My family and I checked in to the Hard Rock Hotel, Orlando, FL late on the night of Tuesday February 15. Our room had double beds. I ALWAYS check the bed bug registry before I stay in any hotel, and this hotel was not previously listed. The next morning, we awoke at 6am, my right arm was itching terribly. We checked out of the hotel before 7:30am. My husband and son (who both slept in the other bed) had NO signs of bites or itching, and although I initially suspected bed bugs, I didn't want to c
omplain and ruin our trip.
By mid-morning, both my chest and left arm were itching relentlessly as well and revealing huge whelps. 90% of the twenty whelps on my body were in the "breakfast, lunch, dinner" pattern mentioned on the website. I shook out our luggage and all of our clothes, and sealed the pajamas I was wearing in a plastic bag (I never saw an actual bed bug anywhere in our things, and I did not check the hotel bed before I left). As soon as we returned home, I washed everything we owned (even the stuff that labels said not to) in HOT water, running the washer three full cycles with a lot of soap for each load. We vaccumed all of our luggage and have checked for signs of bugs everywhere in our house. So far, 10 days later, we are all good, and the problem seems to have not followed us home. My bites are healing and aren't nearly as unsightly as they were. I think they will be completely healed with continued application of neosporin in about 3 more days.
I called my pest control service immediately upon returning home and asked them to come out and look for any evidence of bed bugs...begging them for something that could be done in advance of the bed bugs' arrival. Unfortunately, as you know if you read the website, pest control can't do anything until the bed bugs actually appear.
I have reported the incident to the Hard Rock Hotel where we stayed. I spoke to both the concierge and the manager. Both were very nice and apologetic. Immediately after the manager apologized, he promised to close the room we stayed in to other guests so that he could properly investigate my story. At the outset, I told them I did not want to be reimbursed for the room, etc, but that I did want them to be made aware of the situation so they could investigate it, address it, and keep other guests from a similar experience. Despite not wanting anything, the manager very kindly sent me a coupon for an amt off a future visit. Other than the fact that four of the brand new shirts I bought to take on the trip are now too small (after experiencing HOT water three times on regular cycle rather than the cold water, hand washable cycle recommended by the manufacturer), everything seems to be okay.
This trip is a BIG reminder to me that just b/c a hotel hasn't been previously listed, doesn't mean you might not be a bed bugs' first victim.