I had a surreal experience at the hostel and left feeling most violated and insulted.
I stayed at this place one night and it was not eventful. The next day, my plan to stay with a friend fell through at the last minute and I had to drive back to the hostel around midnight. I entered the building with the same security code that I was provided the night before. The check-in computer did not allow me to pay online. I felt the only choice I had was to wait until the next morning to pay the staff in person.
The next morning I waited until 10am when the staff arrive to pay for my stay, but was told there will be a penalty payment for paying in person. I felt that my honesty was being penalized. Someone else in my situation could have simply left before 10am without paying. I asked the staff to waive the penalty, and he said he understands my point but knew from experience that the owner would not. I asked him to call the owner.
To my greatest surprise, as soon as I said hi into the receiver, the owner on the other end of the phone was yelling - "you do not do this! you trespassing! you pay penalty or I call the police! I know everything about you! You do this in your country, but here in America, I call the police and the police arrest you! Tow your car!" on and on and on.
I tried my best to calmly explain the situation, how I got in so late that I didn't have any way to pay before staying and why I shouldn't be punished for being honest. This was no use. He was not listening and the verbal abuse continued.
Either the Salt Lake city police force was the stellar example of the country or there was some special reason behind it, the police officer promptly showed up in 5 minutes, still on the phone with the owner DIRECTLY. Once the officer's off the phone with the owner, he asked for my name and birthday, and told me that he would arrest me for trespassing the hotel property, have my car towed and bill me for it, and I can tell my story to the judge. Or, the owner was willing to drop all charges if I pay the penalty. I tried to explain the situation and that the owner insulted me, but the police officer insisted that my options were to pay, or get arrested.
I don't know enough about the legal system to know if the police officer had ground to arrest me for entering a hotel property and wanting to pay for my room. But I am an immigrant and didn't want any arrest record. So, with tail between my legs, I swallow my principal and my pride, paid the penalty and left the place feeling utterly disgusted.
I then recalled a similar situation with the police when I was traveling in Kenya, and remembered with bitterness that I was able to reason my way out of that corrupted country without having to pay any bribery. Who knew, this is America!
Come to this hostel if you enjoy humiliation.
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- Also Known As:
- Camelot Inn & Hostel Salt Lake City, Utah