Major hotels in China inspected after room cleaning expose

Hotel room

Hotel room

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.

The video clip was apparently shot by hidden cameras set up in hotel bathrooms and titled "The Secret of the Cups". The video has gotten 29 million views and elicited tens of thousands of comments and shares.

Tourism officials in Beijing issued a statement ordering hotels to check on what their cleaners were doing and to correct their methods if necessary. "I'm so glad that a 5,000-yuan hotel is just as dirty as a 500-yuan one".

A user on Chinese social media kicked off this frenzy after posting a recording online on Wednesday evening showing these unsavory incidents in what he claimed was 14 out of the 147 five-star and luxury hotel branches he had stayed in for the past six years. The housekeeper then takes the same sponge and cleans the toilet, according to text shown in the video. The Chinese tourism ministry said late Thursday that it had asked authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and three provinces to investigate 14 hotels that appear in the video.

"It's a problem prevalent in the entire industry".

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This is not the first time that some of China's most expensive and sought-after hotels have been caught in shoddy cleaning practices.

The idea to make the video came to Huazong in October 2017 after an experience at a hotel in the eastern city of Nanjing: He came back to his room one afternoon to find a housekeeper cleaning the room's drinking cup with a used bath towel.

Lanmei Test, an organization that claims to be independent, released a video on WeChat of an undercover inspection in which its employees left marks on sheets, toilets and cups at several five-star hotels.

After the video went viral, Shangri-La Hotel in Fuzhou said that the procedure followed in the video is unhygienic and it violates the hotel's hygienic standards.

The marks-visible only under ultraviolet light-were still there when Lanmei employees checked into the same rooms the next day.

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