For the third time in four years, New York’s Hotel Carter has been awarded the title of Dirtiest Hotel in America by TripAdvisor (the other year it was number two).
Roaches, bedbugs, filthy sheets and, oh yes, a dead body wrapped in garbage bags, are just some of the gems in this Times Square hotel’s crown.
As you might expect, the Hotel Carter is included in Peter’s latest book, Don’t Go There! The Travel Detective’s Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World.
Check out the inside scoop on this must-miss hotel.
Times Square might have reinvented itself as an upscale destination, but the 700-room Hotel Carter—which rightly bills itself as affordable (about $100 a night) and centrally located within the tourist hub—is a throwback to the city’s seedier days. And it has a sordid past to prove it.
In August 2007, a hotel maid got an unwelcome surprise when she found the dead body of a young woman, wrapped in garbage bags, under the bed. Police later charged a fugitive sex offender with the murder, saying that the 35-year-old had beaten and strangled the 22-year-old aspiring model and hid-den her under the bed in his room. The two had met online, and at the time of the murder, the girl had been living in a Chelsea-area housing project and working as a call girl.
That’s not all. A few years before, a building engineer died in a freak elevator accident. And in 1999, a clerk at the hotel was charged with killing his coworker with a knife and a hammer during a fight at the front desk. In 1987, the body of a partially clothed woman with her hands tied behind her back was discovered in the hotel’s rear courtyard, apparently having been pushed out of a window. Back in 1983, a 25-day-old baby was beaten to death by her father at the hotel.
Cursed? Maybe. Dirty? Yes. Recent TripAdvisor reviews range from “The hotel was a dump. . . . They never cleaned the rooms. My parents had some cookies in their room and some rats or mice ate it [sic] during the first night. The bathroom were [sic] covered with black stain. It was horrible!” to higher praise that begins with “Perfect for our stay” and then admits, “The sheets were never changed during our 4 night stay.” Stained sheets, filthy bath-rooms, broken phones, and peeling wallpaper are just a few of the complaints. But the good news is, if you stay for less than 30 minutes, you get your money back!
The only other repeat offender on the top 10 list, which is compiled annually based on user-generated reviews, is the Eden Roc Motel in Wildwood, New Jersey.
Check this one out:
Eden Crock!” “Filth!” “Worst place in town,” shout the headlines of reviews of Wildwood, New Jersey’s Eden Roc Motel. From the dumpy lobby to clogged bathroom drains to stained sheets, this $90-a-night motel certainly seems to deserve its place among the 10 dirtiest hotels. According to New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs, Bureau of Housing Inspection, hotels are inspected once every 5 years unless there’s a complaint—and Eden Roc hasn’t received any complaints since its last inspection, in 2005.
Now, consider this: that one department inspects all the hotels, motels, condos, and townhouses in the entire state of New Jersey—we’re talking hundreds of thousands of buildings with three units or more. It took us weeks of due diligence and three different departments even to find someone who could provide us with the inspection reports (and we finally did, from a very lovely and helpful woman named Pat)—so, for the average consumer to file a complaint, it probably takes a Herculean effort.
As the inspection reports indicate, in 2005 the Eden Roc suffered from mold in guest rooms and a lack of carbon monoxide alarms. Not so bad, but after reading those reviews, I’ll still skip that trip to the Eden Roc Motel.
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By Sarika Chawla for PeterGreenberg.com.