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Bad And Bourgeois

I went to family event in a small town last weekend.

This was the kind of small town that doesn’t feature a Whole Foods or Starbucks within a 20-mile radius, and in which the best food options were Chick-Fil-A and Checkers (I ate at both places over two days). While the food wasn’t ideal, I knew it was only for a couple days; I’m in good shape and could get back on track from that rather easily.

What I couldn’t overcome with mere visions of a bright future, was the dingy ass hotel that everyone stayed at.

One of my aunts had arranged the event. I got sent the hotel info weeks in advance, along with the note that it was group-rate priced (at ~ $74/night) and that everyone would be staying there.

We got there around 8PM on Friday; the hotel already had the nighttime window situation activated; the front doors to the lobby were locked. I checked in at the window, paid for our two-night stay — no incidentals charge — and made our way to the room.

The first thing I noticed was how all the rooms were “outside entry.” The place was two stories tall, and reminded me of the hotels we’d stayed in when I played for the Harlem Ambassadors (who were perpetually “on a budget”).

The inside of the hotel room was what you’d expect from my brief description.

Dark. Shadowy. Dingy. Beat-up. Sketchy. Dank-smelling. 1.5 stars out of 5.

When we first pulled up to the hotel, before I’d even encountered a hotel employee, I scanned the area, seeing a suspect-looking Comfort Inn across the street. I googled and saw that it was priced the same as the place I was already booked, which probably meant it was of equal quality. I even googled the entire area looking for the best hotel around, and saw nothing promising in a higher price range. So unless we were gonna stay 20-30 minutes away, we were stuck there.

Because of my prior experience, I didn’t think the hotel was too bad — not close to good, but not too bad — and, it was only two nights. I saw my aunt on Sunday morning, right before leaving town, and she offered an apology.

My aunt was the one who’s arranges this whole event, along with the group rate at the hotel. Thing was, my aunt had never stayed at the hotel, this she didn’t know how much of “a dump” (her words) the place was until she’d slept there herself Saturday night (“I didn’t want to touch anything!”).  I told her that I had had the same (unexpressed) thoughts, but that I also didn’t see a better option in the area. She told us that there was a Hampton Inn up the street that was actually nice. The Hampton hadn't even come up on my Friday night Google search for some reason.

Well, at least I know I’m not crazy.

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