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.
“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.”
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!