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Harbin’s Five-star Hotel Scandal Shocks Netizens: “Clean Tea Cup with Toilet Brush!”

On December 26th, Pear Video posted footage exposing the shocking sanitary issue in three five-star hotels in Harbin, China: Shangri-La, Kempinski, and Sheraton. In the bathrooms of these big-brand hotel rooms, cleaning staff frequently use dirty toilet brushes to wash tea cups, while the same towel is used to wipe dishes, toilets, and bathtubs.

A cleaning lady is washing a cup by a toilet brush. (Source: Pear Video)

A cleaning lady is washing a cup by a toilet brush. (Source: Pear Video)

With costs ranging from 918 to 2788 RMB per night, these high-end hotels have great facilities but unqualified services. In the video, a cleaning lady in Harbin Shangri-La Hotel said, “actually every hotel does this, but nobody says anything."

These images disgusted netizens and brought to light the sanitary problem in China’s high-end hotels. Under the Weibo post, most people react with a helpless attitude, thinking that they would always bring their own personal toiletries since no hotels could be trusted.

Shangri-La Hotel in Harbin. (Source: Weibo)

Shangri-La Hotel in Harbin. (Source: Weibo)

On the next day, the three hotels all responded on their official Weibo pages with apologies. Harbin Sheraton said, “we appreciate all the supervision and inspection from government and society, and we have zero tolerance for such violation."

The Chinese government has been trying to improve sanitary situation in restrooms. The Shanghaiist once reported on the “toilet revolution” in China’s tourist sites, as most public restrooms in China are unclean and do not meet international standards. Yet, even five-star hotels are doing a poor job.

According to China Radio International Online, Harbin’s city governmental bureaus such as the Health Commission, Tourism Development Commission, and Supervision Management Administration have formed an investigation group, which will impose legal punishments to the three hotels involved.