“Should have just slept in our car” – Horror stories from Cleveland-area hotels

Welcome to the Cleveland Motel! Throw a plastic sheet over the top, and get a great night’s sleep!

Staying in a hotel is an act of trust. Trust that your bed will be clean, that no one will come wondering into your room, that the carpet will be free of big, mysterious stains.
Sometimes that trust gets horribly, horribly broken.
Thanks to internet reviews, we can steer clear of cigarette-burned bedsheets when we are looking to book a stay somewhere. But what about when you are the person who has to be the warning story to others?
Here's a sampling from some of the worst reviewed hotels and motels in the Cleveland area, complete with stomach-churning photos. Now, is this a very one-sided and unfair approach to talking about these businesses? Yes, absolutely. It should be noted that most of these establishments have some positive (or at least neutral) reviews as well. These opinions are that of the individuals writing the reviews, and not of CLE Weekend.
Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, let's read some horror stories!

Howard Johnson by Wyndham - Cleveland Airport

There is no more slammed Cleveland airport-adjacent hotel than the Howard Johnson. Oh boy, does this place get dragged hard.

This is a fairly typical review, talking about everything being stained, broken or stained AND broken. There’s a pool advertised, but everyone complains about how it’s closed, and full of gravel.

Howard Johnson by Wyndham - Cleveland Airport

“Cheerios, noodles and rubber bands” sounds like a good children’s album title.

Howard Johnson by Wyndham - Cleveland Airport

Remember how that first review said it was “only lacking cockroaches”? We still are lacking them, but how about a nice fat bedbug?

A great aspect about reading a lot of these reviews in a row is the larger narrative of the place that develops in your own mind.

Bad reviews of this HoJo before 2018 are responded to by harried-sounding hotel managers, saying things like: “We are so sorry about the water coming through the ceiling! We are trying to improve!” After 2018? TOTAL silence. Only broken people run this hotel now, watching planes travel the sky with gray, lifeless eyes.

Mecca Motel - Sandusky

If you’ve driven Route 6 going to Cedar Point, you have likely noticed the Mecca Motel. The “exotic” theming doesn’t seem to go beyond its charmingly roadside Americana signage and name, but the broken neon does promise a heated pool, FREE mini-golf and “honest”.

Well, it MUST be honest if they go to the trouble of putting it on the sign.

Mecca Motel - Sandusky

This review gives us a nice little history lesson on Mecca, in order to let us down easy. This hotel is NOT in Saudi Arabia, even though it is named after one of the “Wholyest and sacredest cities”!!!

We learn that the pool might be heated, but there’s no water in it. We also learn that this reviewer is ready to give everyone a chance, as they still put a quarter in the helicopter “ride” next to the over-grown and dirty mini-golf. The quarter is promptly lost. Not to sound heartless, but that one is on you, buddy.

The review concludes with “there were strange smudges on the head board, if you know what I mean gross”. Not to sound naive, but DO I know what you mean? Like, I can guess, but I do not feel totally secure in my guess. You know what? Don’t worry about it.

Mecca Motel - Sandusky

This review is included for the: 1) blood stains reference, 2) info drop that there is a TRAIN that goes by the motel every half-hour, like Elwood’s apartment in the Blues Brothers movie.

Mecca Motel - Sandusky

Here’s that mini-golf course that is, and you are not going to believe this, totally free.

Watch out for the mosquito-breeding puddle hazards!

King's Inn - Strongsville

Sure, it’s an old place, but you just need a place to stay for a minute. And look: a pool! Cable! A thing they used to have, but is now redacted!

Give it a chance!

King's Inn - Strongsville

Oh, okay. There is no pool. We are given a warning against “friend, trust or believe” the red-hair lady.

Why is this person giving two stars? Because the “pop and candy machines are decent”?

King's Inn - Strongsville

Here’s the grievances of a woman who is VERY proud of her Union pipefitter boyfriend.

She goes on about how how the motel is disgusting, and full of unsavory characters. She is an authority on how awful it is, because she lived there for NINE MONTHS. Was her boyfriend too busy on emergency pipefitting jobs to Google “better motel”?

King's Inn - Strongsville

I realize this is not funny when it’s happening to you, and you have money invested, but it’s very hard not to laugh at this Mr. Bean-level bathroom encounter.

Cleveland Motel - Cleveland

A motel AND Mr. Hero in one place?

Did I blow out the candles on a birthday cake without knowing it? My wish just came true!

Cleveland Motel - Cleveland

“Pardon me, I’m from out of town, and am of the ‘Crime element’. Is there a motel for a person of my tastes?”

Cleveland Motel - Cleveland

4 out of 5!

Who else wants to know what “an experience” means as a way to describe a hotel room?

Cleveland Motel - Cleveland

A rave review. Five stars. Only the thick-skinned need apply.