I spend a lot of time in hotels and it’s stories like these that make my skin crawl just a bit. This guest checked into the beautiful Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. She went to sleep in paradise (literally, Paradise Island) and woke up covered in bed bug bites. Except, according to the press release, the hotel largely ignored her:
When she woke up in room 5-552 in the Royal Tower on a Sunday morning, she found itchy bug bites on her body and saw a small bug on the bed. Looking closely, she realized it was indeed a bed bug. Suddenly within minutes, bites were popping up all over her body. She immediately went to see the nurse on the hotel property and the nurse told her she had never applied this much calamine lotion on anyone. Mrs. Avila ran to tell management that her room had bed bugs and they essentially dismissed her, telling her that after she checked out they would check her room. Having been a former TV reporter who had covered bed bug cases in NYC, Avila knew how to investigate on her own.
She went back to her room, lifted up the mattress of her bed and couldn’t believe her eyes. Like something out of a horror movie, she saw hundreds of bed bugs running around on the top of a very dirty bed skirt. Horrified, she grabbed her iPhone and captured video of the bugs roaming across the bed skirt and mattress. The bugs were of various sizes and their excrement was also on the bed skirt. Avila ran into the hallway and found a housekeeper who witnessed the bugs and called a supervisor. Avila called for a manager again as well. Soon after, a manager and security personnel came to the room and also witnessed the bugs. The hotel still showed little regard for Avila. She immediately packed up and left the room, tried to talk to another manager to make sure the room and floor would be shut down for intensive cleaning, but received no such assurances from the front desk manager.
Cindi ended up in a disaster scenario, and the reported behavior from the hotel is quite surprising. Hotels hate being associated with bed bugs. It’s an easy way to ruin your reputation. The hotel may have been trying to downplay the situation with the guest. It’s my experience after years in the hotel business that you’re better treating the guest correctly and attempting to control the story later. I have no idea if Cindi could have been offered an acceptable response by the hotel given the apparent severity of the bites (I have yet to see pictures). But, I imagine it would have been worth the hotel trying to prevent a public situation by offering Ms. Avila an appropriate remedy.
Instead, the hotel now faces a lawsuit for their handling of the situation.
Bed bugs are a persnickety issue to resolve. One of the businesses our company owns is a dry cleaner. The cleaner was founded on an innovative technology involving CO2. Because of the unique nature of the cleaning process, it actually kills bed bugs quite handily. We had a number of phone calls over the years from hotels quietly asking if we could help them clean linens suspected of bed bug infestations. Most times the bugs are hard to see. In this case, it sounds like a very bad infestation. It’s hard to believe that the hotel missed this if they were performing normal cleaning procedures.
The Final Two Pennies
I’ll be really interested to see how this one plays out. There’s supposed to be video and images coming. I’ll share them with you as soon as I receive. My only fear is that Atlantis will work quickly to settle the lawsuit and we might not end up hearing the actual details of any settlement.
What do you think is an appropriate settlement for the hotel to offer?
The post Covered In Bed Bug Bites And Ignored By Atlantis Resort was published first on Pizza in Motion