Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When Location Trumps Sanitation: The Carter Hotel in New York City

"If the curtains close, light is off, it's not that bad."

That's the quote from a Ukrainian businesswoman in 2005, in the New York Times. Fast forward to 2009 and the Carter Hotel has been named the dirtiest hotel in America by for the third time in four years.

When I started this blog, I promised myself that I wouldn't publicly shame any hotel or motel by name. I've since changed my mind, because the Carter hotel deserves it.

I pass this hotel every night on the way home from work. I think I'll start taking a different route from now on.

Here's the dated lobby. So warm and inviting, with 1980s neon, random, mismatched furniture, warped stainless steel, dirty ceiling panels, a folding table, vending machines, and much, much more!

If you get can past that, head up to your room. Enjoy the multicolored hallways.

Still not convinced you should leave? This might be your room.

Almost makes you want to just flop down on the bed. Almost.

Wall-to-wall-carpet. Literally.

It's time to unpack, but where's the closet?

Oh, here it is.

"Honey, did you remember to pack the closet rod?"

After you get settled, call up for room service...

Or maybe plug in your laptop.

Maybe the plug is under here. Maybe not.

You must be tired. Why don't you freshen up in the bathroom?

Maybe I'll just take in the view.

Maybe I'll just watch TV.

One of the reviews on Trip Advisor said, "Not Even the Homeless Would Stay Here." Unfortunately, they did, in the 80's. Apparently nothing was done to clean up the mess they left behind.

Check out the official website by clicking here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Italy: Scugly

I found this one on the web (since I haven't had any submissions) can't decide if this room in Florence, Italy is scary or ugly, so I'll just call it "scugly."

Original is here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ryugyong is So Wrong

This is the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, mockingly referred to as the Hotel of Doom. It's been sitting, unfinished for 20 years, and is the biggest eyesore on the planet in the country.

[source: News Panda]

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

India: Looking For a Few Good Plumbers

You'll see what I mean at about 22 seconds in.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I Wonder If He Knew He Was Being Watched

You'd think having a hotel room high up would shield you from most of the street noise, like, say construction equipment.

You'd think so...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Just Imagine the Bed

Is this:

A) an employee-only motel bathroom?
B) a junkyard bathroom?
C) an abandoned gas station bathroom?

This is actually the bathroom in a $5 Delhi hotel.

MSNBC invited readers to submit photos from their worst hotels. You can see the photos here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Welcome to Ugly Hotel Rooms! This blog, as you've probably figured out, aims to feature some of the ugliest hotel (and motel) rooms from all across the globe.

Want to play along? Read the submission guidelines for all the details. Don't forget that camera on your next vacation!


The backstory: On a recent trip to Mexico, I had stayed in a gorgeous two-bedroom condo with three other people. Unfortunately, this particular condo was only available for 7 days, so for our last night, we had to book a room at a nearby hotel for one day.

How bad could it be? I asked myself, as my boyfriend selected the "standard" room at the front desk.

Note to self: Never ask yourself, How bad could it be? when you're in a foreign country.

(click to enlarge any photo to view in full detail)

These were the beds. Note that there is one full size and one twin. Both beds are joined by the largest headboard in North America. The headboard was also loose, so if you so much as breathed on it, it would bang against the wall.

Let's take a closer look at that lamp, shall we?

Breathtaking. I wanted to steal it. Not only was it dirty and dated (and possibly homemade), but it was not plugged in. After dragging the table out and plugging it into the scariest socket I'd ever seen, we were still left in the dark.

"Hey," I said. "Maybe this white switch will do the trick!"

Lifting the bedspread revealed that the beds were actually large concrete boxes covered in bathroom tile. I'd imagine this saves the housekeepers from having to clean under the bed.

Here is the air conditioning unit...

...which relieves itself all over the tiny balcony.

"But what about the bathroom?" I hear you ask.

Flushing the toilet is a two handed operation. If you're at all vain, stay away from that mirror, as the harsh fluorescent lighting can turn the most innocent of faces into that of a serial killer.

Other lovely touches included:

An exterior porch light (which became the only light source in the main room because of the broken table lamp)

A massive TV armoire/thing with hand painted doors. The TV had no remote and when I tried to close the other door, it almost fell off.

A broken ceiling fan mounted on a scary popcorn ceiling with exposed wiring.

A drop ceiling with what was probably a 4 watt bulb playing the part of "light".

I don't know what this was, but I suspected that it hasn't worked in twenty years. This made me want to pry it off with a screwdriver.