Bad Beds Around the World
Traveling is a wonderful thing. I love experiencing new cultures, tasting new food, and taking a gazillion photos. But traveling also means staying in places where the quality of the bed you’re sleeping on can vary greatly. Since the main reason for booking a room is so you have a place to sleep at night, it amazes me how many bad beds there are around the world.
My friend Amanda and I were really only in Senggigi because we wanted to get to the Gili Islands. We got in late, we were starving, and we just needed a room for one night, so we just grabbed the first place we found for a reasonable price. Mistake. The bathroom was barely big enough for a toilet and a shower hose and did not include a sink. The room was dirty and cramped. And worst of all, there was sand in the sheets of the bed. Neither of us slept much that night.
Gili Air, Indonesia
We actually loved this little bungalow we stayed in on Gili Air. The bed was comfortable enough, but this is where we realized those mosquito nets provided in most guesthouses in Southeast Asia aren’t just for keeping the mosquitoes out. We believe they are to prevent lizards from crapping on you in your sleep. Sound crazy? Well, it’s easy enough for lizards to get into the various guesthouses, and we woke up to a small pile of poo on the floor the next morning. I took a picture, but I was laughing so hard it came out blurry, and really, I think you can use your imagination on this one.
Known for being eco-friendly, the lodge we stayed at was in the middle of the rain forest near the orangutans and proboscis monkeys. Even though there were only two of us, we got a cabin with a double bed and a set of bunk beds. Unfortunately only the double bed had a mosquito net, and since the cabin walls weren’t fully sealed, tons of bugs flew inside. Amanda and I spent plenty of nights sharing a bed, so that wasn’t a big deal. However, our second night there almost resulted in an animal attack. I might be exaggerating a little, but at the time that’s what it seemed like. See for yourself and read about the Little Lodge of Horrors.
Vang Vieng, Laos
This town of intoxicated river tubing was never on my list, but I ended up there anyway. I spent about a week traveling with a girl named Jo who just wanted to stop there to break up the long trip between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. The guesthouse we ended up at was cheap, safe, had a great view, and was close to a dozen restaurants. But the beds were awful! Our room had four single beds, and the mattresses seemed to be filled with straw. We stacked them up so we had two each in a failed attempt to gain a little more cushion from them. I was happy to move on after two nights for many reasons.
I loved Istanbul. Andy and I were in Turkey in April for our belated honeymoon, and added it to our “must return” list. But we won’t be returning to the same hotel. For four nights, we stayed in an apartment-style hotel near Taksim Square, and each morning my body hurt more than the day before. The staff was friendly, the room was clean and spacious, but I might have been better off sleeping on the floor.
I would never let a string of bad beds stop me from traveling. You just have to figure out a way to sleep through the painful/uncomfortable/creepy situations and know that sometimes bad beds are unavoidable. If only there were more of the great beds I’ve experienced along the way, like this one in Bora Bora.
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June 4, 2012 @ 7:17 PM
I have a zillion beds to add to this haha
June 5, 2012 @ 2:50 PM
I’m sure you do!
June 4, 2012 @ 7:55 PM
I have slept on over 130 beds so far on this trip… do you know how many of those have been bad beds??? Like 95% of them… it’s the price we pay as budget travelers. OKay maybe not maybe its just that the world is filled with so many bad ones like you mentioned.
June 5, 2012 @ 2:52 PM
Ugh, there really are a lot of bad beds, whether you’re staying in budget places or not.
June 4, 2012 @ 8:54 PM
Ahh.. a few of these remind me of our sleepless nights in creepy accommodation. On another note, that is one crazy looking monkey??
June 5, 2012 @ 2:54 PM
It’s a proboscis monkey, and yes, they’re definitely weird looking with the big noses.
June 4, 2012 @ 9:35 PM
The worst bed I ever stayed in was in Marrakech. For some reason we had four beds in the room and each one was ridiculously uncomfortable. We decided to stay in the double one, but it was on a slant meaning the worst four nights sleep ever.
June 5, 2012 @ 3:02 PM
Ugh, that sounds awful! I hear Marrakech is a great city though!
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
June 5, 2012 @ 5:01 AM
Unfortunately, one of the worst beds I have slept on was in my own home! Or my parents’ home at least… one year when Tony and I went home for Christmas, they had us sleeping in the guest bedroom on their new futon mattress. It was SO bad that I threatened at the end that I would not come home for the holidays again unless they did something about it! It seriously aged me 10 years every night I slept on it… Thankfully, they did get a topper and our last visit was much more pleasant.
June 5, 2012 @ 3:03 PM
Wow, at least they listened and fixed the situation before the next time! Futons are awful to sleep on, I’m not sure why they make them so dense and hard.
June 5, 2012 @ 7:37 AM
Typically a bad bed for me often includes get ravaged alive by bed bugs 😛
June 5, 2012 @ 3:04 PM
Yuck! Luckily I haven’t run into any bed bugs. (Yet?)
June 5, 2012 @ 8:49 AM
Istanbul is a place that stays with you for a long time, I think. Bed bugs and all.
June 5, 2012 @ 3:05 PM
Luckily there weren’t any bed bugs, but you’re right, Istanbul was an amazing city despite our horribly stiff bed.
June 5, 2012 @ 2:48 PM
My top two worst were in Ireland and Peru. Great post, Ali! =)
June 9, 2012 @ 6:06 PM
Steve @ Back-Packer
June 6, 2012 @ 1:36 AM
Sleeping is so important while traveling to enjoy your current destination as best as possible. Nice post idea ali! – i also hate it to be tired, it’s not that much fun if you want to discover 😉
June 6, 2012 @ 11:02 AM
If only there was a better way to know ahead of time if the hotel’s beds were comfortable!
Christy @ Technosyncratic
June 6, 2012 @ 2:45 AM
Our worst bed was also in Laos! We were in Vientiane on a Thai visa run and stayed at a cheapish hotel. Overall it was nice… but we could feel EVERY SINGLE SPRING in the mattress. It was hell.
June 6, 2012 @ 11:04 AM
Ugh that sounds awful! Maybe it’s part of why Laos is so cheap.
June 6, 2012 @ 8:13 AM
Uncomfortable beds are never fun – but you have a great attitude about them! Can’t let it ruin the overall travel experience. I tend to be more picky about pillows than beds. 🙂
June 6, 2012 @ 1:56 PM
I have problems finding a good pillow for my bed at home, so that’s a bit of a lost cause for me. And you’re right, can’t let an uncomfortable bed deter you from the great experiences of travel!
Cole @ Four Jandals
June 6, 2012 @ 9:26 AM
I was just saying on our blog how I wish we had been luxury writers not budget writers haha.
June 6, 2012 @ 1:56 PM
The luxury stuff is nice sometimes!
June 9, 2012 @ 5:43 PM
Frankly speaking, I never had a bad bed experience that I can think of.
Lucky me ?
June 9, 2012 @ 6:17 PM
You sure are lucky, Joe!
Jeremy @ travelFREAK
June 12, 2012 @ 3:36 PM
Haha I have SO many beds to add to this list. I’ve slept in literally hundreds in the past two years.
But when you find a comfy one…it’s SUCH a nice surprise.
June 12, 2012 @ 7:37 PM
That’s so true! It’s amazing to finally have a good bad after weeks of awful ones.
June 24, 2012 @ 10:13 PM
The hotel bed is one of my few favorite parts of traveling. The bed is just never as comfortable as your own bed at home. And add the creepy things that can happen to already being uncomfortable, well, that can make for some loooong and sleepless nights.
Thanks for sharing these bad beds! I won’t be booking at any of these places on our travels!
June 25, 2012 @ 12:17 AM
Thanks Jennifer! Even if the bed is comfortable, it’s still hard adjusting to sleeping in a strange place. It does making traveling a little harder, but I’m in it for the long haul!
Kristine K. Stevens
June 26, 2012 @ 3:04 PM
I was so tickled to see your post and share your bad bed challenges. We just visited Copenhagen and had a lovely centrally located vacation rental. They gave my husband and I packets of clean sheets so we could make the bed, but that forced us to notice the number of sex stains on the mattress. Nasty.
June 26, 2012 @ 10:41 PM
I’m glad you enjoyed the post Kristine! And yes, that’s disgusting! Better the mattress than the sheets I guess!