Chinese 5-star hotels apologize after video reveals hygiene horrors

Hotel room

Marriott is one of the global luxury hotel chains featured in a web video showing unsanitary housekeeping practices in their Chinese properties. A one-night stay at any of these hotels costs at least 1,000 yuan ($144).

A repost of the video on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, by state-run newspaper the Beijing News had been viewed 28m times as of Thursday.

The whistle-blower claimed he placed a secret camera in separate hotel rooms and then posted the 11-minute video on Weibo, according to the South China Morning Post.

China's tourism regulator has launched an investigation into poor hygiene at a slew of five-star hotels, including global chains such as the Ritz Carlton and Shangri-La, after an undercover expose went viral and prompted a public outcry. He said he was disheartened to realise it was common for staff to use dirty towels to clean cups.

The Shangri-La Hotel in Fuzhou said the actions in the video violate its hygiene standards, while the Park Hyatt in Beijing called it an isolated occurrence.

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. The video purports to show a member of staff lifting a plastic cup lid from a bin and wiping it on their T-shirt.


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.

The almost The 12-minute video, posted online earlier this week, shows workers cleaning bathrooms.

China is the fastest growing major market for the world's top hotel chains as rising incomes have led to domestic travel spending increasing at double-digit rates.

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.

City tourism and health agencies in Beijing and Shanghai are investigating and in touch with the hotels featured in the video.

"The hotel will still take measures to strengthen the implementation of the standard procedures for room service staff to ensure all aspects meet the established standards of the Peninsula, ' the statement said". Worker shortages and low pay make it hard for hotels to pressure employees to follow the rules, as they can just quit and find jobs elsewhere.

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