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Westin St. John **Don't go to sleep**

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#1 syl1115

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    Posted 14 December 2008 - 11:50 PM

    Some of you may remember my post on being laid off from my job of 21 years in October. Well, my MOH has a timeshare at the Westin in St. John, VI and she was going for a week after Thanksgiving. She talked me into joining her for a few days just because I felt so bad about not having a job, etc. I decided to join her the Sunday after Thanksgiving and return the following Friday. I flew Delta (never again) and 14 hours later, I was in St. Thomas. I had to wait another hour for the taxi to take me to Redhook to catch the water taxi over to St. John. Yes, the longest trip ever, but that is another story. We had a great time all week. Soaked up the sun, shopped, kayaked, took an island tour, drank and ate. On Tuesday I started noticing a rash on both of my arms. I thought it may be a sunburn and I ignored it. Thursday I noticed a couple of red bumps on my legs and I thought that those were from sand fleas on the beach. On Friday I noticed some more on my arms.

    We left to return home and by the time I got home Friday night around 11:30 pm, I was beginning to itch like crazy. By Sunday, my legs from the knee down, was covered in bites and my arms had several bites. They itched like hell. I thought it may be a reaction from the sun and my antibiotics I was taking for a sinus infection. I did some research online and found out it was not a reaction to the medication and sun, but it was bedbug bites! I searched all over the internet for more information and my symptoms and bites matched others bitten by bedbugs. Now the Westin is a rather fancy hotel/timeshare on St. John and they boast about their "heavenly beds". The beds are heavenly, but also infested with bedbugs.

    A week later, the itching is starting to subside. The moral of this story is to make sure to check your bed before you get in it and don't take your guests to the Westin in St. John! I sent them an email and here is the response I received.

    Dear Ms. Howard,

    Thank you for your recent email regarding the stay at The Westin St. John Resort and Villas.

    Regretfully, due to recent changes in our privacy policy, we cannot accept information from non-registered guests without the guest's permission.

    We would respectfully request that you have the guest contact Corporate Customer Service at 1-800-328-6242 and either authorize the disclosure of the information contained on the reservation to you or open a Corporate Customer Service complaint file with their comments.

    Thank you for assisting us in protecting the privacy of our guests.

    Best Regards,

    Amy Mellor
    Specialist, Corporate Customer Service Department
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

    Original Message Follows:

    Subject: Your Feedback to Westin

    I stayed at this resort from 11/30 to 12/5. On the last day I started noticing bumps on my arms and legs. When I returned home, there were several of them and they itched very bad. I did some investigation and identified the bites as bedbug bites. I feel that the Heavenly Bed in unit 2511 is invested with bedbugs. I was there as a guest to a Starwood owner and as a timeshare owner myself, this is horrific. I have used my timeshare (not starwood) many times and have never experienced anything like this. I would suggest a thorough cleaning of all bedding in this unit immediately.


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      Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:10 AM

      Ohhh nooo!!! Sorry to hear that Sylvia! That really sucks. And the resort's response is totally unacceptable. I hope you follow up with them for sure. It shouldn't matter that you are'nt the "registered guest" for them to take action regarding your complaint!

      When a friend thought she had a bed bug problem, she called an exterminator who told her that one thing people never do that we all should do is check beds while we're on vacation.
      What she told me was an eye opener & has totally changed what I do when I travel. It's really annoying cuz who wants to check beds when on vacation? But, its definitely something we all should do every time.

      He said to always check the head board & the bed itself. If you see those black specks that I'm sure you saw when you did your research, the bed may have bed bugs. He also said to do this especially on cruises. His most important bit of advice was regarding luggage. Bed bugs can get in your luggage & you can unknowingly bring them back home with you!
      You should never have your luggage on the floor & should always use those luggage racks that some hotels provide. Also, when you return home, never put your luggage directly on your bed & always wash your clothes, even those that you didn't wear. Lastly, try to empty your luggage in another room other than your bedroom, then vaccum the luggage out, with a vaccum that has a hepa filter, and then when you go to store the luggage, after it has been vaccumed, put a garbage bag over it & tie it. This helps to keep any bed bugs out.

      I'm telling you, after her scare & hearing his advice, I went out & bought one of those covers for my mattress & box spring, just to be on the safe side as they can travel from apartment to apartment through vents, light fixture's etc....sigh!!!

      Anyway, sorry for the long rant, but I hope your feeling better soon & I hope that the hotel takes some action on your complaint!

      #3 Alyssa

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        Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:44 AM

        OMG that is horrible!!!! i think their response to you was ridiculous - definitley have your friend follow up that is Fing GROSS! so sorry

        #4 edssbride09

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          Posted 15 December 2008 - 02:41 AM

          OMG that is brutal, it is my worst nightmare. Sorry you had to go through all of that, and i am horrified that the resort apparently could care less about the problem! It is completely unacceptable!!!

          #5 foxytv

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            Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:34 AM

            Oh Sylvia that SUCKS. You hear the stories about bed bugs, and hope it never is a bed you'll be sleeping in. YUK! Crazy that they won't even look into your complaint. You should resend and say you are the guest. It's their way of not having to compensate for unacceptable conditions.

            #6 DanielleNDerek

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              Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:57 PM

              That's awful and their response is ridiculous, they cant tell you that they are sorry and will take care of the room.. oh no they have to talk to your friend. that's bs!
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              #7 Dana_C

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                Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:03 PM

                That is just AWFUL!! And what a crappy response! Glad you're starting to feel better though.

                #8 Celina

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                  Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:03 PM

                  OMG Sylvia - I am totally freaked out. I am going to do some research on bed bugs. During our stay at the RIU I kept getting these bites on my legs and I wonder if that's what they were!!

                  I am so grossed out! The weird thing was only me and the baby got them. All were mostly on our legs. OMG - I am off to research.

                  Something to definitely watch out for. I am so sorry this happened to you.
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                  #9 *Kerin28*

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                    Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:11 PM

                    Wow thats pretty gross... If you check the bed will you see them on it or do they stay inside the mattress?? How do you know if the bed has them?

                    #10 Jess

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                      Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:21 PM

                      ah that is horrible -Starwood never solves any problems with letters - they make every excuse...I wrote a letter about how terrible we were treated by the staff on a stay for my friend's wedding and I got a response of something like (in better words of course): "Im sorry we can't deal with this because it is a room block someone booked in Los Angeles - you will need to contact the HR department in Los Angeles" - huh? I just let it go at that point, it was frustrating

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