NEW YORK, United States, Tuesday September 9, 2014 – The importance of adequate research when choosing a hotel recently came under a white hot spotlight with a stinging critique of 10 hotels described as “just plain disasters” by Oyster.com.
Published in the Daily Beast, the list of “Hotels From Hell” was dominated by properties in the United States, with five mainland US hotels and one in Hawaii making the grade – or downgrade.
Hot on the heels of the US were three Caribbean properties led by the Dominican Republic’s Don Juan Beach Resort, which claimed second place on the list, narrowly being booted out of the top (or bottom) spot by La Semana Hotel in New York City.
Here’s what the team at Oyster.com had to say about the Don Juan Beach Resort:
The hotel investigators at Oyster.com typically have pretty strong stomachs, and it’s rare for them to encounter a property where they’ll refuse to sleep. The Don Juan was one such special spot. Located in the Dominican Republic’s sex-tourism capital, guests should expect to be accosted by prostitutes, local hecklers, and merchants on the resort’s trash-strewn beach (with a view of a gas processing plant in the distance). Small pools, dark rooms.
Jamaica had the distinction, or lack thereof, of capturing sixth and tenth place on the list, with Sandals Carlyle Inn and Club Ambiance, respectively. Oyster.com’s take on both properties follows:
Sandals Carlyle Inn
This hotel isn’t bad, per se, but it’s certainly deceptive. The marketing images show the hotel as located right on a beautiful beach. In fact, it’s across a busy road from a tiny, crowded public beach. A lot of guests are extremely disappointed by this when they arrive, and it ruins the stay for many. At least the hotel offers a shuttle to a better beach at a sister property.
You get what you pay for at this adults-only all-inclusive, which advertises a sensual, lively atmosphere. This translates to a free adult entertainment channel on the TV, clothing optional and nude areas at a neglected man-made beach, and a club with a, erm, dancing pole. Despite some renovations in 2013, rooms are dated and worn, with cheap bedspreads.
Other hotels singled out for a slamming by Oyster.com are as follows:
Starlite Hotel, Miami (3)
This rough-hewn crash pad has worn rooms with plenty of cleanliness issues, including stained towels and, during our visit, hairballs in the sink (other guests have reported hairs on the sheets as well). Pretty much the only redeeming quality is the excellent Ocean Drive location, across the street from the beach.
Corte Dei Tusci, Tuscany (4)
This upper-middle-range beach resort looks fine upon first glance—until you realize that it’s located across the road from a chemical factory. There’s a large incinerator right behind the hotel, and the pier on the hotel’s beach is used to transport chemicals. While the hotel assures guests that the pollution is within safe limits, we personally wouldn’t want to risk it—and wouldn’t be thrilled to discover the plant upon arrival.
The Quad Resort & Casino, Las Vegas (5)
The Quad Resort on the Las Vegas Strip is inexpensive, but for good reason. Rooms and hallways are dated and worn (carpets are particularly dirty). There is a pool, but it’s closed for renovations through 2014. The hotel is getting a new name in October—the LINQ Hotel and Casino—and renovations throughout the property are due to finish in spring 2015. The hotel will stay open for business throughout the process, but we advise steering clear for now.
The Metropolitan Express, Orlando (7)
This budget property is one of the most affordable options on International Drive, but there’s a reason—features are few and rooms are worn. Bathrooms are dirty and expect maintenance issues such as water leaks. Aside from the low rates, the location—at the entrance of Universal Orlando—is the selling point, and the hotel provides a free shuttle to several attractions, as well as a free breakfast.
Pagoda Hotel, Hawaii (8)
The budget, no-frills, 359-room Pagoda Hotel is favoured by islanders seeking an affordable stay and visitors who want to avoid the higher prices of Waikiki Beach. But guests report issues with bugs (including cockroaches), and lots of street noise in the basic rooms. One of the two tiny pools is surrounded by Astroturf. There are extra fees for Wi-Fi and parking, which hurts the value for those coming for the price alone.
Kew Motor Inn, Queens (9)
This by-the-hour sex motel is about what you’d expect from this type of establishment, with a clichéd romantic vibe, variety of themed rooms (including Love Nest, Egyptian, and Waterfall), lots of plastic flowers, and decades of stale cigarette smoke soaked into the walls and carpets. The bathroom was disgusting, and the black light we brought revealed some very telling stains in the bedroom.