Saturday, December 3, 2011
The Super 8 New Castle, IN: Only If You're Prepared To Die!
The Good: None That I Can See . . .
The Bad: Dirty, Poor quality rooms, No genuine nonsmoking option, Insecure
The Basics: Don't stay here. It's filthy, unsafe feeling and in disrepair.
I am not a travel snob. I want to preface my review by saying that. I tend to value inexpensive lodging over grand hotels where the stay at the hotel is the actual purpose. Up until my last trip, my hotel experiences tended to be the simple desire for a place to crash for the night, so I don't crash my car when doing marathon drives. I lucked out on my last trip; I found what might have been the perfect hotel in San Diego (reviewed here!). But well before I made it to San Diego, I was plagued by nightmares. The nightmares took the form of bugs in Oklahoma, a sub-par Quality Inn in El Paso, Texas and a Super 8 Motel in New Castle, Indiana.
For starters, I tend to plan the trips I go on quite extensively. I like the security of knowing where I'll be and when and that brings me comfort. On my latest cross-country endeavor, there were some serious variables on the first day of travel. I was stopping somewhere first thing in the morning that I was looking forward to and I didn't know how long I'd want to stay, later in the day my traveling companion was going to the Cat's Meow museum in Ohio and that, too, was a time variable event. I didn't know how tired I would be after that day and with the time mysteries surrounding our stops, I had no good places to make a reservation for that first night. We decided to play it by ear.
NEVER play it by ear when traveling. Hotel reservations are a good thing. Sure, our plan had been that we would drive until we got tired and hopefully find a great deal on a room in Southwest Ohio. Well, after a good day of doing fun things and a great meal in mid-Ohio, we made it through Columbus and decided it was time to start looking for one of those roadside signs with a ridiculously low rate like $34.95/night. You know the type, where the sign advertises a low rate, but it's only good for like two rooms, Sunday through Thursday. Well, this was the only time I went on such a vain quest.
We did not find a place in Ohio and as we became exhausted in Indiana, that was when we found the coupon book offering cheaper rooms in Indiana. That was when we found the Super 8 Motel in New Castle.
The Super 8 Motel, New Castle, is located at 5243 South State Road in New Castle, Indiana. The grounds are a big parking lot, filled with potholes and the hotel is set nicely behind an EconoLodge. Yes, it's a sad day when the hotel I'm considering staying at is in the middle of nowhere, a sublet to a hotel I don't stay at (I had a bad experience at an EconoLodge in Maryland and swore off the franchise, despite the fact that it is part of Choice Hotels).
This dank, two-story building is something fresh out of the imagination of every bad motor lodge horror movie in existence and no doubt the ideal location for any future ones. I've nothing against Indiana (I love Indianapolis, for example) but this is the middle of nowhere, Indiana and it's dusty and empty, at least in August.
The coupon we found was going to allow us to get a room with two double bed, nonsmoking for a rate of $49.95. I think spending an equivalent amount on lotto tickets would yield at least as much shelter and value.
The room we inspected was of adequate size. A box approximately fifteen by twenty feet, the room held two double beds, a television and a bathroom in a reasonable, if cozy, amount of space. The dining area in the main lobby was tiny, with small tables for only two couples to sit and eat in the morning at tables.
This place lost out on its bid to house me for the night based almost entirely on the cleanliness of the location. From the main lobby to the actual rooms (we inspected two), this was a dank, filthy pit that made a stereotypical fraternity house seem like the Ritz. Ironically, the frat house analogy is not a bad one as when we were inspecting rooms, there were a bunch of shirtless youths with terrible taste in very loud music rolling their third keg into their room.
First, the main lobby is the definition of dingy. Filled with an oppressive smell of cigarette smoke, one wonders who would want to eat in the attached dining area of the lobby as it barely had enough oxygen to be considered suitable for human life. Leaving the filthy lobby through the same door as one entered, we discovered the rooms we would be perusing were on the second floor.
Going up the stairs was intriguing. It was about eight P.M. and there was a slime on one side of the stairs that could have been vomit, old soda or some sort of lifeform from a science fiction piece. The balcony/walkway on the second floor was filthy and there were holes in the wall of it where (apparently) people had kicked through it. This instantly gave the impression that this was not a secure or safe area. The guys with the kegs only added to the feeling of a general lack of security.
The room itself was terrible. For a nonsmoking room, it was awfully smoky smelling. Like the way a cigar shop or an ashtray is a little smoky smelling. The linens were off-white and when I turned the air conditioner on, it sputtered and blew a cloud of dust. I wish I were exaggerating that. I lay down on one of the two beds to see if I could feel just a little better about the possibility of staying the night in this place.
My hand touched a wet spot on the comforter.
That was it. We booked out of there in search of a place that did not seem like it could be described as "horrific."
On the way out, I did note the dusty television and the guy at the desk (very friendly, especially considering I was clearly choking back the words "No way in hell would I stay here!" when we returned the keys) politely informed us there was free continental breakfast in the morning. I shudder to think what it might have consisted of.
I wish to go back to the concept that I'm not picky about hotel rooms. I opted to drive another forty minutes down Rt. 70 rather than stay at this place. And the first thing I did in Indianapolis when I did find a place to crash was shower. A long time. That's how nasty this Super 8 was and how even just touring the facility was enough to make me pledge to: 1. Stick to the chain I know and love, and 2. Always make reservations and have a plan.
For other hotel reviews, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Comfort Inn East - Indianapolis, IN
Quality Inn & Suites Historic St. Charles - Saint Charles, MO
Comfort Inn - Hill City, SD
For other travel reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.