SVU: Casa de la Tetanus, One-Star Dump Edition
Like many families during 2020/21 we had been isolated since the pandemic began. We were eager to safely travel and see the ocean, since we scarcely left our home for 14 months. As a single mother of 3 small children, I meticulously planned each day of our road trip. I read many reviews, poured over pictures, and saved up to budget for the best room we could get for our money. I read it’s better to book directly with the hotel, than with a third party vendor, and that’s what I did when I booked a 2-queen room with a balcony view and fireplace.
This is a lengthy review, but a comprehensive one I wish was available to me before I’d ruined our vacation by booking at Adobe “resort.”
We traveled a few hours from our prior destination, and waited further for our room to be cleaned. Upon entering the room, the first thing that hit us was the strong odor. My little girl said it smelled like wet paint, and I thought it was a strong cleaner. Within an hour myself and two of my kids had massive headaches.
Although I was looking forward finally getting settled, I couldn’t get comfortable. The room was an absolute dump. You can judge for yourself by the photos in this review. The chairs were peeling, the floor was wet in places and filthy. The table beside the chairs was stained with huge splotches of a white substance and scuffed, the fan was literally rusted, and the molding was coming undone, exposing nails and sharp wood. The cups were dirty, food in the fridge, missing deck chairs, view of a side wall gate (instead of ocean, as advertised), the beds were small, seriously more like a full than a true queen, and the television, although a flat screen, was incredibly old, and had the snowiest reception I’ve seen since having a box TV 20 years ago. The WiFi was super slow, the ice machine was loud, and the pillows and beds were incredibly uncomfortable. No extra blankets. The toliet was child sized and so low to the ground, my kids thought it was just for them, preschool sized. The room was so filthy, I told my kids not to unpack their things in any of the drawers. The fireplace was fake looking and emitted only cold gusts of air. The remote didn’t work. The safety issues are too numerous to mention, but the front door had a huge gap, not shutting correctly. The bathroom door didn’t close all the way, and the door jam was missing its plate. The hinges on the doors were rusted, and the bathroom alcove smelled like mildew and urine. I was instructed at check in how to use “the stick” to lock the back door, which I thought odd, until I realized the actual sliding glass door lock was broken, so the only way to lock it was to use the broom stick they mentioned. So much for cracking the door to listen to the ocean waves.
As a young female solo traveler with 3 young children, there was no way I was risking leaving the door unlocked, not that we had a view anyway.
By the time we got our bags in our room, it was time to go to our dinner reservation. I had been told there was no other rooms available. I was very uncomfortable staying in hands-down the grossest hotel rooms/places I’d ever seen, let alone slept in. I honestly thought I’d been Punk’d.
But with my reservation already paid at a premium price, I was exhausted and felt out of options. The best we could do is try to make the best of it, and after my daughter said the carpet pattern looked like portrait strands of DNA, we agreed it was fitting for the crime scene room theme.
Even after I tripped on the sharp floor molding and cut my foot on the exposed nails protruding from the jagged wood, I somehow was able to power through so my kids wouldn’t worry. Although it hurt like a mofo, I told the kids my tetanus shot was up to date and I’d survive. I joked we could now call our room “SVU: Casa de la Tetanus.” From then on, whenever we got grossed out or noticed the broken or disgustingness of the room, we’d shout the SVU signature “DUN DUN!” and laugh until our stomachs hurt.
Unfortunately I booked two nights, and besides the fun I had with my kids, the time couldn’t go fast enough. I was repulsed by our room, not to mention the headache from chemicals and foot injury.
The only positives I have to say about the entire “SVU: Casa de la Tetanus” experience was the exceptional service we received at the restaurant (amazing ocean view—finally!), great kids menu, and the best clam chowder I’ve had in my life. The staff were friendly, especially to my kids, who were wide-eyed and overly chatty, because honestly, they hadn’t been around other humans in over a year.
The laundromat on the 2nd floor was nice with brand new machines. The pool was great, and my toddler loved the kiddie pool.
I appreciated the precautions the hotel staff took for Covid, although it didn’t make up for the fact we slept two nights in a Petri dish of a room. Overall, Adobe was the low point of our otherwise amazing spring break, but I take with me the inside jokes and laughter shared with my children, and knowing we can stay positive and truly make the best of a truly worst-case travel scenario.