Bangor hotel ranked one of dirtiest

Posted Feb. 09, 2009, at 8:10 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Consumers might expect a top 10 list of dirtiest hotels to include establishments in densely populated areas such as New York City or Miami.

But what about Bangor?

Turns out a hotel in the Queen City ended up recently on a rather dubious list compiled by the interactive Web site TripAdvisor.com. The Travelodge Bangor on Odlin Road was ranked No. 7 on the consumer Web site’s top 10 list, which relied solely on reviewers’ own ratings of cleanliness.

“This hotel is disgusting in every sence (sic) of the word,” wrote one reviewer. “I have stayed in many hotels in my life, once in one that charges by the hour, and I think there was less DNA in that one. I do not recommend staying here to any one. I wouldn’t stay here again if it was free.”

“Never have I stayed in a more filthy disgusting hotel,” wrote another. “You should be ashamed to have your name on it.”

“I actually can’t even say what the hotel was like because the service at the front desk was so horrific I walked out,” wrote a third reviewer.

Other posts had headlines that read, “OMG!!!” “Nasty, nasty, nasty,” and “Absolutely horrific.”

Of the 32 consumer reviews attached to Travelodge Bangor, 25 gave the hotel one star out of five. While most comments associated with the Travelodge Bangor were negative, some were not.

“We had no problems with our reservation and when we arrived the clerk was polite and the room was clean,” wrote one customer. “We found the beds comfortable and weren’t bothered unduly by being so close to the highway; the following morning we agreed we could have done much worse.”

“[F]or $53 a night you can’t expect an honor bar full of wine,” wrote a second. “We found the clerk helpful, the room was clean. The A/C worked! And the bed was comfy! I have stayed in better, and I’ve stayed in worse.”

V.K. Patel, manager of the Travelodge Bangor, declined to comment this week on the hotel’s inclusion on TripAdvisor’s top 10 list. He also declined to show a room to the Bangor Daily News, but he said the hotel has had some setbacks recently because of a leaky roof.

According to permits filed with the city, the Travelodge Bangor is owned by Bangor Rodeway Inn Inc., and the hotel formerly was known as the Rodeway Inn. The contact name listed for the company is Gary Vogel, an attorney based in Portland. He did not return calls for comment.

Bangor code enforcement officer Dan Wellington said the hotel — and all city hotels — is inspected every year. He said the Travelodge building is old and probably could use some updates, but he hasn’t seen any red flags.

The corporate owner for all Travelodge hotels is Wyndham Worldwide, which also owns several other popular chains. Christine Da Silva, a corporate spokeswoman for Wyndham Worldwide, released this statement about the TripAdvisor list:

“We inspect each of the hotels in our system at least once a year to ensure they meet our exacting quality and service standards. When a hotel fails to meet those standards, we notify the owner that specific actions must be taken within a specific amount of time to address its deficiencies. Hotels that make a good-faith effort to re-solve their problems may be given time extensions to comply. Hotels that fail to resolve deficiencies are subject to termination from our system. We are re-evaluating the properties mentioned in the TripAdvisor list to assess the situation at those hotels.”

The top 10 list was released earlier this month by TripAdvisor and featured in a story in USA Today two weekends ago. Wyndham also owns the Days Inn franchise, which had three locations on the list.

Kerrie Tripp of the Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau said that although the Travelodge Bangor is not a member, it was unfortunate that any Maine establishment made such a list.

“It bothers us in the sense that we always want to have our best face forward,” said Tripp. “With any of these online sites, there is always the opportunity for negative and positive comments. We hope that consumers do research not based solely on one comment.”

Besides, it could have been worse for the Travelodge Bangor.

Hotel Carter in New York City was named the dirtiest hotel in the United States for the third consecutive year by TripAdvisor. According to published reports in 2006, a woman’s body was found stuffed into a trash bag hidden under a bed in one of the hotel’s rooms.

The full top 10 list may be found online at: http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-c1. Other area hotels also may be searched on that Web site.

erussell@bangordailynews.net

990-8167

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