THIRTY-FIVE BED BUG BITES WITH INTENSE ALLERGIC REACTION!! ROOM #141 (The Hopi Suite).
Hotel Apsen InnSuites, 1008 East Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Reservation checking in Monday, March 8, 2010, checking out Friday, March 12, 2010.
The first night's stay in the hotel was fine, but during the second night, I got three bug bites: two on my right hand and one on my lower right back. Thinking it was a spider bite incident, I paid no particular attention.....but then I got several more bites
while I was out sightseeing that day up and down my arms!
I reported it to the hotel and they immediately wanted to move me to another room, so I gathered my things but could not get to the other room, as it was up a hill and due to a snow/ice storm that was in the area, I couldn't even get my rental SUV up the hill!
Under the circumstances, I opted to check out of the hotel a day early and headed down to Sedona, AZ. In the course of the day, I got FIVE MORE BITES! This meant the bugs were tracking on me and my stuff and I had no idea what they were! Fear came over me thinking, "Am I going to track them into other hotels.....my rental vehicle....the airplane....MY HOUSE?!" So I didn't even bring my suitcase in to the carpeted area of the hotel in Sedona and bought two cheap t-shirts; one to sleep in and one to wear the next day (no bites had occurred below the waist, so washed out my underclothes for the next day so as to not clothing from my suitcase!)
I called the Hotel Aspen InnSuites that evening to inform them of this critical information. The desk clerk said the General Manager would call me the next day, which he did. They had closed off Room 141 and were getting pest control/inspectors to come and assess the situation. He called me the next day to discuss the situation, was very empathetic and called the next day to confirm that an infestation of BED BUGS was found on the HEADBOARD of the bed I slept in!
To make a long story short, two days later, I was able to wash my clothes at the home of a friend who I visited (she lives outside of Phoenix). We unpacked my suitcase outside and there were a few things that did not get washed, such as my suitcase, backpack and rain jacket.
Well don't you know, when flying home about 24 hours after washing my things, I was on a night-flight and I used my jacket as a blanket.... I got TWO MORE BITES, one on my face and one on my chest! So when I got home, NOTHING came in to my house unless it was headed straight for the shower or the washing machine!
So in total, I got 35 bites and five days after getting the first bite, the level of the allergic reaction had gotten so bad that it was going in to my BLOOD STREAM (you could see the red line going from a bite near my left wrist right on up my arm!)! I had to take prednisone (awful!) and an antibiotic for a week and it took three weeks in total for the bites to clear up.
I had continued talks with the hotel General Manager and provided him with a detailed account of the incident and several photos so that he could submit a claim on my behalf to their insurance company.
Note, three months have now passed. I have provided the insurance company with all required documents, but the hotel has not (pending submission of pest control records). In the meantime, I was informed yesterday that there is a likely chance the claim will be denied and I will receive ZERO COMPENSATION, because the hotel does not have "MedPay" coverage, meaning I can't even get any medical reimbursement. What?! This is apparently optional coverage for which the hotel pays extra. Uh ok, so why WOULD they opt for it?
Apparently there has to be clear determination of negligence on the part of the hotel in order for their "general liability" coverage on the property to kick in and for me, in turn, to have any hope for reimbursement. Note, it would be ONLY be for medical; NOT for staying at the hotel, needing to get new luggage, etc... Gosh, if the hotel would simply have the GOODWILL to reimburse the medical and 3 nights lodging, it would only be about $300 out of their pocket, but I guess they feel no reason to do so.
I have been sharing this experience with anyone and everyone to heighten their awareness about bed bugs and help them be PROACTIVE against them, since it is no joke that once you have them, they are terribly hard to get rid of and heaven forbid you have the level of allergic reaction that I did!
Luckily, my proactive measures when I got back from the trip appear to have been effective as I have gotten no more bites, meaning they are not in my home (fingers crossed / no jinx!)
For folks taveling to Flagstaff, AZ, check out the reviews on Trip Advisor.com. Although there are no other reports of bed bug incidents, the overall ratings from travelers about this property are NOT good. Plus, I would be leary about staying at ANY OTHER Hotel Aspen InnSuites property, as their pest control practices may be lacking.