I've stayed at Days Inn before and when I planned a three day getaway to St Petersburg the week before X-mas this year for myself, my wife and her sister I chose two Day's Inn's because of positive past experiences and reasonable prices. I didn't actually stay at either one of the Days I had looked up on the internet. This one and the other (on 54st in St Petersburg) were horrible and dirty and this one included a foul mouthed desk clerk with the customer service one would expect from a rattlesnake.
We pulled up to the place (which is right across from Busch Gardens and advertised as a family motel and also is advertised as accepting pets)fairly late in the evening. After 9PM I think but I'm not certain. I left the ladies in the car, took my trusty coupon book that advertised rooms for up to 2 people for $36.00, and went in. I asked for two rooms, one smoking, one non. One for two people, one for one. I requested a quiet room in the back of the building as the motel was right on a very busy street, was attached to an all night Denny's and was right next door to a busy fast food place with a drive through.
First the guy says in a heavy accent I can barely understand "You gotta have two coupons. I can only give you one room at this price with one coupon." OK, I said, the other motel I stayed in down here and the other Day's Inn I visited didn't do that, but fine - I have other books in the truck, so I go back outside. I find another coupon nearly as good for the second room at $39.00
I take the coupon (not the book this time) back in and give it to him. He has, in the meantime, torn the other coupon out of my book. He takes down all my information and I feel like I'm being grilled by some third rate detective as to a homicide instead of checking into a motel. To say the guy was gruff would be putting it very mildly. I half expected him to ask me for references the way he was acting.
Finally he hands me the room keys, tells me the numbers and hands me two parking permits and a sheet with the rooms circled. I picked the up and walked out. I got not so much as a thank you or have a good night. Once in the car I looked at the sheets to find the location of the rooms and discovered they were right in front of the fast food restaurant in the very front of the building. Right where the car lights from the people going through the drive through shone directly into the windows.
Well, ok.... we went and looked at the rooms. They were dirty, the furniture was in disrepair and they smelled bad. They were both smoking rooms and one was supposed to be none smoking. I went back and asked to be moved to a different set of rooms in the back. I was told rudely that beggars can't be choosers those were the rooms available for the discount coupons and if I didn't like them I could leave. OK, I said, give me money back and we'll move on down the highway. And he did, but you'd have thought it was HIS money and I was robbing him. He kept muttering under his breath the whole time he was reversing the charges.
As I waited I noticed two signs on the desk that I had not read earlier. One said that if you smoked in a non-smoking room they would charge your credit card $250.00 and the other said that no pets were allowed and any pets caught in the room would be charged $50.00. I was leaving so I didn't really care, but I chose that motel because their website says pets are allowed and we had a cat with us. Really glad now that I didn't stay.
When I got back in the car we were pretty dejected. We had been in St Petersburg for two days, we had turned down one awful Days Inn downtown St. Petersburg. Stayed in an ancient Travelodge with blooducking leaches for maids and a shark at the front desk and now were at yet another dump. But shake it off I said we'll find another motel. Its not busy this time of year.
I went to grab the coupon book and realized I'd left it inside. I went back in to get it and this creep looks at me like I'm mentally challenged and tells me that I took it with me. Well, I am 57, so maybe I'm wrong. I go back to the car and my wife, who, much to my pain over the years, has a mind like a steel trap tells me no, you came outside with three pieces of paper and two small envelopes with room keys. You didn't come back with the coupon book.
I'm not sure so we do a search of both vehicles. Its not here and we haven't been anywhere else. So my sister in law goes back in and lights up on the man because there on his desk right in front of him is the coupon book he said he didn't have. (He must have hidden it the first time I was in there because it wasn't visible then and I think he thought we had left).
He calls my sister in law a name and tells her that the book isn't mine. Someone else left it. Baloney, the book came from Georgia and the address is on the front of the book on a sticker. She blows up and demands he return it, which he does, all the while calling her names you haven't heard since you had the misfortune of watching Pulp Fiction. She comes back, coupon in hand with tears streaming down her face and I had to keep my wife from going back in and tearing the guy apart. I told her "the pen is mightier than the sword" and here it is folks.
I wouldn't recommend this motel/hotel/dump to my worst enemy. In fact, in general, stay out of the lodging places in St Petersburg and Tampa. I visited no less than 6 while we were there and none were worth going back to.