Hotel bedbug horror degenerates into a war of words

The Stanley Hotel is an historic resort in Estes Park, Colo., perhaps best known for inspiring Stephen King to write his horror masterpiece The Shining. And also, bedbugs — if Julie Kobayashi has her way.

Get those images of Jack Nicholson typing “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” out of your head. This spat reminded me more of the recent exchange between Elizabeth Becton and McBee Strategic. In other words, it degenerated into a needless but not uninteresting war of words.

Let’s start with Kobayashi’s side.

I stayed at the Stanley Hotel over Valentine’s weekend and instead of bringing back pleasant memories, I brought home bed bugs. I contacted the Stanley Hotel and they forwarded my claim to their risk management who denied my claim. I wrote a letter to the president of the corporation, Grand Heritage Hotel Groups who did not even respond to my letter.

This has been a nightmare for us. We had pest control treat our house three times and spent thousands of dollars on washing, drying, dry cleaning, replacing our pillows, and sofa. Do you have any suggestions?

I contacted the hotel on her behalf. It responded directly to her.

Persistence seems to be one of your stronger attributes, but the facts don’t substantiate the claim that you are making regarding your stay at the Stanley Hotel.

Your claim was denied from our insurance carrier after an extensive investigation was completed by an exterminator that concluded no evidence of “bed bugs” located in the guest room you occupied.

But let me reflect upon your timeline of events: You arrived at the Stanley on February 13 on the 14th you noticed 3 bites/marks on your left leg, but did not bring to attention of management of the Hotel. You and your finance returned home and you noticed more bites, but didn’t seek medical advice/attention until February 23.

The fact that you identify in your letters that you have 2 cats and a dog, may suggest a flea issue that result in similar bites. I can’t even begin to imagine how the alleged infestation happened at your house from your return on February 15, but since you didn’t acknowledge it while at the Stanley Hotel and didn’t seek medical attention until a week after returning home there is nothing further than I can offer.

Is it possible that Kobayashi’s bugs came from somewhere else? I asked her, and she forwarded her response to the hotel.

I did not bring the bites to the Stanley management’s attention because I did not realize that I had bed bugs since I have never experienced this before. I do not believe that most guests with three bites would immediately bring this to the hotel management’s attention. The claims investigator informed me that the Stanley already washed the sheets (and “washed the evidence”). However, the evidence is that I had bites the morning after staying at the Stanley.

Also, in Colorado we do not have fleas so my bites are not from our animals. In addition, fleas are not bed bugs. One of the reasons I finally did seek medical treatment is that the number of bites increased to various parts of my body.

If you are aware of the literature with bed bugs, they lay their eggs and it takes some days to hatch and then people experience numerous bites. My impression is that I brought the bed bugs from the Stanley and they infested our house, which is why we had to have pest control treat our house three times. I started out with three bites and then it spread to various parts of my body, which is a common pattern for bed bugs. In addition, it is now common knowledge that bed bugs are problematic even in the “upscale” hotels.

This experience has been a very stressful and costly for my family. We have accrued additional costs since I wrote the itemized lists. We had to replace two sofas because of continued bites. Perhaps the Stanley conducted an “extensive” investigation, although bed bugs are very difficult to find even by professionals. I would like a copy of this “extensive” report.

One can conclude that the bed bugs came from the Stanley since I had no bites upon my arrival, but woke up with bites the next morning. I think that this situation has been handled poorly and rather than taking ownership the Stanley is blaming me. When I wrote to Mr. Cullen, I expected a response, but instead had to enlist the assistance of the media to even receive a response.

So where does that leave Kobayashi? She can’t prove the bedbugs came from the Stanley.

In fact, maybe it was the other way around. Maybe you’ve seen the Steri-Fab advertisements running in the hotel trade magazines, which shows two well-dressed guests checking into a hotel under the caption, “Guess what your guests just brought in with them!” (Answer: lice and bedbugs.)

Kobayashi may want to take the hotel to small claims court. A judge might see this issue differently.

And The Stanley? It might want to call an exterminator — just in case.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at Cavalrytravelinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend