From October 2nd to October 12th 2003, we had the unique experience of staying at the Best Western Capitol Square in Sydney Australia. Unfortunately, during our 9-night stay at this hotel we experienced nothing but problems, and discomfort.
We booked through the International Best Western reservation line, and received an e-mail confirmation immediately upon completion. As we were about to travel halfway across the world, we found it necessary to confirm this booking directly with the hotel to avoid any problems. We phoned the Capitol Square location in Australia only to find that our reservation had not been received in completion. They had a partial booking and did not show us booked for the full 9 nights. We then immediately phoned the reservation line where they confirmed exactly what we had booked and advised us that they would re-submit the reservation directly to the hotel. It took 2 electronic submissions and a direct fax from our home line to get this reservation straightened out. Absolutely unnecessary!
Upon arrival, we were given our room key. After the fourth night there, we discovered that our fabric-covered headboard was infested with Bed-Bugs. Just in case you are unaware of exactly what these insects are, we can tell you what we have learned. Bed Bugs are a blood-sucking insect. They feed off of the blood and skin of humans, burrowing into your skin, and live in dark places such as underneath carpet, mattress crevices, draperies, and bedding. They come out only at night and bite you while you are sleeping. They leave red welts and lesions on your skin. Further, they can transmit such diseases as Tuberculosis and West Nile Virus.
We immediately called in the cleaning staff to have our bed stripped, and headboard removed. We requested that our room be thoroughly cleaned and sprayed with something to kill what may be living in the mattress or the carpet. On our way out for the day, we advised the front desk and manager on duty of the situation in our room. They offered to change our room, but the way we saw it was if one room was like this, all of the rooms would be infested the same.
As we returned for the day, we noticed that the headboard and bedding had been changed, the carpets had been vacuumed but nothing was sprayed. We immediately left to find a local store that carried a bug spray that was safe to use in our room.
After the next three nights we were disturbed to discover a cockroach climbing on one of our garments hanging in the wardrobe. Another complaint was made to the cleaning staff, who discarded it, and to the manager on duty, who changed our room and took two nights charges off the bill. Unfortunately for us, the Rugby World Cup was taking place and all hotels were booked solid for the games. Capitol Square re-located us to a much smaller (handicapped accessible) room, next to the noisy elevator on the fourth level.
They advised us that our "bug-room" would be in quarantine to solve the problem. We were quick to notice that this never happened, and it was rented out to some poor unsuspecting guest the very next night!
Our time in Australia was an experience we'll never forget. It is a beautiful city! It is unfortunate that after all the time and money spent planning our holiday, we felt relieved to be returning home.
Six days after returning home, we discovered that we must have transported these insects to Canada. Every morning we would wake with red blotches on our arms and back, which warned us of their presence. We were bitten so badly that we were required to see two doctors, in fear of the bites infecting our skin. We were prescribed two medicated creams, and required to quarantine our bedroom. Our mattress was sealed in plastic for 10 days with powerful bug killer. We spent our nights on the couch.
Now this brings us up to where we are now. We have completed our quarantine and are trying to put our home life back in place. We are more than disgusted at the conditions of the Best Western hotel in Sydney and feel it is imperative to advise any person we can of the situation. We feel that this hotel does not deserve a star rating to boast. Not only do we feel that way due to our insect problems, but due to the fashion in which the hotel is misrepresented in its online advertisement. The facilities are slightly exaggerated, for instance the Terrace Restaurant; nothing more than a kitchen to eat breakfast. Where do you send for room service, and where do you dine for the rest of the day?
We're in the process of filing a complaint with the hotel and head offices. We'd love to hear any feedback from anyone out there who has experienced anything similar. What should we be expecting in response from this hotel??