Rotten Oysters, part 1: Behold, the (awfulness of the) Desert Tides in Las Vegas

Playground at the Desert Tides in Las Vegas
Playground at the Desert Tides in Las Vegas

At Oyster, our main goal is helping you find the best hotel for your trip. That's why we visited some 800 hotels in 2009. And that's why we spend a lot of time and energy compiling "best of" lists, from the most family-friendly hotels in Jamaica to the most luxurious in New York. We even have "best of the best" roundups for a number of categories in each location.

Isn't it also fun, though, to poke fun at the worst of the worst, to marvel at the derelict and mock the unclean? Yes. Yes it is. In that spirit, welcome to Rotten Oysters, where we mock not just the unclean, but also the unfriendly and ill-equipped, the supercilious and superfluous.

In this, the debut of "Rotten Oysters," we give you the Desert Tides, a hotel located off the Strip in Vegas. The lovely Janine was tasked with reviewing the Tides. Notice I did not say "sleeping at the Tides" -- Janine left the same afternoon she arrived because of security concerns. Lest you declare us oversensitive softies, you might want to check out the hotel's sign at the entrance, which was tagged. Classy.

Janine summarized the Tides as "the worst Las Vegas hotel Oyster has covered to date." No hotel we've visited since has supplanted it for that coveted title. Broken fixtures, scorched-earth lawn, a rusty playground... the Tides has it all! Most off-putting of all is that we were charged over $100 a night for the experience -- a reasonable rate in most places, but not in Vegas, where you get a lot of hotel for your dollar. By comparison, the Trump International, which is just off the Strip, is a legit 4.5-pearl hotel, one of our favorite luxury properties in the entire Vegas area -- and costs about the same amount as the the Desert Tides right now.

Lucky for you, what happened during our visit to the Tides did not stay at the Tides. And neither should you.

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