Joe & Flo's Candlelight Hostel - New Orleans
1129 N Robertson St
New Orleans, LA 70116-2223

Found 3 reports:

Stayed June 4th and 5th.
My first clue was another guest who complained of being bitten by something, I think he thought it was fleas - he warned me to sleep with my socks on - along with everything else of course. My second clue was the staff complaining about how much he talked and how little he went out and partied. He left the next day and I was mysteriously moved, they said they liked to keep some dorms empty and some full or something. I could tell she was lying, but couldn't tell wh

y. The third and final clue was when I found a red slightly squashed looking bug in the bathroom of the new room. I didn't recognize it then. When I came home I had dozens of bites, from the time there and new ones to boot, and some simple research revealed I had brought some unwelcome southern guests home. So I taped up my room, left a heater on, and placed a thermometer inside until it had warmed up to 120F for a full day. They hadn't spread from that room, so I found a cheap alternative to hiring exterminators. I posted a report on Tripadvisor and then noticed the other bedbug reports dating from their first review in June 2006 until now, September 2011. I also noticed suspicious postings of 5 stars following nearly every 1 star bed bug review. These postings look sadly suspicious. The first and only review by a new reviewer, they sound more like an ad than a review, no complaints and only praise. This makes the problem much worse when the staff or owners go out of their way to boost their reviews instead of just taking a hint and hiring an exterminator. And this has been going on for years.

see full report...

Sunday night, July 10, I flew into New Orleans and made a reservation at Joe and Flo's. In theory, it made sense: I was arriving late, leaving early, and the location was an easy walk to my rental car pick-up. A touring artist, I had work in the state.

Anyway, my theory didn't include bedbugs.

I was happy for the late-night airport pick-up, and by the time I was in the bed--a room with two bunk beds and one other hosteler--it was past 1:30 A.M.. I slipped in quietly, went to bed, didn't tu

rn on a light.

Though restless, I eventually feel asleep, waking at about 8:30 A.M.. Immediately, I could see three bites on my left wrist, which I recognized as probable bedbug bites. I saw what looked like other possible bites, too.

I took a shower, dressed, left my bags in the room, picked up my rental car, and returned to check out and pack everything into the hot car before spending a few hours on nearby Frenchman Street. Mid-afternoon, I decided to drive to Lafayette, where I used to live.

Throughout the afternoon, I thought I was uncomfortable from the heat, but when I looked in the mirror that evening in Lafayette, I saw my discomfort must have been from the bites and welts on my neck, back, side, and arms, even a few on my face. I must have had 200 of them. The itching began that evening.

On Monday, I wrote Joe and Flo's from Lafayette, and posted about this on another site.

In retrospect, I had to have brought them into my rental car, since I continued to get bit over the next days despite vacuuming the vehicle several times and trying several topical remedies. I did a good amount of research, tried a number of things, and eventually figured that if I drove around for awhile with the heat on high--this in midst of Louisiana summer--after washing and drying all my clothes and bags, and going through all the rest of my gear, and putting every last thing in black plastic trash bags in the car, I'd kill them off, no matter how hardy they were, since I got the car to over 130 degrees and kept it there and a steady temperature above 120 ought to be enough.

It's taken me two weeks to deal with all this. And though I've read reports that Joe and Flo's has been a good experience for some travelers--indeed, that's one of the reasons I originally arranged to stay there--I'd say STEER CLEAR. I saved approximately $40 by staying the one night. Dealing with the bedbugs cost me more than ten times that. Fortunately this was during a slow time of my touring, when I had the resources to deal with it, and didn't bring them home.

While it's possible I spread a few myself, after the first night I'm guessing they were only biting me in the car, and I did get rid of them there. However, I've seen (and read) enough to understand the scope of the problem.

see full report...

April 26-17, 2011.
I checked into Joe & Flo's Candlelight Hostel on Tuesday night. On Wednesday I awoke to something crawling across my chest. I flicked it off, and immediately thought of bed bugs since I'd had an experience with them before. I popped up on my knees and used a nearby flashlight to shine on the bed below me, and saw two bed bugs crawling accross the sheets. I was so freaked out and disgusted. I grabbed my luggage off the floor of the room and put it out on the ceramic hallw

ay floor to get it out of there and off the carpet immediately. A bed bug came crawling out from under my suitcase, and slowly across the floor. I brought my friend out to look at it and show her, and we watched it crawl around until we killed it. After looking through ourstuff later, she found one clinging to her shirt, and I found another dead in a plastic bag I had on the floor of my room.

We left the hostel immediately to check into a hotel, and there was no one there to report the incident to as it was 3:30 in the morning. We came back later the next day to get the rest of our stuff out of the room and report the incident to the desk worker at the hostel. He was annoyed that we didn't let them know at 3:30am, refused to believe me because I didn't have any bites on me, and told me they fog every week. He refused to refund us for either of those nights of stay.

What I found out later after discussing the issue with a few other hostel mates was one guy in another room had bites on him. For some reason this didn't compel him to checkout, but to each his own. And he said he saw a spray bottle of "bed bug killer" near the check-in desk.

Had I known any of that I would have turned right around and told the world to stay far away from this place. This behavior and management of bedbugs are why we have such an epedemic. This problem has to be addressed.

see full report...