why i’ll never stay at this san diego hotel again

From the desert to the beach! I’ve recently returned from a sunny 5-days in San Diego, California. In part one, you read about how I had a nice time. But it didn’t start out that way.

After a 5-and-a-half car ride, we stopped for some fresh air before heading to our hotel.

And it did not go to plan. 

This is what made us so uncomfortable that we left, not even 30 minutes after checking in.

If you haven’t read part one, you can check it out, here!


Days Inn by Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle

After our road trip detox at Fiesta Island Park, we headed to our hotel. Now, I’ve stayed at a Days Inn before when I spent time in Colorado. They’re not my favourite, but they get the job done and are decent. So, coming to San Diego, I wasn’t expecting much from the Days Inn we booked.

And then we arrived. And it began to feel like something out of Criminal Minds.

The plot consisted of 3 separate buildings. Two had rooms on the outside, and the building in the back was newer, with parking space, key cards to use the elevator, and the rooms were inside. For a better lack of word, it was safer.

Psst! You can find more travel content, here!

The no smoking plot reeked of weed, with people smoking outside in the parking lots. There was a guy we noticed was staying in one room in one of the buildings, but was walking up and down the floor, knocking on peoples’ rooms, handing them things, and walking away – whilst shirtless. Lots of maids and security, which you would think would be a good sign, but…

When we got to our room, we all stared at each other. Here’s what we immediately noticed:

The front door didn’t shut properly and had a gap.

It was even loose enough in the wall that if you gave a light push (thinking tripping over your feet into the door), it would break open. We kept it locked and bolted – something we never do unless we’re sleeping.

The door and walls were like paper.

You could hear every little thing. The person in the room beside us was entering, and we couldn’t figure out if they were coming into our room or the next. They’re opening and shutting of their door shook ours.

The bathroom door didn’t shut.

If you’re alone, maybe this isn’t a deal breaker, but if you’re a group of three…yeah, that’s not going to work. It was a sliding door that seemed to have just been thrown in there, rather than fixed onto its rail. It tore up the floor as you tried to move it.

It was unbelivably small!

I’ve stayed at a hotel and an apartment in Manhattan. New York is notorious for being a shoebox. Those places were small. This hotel room was smaller.

It smelt old and unclean.

I won’t even elaborate. Ew.

When we went to bring up some of our stuff, we ran into others in our group who ultimately decided to leave – after they noticed an unknown substance on the wall in the shape of a handprint (bets were for blood).

We were planning on making it work, but that drew the line. We immediately beelined for the lobby, requesting a full refund so we could leave. While we were there, it was overheard that they chain the enterances when the cops come. And they come more than often.


We stayed at that hotel for not even 30 minutes before feeling unsafe, worried, and scared. 

I call it my Criminal Minds Experience.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Sorrento Valley

We found a last minute hotel ~15 minutes away. They only had a King, so I slept on the pullout couch but let me tell you! I had never been so relieved!

I hadn’t realised I was holding my breath at the Days Inn! I sat on the couch at Courtyard and sighed of relief. Immediately, we felt safe. We had a ground room with a sliding door outside, and we still felt safe

It was incredibly clean – almost impeccable. We were supplied with a mini fridge, Keurig, (no microwave), and two liter bottles of water.

The staff was kind. To enter the bulding from the lobby at night, you had to have a keycard. To enter the building in other ways, you had to have a keycard. Kids were playing in the courtyard and halls. It was obvious there was a level of security that made everyone feel safe.

And if you’re curious the price range? We paid roughly the same for Courtyard as we did for Days Inn.

Yeah, tell me about it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

And deep breath! Again!

I’m so glad we found a safe hotel at the very last minute. At the end of the day, leaving was all that mattered.

This experience has definitely turned me away from Days Inn, forever.

All in all, I’m not sure when I’ll even be traveling again, but I’m so glad to be back home and in my own bed.

Safe travels, everyone!

Au revoir!

hi, i’m jade madison!

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