Four couples, all of us driving classic '56 and '57 T-Birds, had the misfortune to stay here one night on our epic 6,500-mile, 16-state journey from Seattle to Chicago, then all of historic Route 66 to Santa Monica. There aren't a lot of places to stay in Chandler, Okla., but they all had to be better than this dump. At least two of the rooms had bedbugs, including ours. There were flies on the ceiling, and at least a dozen dead flies on the carpet. The carpet was worn and badly soiled -- we didn't take our shoes off until we got into bed. The shower/toilet room was dirty, and the one piece of soap was miniscule. Towels were small and thin. No coffee in room, so we had to go to the shabby reception area to ask for coffee -- they had run out by 8 am and the desk clerk very grudgingly made another pot. The juice machine is in the office as well, and he had to unlock it before I could get a glass of thin, watery juice. The restaurant was bare bones in decor, and food was pedestrian. The very young waitress was pleasant, but totally untrained. Dinner was so tasteless and cold that one of our dining companions could not eat it. And no comp breakfast for us -- we were forced back into the bleak restaurant to pay or whatever we could choke down for breakfast.
The decor and atractiveness of the concrete walls and walkways has all the ambiance of an East German prison camp. All four couples filed written, formal complaints to Econo Lodge and/or its parent company. Most thought it the worst, dirtiest motel they had ever stayed in. Since I've been in the travel industry as a writer and PR exec for 25 years, I've stayed in hundreds of lodges, inns, motels, hotels, and B&Bs, and although this was not the worst of all -- the one in the old Yugoslavia. one in Italy and one in Alaska tied for hat -- it is certainly in my all-time bottom five.
And about 150 miles west in Clinton, Okla, was another Econo Lodge, that was as light and airy and clean with excellent , large accommodations and a terrific breakfast bar, as the one in Chandler was dirty and old and smelly.
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