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…