The “Itchy & Scratchy Show” And the Hotel From Hell

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I am furious.

On the last weekend of September, we decided to take a two-day trip to Montreal. The weather was gorgeous (for non-Canadians readers, that means temperatures above 20°C) and we didn’t have too much work. The timing was perfect.

As usual, we booked an hotel on Expedia: the Travelodge Hotel by Montreal Airport (7300 Chemin De La Côte-de-Liesse, Montréal, QC H4T IE7). I am giving you the full address… so that you can avoid it!

We checked in early afternoon and were given the room #146. As soon as we opened the door, the smell of cigarette smoke hit us. Now I am a smoker (yes, I know…) but I really don’t understand people who think it’s okay to light up in a hotel room. Yes, including rock stars. Seriously, how hard it is to step out to have a smoke? And I certainly don’t understand why hotels think it’s okay to advertise such rooms as “non-smoking rooms”. A spray of air freshener does not make the smell go away.

I walked back to the reception desk and requested another room. The clerk begrudgingly allowed us to switch rooms—no apologies or anything.

Alright. We moved our bags to room #143 and went to explore the city.

On a side note, the outdoor swimming pool the hotel advertised seemed to be out of service and the place was very stuffy and old. But hey, all we needed was a bed and a shower, right?

Fast-forward to nighttime…

Mark was sleeping in one of the queen beds, Feng and I in the other. Well, I was falling asleep while Feng was twisting and turning. Eventually, he turned the lights on.

“I’m itchy,” he said.

“Mosquito bite?”

“I don’t think so…”

Half asleep, we inspected the white sheet at the bottom of the bed, where Feng’s itchy foot had been resting.

That’s when we saw it. A motherfucking bed bug.

We killed it without mercy. The bug was full of fresh blood—disgusting.

We looked at each other. We couldn’t believe it.

For those who are not familiar with bed bugs (lucky you!), these insects feed exclusively on blood. They love warm houses, beds and bedding or other sleep areas and are mainly active at night. Bed bug bites often result in skin rashes and getting rid of this insect is tough.

I’ve seen bed bugs before, mostly in dirty hostels in Australia—I remember being eaten alive a couple of times in Melbourne. But I kind of expected it. I mean, hostels are… well, hostels. When the twelve guys in your sixteen-bed dorms haven’t showered or done laundry in days and when they store food on their beds… you know it’s a bed bug hostel.

But I certainly wasn’t expecting a place like a Travellodge Hotel (not fancy but decent) to have bed bugs.

We woke up Mark who, thankfully, was okay—he was wearing a pyjama and was sleeping on the other bed.

“What do you want to do?” Feng asked me.

“I want to move right now!” I replied, angry (and itchy).

Easier said than done at 1 a.m.

Instead, I walked to the front desk.

“Hi… we have a problem in the room. We have bed bugs.”

“Oh yeah?”

The front desk attendant couldn’t have cared less, and he didn’t even seem surprised.

“What do you want me to do?”

Er… I don’t know, what do you think—charge me extra for the perk?

“I can give you another room.”

“Yes, that would be nice” I said, dripping sarcasm.

Room #104 didn’t seem to have bed bugs but hey, how would I know?

We transferred our bags and a very confused Mark to the room and eventually, late into the night, managed to fall asleep.

The next morning, I went to the front desk once again and asked to speak to the manager. I told him about the bed bugs problem.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

“I have pictures! And another clue may be the blood and dead bugs on the sheet”, I added.

“Oh yeah… well, there is nothing I can do. You booked with Expedia, we can’t give you a refund. And I can’t give you a free breakfast either, the restaurant is closed.”

I was pissed—I am pissed.

No apologies, no compensation. As far as the manager was concerned, tough luck for us.

See, when we had the water outage in Toronto, I found the hotel acted appropriately and that some of the guests were trying to “milk” it.

But this time?

To hell with Travelodge. I am never staying in any of their hotels ever again, and I’ll be sure to spread the word.

Ever had bed bugs? Ever experienced awful service at a hotel? Do share!

Family Portrait

Family Portrait

Our Shoes

Our Shoes

Ugly Bed Bugs

Ugly Bed Bugs

Ugly Bed Bugs

Ugly Bed Bugs

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

38 Comments

  1. Incredibly disgusting! Can’t beleive they would not budge, bed bugs are not to be taken lightly … they can infest the whole hotel! I would definately complain to Expedia to try and get my money back.

  2. Bah, disgusting! Luckily I never had bed bugs so far. When I’m looking for hotels, I usually take a look at http://www.tripadvisor.com before I book.
    The hotel you mentioned has the kind of rating that would probably ring the alarm bell. I can only recommend to share your experience there since tripadvisor is a good and well known source of information for travelers.
    I’m not too sure if a free breakfast would’ve been a viable compensation. You know, when the rooms are contaminated with bugs and mold, I would assume that the kitchen doesn’t look any better.
    Better luck next time!

    • I wrote a review on Expedia, hopefully it will warn other travelers. We’ve never had a bad experience booking with Expedia, even if some hotels are more basic than other, they are fine. Reviews are good but some people expect the moon from budget hotels so they are sometime biased.

  3. Oh god, that was my problem in Buffalo too; I lived in an old house that used to be one unit, now it is separated into an Upper and a Lower. I had bedbug problems for the longest time, as I guess it started from the Lower unit and just crept up into our unit. I had an exterminator, I also bought my own insecticide and fumigated my room every day before I headed out. I am so glad that I didn’t bring any when I moved to Germany. It’s a pain, and very hard to get rid of. Hopefully you guys didn’t bring anything from the hotel to your house.

  4. wow! this seems a recurrent problem in hotels in Québec province. In an Huff article, some guy decided to give a bad review on t.r.i.p.a.d.v.i.s.o.r because of bed bugs and got sued by the hotel. I’m appalled that the management didn’t even take this matter more seriously. I once stayed at the travelodge at the Chinatown of Montreal, and it was ok, nothing to complain about. I’m annoyed to learn that hotel customer service is so terrible in Montreal.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/23/hotel-quebec-laurent-azoulay-bed-bugs_n_3805093.html

  5. Oh my life, that is so gross!I. Have such a fear of bed bugs here – a neighbour of ours had them and now I get totally grossed ou thinking of it. I would have been so furious too! That is disgusting. Have they got a Facebook page? Link this post to it!

    • I’m not on Facebook and I don’t want to sign up for for that. But I wrote a review on Expedia, contacted Expedia and well, there is this article. Hopefully it will warn other travelers.

  6. oh mon dieu!!!! quelle horrible expérience!!! je note en tout cas. J’en avais jamais vu, c’est répugnant! So sorry you had to live that…

  7. Gross.
    Little do they know that you have a blog and are spreading the word far and wide.
    If you feel passionately enough about it, I would take the complaint up a step to corporate offices. Send them the link to this blog post. They will see all the comments…
    That’s disgusting and unacceptable. I was talking to a friend today about the shady motel I stayed in recently (I believe you commented on that post knowing exactly the kind I’m talking about!) and I said how I have stayed in better hostels for less money! Get it together Canada! ha.

    • I actually spent 45 minutes on the phone with Expedia today. Expedia pretty much they are not responsible and the hotel said they aren’t aware of the issue. You know what? Too bad for them, I’ll just spread the word. I think I am more annoyed by the hotel’s attitude than the bedbugs issue. That’s a very good example of bad customer service.

      I agree with you: some hotels in Canada are way overpriced for what they offered… and yes, I have stayed in cheaper hostels with better amenities and nicer staff!

  8. Ah wouach, dégueulasse! :/ Je n’ai jamais eu de bed bugs aux hôtels où je suis allée et tant mieux! J’ai entendu dire que c’était “le” fléau dans les hôtels à New York, juste pour ça je vais faire hyper gaffe le jour où j’irai là-bas 😉

  9. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww….such a huge big fat bed bug!!!! Glad you killed them and this is terrible indeed. What a lousy customer service attitude 🙁

    I do have friends who got bitten by bed bugs in some chalets here in Spore.

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  11. Unfortunately bed bugs are a big problem in Montreal. So sorry you had that experience!

    My worst hotel experience was in Boston (a city which I otherwise love). We were staying in a rather nice/expensive hotel. The fire alarm went off in our room at 5 am. I ran down in a panic (in my PJs) to find the staff chilling out in the lobby. I asked about the fire, to which they responded “oh, there is no fire. But we have had trouble with the alarms in some rooms.” We went back up to our room, went back to sleep, and listened to it go off twice more before giving up and going to have an early breakfast (somewhere else). When we complained, they rolled their eyes and very begrudgingly knocked 50 dollars off our 3 night stay (which was peanuts, and only granted after a lot of insisting). I was furious. Will never go there again.

    • Wow, I would have been furious too!

      I had “interesting” nights in hostels a couple of time with the fire alarm going on and having to evacuate but at least there was a valid reason for the alarm to go on. Name that hotel so that I can avoid it!

  12. I’ve found that Travelodge is a step down from Quality Inn, and not that much cheaper. I, too, had a bad experience in a Travelodge with a stinky room, and no appropriate parking (with were moving with a trailer, the babies and the cat). Thankfully when I asked to be changed, they upgraded us to the nearest Quality Inn (I believe they are part of the same chain, or something). Anyway: Travelodge stinks!

  13. OMG !!! Double ewwww !! I cannot believe that they acted so nonchalant like that ! I am sorry it happened to you! Bed bugs are not fun ! I experienced it awhile back during my honeymoon and it sucked . I did not complain to the hotel because at that time i thought maybe it was my head or something, but i saw later,when we were leaving to go back to airport, that it was definately a bed bug. Too late to complain. I hope you gave them a very bad review on Expedia!

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