Being a very frequent traveler, I am not given to hyperbole and exaggeration when it comes to hotels. I realize, by nature, its hit or miss. However, I feel compelled to fully advise and warn others about this incredibly squalid and dangerous place.
I was in the area to run the Whibey Island Marathon in nearby Oak Harbor, a town that was hopelessly sold out of all hotel and motel rooms. So I booked this property in the quasi-depressed town of Anacortes since it was practically the only thing available within a half an hour of where I needed to be. Orbitz listed this "property" as a two-star hotel so I figured it would be passable. However, not only does the property not rate two stars--or any fractional stars---it should be condemned and the owner(s) faced with heavy fines for innumerable fire, safety and building code violations.
When I first came upon the motel, the exterior revealed a property screaming out for extensive renovation, if not altogether razing. But when I climbed three flights of stairs that reeked of urine and revealed decades of abject filth, the situation deteriorated from dread to panic after I saw my room---room #40 (see photos). This particular room was inside a corridor, more a dead end where identically situated rooms on lower floors were used as janitorial (assuredly unused) closets. At first, I thought there was a mistake since the door knob had a crumpled paper bag over it, held around the knob by Band-Aids. I called down and I was assured that this room was for let and was tragically mine for the night. When I entered, the smell of decades worth of unfiltered cigarette smoke and mold assaulted me with the force of a junkie's fetid breath. I have stayed in smoking rooms before and it's never lilacs and ambrosia, but this room's stench made my eyes water. Airing out the room was impossible since there was a thick plastic sheeting over every window in the place, a garbage bag-like material that flapped outside.
The room had all of its locks missing---the chain, deadbolt, all gone replaced with holes in the particle board indicating their former presence (see photos). The carpet and chairs all were festooned with mean and copious stains....the bathroom had no mirror, but had gang graffiti (again, see photos) all over the room....an ancient fuse box with missing door greeted the guest in the bedroom where the sink was, inches about the sink....seemingly every table and cabinet had shards of particle board torn and slashed...an ancient space heater built into the wall sneered out, just millimeters from the dingy bedspread (see photos), clearly an inferno waiting to happen. And the barely functioning shower that worked as well as an octogenarian prostate cancer patient's urine stream.
Finding another room was impossible due to the marathon, both at this property and any hotel or motel within a 35-mile radius. So I gilded myself for the night, wedging one of the bodily-fluid stained chair's backs underneath the knob, programming the local police's phone number into my cell phone and hoping that none of the area's seemingly many hard cases wouldn't be invading my horrific sanctum. Fortunately, no one dared to perpetrate a B&E at the San Juan Motel, no doubt scared off by threats of bubonic plague, not to mention the probable desperation of any guest crazy enough to stay at this sub-hovel.
In summation, I think that this place might supplant Manhattan's Hotel Carter as the U.S.'s filthiest hotel for next year's list...that is, if it hasn't been condemned or destroyed by fire in the interim.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of Downtown Anacortes, exactly 3.5 miles from San Juan/Sidney B.C. Ferry. Situated near a variety of restaurants, this quiet motel is great for short-term and long-term guests. Rooms offer King or Queen-sized beds and brand new Stainless Steel Kitchenettes. All rooms include Satellite TV + 4 HBOs, WiFi, In Room Courtesy Coffee and Free Local calls. Amenities also include, Non-Smoking and Smoking Rooms, Daily Maid Service, Ice Machine and Laundry Facilities. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- San Juan Hotel Anacortes