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Gadling Braves Hotel Carter, "Where Dreams Go to Die"

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 250 W 43rd St [map], New York, ny, United States, 10036-3970
February 10, 2009 at 4:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Well, we've gotta hand it to Mike Barish over at Gadling for risking his health, life and happiness for the hotel bloggin' cause. This week, he went where HotelChatter would never, ever have the guts to go: inside the Hotel Carter, a.k.a. the Dirtiest Hotel in America several years running.

After writing a post about TripAdvisor's newest list of the dirtiest hotels in the country, Gadling commenters urged him to investigate the scene of so many crimes against hospitality. Finally, donning a home-made haz-mat suit and armed with a UV light, he checked in (with a thick wall of plexiglass between his face and the front desker's), was schooled on the hotel's strict no-guest policy, and headed upstairs and through the Shining-esque hallways to room 812. It was in those hallways that "it began to dawn on [him] that the Hotel Carter may be the place where dreams go to die."

What he found: overall, just depressing-ness. The bed appeared fairly clean, there was no corpse under the bed, and soundproofing was apparently not a priority. Then he headed into the bathroom:

There was a large brown stain on the floor next to some crusty brown spots. A sweep with the UV light revealed traces of other nefarious liquids that had, at some time, found their way to the tile floor. Above the mirror and the oddly placed toilet paper and towel rack was a dirty vent that seemed to trap all the dust and other particles so that you can savor them. The tub was not much better, as there was a tremendous amount of discoloration on the tiles and grout.

Yum. The handles to two of the dresser drawers were missing, and the UV light revealed an array of delish stains mostly concentrated around the bed and the bathroom entrance. Though he'd planned to spend the whole night in the room, he decided — haunted by TripAdvisor tales of bedbugs and whatnot — that he simply couldn't do it. He checked out.

He reached the following conclusions:

It's just not that disgusting. However, it is the single most depressing hotel I have ever been in. In fact, it may be the bleakest place I have ever been. Period. The whole environment is joyless. The wan lighting wears on you after a while. It just makes you sad. The uninterrupted white walls offer no stimuli to keep your mind focused on anything other than the sadness of the room. If there was a sequel to The Shining about a hotel that made you despondent instead of insane, it would be filmed at the Hotel Carter.

All in all, I would not recommend the Hotel Carter. It's just too miserable. I truly believe that every time someone checks into the Hotel Carter a unicorn dies. And I love unicorns.

Well, he went so we didn't have to. Mike's account of the whole experience is here, and if you're interested in taking a gander at some of Mike's photos (you may need a shower afterward), he posted a fairly comprehensive set on Flickr.

[Photos: Mike Barish / Gadling]

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