Top hotel housekeepers' filthy practices exposed

Three five-star hotels in Harbin were punished after an undercover video exposing unhygienic and sloppy housekeeping went viral on the Internet.

A housekeeper uses toilet brushes to clean drinking glasses at Kempinski Hotel Harbin.

Three five-star hotels in Harbin, the capital city of northeastern China’s Heilongjiang Province, were punished after an undercover video exposing unhygienic and sloppy housekeeping went viral on the Internet.

Housekeepers in Kempinski Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel and Sheraton Harbin Xiangfang Hotel were filmed engaging in sloppy practices, including using toilet brushes to clean drinking glasses, not changing sheets, and washing cleaning rags in the toilet, the Harbin government said in a statement on its official Weibo account Wednesday.

A joint investigation team made up of officials from numerous departments of the city confirmed the problems exposed in the undercover investigation video.

Executives from the three hotels were called in for a meeting with local authorities, who required them to make immediate corrections to ensure the health of customers.

In the video that started to widely circulate on the Internet on December 26, a woman posed as an intern housekeeper in the three hotels and secretly filmed how housekeepers clean rooms.

In Kempinski Hotel, a housekeeper was filmed using a toilet brush to clean drinking glasses, using bath towels to wipe them and wetting bath towels in the toilet and then using them to wipe the bathroom floor.

Similar problems were discovered in Shangri-La Hotel, where an unidentified housekeeper said it was against company rules to wash the bathtub and the toilet with the same brush, but that “she doesn’t bother” following the rules.

A housekeeper for Sheraton said as long as the guest didn’t use the sheets or towels, they didn’t need changing.

However, when asked, all three hotels claimed glassware was cleaned and sanitized and sheets were changed every day.

Harbin authorities said they would check other tourist attractions to ensure high quality service standards and would not tolerate any violations.


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