Major hotels in China inspected after room cleaning expose

Daniel Fowler
November 18, 2018

Eleven of the 14 hotels involved have apologised since the video went viral, and China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism has ordered investigations into the apparent breaches of hygiene standards.

The first hotel on the clip appears to be Conrad Beijing, a high-end establishment wherein rooms cost more than 1,800 Yuan (US$260) per night. A self-employed investor, he claimed to have spent 2,000 nights at 147 luxury or boutique hotels in the country over the past six years.

High-end hotels in China run by global chains Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt have issued apologies after a video went viral, showing unhygienic practices, including one cleaner who used the same sponge to wipe drinking cups and a toilet.

Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, which is run by Marriott International Inc., apologized in a statement posted Thursday on Weibo, saying it will investigate and take appropriate action.

Most of the affected hotels, which include The Conrad Beijing, Le Royal Meridien Shanghai and The Shangri-La Hotel Fuzhou, are part of large worldwide hotel chains.

The footage apparently showed a cleaner at the Le Royal Méridien Shanghai hotel using the same cleaning cloth to wipe a washbasin and cups, and wiping a toilet with a guest's towel.

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The video, which was posted November 14, shows a housekeeper at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Shanghai using a single sponge to clean cups and the sink. Afraid that the woman might lose her job, he opted not to report the incident - and even after making his video, Huazong stressed to Sixth Tone: "These employees should not be blamed; rather, it should be [the hotels' responsibility] to recognize and correct any hygiene problems".

The video received over than 66,000 likes and about 30,000 comments after 12 hours being posted.

A Marriott hotel in Hangzhou in China's Zhejiang province.

The Shangri-La said it was taking steps to ensure hygiene standards.

In Beijing, the Park Hyatt Hotel's Weibo feed on Thursday verified the authenticity of the images but said they did not represent the hotel's hygiene standards and practices.

Beijing tourism authorities issued a statement requiring hotels to check and rectify their practices. Management launched an investigation and said it would improve staff training and supervision. It says cutlery and crockery must be cleaned daily, and sets levels for bacteria counts in hotels.

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