Five-star hotels in China apologize after staff caught cleaning toilets, cups with used towels

Hidden camera footage has emerged showing housekeepers in more than a dozen five-star hotels in China using dirty towels to clean toilets, cups and showers, sparking outrage on Chinese social media.

In a 12-minute video posted to the popular Chinese social media site Weibo, cleaning staff were also shown washing cups and mugs with the same sponge used to wipe down the shower and sink.

Eleven of the 14 hotels involved have apologized since the video went viral, and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has ordered investigations into the apparent violations of hygiene standards.

Major international hotel chains were implicated in the scandal, including the Waldorf Astoria in Shanghai and the Park Hyatt in Beijing, both of which have since apologized.

The blogger who posted the video, under the pseudonym Huazong, said he spent more than 2,000 nights in 147 five-star hotels in several major Chinese cities.

A cleaner washes a glass with a used face wash in the video.(Weibo)

In a section of the video, which is captioned in Chinese, he criticizes a cleaner for washing dishes with a rag that had been stored next to a used toilet scrub brush.

Captions said the incident was filmed at Royal Meridien Shanghai and he paid 1,600 yuan ($ 317) per night for the room.

The clip has been shared over 80,000 times online and a thematic section on Weibo dedicated to the video has been clicked 99 million times.

Others pointed out that hygiene in hotels was a constant concern for locals – but said it was surprising to see this kind of behavior in luxury hotels.

“Everyone knows that the hotel has high and low standards. But some people have no bottom line,” said another Weibo user.

A hotel cleaner uses a used guest towel to wash a faucet in a Chinese hotel room.
A hotel cleaner uses a guest towel to wash a sink in the video.(Weibo)

Seven of the hotels filmed were in the city of Shanghai, where the local tourism authority is investigating the issues raised in the video, according to the state newspaper Global Times.

The police will cooperate with the investigation.

“The hotels involved will be treated strictly after investigation,” reported the Global Times.

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