Secret filming has revealed sub-standard cleaning practices at a number of luxury international hotels in China.
Eleven of the 14 hotels featured in the video have apologised after footage posted online showed cleaners using dirty guest towels to wipe down cups and sinks and, in some cases, the same towel used to clean the toilet.
The 11-minute video was uploaded on the social media site Weibo by an activist blogger under the pseudonym “Huazong”. Within a day, it had been viewed 78,000 times.
It shows cleaning staff washing cups and mugs with the same sponge used to wipe down the shower and sink, while in one section of the video, the blogger criticises a cleaner for washing dishes with a cloth that had been stored next to a used toilet brush.
Huazong said he had spent more than 2,000 nights in 147 five-star hotels across several major Chinese cities.
Seven of the hotels featured were in Shanghai, where the local tourism authority is conducting investigations into the issues raised, according to the state-owned Global Times newspaper.
Associated Press reported The Shangri-La, Park Hyatt, Waldorf Astoria and Sheraton are among the hotel chains which have responded to the footage.
The Shangri-La Hotel in Fuzhou said the actions in the video violated its hygiene standards, while the Park Hyatt in Beijing said the lapse was an isolated occurrence.
The Waldorf Astoria in Shanghai and the Sheraton in Guiyang city also apologised and said they were reviewing their procedures.
Hilton and Marriott group properties were also among the 14 luxury hotels included in the video, AP reported.
China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has directed identified hotels to check and rectify their practices and asked the Beijing health commission to conduct sanitary inspections of four of the hotels named in the video.
Last year, an independent Chinese testing team exposed poor hygiene standards at a number of top Beijing hotels.
The team, Lanmei Test, inspected the Intercontinental, Hilton, Shangri-La, JW Marriott and W Hotels in Beijing, and released a similar damning video of the results.
The Lanmei Test video shows the team stamping the sheets, quilt covers, pillows, bathtubs, toilets and glasses at several hotel rooms with a fluorescent stamp invisible under normal lighting. They show how easily the stamp can be removed with water or wiping and then stage the room to make it look like it has been used.
After checking out, the team returns the following day with a UV light and finds the stamp intact on almost everything in the room.
According to News.com.au, one of the investigators said: “We are stunned by their performance. The bed linen in these five hotels haven’t been changed after we checked out.”
Following the latest revelations, comments from Weibo users included: “Everyone knows about it, the hotel has high and low levels. But some people have no bottom line”, and “Even the best hotels in China, their hygiene and ethics levels are not comparable to a small hotel in Japan”.