Chinese 5-Star Hotels Apologize After Video Reveals Hygiene Horrors

Astoria Hotel in Shanghai. A video which was posted Nov 14 shows a housekeeper at the luxury hotel using a single sponge to clean cups and the sink

China’s luxury hotels under scrutiny over basic hygiene practice

Rooms at the most expensive hotel shown in the video - the Bulgari in Shanghai - start at around 4,000 yuan ($580) per night.

"We sincerely apologize for what has occurred and we are now investigating this matter with the highest diligence", said hotel spokeswoman Chloe Qian.

The Ritz-Cartlon and other five-star hotels in China apologized after a video exposing unhygienic cleaning practices went viral online this week in the latest health and safety scandal to rock the country. In several clips, workers in bathrooms wipe down sinks, coffee cups and glasses with the same used towel.

A cleaner at Beijing's Park Hyatt hotel, which is operated by the US-listed company Hyatt Hotels, was apparently shown using a guest's towel to clean drinking glasses. At a Shangri-La Hotel in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, cleaning staff are said to be seen wiping a basin and cups with the same towel.

These practices are reportedly being followed in more than 100 five-star hotels in China. Afraid that the woman might lose her job, he opted not to report the incident - and even after making his video, Huazong stressed to Sixth Tone: "These employees should not be blamed; rather, it should be [the hotels' responsibility] to recognize and correct any hygiene problems".

"Luckily I can not afford to stay in any of these hotels", one commenter said in an online post responding to the video.

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This is not the first time that well-known hotels have failed basic hygiene checks in China.

China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism said in a statement it was concerned by the reports and had asked authorities in five provinces to investigate the issue, which has already prompted a flurry of apologies from big-name hotel chains.

"The hotel will still take measures to strengthen the implementation of the standard procedures for room service staff to ensure all aspects meet the established standards of the Peninsula, ' the statement said".

The Shangri-La Hotel in Fuzhou said the actions in the video violate its hygiene standards, while the Park Hyatt in Beijing called it an isolated occurrence. The Four Seasons in Shanghai said it would improve internal training.

In Beijing, regulators summoned managers from the four hotels demanding answers while conducting their own tests of hotel cleanliness, Xinhua reported.

There is a national hygiene standard for hotels that stipulates cleaning methods such as the daily changing of sheets and bedcovers.

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