Major hotel chains apologise after video reveals unsanitary cleaning practices in China

Shangri-La, Park Hyatt, Waldorf Astoria and Sheraton have all responded to a viral video showing less than exemplary hygiene in room cleaning procedures

Helen Coffey
Friday 16 November 2018 15:08
Hidden camera footage shows hotel cleaners using bath towels to clean cups, sinks and toilet seats

Four international hotel chains have issued apologies after a video revealing unsanitary cleaning practices in various Chinese outposts went viral.

Captured by hidden camera, the footage, uploaded to Chinese social media site Weibo, shows hotel cleaners using dirty towels and flannels to wipe glasses and cutlery and even using the same cloth to clean the both the toilet and sink.

Sponges used to clean the shower stall were also applied to in-room glasses and mugs.

There were 14 luxury hotels featured in the video posted by user "Huazong”; so far four have apologised for the sub-par methods revealed by the clip.

The Waldorf Astoria in Shanghai and the Sheraton in Guiyang city both apologised and said they would be reviewing procedures, while The Shangri-La Hotel in Fuzhou said the behaviour violated its hygiene standards.

Park Hyatt in Beijing said it was an “isolated incident”.

The Beijing tourism authorities have also responded to the video, issuing a statement saying that they will require hotels to check and rectify their practices, and stating that they have since contacted the Beijing health commission about doing hygiene inspections of four of the implicated hotels.

An investigation by ABC News into the hygiene of hotel rooms in 2017 revealed the specific elements most likely to have a high level of bacteria.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Microbiologist Chuck Gerba conducted germ tests in nine Los Angeles hotel rooms – three lower-priced, three medium-priced and three high-end – and found hairdryers were the worst culprits when it came to germs.

Six of the nine bathroom sinks tested had germ levels considered excessive, while at one of the five-star hotels, the experiment uncovered high levels of bacteria on the room-service menu.

One bucket at a Beverly Hills three-star hotel had five times the amount of germs Gerba considered acceptable and across the board, the germ count for toilets was at higher levels than you’d find in the average toilet in someone’s home.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in