I woke up after a night at this Sofitel with my left arm covered in bug bites (check out the attached photo), and I informed the hotel staff two days later when my family started pointing out that I should get checked. Self-preservation and all.
The events that followed showed me first-hand that hotels will cover up their bed bug problems. The whole ordeal was pretty shady and there was absolutely no transparency in the investigation. My later visit to a doctor confirmed my suspicions that these bites were, with high likelihood, bed bug bites. And I had no bug bites on me before my hotel stay. The hotel ended up denying all existence of bed bugs in this case. Yeah right. As far as I know I was bitten almost 50 times in one night on the 3rd floor of this hotel. Why, oh why did I make this reservation?
In the aftermath, I checked out many review sites to discover past claims of bed bugs at this hotel dated 10/19/2010, 9/6/2010 and 1/15/2010. All bed bug claims were denied by the hotel staff. I think I can see a pattern.
The hotel staff gave us the appearance of cooperating (they gave us lunch and a free ride to my office) but actually hid everything that was meaningful. For example, they first told us they had no information: but later we find that they had at that time already sent in their own employees to investigate (and maybe even clean up) the room before Terminex arrived. They told us that we could accompany Terminex into the room: but later we find out that, oops, the hour-long Terminex "investigation" had just happened while all that time we had been waiting in their restaurant for notice of their arrival.
Then, after being led to a closed-door meeting in some conference room, we were told that, after all, we will not be allowed to enter the room because they had forgotten to mention the minor detail that the room was occupied. Right. They were investigating this issue pretty thoroughly and they just found out the room was occupied?
Mind you, all these events happened between midnight and noon of the following day, so apparently this surprise guest must sleep like a rock because the Terminex guys told us how they ripped open the mattress box spring, flipped over the mattress and pored over the furniture. I can only imagine the guest's luggage was touched and moved about quite a bit in the process. Plus, wouldn't you want to be warned of a bed bug claim and investigation against the room you're staying in?
So I asked twice whether they got permission from that guest, and the general manager replied angrily, verbatim, "My employees and I can do anything we please without anyone's permission for any reason!" I'm sure they're legally correct, with their army of lawyers, but practically speaking (bed bugs or not) I'm never again entering a Sofitel hotel if these kinds of employees are the best that Sofitel can hire. Just wow.
At this point, I'm thinking the Sofitel employees cleaned the room before Terminex arrived. Or the Terminex guys also lied. After all, they had trouble keeping eye contact with us in the closed-door meeting. They're guesses, but I'll never know the truth because everything was hidden from us. Thanks Sofitel. All we wanted was to work together to contain the bed bugs. But you just acted sleazy.
Meanwhile, my family and I just finished steam cleaning my entire place last night. I really hope I didn't bring back the Sofitel bed bugs to my place. Fingers crossed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Pullman San Francisco Bay, an exclusive 'corporate resort' reputed for its refinement, considerate service and attention to detail. Whether you are visiting for pleasure or in town for business, you will savor this truly unique experience, a total immersion in comfort! Enjoy the superbly appointed accommodations in tranquil surroundings fanned by gentle breezes... Ideally situated between San Francisco and San José, this luxurious establishment is only minutes from the airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel San Francisco Bay Hotel Redwood City
- Sofitel Hotel Redwood City
- Sofitel Redwood City
- Redwood City Sofitel