Where is the worst place you have ever slept?

the-worst-hotels-in-the-worldI have a very high tolerance for dodginess, such is my crooked sense of humour. Luxury is all very well but it’s rarely funny.

Despite my fondness for the craptastic things in life, there is a point at which shoddy accommodation becomes totally demoralising.

The worst place I have ever stayed was at a guest house on Khao San Rd in Bangkok. It was 100 baht a night for a dorm room bed. What was really charming was the old blood on the mattress, courtesy of the rabid bedbug population. *shudder*

The next worst place was when I was on a school camp and our tent filled up with fire ants. Word to the wise: don’t buy a stack of lollies and then leave them open in your tent.  And then it rained. And then we all got moved to a shed where we slept on a bare concrete floor under fluorescent lights.

The final horror was a traditional mud hut in Africa where we slept on scratchy, straw filled mattresses with the the tuneless whining of a mosquito choir singing us to sunrise. We felt every minute of that long, hot night.

I realise it’s totally bourgeois to complain about nasty accommodation when there are people in the world who have no homes, let alone holiday homes. But you know what? For the purposes of this article, get out your poison pens and tell me the worst places you have ever stayed. Don’t hold back.


10 comments on “Where is the worst place you have ever slept?

  1. San Sebastian… what I refer to as the ‘sliding’ hostel. There was a massive tennis court size hole out the front of the building. No exaggeration, I woke up in the morning and my bed had slid half way down the room as the entire hostel was on such a slant. Pretty funny, but scary, got out of there pretty quickly!

  2. For me, it is a backpacker’s place in Canberra. I’m just not cut out to share a room with strangers. It was noisy, it was swelteringly hot inside, the bed was creaky and we were all miserable. We hightailed it to the Hyatt for breakfast! 😛

  3. Illegal hostel in Barcelona – 14 beds in a very small room, with one permanent occupant being a a street performer from La Rambla (Bryce the Devil Man – he’s a La Rambla veteran… Many will know who I’m talking about).

  4. It was at a pub in Hay, NSW (I had the romantic notion of staying in an old country pub). When I arrived at 9pm, the pub was closed but I managed to find an open door. This led to a foyer with a massive staircase large enough to take a herd of elephants. The threadbare red carpet was sticky; the only source of illumination, a naked 60 watt bulb.

    There were no signs of life bar the distant sound of a TV, which could have been anywhere within the vast superstructure of the secondfloor. I went upstairs to investigate, and after repeatedly calling out was met by a friendly blonde five year old in a dirty dress. She fetched her mother who showed me to ‘the hotel room’.

    By this stage it was obvious that I was the only client in a hotel of over 100 rooms.

    My lower-floor room had been carved from a much larger space with the aid of a paper-thin partition. The ceiling height was roughly twice the room width, which gave it the feeling of an elevator shaft. The mattress had no protector, the sheets were filthy, and the only covering, a worn nylon bedspread. A single sink was stained yellow from decades of use as a urinal. As soon as my host left, so did I, leaving the key in something that resembled a lock, but promised no such security. I headed straight for the nearest 1960s-looking motel, where the owner told me ‘You’d be mad to stay there. No one does. It’s dangerous’!

  5. My recent Bangkok experience wasn’t great. – two beds pushed together at a different height. a rooster crowing outside the bathroom window (in between the sounds from the train line). ants all over the bathroom. something in the bed. whatever it was it gave me a suspicious rash.. oh and loud american tourists slamming doors at all hours of the night as they walked along the corridor bringing prostitutes back to their rooms.. a cultural experience of Bangkok sure. But not one I would care to repeat..

  6. Kings Cross: first time to Sydney, travelling solo, booked a lower bunk in Kings Cross. Spent the evening at the Opera House, then went out for a few beers with my book as a date, and turned in around midnight. The guy staying in the bunk above me stumbled in around 3am. I fell right back to sleep after hearing him lurch into bed. But about half an hour later I woke up to a strange DRIP … DRIP DRIP … DRIP DRIP DRIP on me from above. Turns out top-bunk-boy had peed the bed. I wanted to die and vowed to leave Sydney and never return (I’ve lived in the Cross for the past few years now!).

  7. Probably the bus shelter outside Kirkenes on the Russian – Finnish border where the truck we had hitched a lift with dropped us off . It was September 1983 and we were a very long way from home.

  8. Although I can well relate to the packed earthen-dung floor of the African cottage, I would have to say the topper is the STOP Hotel, in Istanbul. It’s on the high part of town, not far from the Grand Baza’ar, which was why we were there. It’s just around the corner from The Pudding Shop, for those who have their bearings. My wife-to-be and I were hippie backpackers in 1972 trying to get to India, and we got stuck in Instanbul. The STOP was inexpensive. Wonderful front office, large lobby, tiny, cold, dirty (but not filthy) rooms. The worst was the cold. The only heat available was a small kerosene stove, over which we huddled with blankets over head making tents of ourselves….and breathing the aromatic, carcinogenic, lovely heated air. We also cooked sausages over these heaters. My memories of that trip to Istanbul are two weeks of always feeling like I was on the verge of pneumonia.


  9. Different places have sucked for different reasons. There was the one tiny room hotel room that slept 5 people and my aunt practically raised the roof with her snoring. Or another family vacations saw us spend the night in a roadside hotel in Ballina, there were ants all over the room, I thought the bunks were going to collapse at any moment and I’ve wiped all memories of the state of the bathroom because they are too disturbing. But despite these instances the worst is still probably a hostel in New York. The dorm rooms themselves were ok and I was fortunate to have fairly considerate roommates, it was the bathroom that makes it the worst place to stay. Since it had been converted from a convent or a school or something like that there were 4 toilets and showers to share for what must have been at least 150 women. Let’s just say the water left on the floor could have helped a drought-striken community for a month. Not to mention the fight for mirror space, hairdryers and other bathroom actions.

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