On my way to a business meeting, and having left on Friday night with a little time to kill, I ended up having to choose between trying to find a place to stay for the night or driving in the remnants of a hurricane as it swept across the plains and into Missouri. At this exit, the Motel 6 was booked for the night, and my GPS, or Sprint Navigation Service, showed the Arch Budget Motel in Saint Charles, Missouri as the next nearest motel. There were a couple of vehicles out front, both service vehicles, so I assumed it was an infrequently used motel where I could hopefully get a quiet night of sleep.
I woke the owner up when I arrived just after midnight, and he offered me the key to room 5 so I could “check it out.” I wasn’t expecting much, and wasn’t surprised. It was a room, with a bed, and TV. I pulled back the bed comforter and didn’t see any stains, the bathroom seemed OK, and the TV worked. I’m a big guy, so the fact that the front door of my room in this motel was missing a deadbolt and just had a latch didn’t bother me enough to be picky. I paid $35 for the room, jammed the door key down into the latch to hold the door shut, and watched a few minutes of TV. On further look, the shower wasn’t that clean, and there was a plastic sheet on the bed, but having paid for it, I thought I’d try to get some sleep.
I woke up not 2 hours later itching like mad. I jumped out of bed and turned the light on and saw to my horror that the bed was full of bedbugs of all different sizes. There were at least 100 of them, and all over the pillow case and sheets: little spots of blood – my blood. Luckily, I didn’t bring in anything other than a change of clothes for the next day. I showered thoroughly, left the change of clothes in the room, and my clothes from the day before, and went to my car in a towel, where I changed clothes. I woke the innkeeper up and told him he has bedbugs, bad, and said I was leaving. He offered no apologies, no refund, in fact, he said nothing.
I later learned via TripAdvisor that the bedbug issues have been going on for at least a year in that particular room and in others. This is the last time I’m going off of GPS recommendations for accommodations without verifying via a travel site!
TripAdvisor. 2009. Arch Budget Motel.