Hotel murders freak me out…

What you don’t know can’t hurt you, right? At least I consider that to be the case when it comes to a lot of travel related stuff. When I see an unwrapped blanket on my airplane seat, I really don’t want to think about what the previous person did with it. When it comes to hotel beds (especially beds in Vegas), I really don’t want to think about how many people have… well, nevermind. When it comes to restaurants, I really don’t want to think about how clean the kitchen really is, or if the chef washed his hands after going to the bathroom.

Along the same lines, I sure as heck would rather not know if a murder occurred at a hotel. I realize it’s entirely irrational, but I don’t think I would stay at a hotel where I knew a brutal murder took place. Again, it’s irrational, though it’s probably what I would think about for most of my stay.

Before I get too far into this story, let me say that this stuff must be an absolute PR nightmare for hotels. Stuff like this is entirely outside of their control, yet it easily turns people off of the hotel (if anyone else is like me, at least). So because the hotel probably suffered enough, I won’t specifically mention the name (though it’s in the article linked above), other than to say that it’s a brand new luxury hotel in New York City belonging to one of my two preferred hotel chains. Actually, I’ve been meaning to check out this hotel since it opened about six months ago.

Anyway, the story seems to be that a 65 year old Portuguese journalist and his 20 year old Portuguese model partner/boyfriend/companion were staying in New York around the new year, and the 20 year old is suspected of killing (and castrating!) the 65 year old inside their room. Apparently they had been fighting that day, as the 65 year old suspected that the 20 year old stole money (or something like that). After the murder, the 20 year old went to the hospital to treat minor cuts, which probably wasn’t the best of moves if he wasn’t going to admit to the murder.

Anyway, that story freaks me the heck out. I feel bad for the hotel as this is just awful PR for them and totally outside of their control, and of course feel bad for the guy’s family.

So, back to the reason for my post — would anyone else not stay at a hotel because of a story like that? Again, this is a top notch hotel by all accounts, and no doubt they’ll go “above and beyond” to clean everything up, but subconsciously I couldn’t do it. If I stayed at this hotel, when I go to bed and turn off the lights at night, it’s the first thing I would think about. I think this is a bit different than those haunted hotels where something happened 90 years ago, since I’ll be able to recall the news about the actual incident, and not just a tall tale I’m being told.

So, who feels the same way I do? If you don’t, would there be any aspect of this that would bother you? If you were assigned room 3416 (where the murder happened), would you have a problem? What about a room on the 34th floor in general? A room on another floor ending in -16?

And the question isn’t specific to this hotel, but rather a murder of this sort at any hotel…

Comments

  1. This murder happened within a (messed up / strange) relationship; it could have happened anywhere. Therefore I don’t think the hotel will suffer much bad PR. I mean, at any point in the past and future, there was absolutely no extra danger for any other hotel guest.

    However, when people get robbed and/or murdered in their hotel room by outsiders, now that’s scary! I mean that could happen to us too!! When I read the title of your post I thought you were referring to the Mauritius murder, where a bride was murdered when she went up to their room and encountered robbers; she was on honymoon with her husband who was just down in the lobby… see more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/11/six-arrested-mauritius-hotel-murder.

  2. You should be fine unless your rentboy decides you were cheating on him and then he decides to castrate you…

  3. If they offered a significantly discounted rate, I’d still stay there! I was actually trying to decide on a trip to either NYC or DC to redeem my Sweet Dilemma reward nights. I narrowed it down to IC Times Square and the IC Willard and this was one of the reasons I chose the Willard!

  4. I actually just booked 3 free nights there yesterday for next week and my RA upgrade cleared within an hour. I’ve got no problem staying there. They may even try harder now to make people happy. I had the good fortune to get a tour of the hotel just after they opened and was very happy with the look, location and quality of staff.

  5. Stayed at that hotel 2 weeks ago. It is a beautiful place and I thoroughly enjoyed staying there. I would probably go back there regardless but it’d be something that will be in the back of my head during the stay…

  6. I just spent this past weekend there. I had a long-standing reservation at the property. While I gave the recent events some thought, I found the hotel excellent, the location perfect for my weekend of theatre, and the staff gracious. Bad things can happen anywhere.

  7. I’d stay in the hotel.. but no way would I stay in the same room as that Portuguese couple! next thing i know i’ll be seeing REDRUM written on the walls.

  8. I was at this hotel for NYE (sweet dilemma stay booked the night before) and thought it was a very nice hotel. This event does not change my opinion of this property at all, as it was a domestic dispute.

  9. I’m sure we’ve all stayed in hotels and rooms that we wouldn’t want to know everything that has taken place there. Years later, some hotels even seem to parlay these heinous acts into public relations and marketing schemes (ghosts, stories of murder, mafia gangsters, brothels, etc.).

  10. I wouldn’t care in the least. In fact I may book it soon. I’m far more concerned about the other “phobias” you mentioned that are far more likely to impact me negatively than a murder in the past. The used blankets, beds, cleanliness or lack thereof of kitchen staff, etc. And even then I just accept that hopefully nothing happens that my immune system can’t tolerate.

  11. I wouldn’t have any problem staying at the hotel…I would not want to stay in 3416 however. My guess would be they would shut that room down for an extended period of time considering what happened. Imagine a guest learning about the murder in the room they were staying in!

  12. I wouldn’t be too worried about it. Unless of course, I was staying in room 3416. Maybe they won’t book the room any more…and just use it for people who are “upgrading”

  13. I would have no issues staying there. As someone else alluded to, I’d have more issues if there were a rash of robberies or theft at that facility. A single “domestic” related issue really isn’t anything that would happen ever again-not by those two at least.

    I wouldn’t want to stay in that room-but if the room number hadn’t been mentioned, how would one know?

  14. I thoroughly enjoyed Chris’ #2 reply. Hahaha.. rentboy’s CEO is thoroughly enjoying every PR he got from all the exposure

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