I generally don’t review business’s but this is an occasion that I feel I must. I like to try the unique and out of the ordinary every chance I get. That’s why I booked a night at the Frontier Motor Lodge in Hardy Arkansas. It had a pretty good rating as far as small business hotel/motels go, and I gave it a shot.
The front desk person was friendly enough, daughter of the owner. The bed was very comfortable, but that is pretty much where the good stuff ends and the bad and very bad take over. If you are looking for quaint and charming, you won’t find it here.
The first thing I couldn’t help but notice was the overwhelming stench when I opened the door and walked into the room. It was a combination of must, urine, dirty and mystery. The room was hot, so I immediately went to the wall AC unit and turned it on, For a few terrifying moments I was afraid it wasn’t working. How long would this take to relieve me of some of this smell I wondered. Oh yes, I had to move a Dyson vacuum cleaner out of the way before I got to the AC unit, a first for me. It was apparently just left in the room as if the maid was still cleaning up and would be back shortly to retrieve it, or perhaps finish up.
The more I looked, the more bad stuff I found. The room appeared to be clean at first, but as I got acquainted with it I could see the carpet had mystery stains, was worn down and all I could think was that I was NOT going to put my feet on that without protection. Lucky for me I had my flip-flops in my bag. I thought more and more about the smell, it wasn’t going away. There was a candle in my car that my mother gave me, If I could find a lighter my nose might be able to get some relief. Yes, I had a lighter! I lit the candle and put it on a chair and pulled it close to the bed so the aroma would reach my nostrils as soon as possible.
I was looking at the curtain over the window that looked out onto what I could imagine might be a prairie maybe? Long grass, a tree stump and fence in disrepair, great view. On closer inspection, the outside window casing was rotting and pulling away from the window frame, and oh the window itself, probably hadn’t been cleaned in years. Anyway, the curtain had dust accumulating on the top ruffle and looked as If it was possibly 40 years old. Maybe they were trying to go for the retro or vintage look that is the rage now a days. Maybe it was just that their idea of clean was not what the rest of us have come to expect. Maybe this is the real Arkansas look. Maybe they have just been getting away with this for years because they say up front your money is not refundable and people like me just accept that this was a bad pick.
The towels were supposed to be white but appeared to have a bit on dinge to them, obviously the machine they used to wash them just couldn’t keep up, or could the water be dingy? I definitely wasn’t going to drink that crap. The towels did smell good, especially compared to the smell of the room, I thought I might have to use them when I went to bed to keep the smell of the room out of my nostrils.
The front door was hilarious. It had been repainted to look like a wooden door that had been stained. Wow, just wow, it was the worst job I had ever seen. Maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on the person who did it, maybe they were blind and couldn’t see what they were doing. Upon further reflection, yes that is the only possible explanation. It had a regular lock and extra chain lock for security but no deadbolt. No worries I thought, this was a small town similar to what I had grown up in, there was probably not even a need to lock the door let alone a deadbolt. I locked the regular lock and was going to secure the chain. It looked rusty but maybe that was just fake rust for effect I thought. I said “was going to” because once I saw that the chain was only attached to the door frame with two small tack nails, one of which was nowhere to be found and the other extremely loose, I just didn’t bother. I made another trip to the car to get my sidearm to make sure I had protection. The chair with the burning candle was right next to the door anyway and if someone did break in in the middle of the night, they would first make a racket when they pushed the door into the chair, thus acting as an alarm and second probably start the motel on fire because the candle would land on the carpet that was most likely made before it was mandatory to be flame retardant.
I settled in for the night, I was so very weary from my long road trip that day. When I got up and going, I did feel refreshed and ready for another long day of driving. When I checked out I told a white lie and said everything was great, I just wanted to get out of there. They offered a free breakfast. I declined.