30 AM, showered (the shower was fine), and checked out—even though I had the room booked for two more days.