Recently we brought you the shocking news that some hotels might not even change the sheets between guest visits. (Gag!) And horrifyingly, that revelation is far from as gross as it gets when it comes to unwelcome hotel room surprises. We crowdsourced some frequent travelers and asked them to describe the worst thing they'd ever found left behind in their hotel room.
"In the early 1980s, I was the assistant manager of the Marina Motel in Venice, California," says Walter G. Meyer, a writer who worked a lot of different jobs over the years to support his writing habit. "It was a nice little place where even minor celebrities would stay, so not a flea bag hotel. A few times a year the housekeeping staff would flip the mattresses to even out the wear. During one such ritual, two of the maids came running into my office all upset and asked me to come up a room. I did. Between the mattress and box springs there was a metal attache case — the kind you see in movies and drug deals — and next to it an automatic pistol. I called LAPD. When they came out and opened the case, just as we all expected it was full of neatly packed and banded $100 bills. They took it as evidence."
L.A. county deputy district attorney Emily D. Baker also found evidence of a crime in a hotel — this time, appropriately, in Sin City. "I am a criminal prosecutor by trade. So you can imagine my horror when I laid down in bed at the MGM Grand after a long drive to get to a convention and see blood on the ceiling. Honest to goodness blood," she says. "I was horrified. I immediately imagined the hazmat crew missing this spot cleaning up the crime scene that must have been there. It still makes me shudder!"
Walter Rhein, author of Beyond Birkie Fever and Reckless Traveler, says, "I was staying at a hostel in Peru and found a bag of cocaine about the size of my hand taped to the bed. I flushed it down the toilet."
Robert Rose, host and producer of Raw Travel TV says the grossest thing he ever found in a hotel room happened when he and his producer were in tiny but charming town of Lander, Wyoming. "Exhausted from a full day of shooting, we were eager to get some food and some shuteye — but upon walking into the room we were overwhelmed by a stench so powerful we started looking around for what it could possibly be," says Rose. "We found animal feces from what appeared to have been from the largest, rat, raccoon or some kind of other critter, on top of the air conditioner trailing down onto the carpet and emitting the most disgusting aroma I'd ever smelled!"
5. Dirty magazines
Travel writer and mom blogger Julie Tower-Pierce reports: "The grossest thing I have discovered in a hotel room was a big stack — a collection, really — of adult magazines. Playboy, Hustler, and titles that I didn't even know existed! My children were helping me pull out a sofa bed, and as we pulled out the bed they were in plain view, some stacked and others spread in the space on the floor created when the bed was pulled out."
6. Used condoms
This one seems to happen a lot: the leftover condom. "When I was on a business trip in Las Vegas, I was totally not shocked to find a used condom left in the bathtub. The whole room was spotless, so I know a cleaning crew was definitely there before I checked in. I guess they must have missed the tub! Kind of gross, but hey... Vegas, baby?" shares journalist Zlata Faerman.
Travel expert Johnny Jet echoes this experience: "The dirtiest thing I’ve ever found in my hotel room was a used condom behind the door. I guess house cleaning never bothered to vacuum or clean behind it. I saw it right when I walked in and was like whoa..."
7. Chewed-up gum
"We've been flipping through the room service menu before and found old mashed-up chewing gum stuck to the pages!" says travel writer and author Nadine Jolie Courtney.
8. Another guest
When we enter a hotel room, we're pretty confident we'll find no one else inside — but that's not always the case. Travel writer Ramsey Qubein says he found, "another person napping on my bed, [who] insisted that it was their room now, despite all of my stuff being strewn around the room. Um, no, this room does not come a free laptop and suitcases with men's clothing in it. Those are mine because you were given a key to the wrong room! Seriously!"
And he's not alone in — well, not being alone. Sandra J. Eleczko reports, "My daughter and I checked into the Fairfield Inn near the Denver Airport and there was a man sleeping in the bed. The staff at the hotel was kind enough to give us a different room." Um, awkward.
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