travel musings

travel tales of disaster accommodation

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We have recently decided to go to Scandinavia next year (YAY!) and for budgeting purposes had a quick look at accommodation prices.

*sigh* the fun of checking out places online and then reading about them on Tripadvisor. And then experiencing them for real.

Sometimes you get this:


And sometimes you don’t!

How many times is it all a LIE?

We roll our eyes when we read reviews from people complaining that there was no TV, that the bathroom didn’t have a bathtub, that the room didn’t have a view… blah blah blah…

Yes! Okay, so that might be annoying for some. And generally we are quite liberal with our accommodation. We accept basic and don’t expect luxury. We understand that some places don’t have this, that and the other. And we get what we pay for sometimes.


when it comes to cleanliness: that’s where we have to draw the line!

And then there are other places we stay where the memories will make us laugh purely due to how random they were!

This is NOT a post about naming and shaming hotels… we won’t do that. This post is more for us to collate our nightmare experiences…ones that we can laugh about now. But shocked, and at times, mortified us!

The one with the spiders 

As young, budget travellers on our first trip to Europe. We were away for 4 months and needed to make sure we stayed within budget. But we were so simply excited to visit Bath that we wanted to stay somewhere we thought would be half decent. And all we got were spiders. Let’s just say our experience with the staff left much to be desired BUT then to have to contend with spiders as well is a different ballgame altogether.

We were lying in bed one night talking when David calmly says, “Don’t move!” And when someone says that… well the natural reaction is to move first and ask why later! Next thing, you know there is a spider running across the sheet. Holy F&%$! And if you know Le, she cannot stand spiders!

There were webs throughout the whole hotel (and NO, it was not Halloween). Let’s just say when you see a footprint mark on the ceiling, you know someone used a shoe to squash something up there.

Courtesy of Neograf Forum thread (

The one with the hair everywhere

On a weekend away, in our nation’s capital, Canberra, we chose to stay at a big name chain hotel. They are usually quite reputable from our experience but this one… let’s just say, we would found the experience rather “hairy”. Getting ready for bed, Le has a habit of ripping back the sheets to check that there are no creepy crawlies in the bed (thanks to our experience in Bath). Luckily, there were no spiders… there was in fact HAIR everywhere. Not just a few strands but it was like someone had a haircut while sitting in the bed! Top to bottom hair was scattered on the bed. YUCK!

The one with dirt and mould everywhere

We were booked to stay at another hotel in Istanbul, but due to being overbooked, they pushed the overflow into another hotel, apparently “4-star”. More like 0.4 star. The staff were rude and dismissive to start. The rooms were tight, dark, dirty and mouldy. The bathroom was absolutely putrid… imagine “Fawlty Towers” in every way but worse and NOT funny!


The one where the toilet clogged

Anyone who has visited New York City knows that accommodation is not cheap and we were there for over a week. We chose one of the cheapest and most convenient places to stay… and well, much like our other tales, we were in for a bit of a shock. The first room they gave us was a small tiny little room, the second one they tried giving to us didn’t even exist (we walked around and around trying to find it to no avail), finally the third one they gave us was at least spacious and existed.

The toilet didn’t flush well and did this weird thing where it would fill to the top and then drain 5-10 minutes later.We just prayed each time that it would not overflow.


The one where we got robbed

We stayed at these serviced apartments in Barcelona, right on Las Ramblas. We ducked out for our last day in Barcelona. Upon our return, we started to get organised for our departure the following day, and noticed that a padlock was missing from one of our bags. So we turned the room upside down looking for it. We didn’t think anything more of it until we went to start packing and saw that our little case of gifts for family and friends back home was missing. Nothing was of immense value but it was just annoying that someone had broken in to steal souvenirs from us! And that was ALL they took, thank goodness!

The one where we were chased by bees

On the Greek Island of Ios, we stayed at a hotel with a lovely view. Except a lot of random things happened at that place and just to name a few memorable ones.

On our first morning in Ios, we went down to breakfast. It was a beautiful warm day, and we wanted to enjoy some sunshine and cereal. Next thing you know, we were being followed by a swarm of bees. They would not leave us alone no matter where we sat, so we were literally were chased out by the bees.


Courtesy of The Hob-bee Hive

The following morning, after a rather sleepless night, thanks to crazy young hooligans staying in the same place, we had a sleep-in. Mid-sleep, we had housekeeping come through. Yep, she came in and tried to be “invisible”, making no eye-contact, she hunched her shoulders to appear smaller, we think.  She mopped around the bed and cleaned the bathroom, all the while as we lay in bed. It was rather awkward. to say the least.

The one with the burnt toast

Staying in Malta, right by the waters, we had nothing to complain about this hotel. This experience is one we laugh at. At breakfast, we noticed that the toast was always burnt. Black toast every morning.  So on our final day, we thought we would ask for bread that was not as black, and clearly due to a lost-in-translation moment, the toast came out, and it was even more charred than we could ever imagine. It looked like a piece of black charcoal. Not a piece of bread in sight. We looked at each other as the waitress put it down, and burst into laughter.

Courtesy of Kindness Blog

The reality is with where we stay… its purpose is for us to shower and sleep. As long as we can do those comfortably and safely, we generally don’t mind where we are staying. 

Now it’s over to you. Share a bad accommodation experience with us… Make us feel better that it is not only us that gets all this craziness!

What has been your most horrible hotel experience?