from Mineral, Virginia
Submitted on 13-10-2015
I am a seasoned traveler & promise you, this was THE WOST hotel experience of my life! I arrived at the Birmingham airport at 9:30pm on 10/8/15. I called the hotel to request the shuttle, and was told it would be about 10 minutes. 45 minutes, and 3 phone calls later, this old, ratty, dirty van pulls up -- the windows were so dirty you could barely see through them. My instincts told me not to get in -- ladies - always trust your instincts! I didn't this time & got in the van with the driver...
I am a seasoned traveler & promise you, this was THE WOST hotel experience of my life! I arrived at the Birmingham airport at 9:30pm on 10/8/15. I called the hotel to request the shuttle, and was told it would be about 10 minutes. 45 minutes, and 3 phone calls later, this old, ratty, dirty van pulls up -- the windows were so dirty you could barely see through them. My instincts told me not to get in -- ladies - always trust your instincts! I didn't this time & got in the van with the driver who had absolutely no identification as a hotel employee. The seats were tattered and torn, the carpets dirty and smelly, and driver hadn't seen a shower in quite some time.
We got to the MOTEL in about 10 minutes & once again, I questioned getting out, but I did & went into the lobby. After shouting my room # across the lobby twice, another ununiformed person "from the maintenance staff" was asked to escort me to my room. Again, and very uncomfortable, and not wanting to appear as a snob, I went with this person -- the room was about 2 blocks from the lobby - outside - down a dark street -- the property is campus like & there were several buildings comprising the property. As we approached the building, I noticed there were no lights on at the doors of the walk-out type rooms, and brought this to my escort's attention. His response was "yep, most of the lights need to be replaced". He opened my door for me after I said, I could not even see to get to the door, and that I was not comfortable with it being so dark. He went in & turned on lights and told me to come in, which I did not until he was on the outside of the door. He left and I immediately locked and chained the door (yes, it had a cheap chain from the 70's!). I did not feel safe @ all! The room was absolutely disgusting -- I did not even step on the carpet with my shoes -- it smelled horrible. It smelled sour and stale. I felt sick to my stomach. The carpet was black with dirt. There were coverings at the window but were so old you could see right through them & could see people walking by & they could see me!
My cell phone still in my hand, as it had been since I left the lobby, unlocked so that I could call 911 quickly if necessary, I did a search for taxi service and called the first # that popped up! The guy who answered said he was at least 30 minutes away & I might want to call a company that was closer and would not take as long to arrive. He confirmed that I was in a questionable area & suggested I leave the room & go back to the lobby to wait for the cab to arrive. I called the 2nd company, and they said they would be 20-30 minutes. So, I reluctantly left the room to head to the lobby. I was too afraid to stay in the room alone, and almost too scared to walk back to the lobby in the dark, but I chose the lesser of two evils & walked fast/ran to the lobby. There were old cars with mufflers dragging the pavement, people fighting in the streets, people walking the streets, cursing, and arguing. There I was with my coach purse full of cash, tons of expensive jewelry - thinking - why did I get into that shuttle van????
I was shaking/trembling by the time I got to the lobby & was too afraid to go inside, so I stayed between the lobby doors to wait for my cab. It seemed like forever & I saw and heard things that were making my head spin! Finally, after about 20 minutes I saw a cab coming! "RIdes by Rob", operated by Silver Cab Company, pulled up, took one look at me & said, "I'm Rob - the guy you called first -- I'm not Yellow Cab, but I was so worried about you that I decided to come out here as quickly as I could get here to help you. Please get in the cab & let's get you out of here". I looked for the appropriate signage, and felt comfortable getting into the cab. As we pulled out, he explained that I was not in a good area & this place was not safe - I did the right thing by not staying! He suggested a couple of other places & drove me to a Holiday Inn Express and waited while I went inside to see if they had any rooms available. I gave him $20.00 on a $4.50 fare, and could not have been more appreciative!
After getting to my new room, I noticed my hair and clothing reeked of stale smoke - just from standing in that room for 5 minutes! I sent my girlfriend who was due to meet me at the hotel a text with new instructions & proceeded to do what I should have done to begin with - researched the property on-line. While Travelocity, which I will not use again after this experience, had only vague reviews on this property, Trip Advisor was spot on! Danger, Disgusting, Gross.......just Terrible. Local police reports reported "pistol whippings". There had been 3:30am break-ins into the rooms of this property! I am surprised that Travelocity would market a property like this & am very disappointed to learn of their endorsement of such a despicable property. I could not recommend this place to anyone, especially anyone traveling alone - it was truly the worst hotel experience of my life!
I have written to Travelocity to request a refund, but frankly, I'm just truly thankful to have gotten out of there unharmed, and thankful that there are still good people in this world - thank you Rides by Rob - Rob Straub - Silver Cab Company!