Quarantining with cockroaches
The sight of a single cockroach is enough to make most people’s skin crawl. Now imagine being stuck in a room with a horde of them for 14 days.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is working closely with both Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel and Swissotel The Stamford after two guests serving their Stay-Home Notices (SHNs) complained of cockroach infestations in their rooms, it told 8world.
Infestation ‘hotel-wide’, says woman who switched rooms five times
In a Facebook post that has since amassed 1,200 shares, Lee Ji-soo, who checked into Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel on Nov 24, blasted the hotel for what she called a “cockroach infestation in the entire building”.
Lee, who is currently still serving her SHN at the five-star hotel, shared that her woes began within hours of her checking in.
“After taking a shower and getting ready for bed around 4am, I saw a small cockroach crawling on my table and then started to look around; on the bedside table I saw two more roaches moving about so I killed them and called reception for a room change,” she recounted.
Alas, she continued to find cockroaches even after moving rooms five times in the subsequent days.
According to her, the hotel staff attempted to solve the issue by spraying the rooms with Baygon and ensuring that the rooms were “thoroughly pest-controlled” before she moved in, but to no avail.
One employee apparently told her that the hotel “didn’t have time” to conduct pest control activities as it was “rushed to host SHN guests”.
Expressing her frustration at the “hotel-wide” problem, she added, “I can’t believe my money and time is being spent on a ‘roach-tel!'”
From June 17, travellers who are not Singaporeans or Permanent Residents are required to bear the cost of their stay at dedicated SHN facilities.
A 14-day stay costs $2,000.
In response to 8world’s queries, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel said it has apologised to Lee and is offering its assistance to her on the matter.
It is working with a pest control company to investigate the matter and exterminate the cockroaches. It will also increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection for all its rooms, it said.
Nevertheless, Lee has reached out to STB to request a change in hotel, she shared in an update on Sunday (Nov 29). She has yet to receive a reply, she said.
Cockroaches spotted in hotel room fridge, sink
Over at Swissotel The Stamford, another five-star hotel, one Singaporean woman was facing a similar problem, reported the Chinese news website.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, reportedly reached out to 8world after seeing Lee’s post.
After checking in last Friday (Nov 27), she was shocked to find two dead cockroaches when she opened the fridge, she recalled. She also spotted live cockroaches around the wardrobe and sink.
And that wasn’t all. According to the woman, who is in her fifties, there were dirt and cookie crumbs on the floor.
Even after moving to a new room, she continued to find cockroaches, catching and killing a total of 17 in her first two days at the hotel.
“As a Singaporean, honestly I feel a bit disappointed and embarrassed. This situation should not be happening at all,” she lamented.
However, she spoke positively of the efforts of the hotel employees, praising them for responding speedily to her requests for cleaning supplies and doing their best to deliver her meals on time.
While she is still staying at Swissotel The Stamford, she has requested to transfer hotels, the woman said.
In a statement, the hotel said it was in contact with the woman and is seeking professional help to solve the issue.
When asked about the woman’s request to move to a different hotel, Swissotel The Stamford said it would abide by STB’s decision.
STB looking into matter
STB is aware of the complaints and is working closely with Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel and Swissotel The Stamford to resolve the pest control issues, it said.
SHN facilities should adhere to strict disease control measures as well as proper cleanliness and disinfection standards, STB added.
Other hotels serving as SHN facilities have also been on the receiving end of complaints about poor hygiene standards.
In September, Park Hotel Alexandra apologised after multiple SHN guests took to social media to share cleanliness lapses in their rooms such as hair, dust, coffee stains, dirty toilets and more.