Luxury hotels in Harbin penalised after videos of maids cleaning glasses with toilet brushes go viral

A video that has gone viral on social media shows hotel maids using the same brushes to wipe the toilets, bathtubs, sinks and other surfaces, sparking public concern over cleanliness.
A video that has gone viral on social media shows hotel maids using the same brushes to wipe the toilets, bathtubs, sinks and other surfaces, sparking public concern over cleanliness.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

HARBIN - Three luxury hotels in the north-eastern Chinese city of Harbin have been rapped by the authorities for hygiene lapses.

The lapses, which involved hotel maids cleaning glasses with toilet brushes and used bath towels, came to public attention from a video that went viral on social media, reported state news agency Xinhua on Wednesday (Dec 27).

The three international hotel chains involved are Kempinski, Shangri-La and Sheraton Xiangfang hotels.

Xinhua reported that the videos were shot by hidden cameras. In one of them, one hotel maid was heard telling another: "Be cautious. Don't let your supervisor see this."

The footage also showed cleaners using the same brushes to wipe the toilets, bathtubs, sinks and other surfaces, sparking public concern over cleanliness.

China Daily reported that all three luxury hotels also allegedly failed to change bath towels, bed sheets and pillow cases for new guests, despite charging from about 800 yuan (S$160) to 2,800 yuan for a room per night.

Health authorities have reportedly carried out an inspection of the three hotels and confirmed the hygiene lapses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_B7E_eE7Zc

Responding in a post on Sina Weibo, the Kempinski Harbin said: "We feel sorry to learn about the substandard conditions found at our hotel... We have been working on providing our guests a friendly and safe environment with strict policies. We will cooperate with the investigation and strengthen measures to avoid similar problems."

The hotels have since been ordered to take measures to "improve management and service quality to ensure the health and hygiene of customers", reported Xinhua.

Following this, the authorities in Harbin are also planning a citywide inspection campaign on various service sectors, including restaurants, hotels, shops, public transport and scenic spots.