How to spot a bad hotel, the signs and tips

Update:08 Jun 2010
 
GOING away this weekend?
 
While a luxurious hotel complete with pool, spa, sauna and bar can only enhance your experience, a bad hotel or motel can ruin a holiday.
 
Author Sylvia Morris has compiled a list of 10 warning signs that can indicate your digs are a little dodgy and you should look for somewhere else to stay...and No.1 on her hit list is something that may not automatically trigger any alarms.
 
"If the mattresses are wrapped in plastic, look elsewhere," Morris said.
 
"This could occur for a couple reasons. One being that a lot of disgusting people stay there and they want to keep their mattresses clean.
 
"Sound bad? Yes it does, but it's marginally better than reason No.2, which is that fights and murders are common in the area and so they don't want your blood and guts all over their beds."
 
Other items on her list are more self-explanatory: There are red stains on the floor, you're the only guest, there are condom wrappers left behind, and items that should be loose are chained down.
 
But Morris said telltale signs that a place is not for you could be the incidentals.
 
"I once stayed in a little motel out of sheer necessity and when I walked in the rubbish bin was from one hotel chain, the tissue holder was from another, and so on," she said.
 
"If a hotel cannot afford to get its own stuff, then you can't (emotionally) afford to stay there.
 
"Also, don't stay in a place with bars on the windows. Jails have those, and if that's your thing you can stay in one of those for cheap. Really cheap."
 
Other signs you are in a bad hotel include a shady bar and a motel that claims to be a hotel and charges an hourly rate - that's a sure sign it's a nookie house.
 
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