I have stayed at the Arcata Super 8 several times over the last three years. You get what is expected for the price point: subpar "breakfast", noisy rooms and halls based on quest mix, reasonably odor free rooms. My daughter and I stayed the nights of August 18 and 19 (2013) while she moved into her dorm. The stay prior to this was in May (2013).
Something changed between May and August that has created an extremely serious situation.
When first walking down the second floor hall past doors with no-smoking signs, we were greeted with stale cigarette and marijuana smoke. When we walked into room 213, we were overwhelmed with smells of smoke and a very heavy gas station air freshener. We immediately opened the window and turned on the fan for outside air, then left and returned late that evening.
The next morning both of us felt as if we were coming down with something. We both had headaches and felt confused. It was also difficult to see, we both described the feeling of looking through a fog. I felt so sick that I napped on the couch in my daughter's Del Norte apartment. By late in the afternoon we both began to feel better.
Again we stayed out until late in the evening and arrived close to midnight. We also walked past several smokers standing by the back door which had been propped open by an overflowing ash tray. The building HVAC pulled the smoke directly into the hallways. When we reached our room, we discovered the housekeeper had closed the window and shut off the fan.
I can't begin to describe the sensation when we entered the room. The room was very warm and immediately after we crossed the threshold, we found it difficult to get a full breath and we felt nauseous. It was as if we had walked into a gas chamber. We immediately opened the window and turned on the fan only to realize that smokers stood outside in front of the building and our fan drew the smoke directly into the room.
Writing this now, it seems ridiculous that we did nothing. Later, when we talked about all this, we realized the combination of the late hour and the gasses in the room caused such confusion that we weren't even thinking well enough to realize staying in the room was dangerous. While my daughter took a shower, I lay down planning to read. The next thing I know, my daughter is trying to wake me up. It is 7:30 the next morning. I could barely get myself out of the bed. She also shared with me that she was concerned because the night before, after coming out of the shower, she tried to wake me up. I didn't respond after three attempts, so she gave up thinking I must be really tired.
To show you how seriously our minds had been affected, our plan was to check out and stop by the airport before heading out on a short camping trip.
Neither my daughter nor I could find the airport - a 4 mile drive straight up the highway from the hotel - a drive we have often taken! We drove north... couldn't find it. We turned south and drove all the way to the campus...no airport. We were dumbfounded. We simply couldn't grasp that something was wrong. We simply could not find that airport.
Needless to say this really frightened us. My daughter worried that she shouldn't be driving.
Not until we had spent many hours at our campsite did our heads clear and we started to put two and two together.
Something is very wrong at the Arcata Super 8. I don't know if the problem is limited to room 213. I spent years in commercial property management and am familiar with "baking out" odors from new build-outs. The temperature is turned way up which, in turn , triggers "off gassing" from the carpets and paints, ultimately rendering the space odor free. The wall of odor that froze our lungs was similar to what can occur when walking into an office space undergoing a bake out.
I contacted owner Yarad Abraha and attempted to explain the situation. I asked if something had changed since May. I told him I was very concerned that he had a dangerous situation on his hands. He was not the least bit interested and told me he was busy with other customers. He also told me I was the only person who has ever complained.
Bottom line, I highly recommend you avoid the Arcata Super 8. I am so concerned that I contacted the Humboldt County Health Department. They plan to investigate the situation.
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- Also Known As:
- Super 8 Hotel Arcata
- Super 8 Motel Arcata
- Super Eight Arcata
- Arcata Super Eight
- Arcata Super 8