the world, however what I find most annoying is Bellagio’s poor handling of the situation.
My friend and I had checked into the Bellagio rather late as we arrived into Las Vegas well past midnight. We decided to turn in after settling down as we had an early meeting the next day. While fluffing her pillows, she noticed something crawling on the headboard. We had initially thought it was a small roach, so we tried to kill it with a piece of paper, but it just wouldn’t die no matter how hard we pressed. Then on a closer look, it didn’t really seem like a roach because it was round and flat. Then it hit me that it was a BEDBUG!! Greatly perturbed, we caught the bedbug and caged it under a glass cup. See pictures and video.
As crazy as everything seemed at that moment, we ripped away all the sheets and mattress, but couldn’t find any with our naked eye. We then searched the Internet for more cases of bedbugs at the Bellagio and there were dozens of stories. In addition, all the stories documented how terribly the Bellagio handled the situation…mainly their lack of care. Many guests stated that the Bellagio offered no compensation let alone an apology. The hotel even took it to another level by “confiscating” their belongings. By the time we finished searching the web, it was 2am and we had an early meeting the next day, so we really needed to sleep. We ziplocked that puppy and hit the sack. I know, I know, most would ask why we didn’t contact management and complain right there and then, but if you read the stories, it would have led to even more wasted time and we needed to work the next day. The bedbugs weren’t going to kill us…maybe make us itch like hell, but they weren’t life threatening. I have to be honest though, the few hours of sleep we did get was not peaceful…it was more of a creepy crawly one eye open kind of sleep.
Anyway, the next morning, while brushing my teeth in the bathroom, I found yet another bedbug next to the toilet. That was when we decided we really needed to change hotels. We went down to the front desk and asked the young lady if the Bellagio could arrange for us to stay at another one of their properties instead. We advised them that we were willing to pay for our stays at the other properties (our nights at the Bellagio were comped). The young lady (who was less than excited to help us) said snidely that “I can’t do things like that.” We explain to her what had happened and presented her with our new ziplocked buddies. She then said, “what are these?” (think annoyed young valley girl voice). We explained that we found these last night and we were not comfortable staying at the Bellagio for the remainder of our stay, so if she could please check to see if it was possible for us to stay elsewhere. She then said in an even more annoyed tone, “I told you we can’t and don’t do that.” We just stared at her in disbelief. She must have finally sense something was wrong because she told us to wait while she took the ziplock to the back room. I think the hotel hit the jackpot with her.
A few minutes later, a man came out introducing himself as the General Manager. He asked us to step aside from the crowd and said, “Thank you for the specimens. I am not an expert in this, but it doesn’t look good.” Who says that? He proceeded to state that the Bellagio takes bedbugs seriously (uh-huh…like we didn’t read all the stories online). He then stated that “the hotel would confiscate all our belongings and destroy them. They needed us to go back up to our room and shower while they took all the clothes we were wearing, our bags and our purses and destroyed them. They would then go to the hotel gift shop and purchase 1 set of clothes for us for that day. Eco-labs, the pest control company the Bellagio uses (it’ll make you think the next time you see an Eco-lab car on the Strip) would be at the hotel in 1 hour and then they would test the room and destroy our belongings.” When we asked them about how we would go about the next 3 days with nothing but 1 set of new clothes, he stated “that after we get the clothes from the gift shop that morning, then we would need to sit down with them to ‘negotiate a settlement’ and that was all [he] could say at that time.” Imagine a tense situation turn to agitation after those words came out of his mouth. From reading online the night before, only 1 or 2 of the dozens of stories resulted in an actual “settlement” from the Bellagio. We didn’t want the hotel’s money and sure as hell wasn’t going to wait for an hour for the process to begin. All we had asked for was to change rooms and we were willing to pay for. The Manager had grown increasingly nervous and flustered with his cell phone ringing every few minutes. Mind you, he still had the specimens in his hands the whole time. He managed to turn the situation around and make us feel like we were the ones in the wrong. We kindly declined his offer of a “settlement” and advised him that bedbugs exist whether he like it or not. Bedbugs don’t kill people and there were less drastic ways to handle them. If he was only a little bit more informed or better trained by his hotel, things would have been better.
Ironically, it was us that tried to explain that bedbugs were everywhere and just a part of daily life at hotels. He immediately jumped in and said that “the Bellagio did NOT have any bedbugs and NEVER had bedbugs!” *Rolling eyes here.* We weren’t going to argue with him and stated that our rooms were comped, we didn’t take anything from the mini bar and didn’t even have a chance to charge anything to the room. We were leaving and heading to work. He then stated he would send out an alert to all properties in Las Vegas advising them of our names and situation. He threatened us that “we wouldn’t be able to stay anywhere.” We then explained to him that if there were bedbugs in our room, it was very likely in the surrounding rooms next to us as they could have hopped onto housekeeping’s carts, sheets, etc… He strongly insisted that it was not possible and the Bellagio did NOT have a problem. Are you kidding me?
Good grief…it’s almost like they wanted to put a muzzle on their guests and not report anything. If you do bring it up, then the Bellagio is just going to make your life a living hell. In hindsight, we should have questioned if the Bellagio was going to do the correct thing and contact the last guest who stayed in that room and advised them that they may have taken stowaways back home with them.
Anyway, after coming home, we received a call from Janet Goldman from Bellagio Risk Management. She stated that our room tested positive for bedbugs. There was no apology or any attempt to rectify what had happen. She just wanted to let us know that it was positive for bedbugs…jeez…we could have told you that.
You would almost think the Bellagio doesn’t really care about their reputation as a 5 Star hotel even if stories like this get out. There was no remorse or apology on their part. Instead, they made you feel like you were the ones with the problem. I wanted to share my story in hope that the Bellagio will shape up and others will not find themselves in a similar situation.
And for those wondering…no, we didn’t bring any bedbugs back with us. Both of us travel extensively for business and take precautions after every trip. We unpack everything outside of the house and “decontaminate” ourselves after every trip by washing and drying everything at 150°F+ temperatures. Our suitcases, shoes, etc…go in a large vacuum bag that we put under the hot sun for a week. Temperatures get well over 150°F in the bag, way beyond the temperature needed to kill bedbugs.
You may also view a video we took here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0SkkYinAt4