The Worst Hotels In Major US Cities

by Anthony Losanno
Scary Hotel

Advertiser & Editorial Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat earns an affiliate commission for anyone approved through the links below. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. We work to provide the best publicly available offers to our readers. We frequently update them, but this site does not include all available offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

The five-star hotels get lots of blog reviews, Instagram stories, and inclusions in travel outlets’ “best of” lists, but what about at the other end of the spectrum? How bad are the worst hotels in some major US cities. I started thinking about this and took to TripAdvisor to see what ranked worst in these five cities. Spring break is coming and travel prices are high, but these hotels should not be on your list when looking for that holiday getaway. Here is what I found:

Civic Center Inn

(Photo Credit: TripAdvisor review from Brandon M.)

San Francisco

Per TripAdvisor, the worst-ranked hotel is the Civic Center Inn. It’s described by the hotel as:

Civic Center Inn is an excellent choice for travelers visiting San Francisco, offering a budget friendly environment alongside many helpful amenities designed to enhance your stay. Nearby landmarks such as Full House House (1.3 mi) and Ghirardelli Square (1.5 mi) make Travel Lodge San Francisco a great place to stay when visiting San Francisco. A 24 hour front desk and baggage storage are some of the conveniences offered at this motel. If you are driving to Civic Center Inn, free parking is available.”

The above seems inviting, but reviewers seemed to have some scary experiences:

  • “Very bad location and terrible front desk service. They lied as I was charged twice for parking, when the reservation indicated that there was 1 public parking allowed per guest.” -P V A
  • “The conditions of this hotel were extreme. Flies everywhere, hallways smell of piss, bed sheets were stained everywhere with burn holes all over it. Floor wasn’t vacuumed, night stands don’t have drawers. I wasn’t going to leave a negative review until the manager started yelling at me.” -Brandon M.
  • “It’s basically a shelter rented out to the homeless, drug addicts, prostitutes and criminals. I booked online thinking I was getting a good deal in SF until I arrived and couldn’t dare sleep in this filthy, sleazy, criminal surrounded roach motel and left for another place an hour or so after check in.” -Rich Y.
  • I stayed here last year with my partner and accidentally left my ring behind in the room. I called them 10 mins after we had left and asked if she could send it on to Houston for me and charge for the postage. She said had found it and was happy to, however when I arrived in Houston the ring never showed up. I called her multiple times and she hung up on me every time then stopped answering my calls. This was my grandmothers engagement ring and the only thing of sentimental value I had left of her. Absolutely still devastated about this till this day….hope she gets her karma. Can’t believe the morality of some people.” -Traveling Kiwi
  • “If you want to end up on The First 48, then this is the place they will find your dead body! As we walked up the urine smell filled halls my 14 y.o pointed out the drug needles laying by the rooms, the smoke detector was missing from our room and the AC didn’t work, needless to say we didn’t sleep very well due to the paranoia of the drug activity and homeless people all around the building, and beware employees sleep on the couch in the lobby, but glad to say nothing was stolen or broken in to, but definitely will never do that again!!!” -Atreyu F

Girasole Apartments

(Photo Credit: TripAdvisor review from Becky G.)

Miami Beach

Per TripAdvisor, the worst-ranked hotel is the Girasole Apartments. It’s described by the hotel as:

Featuring a year-round outdoor pool, Girasole Apartments in Miami Beach provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking for guests who drive.”

Reviewers found more than free Wi-Fi with several citing robberies and bugs:

  • “DO NOT BOOK! This place is a scam. False pictures on their site. Mold and mildew in bathroom with peeling paint. Broken bed frame and no one was available to help us. Towel had food stains and hair. Totally disgusting.” -Mike
  • “One of the most disappointing places I’ve stayed. The door keypad was missing a number, I had to shove the door open with my shoulder, the apartment smelled, the stove was broken, and we discovered multiple bugs in the kitchen and the bathrooms – alive and walking around. We contacted and asked for a refund to which they acknowledged it was “unfortunate” and yet did not offer any type of refund.” -Josh R.
  • “As soon as we got here we were treated horribly by the manager and after a while of going back and forward we managed to get the apartment. A few hours later, we were heading to sleep and someone broke in into the apartment. They stole from us, we had to call the cops and make a report. Luckily they got the guy and according to the cops this happens often. For your own safety and time don’t stay here.” -Fabiana Delgado
  • “Room was infested with roach. Literally roaches everywhere. They. did not want to give me a room. Customer service was ignorant and try to blame me about the roaches. The roaches were living underneath the fridge. It was dirty and an awful experience in general. They completely ruined my vacation.” -Dashly R.


(Photo Credit: TripAdvisor review from Ami D.)

Las Vegas

Per TripAdvisor, the worst-ranked hotel is the OYO Gateway Motel. It’s described by the hotel as:

Hotel Gateway Las Vegas is a contemporary hotel in Las Vegas. It is close to the historic Las Vegas strip and is near the convention center. Other tourist attractions nearby the property include Mary Dutton Park, Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum, and Burlesque Hall of Fame. Special Features The property features tasteful rooms. The rooms are warm-toned and have carpeted flooring. The furniture is charming here. The bathrooms are chic and are attached to the rooms. There is a seating area too where the guests can enjoy fresh air. The reception here is welcoming. Facilities The rooms here have king-sized beds, TVs, and ACs. Card payments are accepted here. CCTV cameras are installed for the protection of the guests. 24/7 checkin and daily housekeeping are also offered here. Nearby Dona Maria Tamales, Chicago Joe’s Restaurant, Florida Cafe, El Sombrero Mexican Bistro, and Cornish Pasty Co are present in the close proximity of the property.”

Reviewers call out bloody pillows and stray pubes in the shower:

  • “Gross. Not vacuumed. Musty, gum in carpet, broken furniture, plastic covered mattress with no fitted sheets and blood on the pillow? NO!! Fees demanded in cash were not returned. “Scrubbed Clean?” Ew!” -Ami D.
  • “This is a first for me. What a scuzzy, sleazy, broken down motel I arrived at. Booked a room thru Arago and awaited confirmation. After 2 hrs, nothing. Went to motel to see if they rec’d my confirmation. Nothing. Mgr told me he could give me the room for $195.00 per nite and when the confirmation came, he would reject it cause he had already given me the room. I was shown the room. Can I throw up cause that’s what I wanted to do. Comforter had burn Mark’s and stains, room smelled of tobacco and other things. Mgr offered to upgrade my room to 2 beds and better unit for $240.00. R u kidding me? U know where I’m going with this. DO NOT GO THERE FOR ANY REASON if u r a same person.” -Delia K.
  • “Do you like the possibility of contacting Hepatitis C? Do you want the excitement of experiencing what it might be like to stay in a real life Vegas crack house? Do you also enjoy being ripped off?…. Then you are in luck as the Gateway Motel, Vegas provides just that with its filthy, dated and massively overpriced rooms! You can lay on the plastic sheets of your uncomfortable bed, marveling at the ancient battered furnishings and tatty, dirty decor while wondering how many prostitutes have been laid in the very same bed. Enjoy the broken window in the bathroom and the free pubic hairs they provide in the aging shower suit. The massive 80s TV is a marvel to behold, it doesn’t switch on but it is very beautiful. Over all, the ambience is very relaxing with the sound of helicopters overhead, engines revving outside and the muffled sounds of couple arguing in the rooms next door; it will really give you the authentic Vegas experience you’d heard about.” -Dan Med

Bloody Pillow

(Photo Credit: TripAdvisor review from Dariana D. Guerrero)

New York City

Per TripAdvisor, the worst-ranked hotel is the Gwb Hotel. It’s described by the hotel as:

The management at the Gwb Hotel, Bronx, offers a warm welcome and value, 4-star hotel accommodation with 37 well-appointed, air-conditioned rooms.”

Reviewers were welcomed by rats and feces:

  • “While I and my husband went there for a holiday we were there for a week until I felt something crawling on me then we looked at it and it turned out to be a rat I threw up. Then I went to the bathroom to clean myself up then I threw up again because of the amount of mould and cockroaches. ( true story xoxox)
    0 stars for the love of god don’t go there ever!!!!!!!!!!” -Abbey C.
  • “Got one room, bathroom dirty, mold everywhere and bed got stains and hair, went downstairs they gave me another one, smelled good, I opened the toilet and excrement was floating, whole bowl dirty, opened the bed and it had eyeliner marks and a condom at the bottom of the night table. Went downstairs again and the third room was dirty again, floor got stains, pee on the toilet seat and the bed was dirty too. Never again, price border $150 I rather sleep in my car or in crack head motel.” -Traveler4life
  • This place was the worse! I had to pay cash for 2 nights of hell! The place was disgustingly dirty, towels and sheets were stained, no toilet tissue, people smoking cigarettes and weed throughout the building. I stayed awake for the 2 nights because of people hanging out in the halls, TV’s blasting, rooms were tiny, the television was a 19”, if that big! I was truly scared for my life. Staff is rude, barely spoke English and could careless about your complaints!! They are absolutely NOT following covid guidelines! I had to clean and disinfect the room myself! Shameful!” -92JessicaR

Aloha Motel

(Photo Credit: TripAdvisor review from Katie)


Per TripAdvisor, the worst-ranked hotel is the Aloha Motel. It’s described by the hotel as:

Guests will appreciate proximity to Macarthur Park, which is a 10-minute ride away. Staying at this low-budget hotel, guests get quick access to the petite Scottsdale Playground Park.”

Reviewers found bed bugs and a drunk front desk clerk:

  • “This motel was the worst one I’ve been at period. Completely dirty, rude staff and very unprofessional. One seemed drunk or on something. The female was very unpleasant. The room was so disgusting and outdated I didn’t even stay 8 hours. I didn’t use the shower and was afraid to sleep on the bed. Which the matress felt like a box spring and the floor turned my significant other and I’s socks black” -Katie
  • “WORST BED BUGS EVER! I’ve stayed in some pretty run down & rough motels around the world but at least they were clean and the sheets were changed. This is the first time that I’ve ever been bitten by bed bugs so at the time of early check out to the airport, I assumed they were mosquito bites. Fast forward to my plane ride home to San Diego and I’m itching these large nasty red welts like crazy. It’s a week later and I still have large red welts. How do I know they’re bed bugs? Thanks to good ole Google images. Oh, tried to get a refund for this disgusting uncomfortable inconvenience and was denied. Unless you enjoy filth & bugs, NEVER stay here.” -Joe Decker

Anthony’s Take: If the price seems too good to be true, you’re likely in for a scary night. Always research where you’re staying both from online reviews and by looking at maps to see where the lodging is located. The hotels above seem more nightmare-inducing than relaxing. Sleep tight.

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Advertiser & Editorial Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat earns an affiliate commission for anyone approved through the links above This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. We work to provide the best publicly available offers to our readers. We frequently update them, but this site does not include all available offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

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