A Night in a Sad, Cheap Hotel

Bianca Smith in a cheap hotelWhen it’s just me I stay in cheap hotels. I don’t need snazzy amenities I’ll never use. If it’s safe and clean, then it works for me.

This has been my habit for years. My first nights as a US resident were in a $50-a-night hotel in downtown San Francisco. I kept a suitcase wedged under the door the first night, but it wasn’t needed. My go-to hotel in Bellingham is cheap and basic, and despite the slow wifi, pretty nice.

Unfortunately, my good, cheap hotel streak ended last week. It was sad, cheap hotel.

Walking in was like walking into a hotel room on the movies. Not the penthouse or honeymoon suite glamour. The kind where drug deals go bad and bodies are found. I texted friends I had just had dinner with. The text started with “I’m safe”.

Coat hangers in a sad cheap hotelWhile turning the experience into an impromptu photo shoot I started wondering: what stories could this room tell?

Were there families with more children than beds squished in the one room? Bubbling with excitement because all they had was spent on a dream Disney vacation.

Has there been a CEO – sleepless – the night before their make or break pitch with VCs in Silicon Valley?

A parent with all their belongings in the only hotel they could afford after being told to leave their home.

Or maybe they were just like me and unwilling to pay more than I need for a place to sleep?


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Have you ever wondered who stayed in your hotel room before you?

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