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Note: While this was written on Monday night, I only just posted it now. Fear not – Rand and I are safely home and out of our terrible hotel.

Folks, I am currently in hotel hell. I will elaborate more on it when I get home – right now I am toiling away one last night in a room the size of a hatbox with my husband. There is only room for one of us to sit at the desk they’ve provided us at a time (and only one chair) so I’ll try and get this post out in the time that he’s done brushing his teeth.

Why do I suspect this photo, taken a few months ago, will get a LOT of use on my site?

Why do I suspect this photo, taken a few months ago, will get a LOT of use on my site?

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Did I mention that the Plaza Inn and Suites in Ashland, Oregon, is horrible? NEVER STAY HERE. But, again, that’s for next week. In the meantime, I’m thinking about how lucky I am to have the support of my awesome friends like Christine, who tore the manager here a new a-hole on my behalf. Thanks, Christine! You’ll be happy to know that they sent us a cheap bottle of wine as an apology. Rand and I are at the point that we’re laughing our asses off about the whole thing: we joked that they were next going to move us into a janitorial closet (but the good news is that they’ll be giving us another bottle of shitty wine we won’t drink).

Sigh. One the plus side, I think I can dedicate about 12 blog posts (and possibly an entire blog, if I applied myself) to how terrible the Plaza Inn and Suites is. Which gets me to the moral of today’s post: No matter how bad or rotten your hotel experience, do not under any circumstances, trash the room in which you are staying out of revenge. Here’s why …

  1. They have your credit card number. It’s already difficult enough getting illegitimate charges taking off your credit card (like the idiots who attempted who charge $300 worth of crap onto my card. For the record, morons, I don’t shop at Wal-Mart. Take note.) Just imagine the pain of trying to dispute carpet cleaning charges when you’re the one who smeared dog poop into it.
  2. Housekeeping staff is already underpaid. If you trash the room, you’re just creating more work for people who don’t deserve it.
  3. You’d lose your moral superiority. Let’s face it: you can’t get nearly as angry (or feel nearly as wronged) if you’ve done something reprehensible, too. Instead, keep your head held high and be a model guest. Even when you complain, do so with professionalism. If you start screaming like a crazy person, no one’s really going to believe your story, anyway.
  4. Make a statement with your wallet. Being a consumer is one of the strongest weapons you have. I know you probably thought it was projectile vomiting, but for the last time, IT ISN’T.
  5. It’s against the law. As shocking as it sounds, destroy the personal property of others is oftentimes illegal. Fortunately, posting detailed accounts of their heinousness (as long as said accounts are accurate and free of exaggerations or threats) is thoroughly and entirely legal. And totally cathartic. And maybe a weensy bit fun.
    Dont say the hotel linens gave you crabs ... unless they most definitely did.

    Don't say the hotel linens gave you crabs ... unless they most definitely did.

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  6. It won’t make you feel better. Not at all. If anything, trashing a hotel room will make you feel worse. Remember, just because other people are horrible and rotten and DEAR GOD SHOULD NOT BE IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY doesn’t mean the same is true of you.
  7. It will hurt your chances of getting your money back. Seriously, nothing compromises a credit card claim or a court case like four gallons of cat urine strategically dumped into the center of a queen-sized bed.
    GAH! What IS that smell?

    GAH! What IS that smell? Oh, right. Cat pee.

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  8. You will be really, really embarrassed later. Especially if, say, you forget something in your room, and have to call the receptionist later to get it.
    “What room were we in? Um … I don’t remember, but it’s the one with the rabid raccoon locked in the minibar.”
  9. Online reviews last a lot longer. Why not express your dismay at how you were treated in a forum that will actually make a difference to other consumers? Spelling out “THIS PLACE SUCKS” on the bathroom counter with your own pubes probably won’t be seen by nearly as many people. Instead, try typing out a similar message on TripAdvisor (which people apparently still use) or Yelp.
    One of my, FUCK IT. Ill just sleep in the car. moments.

    One of my, "FUCK IT. I'll just sleep in the car." moments.

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  10. It’s really hard to do. Have you ever tried pooping somewhere besides a toilet? I remember once when I was camping … sigh. Okay, I’m not going into it, but really: it’s not easy in the woods. I imagine it’s even harder in the stairwell of the Embassy Suites. Unless, of course, you’re Duck.

And that’s it, folks: ten reasons why you should take out your rage against your hotel in more productive and less destructive ways. Like, say, blogging …

Full list of categories:  Advice » Rants and Raves » Top Ten
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Comments (13)

  1. 1

    Ugh, that sucks! I wish this had happened, though, in time for you to get interviewed for my friend Terry’s AOL story! Funny, she interviewed me (http://news.travel.aol.com/2010/07/22/hotel-horror-stories/) and both the hotel and the county PR people contacted me THE NEXT DAY…two years after they screwed up. Better late than never…or not =)

  2. 2
    Christine says:

    I very much want to see both the online agreement and their standard guest agreement.

  3. 3
    randfish says:

    To be fair, we’ve stayed there 4 years in a row now, and up until this stay it was pretty good (although, I think in 2 of the years past, we also had to move rooms at least once).

    I am of the opinion Ashland needs more upscale places to stay – given that OSF had their 2 best years (2009 and 2010 with 94%+ attendance) ever in spite of the recession it seems like some enterprising folks are going to take up that challenge.

    I do wish the Plaza had done better on this one – I always liked staying there and the decor/breakfast/location/feel are all pretty cool. To be entirely fair, I should have noticed the “pet friendly” marker on the room I booked and realized it meant there was likely pet dander in the room (rather than just assuming that the entire hotel was pet friendly and they’d do a good job of keeping those spotless).

    I still had an awesome time with you Geraldine. For every 5 minutes we were frustrated by this, I felt like we had an hour of absolutely awesome fun in Ashland :-)

  4. 4
    Philip says:

    Well what else am I going to do with four gallons of cat urine?

    Many, many of your revenge fantasies in this post were incredibly disturbing. Thank you.

  5. 5
    Bhavya says:

    What? No Dick Move post?

  6. 6
    Alouise says:

    As someone who works at a hotel (Front Desk) and someone who’s stayed at crappy hotels (although your experience sounds worse) I definitely agree with your post. My advice; talk to the person at the desk, don’t scream or belittle them because it won’t help. Depending on their position they might not be able to do much, so if they can’t help talk to a manager, get a business card if you have to. Failing that go to the higher ups, especially with chain hotels there is always someone above the manager, you should be able to find something online. If there is a comment card at the hotel or on their website fill it out. Before I worked at at hotel I didn’t think comment cards were important, but let me tell you comment cards and surveys are. With our hotel we have to have a minimum rating from the surveys that our guests fill out (I believe it’s 85%). If we go below that, our hotel can get shut down. So fill out those comment cards and be honest, but fair. If the experience was terrible say so, put suggestions for improvements, but if the stay was good (or if something about it was) put that in too. Tripadvisor and other sites are great for informing the public and reducing business (which always hurts a hotel) but comment cards and surveys that come from the hotel are a way to really make an impact.

  7. 7
    Mugdha says:

    I am experiencing your catharsis vicariously. However, the rabid raccoon might have been funny.

  8. 8
    Candice says:

    I haven’t checked to see if you included a post about why the place sucked so much, but now I’m REALLY curious, haha.

  9. 9
    Trisha says:

    Yes, tons of people DO still use TripAdvisor and Yelp….so I definitely agree that you should post an honest review whenever you stay somewhere, or at least whenever you want to warn others….but when I’ve had a really bad experience I always follow up with a letter to their corporate office – they really do want to know when someone has is unhappy with one of their hotels.

    And I’m with Candice – my curiosity is piqued!

  10. 10

    #10 why yes, yes I have. I’m a monkey, it’s kind of what we do.

  11. 11
    Tommy says:

    I’m a housekeeper in a motel and I’m going to tell you that nothing makes us more upset when you trash your room on purpose. We’re there to make your experience a pleasant one so instead of trashing your room for whatever reason, if you’re unsatisfied with something, please tell us or the office managers. We are there to serve you and most times you’ll see treating your housekeepers well and tipping us a few bucks if you appreciate our service will make us happy and give you even better service. We remember the ones that treat us like human beings and not mothers.

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