Bed Bugs Bite and more fun at Marriott Residence Inn
My son was at scout camp this month and my wife and I decided to make a romantic outing out of picking him up in Charleston, SC. We arrived on the 1st and spent the afternoon on Folly Beach, dining late at Locklears on the pier. The good food, sea breeze and panoramic view of the ocean made for a lovely evening. In the morning we picked up our son and grabbed breakfast at the Boulevard Diner on Maybank Hwy, which was also quite nice! In between the two meals was unfortunately a different story.
It was a holiday weekend and rooms were a little hard to find. We booked a room online at the at the Residence Inn North Charleston, at 7645 Northwoods Boulevard. It was farther from The shore and camp, but right on the highway. My wife and I arrived about 11:30 PM. We checked in to room 1023, grabbed a shower and immediately turned in for the night. The accommodations seemed adequate, although the air conditioner rattled loudly.
About 12:30 there was a loud knock at the door. I called out but received no response. We then heard the sounds of a key card being inserted in the door. I called out again and there was still no response, so I prepared to call 911 on my cell phone. I also dialed the front desk on the room phone. After explaining the situation to the night clerk, I was told that the knocking was the security guard at the door. She said that our room was listed in the system as "dirty." She told me she would contact the guard and we wouldn't be disturbed.
I explained this to my wife and we tried to understand what it all meant. How was the room dirty? Why would a security guard be dispatched to a dirty room? Why didn't the guard answer me when I called out?
The room seemed like it had been serviced and there were no further knocks at the door, so we eventually went back to sleep. The next morning by wife woke me and pointed out little red bugs in the bed. We identified these as bedbugs using our Ipad (we had never seen them before) and took photos and even captured several in a zip lock bag. There were fresh spots of blood on the sheets and older stains as well. Was this what the clerk meant when she told us the room was dirty? Had a security guard been sent to catch us before we settled in? We showered thoroughly and went to the lobby to ask some questions.
(Pic-My blood from one of the bites!)
(Pic -Lots of similar stains, some fresh and red, some old. I think the red spot on the pillow may be one of the bugs, but my camera isn't great with tight detail.)
After the holiday passed with no word, I began to write emails. I filled out surveys from both the booking agency and Marriott on the condition of the Residence Inn. I sent a "customer concerns" email from the Marriott website. Another day went by and I began to get a little annoyed. I would think a customer complaint of this kind would prompt a response. I did receive a reply from Marriott that they would forward my concerns to the hotel, but the hotel did not contact me. I decided to email the Board of Health for North Charleston. They replied that they had no authority over hotels but they would take my information and contact the hotel to urge action. I sent them a detailed account and photos.