10. DAYS INN, Santa Monica
Ah LA, the land of sun, fun and unfortunate 80s architecture, an example of which is on display at this Days Inn at the border of Santa Monica and West LA. The hotel's website describes it as "architectural whimsy" but we don't think even a fresh coat of paint could make this hotel look good.
9. WESTIN TIMES SQUARE, New York
On the inside this hotel is gorgeous, especially those Atrium Club rooms which come with iPads. However, there's no getting around that exterior. Some would say it's "fun" while others would probably say "vom." On the bright side, you'll always be able to find your hotel if you stay here.
8. CLARION HOTEL, Las Vegas
As is often the case in Vegas if you want free WiFi, you'll have to make some sacrifices, like sleeping in this eyesore. It may be hard to believe but the outside is actually better looking than the pattern massacre found in the guestrooms. The hotel's management says the bedding in the hotel has been updated, but it still appears on the website photos. You're definitely gambling when staying here.
7. IMPERIAL PALACE, Las Vegas
Speaking of Vegas, with all the new glitzy hotels up on the Strip these days, the Imperial Palace is looking rough. Not to mention, scary. And the theme is bad. Who wants to stay in an Imperial Palace anyways? As it turns out, the rooms are even worse. VegasChatter recently stayed there and advised future guests to bring HazChem suits with them.
6. CROWNE PLAZA NEWTON, Massachusetts
This hotel just outside of Boston was still a Sheraton when we snapped this picture a few years ago and even though it's now a Crowne Plaza, the ugly remains. But this hotel gets an extra whack with the ugly stick for being built OVER the Mass Pike. Guests have a view of traffic from their rooms while traffic has to drive under the hotel for a stretch. Everyone loses here.
5. HILTON BUDAPEST
For starters, the hotel's modern (from the 1970s) addition was built over the ruins of an old church. It's a strange look that's compounded by strange bronze-y colored windows. While the windows do reflect the city's beautiful architecture, travel expert Tim Leffel once told us the Hilton spoils the view of Buda Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for everyone else. Booo.
4. RYUGYONG HOTEL, North Korea
The only good thing about this scary Hotel of Doom in North Korea is that it's actually not an operating hotel. While it recently got some new glass, over 20 years of stalled construction have made inhabiting the hotel a costly venture. A more cost-effective solution to demolition? Put a paper bag over it.
3. TRAVELODGE UXBRIDGE, UK
We can't fault Travelodge UK's green Samaritan intent behind this hotel built entirely out of recycled shipping containers but we're not loving the awkward design. Still, we should be thankful those shipping containers were cleaned out thoroughly before they were outfitted with all the traditional hotel comforts: bathroom, wardrobe, mirror, desk and chair, and even a plasma TV.
2. FIRST WORLD HOTEL, Malaysia
Our eyes are burning! We need sunglasses just to look at this picture. Granted, we'd probably have fun inside the world's largest hotel with its indoor ski park, 28-lane bowling away, giant replicas of world landmarks, Asia's first free fall simulator, a hang-gliding rollercoaster and a massive casino. But we seriously hope those rooms come with blackout shades.
1. THE SON OF HEAVEN HOTEL, Hebei Province, China
Located outside Beijing, this hotel represents the Chinese ideal of Fu Lu Shou--good fortune, prosperity and longevity. It's also scary, intimidating and nightmarish. We've been trying to track down the hotel's website but it apparently goes by several different names (Tianiz Hotel is the more popular one) and none of the websites that come up have English translations. However, KillerDirectory.com says that "the chap on the left", Shou, is holding a peach which is a suite inside the hotel. It would certainly be a suite experience you would always remember.
Even seen or stayed in a really ugly hotel? Tell us where!
[Photos: Westin Times Square, Wired New York; Clarion Hotel, Clarion; Hilton Budapest, NedRichards; Ryugyong Hotel, Reuters; Travelodge Uxbridge, Inhabitat.com; First World Resort; BensonKua; Son of Heaven Hotel, KillerDirectory.com; All others HotelChatter]