Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Cold Case or CSI, but I the only female who isn’t too keen on staying in a hotel or motel by myself?
I recently took a trip to Iowa, and I had to stay in a Sheraton in a small town. I drove myself down there and it was about a five hour ride in the snow. The hotel was nice and they did get me on the second floor. I locked my door and all that. But midway through the night, I woke up because I SWEAR that someone was trying to open my door. My sleep was shot then.
Another time I was staying at a Motel 6 in a small town outside of Oklahoma City. I was there with a photographer because we were covering a Harley Davidson rally at an open field about five miles down some dirt road. I’m not usually a Motel 6 patron, but this really was the only spot to stay.
After washing a roach down the sink, I sat on the bed and tried to sleep. But between remembering the truckers asking me if I was alone, the bikers asking me if I wanted a ride and the shadows that kept walking by my window, sleep eluded me. I couldn’t do it. The photographer, on the other hand, said he slept like a baby. His room was nowhere close to mine.
Last example… Two years ago I was on Obama’s campaign trail as part of Ebony’s election coverage. I had followed him to Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina… But in South Carolina, I once again was at a motel because my company couldn’t get me into the hotel with the other reporters. So my motel was spread out along some train tracks and at the edge of a forest. I was in room 1, building 14, which was facing the train tracks and at the extreme northern end of this complex. When I drove all the way to the back, I was the only car in a parking lot whose lights didn’t work. They also put me on the first floor, ground level. (there were only two floors to this motel.)
Then, my kitchenette door didn’t lock from the inside and the room wasn’t clean. Before I could even call the front desk, a security guard knocks at the door, asking to be let in. And I’m like, “Oh Shit.” I called the front desk and got immediately transferred. The security guard finally went away when I didn’t open the door. The new room, now on the second floor, was just as dark and out of the way as the old one. They refused to give me a room facing the highway!
I wound up taking myself to the Embassy Suites across the highway and paying for my own hotel room in an actual hotel. I was on the fourth floor – NOT the ground floor. The accounting folks got a little miffed at me for making the switch. And the men in my party (who all had motel suites facing the highway) didn’t understand why I didn’t want to stay in a ground-level motel room facing the forest, but I guess they don’t know much about being a woman traveling by herself.
My husband was the one who strongly suggested that I need to relocate myself into a proper hotel and pay for it myself if the company won’t do it. So that’s what I did. And, I slept quite well that night. No roaches, no bounty hunters in the bathroom (true story! I’ll tell that one next…) and no one jiggling at my hotel door in the middle of the night.
Of course, put me on the 25th floor of the Hyatt in New York City or on the 3rd floor of the Standard in Los Angeles and I sleep like a baby. 😉