One woman who stayed at a hotel in Jalan Besar aired her grievances on Facebook about what she perceived to be less-than-stellar room conditions, after getting bitten by bed bugs and finding the insects on her bed.
The woman also noted that the hotel, ST Signature at Jalan Besar, did not provide a refund.
Although ST Signature, a co-living boutique hotel, immediately took action to activate pest control services following the customer's complaint, the hotel believes this is an isolated case and that the guests might have brought the bedbugs into the hotel.
Was itching all night
The complaint was made by a user who goes by the name Phia Boo on Facebook, on Jun. 18.Boo shared that she and a friend stayed two nights at the hotel after travelling to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They had booked the room via AirBnB.
On the first night, Boo was kept awake by the itching on her body, and she said she was "scratching myself non-stop".
The next morning, the pair found two bed bugs on the mattress, one of which was engorged with blood.
Small bumps also started appearing on their bodies.
Found another bed bug in second room
Boo subsequently informed the ST Signature host via WhatsApp.
The host apologised over text, and sent another staff member to their room to check on the situation.
Boo and her friend were given the option to move to another room, which they accepted.
They were informed that staff had called for pest control services to clean the room. Additionally, hotel staff offered extra laundry services.
However, Boo claimed that after the second night in the new room, another bed bug was found on the bed.
She also pointed out to the staff that more and more red welts were popping up on her friend's body.
Here's a closer look as to the extent of the bites.
No refund from hotel
Boo shared that although the staff were friendly and helpful, the hotel did not offer "medical or refund us".
After checking out, the pair went to a laundromat immediately to wash their clothes again and to ensure that no more bed bugs lingered on their clothes or belongings.
"We go through so much hassles and wasted our time and money. I wonder how they get the "SG Clean Certified" from the government. Ridiculous!" Boo said.
She added that this is the first time she has experienced such an incident after travelling to various countries and staying in various hotels or motels.
Boo and her friend are now left "petrified and traumatised", and she urged members of the public to boycott ST Signature.
Hotel has weekly pest control service conducted
In response to Mothership's queries, ST Signature shared more details about how the incident played out.
Boo and her friend booked a type of room called Cabin M, which has twin beds and a shared bathroom, from Jun. 15 to 17.
She first complained about the bed bugs at 11:43am on Jun. 16, and by 11:50am, staff had offered an upgrade to a Cabin L, a larger room with a private bathroom.
ST Signature also confirmed that they had offered complimentary laundry services, once on Jun. 16 and another time on Jun. 17 when Boo mentioned that their clothes were not dry.
Additionally, the hotel activated their pest control vendor, Autopest Pte Ltd, to clean the affected room.
The hotel shared in their statement that they conduct weekly pest control service or maintenance, and have a protocol in place for when incidents such as these occur.
For bed bugs, in particular, the affected room will be immediately isolated, and Autopest staff will be called down to inspect the area.
Fumigation will be carried out and the room will be isolated for six days, following which Autopest will return to conduct a follow-up inspection.
Once the room is confirmed to be clear of bed bugs, it will be cleaned and made available for booking. Adjoining rooms will also be thoroughly checked.
Bed bugs "likely" brought in by guests: Hotel
Upon an inspection of the rooms Boo and her friend stayed in, ST Signature shared that Autopest only found "a couple of" adult bed bugs and no eggs.
ST Signature described this incident as an "isolated report from [a] guest", and said that thus far, no other bed bug activity has been observed on the premises.
As such, the hotel believes that the bed bugs were "very likely" brought in with Boo's luggage prior to the incident.
The hotel continued that since their stay, Boo did not reach out to ST Signature directly or via AirBnB to request for any refund or monetary compensation, aside from posting on Facebook and leaving a review on AirBnB.
However, ST Signature has given Boo and her friend a full refund of S$165.53.
The hotel added:
"We hope that this will provide some comfort in compensation for the affected guests in these challenging times.
We are disheartened that the guests had an unpleasant experience during their stay in Singapore.
We have done our best to provide the service and assistance to the affected guests and we sincerely hope to welcome back to ST Signature again in the future."
Mothership has reached out to Boo for more information.
Top photo from Phia Boo / FB and Hotels.com / Google Maps