Out of all the hotels/motels/inns I have stayed in during my now 28 years on this planet, I have never had such a disgusting experience as I did on Saturday night. It marked the first time that I have ever got up and left a hotel before even giving it a one night chance.
As with any college town that holds large football games, lodging inside the city limits is scarce. To try to make a reservation just a week beforehand is near to impossible. When Sidney and I went to Clemson the first time a week ago we stayed in a little town called Simpsonville. About 50 miles away from Clemson, we stayed in a Comfort Suites. It was a very pleasant, modern hotel with nice rooms. When we checked in that night I tried to reserve a room for the following week. No such luck. Everything was booked.
When I returned to Myrtle Beach that Sunday I tried calling other hotels in the Simpsonville area to get a room for the next Saturday. As I wrote about last night, Sidney and I were traveling that way again for the Clemson-Louisville game. Everything from the Holiday Inn to the Hampton to the Quality Inn had no vacancy. I only had one option: The Motel 6. With rooms available I made a reservation. Hey, I didn’t need anything fancy, I just needed something that had a bed and was clean.
After the 3.5 hour game, the brutal traffic, and the drive itself, we arrived at the Motel 6 in Simpsonville at around 10 p.m. The building looked okay from the outside. We walked in the lobby and I checked in as a seemingly mentally ill rando stood at the counter looking at us while the employee had me sign papers. We went down the hallway past a wide open door that led to the guts of the building and further down to our room door. I opened it up and we walked inside…
The only way I could describe it would be a prison cell. It was uncarpeted, the limited furniture was plastic cheap, the bed wasn’t even a bed (it was basically a mattress with pillows), and the bathroom was scary. However, we were starving and we just threw our bags down and left to go eat at Applebee’s. Throughout our meal I had a slight sense of dread. I knew our hotel room was a hell hole but I had hope that it would be adequate enough for me to fall asleep immediately upon my head hitting the pillow. I thought I could do it.
We returned to the room a little before midnight and that was when our eyes were really opened to the filth that surrounded us. First thing I noticed was that the toilet seat had human feces still on it. As I almost vomited Sidney called me out to look at the comforter. It was covered in dark hair which Sidney said was most likely from a dog. I showed her the scene in the bathroom and while in there we noticed that the shower was full of hair, the bathroom drain was rotted, there was dirt in all the corners, and the toilet paper roll had not even been replaced from the previous guest.
I returned to the main room area and pulled back the sheets. They looked about fifty years old and were no longer white…they had taken on a brownish color. With the exhaustion from the 4 a.m. morning, the long day in the sun, the emotionally draining game, and the heavy traffic, I made the mistake of attempting to see if I would fall asleep if I hopped in the bed. Big mistake. You know the feeling of clean sheets you should get when you go to a hotel? Well, I got the complete opposite. I felt absolutely dirty with those sheets touching my skin. It gets worse though…
Sidney was by the curtain putting stuff into her bag when she called my name in disgust. Crawling on the curtain was a bug! I can do snakes, spiders, and rats but I can’t do bugs. I started calling every single hotel in the Simpsonville/Greenville area to see if any hotel rooms had opened up last minute. While I was doing this, I had to go to our door two different times because it sounded as if someone was banging on it. False alarms on both occasions. After I made it through the whole list of hotels I shook my head in helplessness…there was not one room available.
We started going through our options. We could somehow try to stay the night in our nightmare hotel room, drive all the way back to Myrtle Beach, or sleep in the car. I asked Sidney to truthfully tell me if she would be able to sleep at all if we stayed. She said no. We picked up our bags and exited the room. Sidney went to the car while I went to the front desk.
As anyone will tell you, I usually eat money before I complain but in this instance something needed to be said. In a respectful and bashful manner, I addressed the hotel clerk who looked like the greasy haired guy from “Hardcore Pawn.” I told him the room was not working out for us and we would be checking out. I showed him the bug photo…he said it was “the season” for them. I showed him the feces on the toilet…he asked me if it was actual shit or if it was just chipped paint. Despite his horrendous and insulting excuses, he went back to his little office which was in plain view of me and texted on his old model phone for about five minutes. He then came back to the counter and asked for my card. He swiped it and refunded my $80. He gave me a genuine apology as I thanked him for the refund. At least it ended on a good note.
I got in the car with Sidney and she informed me that she had called around in Columbia and that the Hampton Inn there had vacancy. I called the hotel back in a heartbeat and made a reservation. We drove the 90 minutes to Columbia and felt completely relieved when we walked into a large, clean hotel room at around 1:45 a.m.
That was the first and only time I will ever stay at a Motel 6…even if there are absolutely no other options. Driving an hour and a half longer and paying $50 extra dollars is well worth it. It was truly a disgusting experience. Thank you to Sidney for being patient and to the Motel 6 employee for apologizing. It helped make the hotel nightmare not as bad. Don’t Blink.