n disgusting but certainly not surprising news, more than a dozen of China’s top hotels have been exposed for practicing a wide range of nasty bathroom cleaning habits.
The hotels were exposed by a blogger who posted 11 minutes of hidden camera footage onto Weibo yesterday, igniting outrage across the country. Bathrooms in a total of 14 five-star hotels were featured in the blogger’s video, including seven in Shanghai, namely: Le Royal Méridien Shanghai, Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai, Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, Four Seasons Shanghai, Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, and The PuLi Hotel and Spa.
For instance, a cleaner in Le Royal Méridien Shanghai is seen using a bath towel to clean a toilet and using the same cloth to wipe down the sink and cups. The cleaner also places a toilet brush and cleaning rag together into the same case.
Cleaners at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai and The PuLi Hotel and Spa were also shown using the same dirty sponge or rag to clean both the toilet and cups. Other infractions at the Shanghai hotels included cleaners using guests’ dirty towels to clean the floor, sink, cups, and windowsill; reusing plastic cup covers from the garbage bin; and soaking cups in shampoo.
Of course, all of these rooms would cost hundreds of dollars a night to stay in.
Since the exposé blew up online, a number of the hotels have issued public statements and apologies. Le Royal Méridien Shanghai, for one, has said that it places “great importance” in the hygiene and cleanliness of its rooms and will take measures to improve procedures and management.
The scandal has caught the attention of authorities in Shanghai with the local tourism administration announcing that inspections will be carried out at the relevant hotels and if the unsanitary cleaning practices are verified, punishments will be imposed. Meanwhile, the administration will suggest that the department in charge of assigning star-ratings for hotels update its rating standards.
Last year, three five-star hotels in Harbin were similarly exposed for the same sort of nasty bathroom cleaning habits by a viral hidden camera video. At the time, net users argued that these kinds of hygiene problems are systematic among luxury hotels in China, which typically cheap out when it comes to hiring professional cleaning staffers and then give poorly trained and unqualified workers too little time to clean too many rooms.
“I bet that if you performed similar investigations at every other five-star hotel in the country, not a one would pass the test,” wrote one prescient Weibo user.