This is my bad review here, but dare I say it was earned. And if you read my other hotel reviews, you'll see that I was bitten by an unknown bug in the dark at a Days Inn in Virginia and I still recommended it so I'm not exactly a diva. My story:
I booked my room for $50 a few weeks in advance. Great price for Asheville, with great-looking photos of the hotel. Bad reviews interspersed, but honestly if you care more about kitschy character and value than pseudo-spas, bad reviews roll off your back. And upon arriving at the hotel, my hopes appeared justified - the neon and gigantic Jed Clampettish guy with the serious character formation flaws gave it the Hillbilly Route 66 vibe I wanted.
Then I went to check in. There were a few others waiting. The elderly lady working informed me I was "out of luck", that they were out of rooms. When I told her I had a reservation, she gave me a dead look back and repeated. However one of the guys waiting was not actually checking in but handing back keys for a room that he refused to stay in - Room 129. This became my only shot, on a night when apparently every other hotel in Asheville was booked. Gotta love that choice. The old lady at the desk made a comment that the rejection probably happened because 129 was on a lower level. (In retrospect, I can't tell if she was in denial or just being cynical.) So I booked it.
The good: the room looks just as kitschy as you'd hope - wood paneling, a 30-year-old Zenith tv, screen doors, etc.
- the room had a HORRIBLE smell. Couldn't tell if it was moisture in the carpet (as the carpet all over the room was wet) or mold. Toilet seat had dark coloration that at least suggested latter. I survived by breathing through my mouth. My wife later said, "I've stayed in places where my safety has been at risk, but this is the first time I've stayed at a place where my health is at risk!"
- My kids had fallen asleep on the drive so I laid them on the bed as is. I got in the other bed and felt dirt under the pillow. I also felt dirt throughout the night as I shifted - unprompted, my 7-year-old reported the same from her bed later the next day. My wife and I decided to sleep with our clothes on to be safe.
- in the middle of the night, my wife heard a buzzing that turned out to be a bee or wasp in the room. (I guess the former based on other reviews.) She trapped it in the bathroom and with that we said to each other, ENOUGH.
As soon as our kids showed signs of waking the next morning, we rushed them out of bed and straight into the car. Keys dropped off at the front and we were off. No matter what, our day was guaranteed to improve from there.
From reviews, there are apparently good and bad rooms, and not all are this bad. If that's the case, this place should do us all a favor and just shut down the 129-style rooms, or offer them at a $5 "buyer beware" rate or something. I will NEVER give them another chance. And geez, if someone reserves a room then for goodness sake just hold the room! Or call if a phone number is listed before you potentially ruin someone's night.
This place looks great from the outside, but it's deeply flawed internally. Let's hope some of that mountain air cleans out these people's senses.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Family owned motel , originally built in 1930's with blocks from the Blue Ridge parkway construction project. Mountain man neon sign has been designated a historic landmark. Centrally located in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC. The property has been featured in many motion pictures throughout the years. The main building has "Appalachian" rooms with original cedar walls, and tiled bathrooms. The newer portion has extra large rooms with two double beds. All rooms have fridges, coffee pots and wifi. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Mountaineer Hotel Asheville