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I contracted a venereal disease at this hotel.

That is just one of the great quotes from a review on Trip Advisor. The bad reviews on Trip Advisor can be really bad. Like scare-everybody-away bad. I admit that I use Trip Advisor quite a bit when I travel and have stayed in some fantastic accommodation and eaten in some amazing restaurants because of the advice and comments. Yes, it’s nice to just wander around aimlessly sometimes to find that ‘hidden gem’, but there is a very good chance that the hidden gem is ranked No.4 for that town or city on Trip Advisor anyway. And they can still be hidden gems, by the way, even if they are on Trip Advisor. On my last trip to the Philippines I went to the No.1 ranked restaurant in Taglibaren City and beside enjoying my best meal in the Philippines it was truly a hidden gem because no tourists really stay in Taglibaren City anyway. Nearly all of the reviews were from locals.

The reason I’m talking Trip Advisor is because I’ve been looking up a couple of restaurants for my upcoming trip to the Bali. I know that they will be amazing because the endless stream of comments say, well, amazing things about them. Also, Trip Advisor can help steer you clear of dodgy restaurants and hotels. And yes, maybe competing hotels and restaurants might throw in a shocking review, but when there are 272 reviews for a hotel and 268 say that it is terrible then you can be pretty sure that is it worthy of a wide berth. Some of the reviews for these terrible establishments are fantastic. The aforementioned hotel with 268 ‘terrible’ reviews is the Nanford Guest House in Oxford, England. Here are some of their glowing reviews:

‘You’ll need therapy after this hotel. Save yourself and just don’t do it.’

‘The Worst Hotel in the History of Mankind.’

‘Had I known that I would be faced with this cesspit I would have gladly slept in my car in the freezing conditions.

We were greeted by a creepy looking man who gave no eye contact, spoke pretty much with grunts and treated us like we were a nuisance. The room smelt disgusting, like cigarettes and old people.’ 

‘Where do I start, pulled blanket back and it was covered in pubes and what looked like urine stains all over.

I’d steer clear of the Hotel Carter in New York as well:

‘To call this a ‘fleabag’ hotel would be an unconscionable insult to both fleas and bags everywhere.’

‘Go and sleep on the subway, it’s cleaner.’

One guest at the Hotel Carter wasn’t taking any risks (this is a real shot of the Hotel!)

‘We believe the 9th floor is the point of origin for every bacteria known to man.’

‘I felt sick every minute I spent on this hotel. I could never imagine to find such a trash place, not even in my worst nightmare…’

‘I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to stay here.’

And if you don’t want to catch a venereal disease don’t stay at the Parisian Hotel & Suites in Miami Beach. The hotel gets an impressive 87 terrible reviews out of 91.

‘When we arrived we were told we had a 2 bed room with a bathroom, we were given a bunk bed in a glorified jail cell with a desk. We had a community bathroom at the end of the hall where we discovered a condom on the sink. The room maid stole my friend’s prescription pills out of his suitcase while we were on the beach. I felt like I got AIDS by touching the sheets. Do not stay here under any circumstances. Please.

‘Absolutely filthy, tiny, excuse for a room, towels were tiny pieces of sandpaper covered in filth, blood and rust. The bed felt like sleeping on nails and rocks. We would have slept on the floor but the carpet was so dirty we didn’t take our shoes off!  We found a disgusting pair of used panties in the closet.’

‘Dirty, filthy, run-down, smelly, crack-hotel feel to this place! Carpeting is old, stained and dirty. Towels are old, stained, and dirty. Beds are old, stained, and dirty. Walls are old, stained, and dirty. Bed spread full of hair. It is almost midnight and we cannot even force ourselves to stay here another minute! Camping in a tent in the middle of the woods is cleaner than this place!’
‘Avoid staying here by all means – stay under a bridge you will sleep better and get a better treatment.’

And I love this one (for the same dirty, filthy, run-down, smelly, crack-hotel):

When ape like creatures gathered themselves together, invented fire, realised the absence of humour in Adam Sandler films and finally moved out of faeces lined caves, I think they imagined they would never return to that place. Sadly, some modern day hominids had the misfortune of unearthing the cave, or Parisian Hotel & Suites as they call it now.

The subsequent million years haven’t been kind to the place, though it may pass for a museum of ;

a) Strange coloured stains, upon all fittings.
b) The horrors of the drug trade, the syringes carefully displayed in separate draws.
c) Conception techniques throughout the ages, from the modern condom beneath the bed, to the shower that only ran in ice cold jets straight from a Russian base in the Arctic.

Like all good museums, out front was displayed several mummified bodies, tenuously referred to as “staff” They really were quite convincing, I though I saw one of them move slightly, but to believe that would be a bit daft.’

Some restaurants haven’t faired much better when it come to reviews. Here are some random terrible reviews for random terrible restaurants:

‘Casa Pukey. Avoid like the plague.’

‘I’d prefer to bite a ball of tinfoil than swallow any of the food from this place again. The ‘jambon italia’ starter was basically a half eaten rasher. Think I spotted some cat whiskers on it even. Highlight of the evening was the brain freeze I got from my gelato dessert – at least it distracted me from the horrible taste in my mouth.’

‘Quite honestly the worst dining experience ever. It was so completely bad in every aspect that it became a comical farce. Terrible service, menus stolen from another restaurant, frozen cheese in the dishes, etc etc. 4 other sets of tables walked out before we finally did. On walking out the ‘manager’ told the waiter “I told you we should have turned the oven on”.’

‘Probably the worst Indian food on the planet. Clearly this place relies on trade from late diners when everyone has had a skinful; however with food this bad no amount of booze could make it taste any better.’

So not only does Trip Advisor direct me to some great hotels and restaurants, it keeps me away from places like these!

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