I checked in with trepidation on Dec 19th, and out to my intense relief on Dec 22 I will never ever stay here again. The room is bare-bones basic, with a garish colour-scheme (off-white and bright orange), but the housekeeper did her best to try to keep it clean. Electric outlets were adequate, as was the plumbing and WiFi. Yes, I had to stomp out a formidable spider in the room, but there were no cockroaches, and I never encountered a second bug in the room. Yes, there were burnt holes in the thin bedspread, either from cigarettes or reefers, but there was no noticeable stench of smoke in the room: just the visible evidence on the bed.
The location, on the west side frontage road to the West Belt right off Westheimer, is excellent. Ten years ago Westheimer was THE place to go in Houston for upscale restaurants, shops, and hostelries; while the area is not as exclusive as it once was, and I did see a few rather disreputable-looking lads, the fact is that you’re within a few minutes' drive from lots of wonderful things. Compared to other neighborhoods within the Bell, Westchase really is one of the better ones.
However, the fundamental reason I was there, was to have a place where I could sleep at night, and unfortunately, this was not even remotely possible.
First: because the motel is shoddily constructed, walls are very thin and certainly not sound-proof; if anything, they appear to magnify noises. (Ironically, even though this hotel is on the frontage road of the tollway, I never heard any traffic noise at night; probably because the external walls, unlike the internal walls, did muffle noise).
Second, there were two dogs within a few rooms of me. The big dog barked loud and long all day long when anyone walked by the room it was in, which was pretty much all day; however, the big dog settled down at night, presumably because his mistress was back in the room and he was well-trained. The little dog, alas, was the exact opposite; its frenzied yapping vastly increased all night long, whenever he had an excuse to yap. And unfortunately, he had excellent reasons to do so, all night long.
Third, and worst of all, were fellow-guests. Now, you might think that the motel’s not responsible for disorderly and obnoxious behaviour by their guests, but I’d disagree with that, as I’ll explain below.
Although I was absolutely exhausted, just out of a one-week stay at a hospital, there was so much noise in the hotel on my first night, that I didn’t get to sleep until almost 2 a.m, and I was woken back up several times during the rest of the night. This was absolutely the best night. The next evening, some rowdy lads showed up around 1:30 am (near bar-closing time), and proceeded to start slamming doors left and right, going back and forth between their various rooms, laughing and shouting at each other, and then slamming a few doors again; this went on until about 3:45 am. And on my third evening, I was subjected to the same drill, except that this time, despite my calling the front desk, it went on continuously until 5:00 am.
Three basic hospitality-industry issues are at work here:
1st is the serious lack of sound insulation for the rooms, a serious structural flaw in a building designed to be a hotel/motel.
2nd is the hotel policy of permitting pets, without caveats whereby animals who are making a god-awful racket, are required to sleep outside in their owners’ cars, or simply prohibiting pets in the first place.
3rd is the lack of any uniformed security. (Ironically, this may be because the Motel 6 is in a relatively safe neighborhood; if they’d had a serious problem with guests' cars being broken into at night, or stolen; they might have grudgingly absorbed the cost of getting a security guard on duty at night. Incidentally, there’s an extended stay Motel 6 a few doors down, so theoretically the two could share a single security officer, who could immediately respond to a security problem at either location, cutting the cost per property by 50%) A uniformed security guard normally does double-duty in a motel, primarily monitoring the parking areas, but also patrolling the corridors every half hour or so, identifying noisy disturbances, and politely telling boisterous guests that they need to pipe down.
In the absence of uniformed security, the front desk clerk frankly may have no desire to leave the desk, patrol the hotel, identify the rowdy guests, and order them to pipe down. I don’t entirely blame him or her for this: with security, if something goes wrong, the front desk clerk serves as the guard's backup, calling the police if the guard gets into a serious situation. Without security, the desk clerk has no back-up and he or she could wind up in deep trouble. Note that all three evenings I stayed, there were serious and multiple disturbances caused by quite a few motel guests, some of them in groups; that might be intimidating to anyone who’s basically timid. I very much doubt that all three nights were unusually loud, and that normally this Motel 6 is so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. (Besides, the walls are so thing you probably COULD hear a pin drop from two or three rooms away; well, OK, that's an exaggeration; but a TV on relatively low volume, you could; I did).
At any rate, these problems are systemic; having nighttime security on the site would be a step in the right direction, but that still doesn’t help the problem about walls so thin that a guest trying to sleep can hear personal and phone conversations and normal-volume late-night TVs from rooms up and down the corridor. So: I will never, ever again, book a room at this particular Motel 6; and I’m inclined to avoid the entire chain. I strongly urge TA readers to book a different hotel/motel: there’s lots of them within three blocks of this terrible place. But, once again, I do NOT blame the staff for this situation. This is a management, and probably even a district or regional management, issue.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC