I am delayed in writing this review due to my summer travel and personal schedule. I also wanted to give myself time to make sure that the bedbugs didn't follow me back to my house or to my daughter's summer sublet in Boston. Enough time has passed and since we are personally bedbug free, I am satisfied overall with the outcome, albeit this was not a great experience to go through. I've always LOVED the Westin at Copley and have stayed at this property several times without experiencing bedbugs. This is a difficult review to write because if I hadn't experienced bedbugs, I would have given this property a five star. As a Starwood Preferred Guest, I have always thoroughly enjoyed my stay. I simply cannot objectively rate the hotel, even in the "average" category, because I cannot categorize staying in a hotel bed with bedbugs as anything but "poor," even though the hotel itself clearly has much to offer. They are known for their "heavenly" beds, and I can tell you that having bedbugs in your hotel bed is anything but heavenly! Our weekend was completely stressful as a result.
We stayed there from May 31st to June 2, 2013 and my daughter was attacked by several bedbugs at about midnight. Management kicked RIGHT INTO ACTION ..so swiftly and with such great care that MANAGEMENT deserves FIVE stars even though the property does not. The security supervisors, and John W, General Manager, and housekeeping were all amazing. We had massive amounts of luggage and clothing because we were moving my daughter into a sublet. Everything was professionally cleaned and brought back to us on a coat rack and in little bags. Our luggage was professionally cleaned as well. They comped us for the entire weekend and gave us a free breakfast. Orkin pest control came to inspect the following morning and the management was completely honest about finding bedbugs behind the headboard. The room was shut down. Westin Management is fantastic.
The first thing I do whenever I travel is inspect the mattress, and I did so even on this trip, but didn't see anything due to the fact that they were lurking behind the headboard; however, according to Orkin there were a few bugs in the mattress itself. I was told that it is a difficult problem and that they have check procedures in place, but I think more can be done,especially because this is the WESTIN! My suggestion to them is to buy mattress encasings as I have seen many bed and breakfasts following that protocol as well as some other hotel chains. It would not prevent the bugs from getting behind a headboard, but it will prevent them from getting into a mattress and most definitely help this terrible problem (see link to this common sense solution at end of review) A week later, we were suspicious that my daughter may have brought them from the hotel to her sublet due to some suspicious bites and once again, Westin management kicked in and sent orkin over to inspect right away and no bed bugs were found. John W, manager, has offered to have any future room I stay in be personally checked to make sure there are no bed bugs, and I may take him up on it, but I'm still pretty nervous about staying there again. Again, I cannot emphasize enough how stellar management was in handling this.. five stars for management, but sorry, two stars for any property that has bed bugs.
I think mattress covers are essential in this fight against bedbugs."Bed bug mattress covers, also called "encasements," are designed to keep bedbugs both in and out. The goal in addressing a bedbug infestation is to eliminate the potential for the bedbugs to find ever more places to hide, bite, and reproduce." Anyone can read about this online http://www.ask.com/explore/all-about-bed-bug-mattress-covers and see for themselves.
My advice to the management at Westin, who really did bend over backwards to deal with this, is do the right thing, be innovative, and add mattress encasements to your regimen!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your positive comments aboutour Hotel Manager John Wedig and our management staff concerning their handling of your issue with bed bugs....I wish I was writing back about something more positive, but this issue has really come to the forefront in the last couple of years and no hotel is immune to it.
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If you look at some of the statistics kept by a myriad of different organizations, there was a marked decrease in the numbers of bed bugs when DDT was introduced in the 1950s. However for many good reasons the use of DDT as a pesticide was banned in the 1970’s.
Some research indicates that up to 25% of residents in some cities have reported problems with them. My guess is that the problem stems from increased world travel, and because of all these free rides from one continent to another, bed bugs are again making their presence felt as they are removed from one country and introduced to another through international transport on clothing, luggage and the human body. Bed bugs can be found on airlines and in cargo holds as well. Used furniture and bedding has also become more popular, which can facilitate the transfer of bed bugs. They have also become increasingly resistant to many traditional forms of pesticides.
Because they are showing up in more places, they have become press worthy and with all that press comes a heightened form of paranoia. Don’t get me wrong, everyone that travels needs to take precautions. And certainly any hotel in this era needs to do the same, and those that take it very seriously will be less apt to find their name on a bed bug website.
Additionally no particular business is immune to them. In fact you might be surprised to know that some pretty prominent companies and offices such as Time Warner, Penguin Books, Sirius XM radio, the Brooklyn district attorney's office, and even UN headquarters closed for bed bug treatments last year.
What it means at the Westin Copley Place is that 99% of the claims of bed bug bites are actually false alarms…you see people can have an itch or a bump or a mosquito bite and if they are staying at a hotel, than their natural reaction is to fear the worse…Bed Bugs! We take each claim very seriously and as such our pest control costs have gone up 148%. We are required to inspect any complaint of bed bugs, and we are contracted with a third party extermination company to do this, even though, and I will say it again…99% of what they find in our hotel are false sightings…
In the spirit of full disclosure however, and in your case, If we do have a positive sighting we then shut down that room, the rooms on either side and the rooms across the hall and remove the beds or furniture where they are found. Data shows that bed bugs almost always are found within 12 feet of the bed, so if we do find evidence of activity we are most likely replacing the bed.
Regarding your comment about Encasements, Starwood has spent a great deal of time researching these and while they are probably reccomended more for home use, Encasements do not prevent bed bugs from biting you in bed. They can still live on the encasement or live elsewhere in the room and climb onto it. Also there is the concern that they coule become damaged and thus comprimised...that is not to say we would not entertain this suggestion and John is working on this right now.
We try to stay ahead of the problem however and as such all our housekeepers are trained and retrained every 6 months to spot and alert to bed bug activity. We also use a bed bug sniffing dog who we pay (not the dog, but his company!) who comes in quarterly and inspects all 800 rooms. Unfortunately there is no preventative protocol at this point, so we need to continue to be proactive in our discovery process….I can assure you that will continue forever, or until they are all gone…whatever comes first….
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.