HOUSTON – Niki Moore has bug bites and big welts all over her body, unwanted souvenirs from her trip to Houston for Super Bowl 51.
“We were having an amazing time in Houston, up until Saturday,” Moore said.
Moore and her business partner Tracey Pennywell, operate a sports blog and were in town for work.
They told Channel 2 their trip was ruined by bedbugs and bites they got while staying at the Houston Marriott South Hotel, near Hobby Airport.
“When we first got to the hotel, I laid on the bed briefly and noticed that my face started itching,” Moore said.
The itching was getting worse, so the women said they called the front desk to report the problem.
“A maintenance guy came up and he proceeded to check the mattress,” Moore said. “Right away he said, ‘This is an infestation!’”
Moore and Pennywell said Marriott moved them to a different property and refunded their money, but they couldn’t take their bags with them because everything needed to be treated for bedbugs.
They literally had no clothes, except for what they were wearing.
“We were not only missing every event we came here for,” Moore said, “we can’t conduct business, we missed all our meetings, they have all our belongings.”
The women were now staying downtown and their bags were still at the hotel near Hobby airport. They said Marriott refused to bring the bags to them and wouldn’t even pay for their cab fare.
“We were victimized time and time again in this situation,” she said.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Marriott said:
“While I cannot speak to the specific situation you’ve described below, I can tell you that Marriott cares greatly about every guest’s experience. We take hotel hygiene and sanitation very seriously. As a result, Marriott has established very strict standards of cleanliness for all its hotels that either meet or exceed public health department regulations, including pest control. In the unusual event a hotel is made aware of a concern, our policy is to respond immediately to the situation and take the appropriate steps to remediate whatever problem that is found.”
“What we don’t want is for other people to go there and have the same problem,” Pennywell said.
“We got a hefty serving of disrespect, contempt, mistreatment, maltreatment. Just awful, awful, awful,” said Moore.