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I count myself as fortunate to have never stayed in a truly gross hotel. I've stayed in one hotel, in Gibraltar, that was a bit on the threadbare side (OK, the shared bathroom was a little slimy), but I've managed to dodge the truly revolting, roach-infested disasters we all know lurk in even the most upscale destinations.
Case in point: Sister site TripAdvisor's annual Dirtiest Hotels list. The 2011 edition is swarming with bed bugs and other creepy crawlies, and features moldy bathrooms, stained bedding, hair-clogged sinks and showers, and pretty much every other manifestation of hotel horror you could imagine.
Topping the list is the Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I think this review sums up what travelers can expect at the Grand:
If you are looking for a hotel with: pubic hair stuck to the bathroom floor in some unidentifiable, gelatinous liquid; chewing tobacco spit oozing down the halls and corridors; spiders actively making webs in every corner of your room; carpeting so greasy and dirty you wouldn't want to sit your luggage down - let alone walk around barefoot; dingy bedsheets and towels as rough and thin as sandpaper; and a room so putrid and smelly it causes a gag-reflex when you walk in... by all means, stay at The Grand Resort.
Also gracing the list is a regular Dirtiest Hotel honoree, the Hotel Carter in New York City. The Hotel Carter took the top spot in 2008 and 2009, and by now should be retired to the Dirtiest Hotel Hall of Fame. Or perhaps TripAdvisor could name the #1 spot after it ("The winner of this year's Hotel Carter award is ... "). The most amazing thing about the Hotel Carter—aside from the fact that it's still, remarkably, in business—is that out of over 1,000 reviews, it has received 18 five-star reviews. Eighteen! I (almost) want to meet the 18 people who gave five stars to a hotel whose only renown is making TripAdvisor's Dirtiest Hotels list over and over again.
The Hotel Namaskar took top honors in India (Money quote: "The windows were partially covered with pieces of old newspaper and lots of dirt.") and the Goldkist Beach Resort in Singapore won out in the Asia category.
Over in Europe, hotels in London and Amsterdam took eight of the top ten spots, with hotels in Turkey taking the top two. TripAdvisor used this traveler review snippet to sum up the #1 dirtiest hotel in Europe, the Club Aqua Gumbet in Gumbet, Turkey: "Pool was tainted by the sewer flooding into it whenever it rained."
I mean, when sewage drains into your pool, why bother staying in business?
Readers, what's the worst hotel experience you've ever had?