Despite questionable policies to keep its reputation in tact, USGH has seen the bad reviews and one-star ratings come pouring in.
"It's unfortunate businesses like this will use scare tactics on its own customers", one Yelp reviewer wrote. "Punishing people for bad reviews...is just ludicrous and down-right fascist. If we, the public, are not allowed to disagree and form our own opinions, then you should move your hotel to another location, but not in the United States of America where the freedom of speech is a right".
"This place is terrible, I stayed there and did not write a review, then I read this article today in the NYP about how they fine people if they get bad reviews. My credit card number just changed, so they cant get me", another wrote.
Others followed suit, calling out the hotel on its dictatorial attempt to silence patrons who don't sing praises.
"$500 for a bad review?! Unbelievable. What is this, Communist China"?
"Horrible policies created by a Gestapo like management trying to intimidate customers into leaving good reviews".
"Absolutely the most terrible, unwelcoming environment I have ever experienced. The staff was not very friendly... They (sic) rooms are unspectacular. Furthermore their policies are terrible. Why would you want to stay at a place that censors your freedom of speech"?
Later Monday, the hotel removed the policy from its website, telling CNBC the earlier version was "a tongue-in-cheek response to a wedding many years ago. It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced".
There's no such thing as bad publicity, as the saying goes. But in this case, the Union Street Guest House appears to have gotten exactly the opposite of what it hoped for.
Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.