We are currently on another road trip to Colorado. We are attempting to climb and summit a few mountains, but we also want to explore different areas we may want to move to.
Since we have been going on so many trips lately, I have been looking for different ways to save money. I am a personal finance blogger after all, so that only makes sense.
So, I found a place the other day. We have been booking everything as we go, and since it was Labor Day weekend, nearly everything was already sold out or extremely overpriced. I found a hotel for $80 a night, and we only wanted to stay there for two nights. Our total damage was $160.
It was a great price when compared to the other places I found in the area for Labor Day weekend.
However, the cheap price was the only good thing about this place. Below are some of the bad things about this place:
- The room smelled very bad. Like a dead person… I wish I was exaggerating but it is the truth. We couldn’t breathe because it was so bad and at one point I even had to put my shirt over my nose.
- The room next door had their door wide open. My dog almost ran inside, so I peaked in and I was horrified. It was filled almost to the ceiling with trash bags and garbage. There was also a crazy pile of shoes that was around four feet high and six feet wide.
- There was a blood stain and splatters about a foot wide on the carpet right in the middle of our room. It was impossible to miss.
- There were multiple hairs all over the bed and on the pillows. This means nothing was washed or cleaned when we went in.
- There were BIG stains all over the bed. Talk about wanting to barf everywhere.
- The fridge in the room had food stains all over it. It was absolutely disgusting.
- The pillows were stained yellow.
- There were multiple brown stains on the wall.
- The door and window both did not lock. This was scary considering I would be working from the room a lot alone since Wes had plans to do other things.
- We saw several other people enter their room, only to leave seconds later and not come back.
- They claimed they had good wifi, but there was not a single person at the hotel and I still couldn’t get a single thing to load. Keep in mind this is important because I work from my laptop.
- They also claimed they were pet friendly, but when we arrived I noticed that there was no grass. When I asked the person at the front desk, she said there was a park just right around the corner that we could go to with no problem. Well, it turned out the park was four looooong blocks down a busy street and there was no sidewalk there. This meant I had to walk four blocks down a busy street with two dogs and then cross this busy street where there were no sidewalks (not even a curb), streetlights, stop signs, or anything. That is just too dangerous and mean for me to do to my dogs multiple times a day.
- Lastly, someone claimed they saw a ghost in their room and they panicked. Haha this still makes me laugh but it made me wonder what kind of crazy people were at this hotel.
Wow, it’s just scary writing about everything we saw in the one hour we were there.
We checked in, left to grab something to eat, got back to the room and immediately started finding another place to stay.
At first, I was extremely upset that I prepaid for this place. However, since this was a “vacation,” staying in a place where we literally wanted to throw up just wasn’t going to work.
I found another hotel and booked it as soon as I could. I then walked into the front desk to the gross hotel we were at and checked out immediately.
And this is how being cheap backfired on me. I didn’t want to spend an extra $50 a day in order to stay somewhere “normal” and instead I ended up wasting $160 and a few hours because we couldn’t bare to stay in that hotel for more than a few hours.
I know there are others who are fine with staying anywhere and they only care about having a place to sleep, but I just could not do it. I thought about it for a slight second just because of the money I’d be wasting, but then I realized how crazy that sounded.
Luckily enough, the person checking me in at the next hotel asked where we just came from and how our day was. I explained our horrific story and how I was so glad that they had room for us at their much better hotel. He said he could NOT BELIEVE where we came from and that he knew we must have been horrified because we were actually not the first person who did the exact same thing we did (check in at the bad hotel, only to leave and go to his hotel). He then said he added a discount to our stay and that it was no problem. I told him he didn’t need to but he insisted. Isn’t that awesome?!
Anyway, here are my tips to avoid making a costly mistake like I just did:
Read the reviews.
I am a serial review reader, so I can honestly say that I read numerous reviews about this hotel. The reviews weren’t the greatest, but it sounded like a lot of people were just used to luxury hotels so I ignored them.
OH MY GOD was that a huge mistake.
From now on, I will always trust bad reviews, especially when there are a ton of them.
Compare the pricing.
The other hotels in the area were about $50 more per night. I thought I didn’t want to spend that, so that was the main reason we booked the BAD BAD BAD hotel.
In the end, the $50 extra per night was well worth it.
We received a clean room, a fantastic dog walking area and even a trail along a river to walk our dogs, fast wi-fi, breakfast in the mornings that was actually good, good customer service, and more. We also feel much safer here.
Think about how badly you want to save money.
I thought that since it was only two days, that I wouldn’t really care about how cheap the place was. I thought for $80, that the hotel couldn’t possibly be THAT bad, because $80 still isn’t dirt cheap. Considering I’ve stayed in nice hotels in the Caribbean and Florida for around $100 a night, I thought an $80 hotel would be somewhere near average.
Nope, I was wrong. I couldn’t make it an hour so there was no way I would have been able to make it two days.
I didn’t want the savings that bad and I realized that once we arrived at the hotel. This hotel should have been no where near $80 a night. I think it should have been one of those $29.95 highway motels that I often see.
Has being cheap backfired on you recently? How much money did you lose?
Images via Flickr by TaxRebate.org.uk and Nitram242