[Note: I wrote this last summer, the day after "experiencing" this motel. I held onto it until now because I wasn't sure I wanted to post such a negative review and risk potential online wrath. Upon having a friend ask us about lodging in the Greenville area for the upcoming summer, though, I realized that I wouldn't want anyone staying at this motel without being previously aware of its condition--so I felt obligated to post our account.]
We booked two nights at the Hideaway Resort in mid-June for the Fourth of July weekend.
I found only a few online reviews of the place (not at TripAdvisor) and, figuring as I usually do, on tossing out the highest and the lowest, it sounded like a decent place to rest our heads between holiday activities in the nearby communities of Quincy and Chester.
I called the owner to make the reservations and asked specifically about cleanliness, non-smoking room availability and mold/mildew issues. Bink assured me that it was “very clean” and that we would love the great mattress and blankets and there would be no issues with smoking or mildew smells. I gave him my credit card number to reserve the room.
Upon checking in at approximately 4:30 in the afternoon of July 3, we asked to be shown our room (Room 2). Bink walked us to the room and pushed the door open. We stepped inside and were speechless.
We have nothing against small, independent motel--many of our most enjoyable stays have been at them. We have nothing against “funkiness” of décor and construction from previous eras--our own home is a 1920’s cabin in the woods. We have nothing against being off the main highway without wifi or in-room hot tubs--we’re simple folks and that’s what we prefer.
I am not a cleanliness fanatic--but we do have issues with mildew and mold (the shower floor at our room in the Hideaway was heavy with mold and the room’s air stale with the sour smell of mildew), missing porcelain tiles in the shower (more than two dozen tiles had fled the wall’s surface), shag carpeting that is so dirty that dust rises when the door brushes across it, a stainless steel mixing bowl wedged under the toilet tank to keep drips from falling on to more of the same shag carpeting and a broken sill on the front door, leaving a gap through which bugs and vermin could easily enter.
A front double-hung window and a small window in the bathroom provided the only ventilation (aided by a dusty table fan). That would have been acceptable, except that Room 1, beside ours, had a plastic table and chairs out front with a pack of cigarettes and a lighter on them. Bink told us the folks in Room 1, 3 and 4 were a “nice group” and were out for the day. The cigarettes and lighter predicted to us that they’d be sitting out on the front porch, just beside our window, smoking during the evening—meaning no fresh air for us to escape from the mildew smells.
Bink told us repeatedly how difficult it is to run a small motel and that there’s no money in the “hospitality industry” for the “mom- and pop-run motels.” I’m not in any position to financially assess his operation, but as a consumer I can tell you why this particular motel could be having difficulties: There’s an appalling lack of cleanliness at the Hideaway Resort Motel. And precious little “hospitality.”
Back in the lobby, Bink pointed meaningfully at the “7 Day Notice of Cancellation” statement he has posted there. We admittedly were up against a hard place—I knew the policy was seven days’ cancellation, but I hadn’t imagined the place, at its worst, would be more than “old” or funky.” We paid a cancellation fee to drop our second night’s lodging, making our one-night paid-for stay almost $129.
We bet that many people book a reservation by phone and then are aghast, when arriving at their lodging, yet can’t back out of the reservation because of the policy. It felt a bit like extortion. And we paid it just because we were still in shock.
We headed back to the room to see if it was indeed as dirty as it seemed on first inspection and found it depressingly so. The mirror in the main living area was filmy with smudges and the portable refrigerator sat forlornly on the dirty floor, its door hanging open against the ground and cord dangling sadly. Only two lights provided illumination (‘probably better that way).
We took some photos to document the room’s condition and then, figuring that money lost is one thing but a night spent in a mildewed and dirty room is truly a horror, we left the key on the bed and got back in our vehicle. We arrived home at almost 11 pm, with collapsed vacation plans—but knowing we’d at least be sleeping in a clean room.
Our lesson learned? To never book an unseen lodging that has “no refund” policy. Our advice to you? Run away from the Hideaway Resort Motel in Greenville.