Ever have reservations about the hotels where you have reservations?
Every year, TripAdvisor.com puts out a list of the country's dirtiest hotels, based on reports it gets from actual travelers.
And on "The Early Show" Friday, CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg talked about several of the ones on this year's list.' He also offered tips on what to do if you check in somewhere and find it to be particularly filthy.
Two of the hotels Greenberg discussed have commented on their being on the list - one replied to TripAdvisor itself, another to CBS News. CBS News called the others Peter brought up several times over a month, and received no response.
JACK LONDON INN, OAKLAND, CALIF.
79 percent of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
"Terrible is too kind of a rating for this dump; NO one should stay there." - foggnich
"Below Ghetto." - Ray_from_Arcadia
"This place appreared to house a bunch of folks who just got out of prison. No towels, no hair dryer, dirty everywhere and cigarette butts in the hallway. Eventhough parking was free, when we arrived late one night and the lot was full, the front desk person said "parking is on a first come first serve basis."
ECONO LODGE NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, ELIZABETH, N.J.
85 percent of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
"We probably have 25 bug bites between the two of us." - Stephmwebb, Portland, Oregon
"Not hyperbole: Stay away!" -Jazzop89, New York City, New York
(Again, from Jazzaop89)
-- the box spring for the bed was rotten completely through and collapsed on one side.
-- the mattress was covered with a think, vinyl undersheet. I was actually thankful for this because I didn't want to think about the condition beneath the sheet. It was horribly noisy and uncomfortable for sleeping
-- the duvet/comforter was so threadbare that you could see through parts of it
-- the sheet had bloodstains
-- the floor was warped and creaky. You could place a bowling ball at pretty much any point and it would roll across the room
-- the shower/tub was half the length of a normal tub. The showerhead was the cheap, single-setting kind that you find in high school gyms, prisons, and Army barracks
-- the toilet was tiny and already clogged
-- the wallpaper was peeling and there were many patched areas where the pattern was not even remotely attempted to be matched up (vertical stripes on wallpaper, but patches were placed so stripes ran horizontally)
-- mold/mildew along the top of bathroom walls
-- carpet was threadbare and stained all over the place
-- every hour, all night long, someone would slide a Chinese take-out menu under the door" - Jazzop89, New York City, New York
"When I was young and single I traveled a lot, staying in really cheap motels or sleeping in the car to save money. Motel 6 was a luxury at the time. I cannot emphasize how really bad this motel is, worse than anything I experienced back then. I took lots of photos of dilapidated, rusty stairs, dirty and ripped carpets, stained ceiling tiles, a broken water faucet, and dingy lighting. We all wore socks rather than put our bare feet on the filthy carpet. There was a mount where a missing smoke detector had once been. I've let my anger temper over the last year but still feel others should know what they might get into if you stay there." - tk22030, Fairfax, Virginia
FULL STATEMENT TO CBS NEWS FROM ECONO LODGE NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:
February 24, 2011:
To Whom It May Concern:
First, we would like to thank you for the opportunity that you have giving us to insure you and our guests that we have taken this matter very seriously. We have reviewed and addressed the ratings and/or comments in Tripadvisor website to guarantee the satisfaction of our guests.
Just to mention some of the complaints were about our breakfast. In fact we offer hot breakfast in our restaurant on site, Perkins. I also like to point out that although our hotel is an older building, we have worked on maintaining all aspects of the rooms to the standards that our guests deserve.
We have recently gone through quality assurance inspection, and we are glad to mention that we have successfully passed and achieved the scores required.
Once again, I want to take the time to thank you for your time and concerns. If you have any further questions, please feel to contact me.
Very Truly Yours,
To see some more hotels on the list, get the complete list, and get Peter's tips on dealing with dirty hotels, go to Page 2.
GRAND RESORT HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER, PIGEON FORGE, TENN.
87 percent of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
"... Our room was smelly, there was a huge crack between the door frame and the door, you could see people walk by. The food was horrible, just everything about this place was sickening. ... and if you complained, their answer was- what do you want us to do? Well, refund my money, which THEY would not do." - Unhappycamper185, Charleston, West Virginia
STATEMENT ON HOTEL WEBSITE:
"The Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center received its score from an impromptu hotel/motel inspection conducted by the health department on January 19, 2011. The Hotel scored an 89 out of 100 possible points. In addition the indoor jacuzzi pool received a score of 100. The property also maintains and A- rating with the Better Business Bureau.
New President, Nicky Darrell Chaney, will continue to work on the problems that any 30 year old property experiences. "We are continuing the process of improving our property and we will stay steadfast to returning the property once again to the "Grand" Resort Hotel. But as our score shows, we are a far cry from being the dirties hotel in Pigeon Forge, much less America. These findings prove there is a flaw in the rating system websites such as tripadvisor.com uses to determine hotel ratings.""
425 Deluxe Guest Rooms & Suites located on 8 acres in the center of Pigeon Forge, 5 floors, 3 elevators, five story lighted waterfall with reflecting pool, large heated outdoor pool, area's largest indoor Jacuzzi pool, scenic mountain views, over 900 feet of river frontage, private shaded picnic areas, cribs and roll-away beds, kids stay free, on-site restaurant - Seaton's Cafe.SUPER 8 ESTES PARK, ESTES PARK, COLO. (hour-and-half north of Denver)
92 percent of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
"This was the worst experience I've ever had with a hotel! I did read some reviews before booking but thought "really, how bad could it be?" Well that was dumb! Online advertised heated outdoor pool. There was a garden hose hanging over the balcony running directly into the pool which was ice cold! The pool was full of bugs and absolutely disgusting! We then decided to try the hot tub. The chemicals were so strong in the hot tub that our eyes were burning and my children couldn't stop coughing."-JACKIEJ1977, Southerland, Nebraska
POLYNESIAN BEACH & GOLF RESORT, MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.
81 percent of reviewers do not recommend this hotel
"We were very disappointed with our room and the MOTEL. That is what it is, its not a resort, its a MOTEL. Walking to our room, the hallway smelled bad. Once we got into our room, we were met with another bad smell. Not really smoky, more mildew/mold. There was no lock or screen on our window. The window shades had mold spores on them too. The bathtub was plugged, so it took 2+ hours for it to drain." - kwietkaos Three Rivers, Michigan
How do you avoid booking one of these places in advance?
There's really no way of fully avoiding it. Every hotel has some dirty rooms.
There are a number of things you can do as a traveler as soon as you walk into the room:
1. Take the bedspread off the bed and throw it into a corner; never touch it or look at it again. Then lift the mattress up from the box spring; see if there are telltale blood streaks there. If so -- you've got bed bugs!
2. Bring some disinfectant handy wipes or lotion. Wipe down the television remote control unit, then the telephone handset.
3. At resort hotels near the beach, wear slippers. Don't walk barefoot on the carpet.
4. In the bathroom, before ever drinking from them, take the water glasses and put them under hot water for two minutes.
5. If you have a dirty hotel room experience, do a number of things: Alert the general manager or the manager on duty and ask to move rooms. If that doesn't cure the problem, get first and last names and their title, and presuming that you paid for the room with a credit card, dispute the charge.
6. And no matter what happens, alert TripAdvisor -- and also e-mail me at petergreenberg.com.
To see TripAdvisor's complete 2001 list, click here.