Hilton Hotels & Resorts has been forced to compensate a man who suffered a bed bug attack while he stayed at one of their hotels.
Michael Hatch, 74, was left covered in bites after a stay at the Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel. He and his wife Helen were flying out to Spain the next day.
During the night Mr Hatch was attacked by bed bugs, causing sores to break out all over his body.
Though Mr Hatch was compensated for the £120 room cost, his holiday was affected as he could not stay out in the sun due to health risks.
He said: “It was a nightmare, it ruined my holiday. I went to bed and woke up to find blood all over the sheets. I had bites all over me.
“I was staying overnight ahead of my holiday. I had no idea what the insects were but when I squeezed one lots of blood came out.
“I panicked a bit as there was blood everywhere. It would sting when I went in the shower and all very uncomfortable.
“I couldn’t sunbathe because I was worried. It upset Helen too because we couldn’t really enjoy our holiday.”
The hotel apologised to Mr and Mrs Hatch and refunded him the cost of the room. They later paid Mr Hatch £750 compensation after a friend pursued the hotel for compensation.
A spokesman for the hotel chain said: “We take allegations of bedbugs extremely seriously.
“As soon as we were alerted to this issue we immediately bought in specialist contractors, who subsequently isolated and eradicated the problem.
“We would like to reiterate our regret that such an incident occurred and as a gesture of goodwill we have reimbursed and compensated our guest for the distress and inconvenience caused.
“Whilst they are rare, bedbugs can come into the hotel through luggage or on clothing, and in the unlikely event that a guest suspects a problem we have strict procedures in place to address any concerns.
“The safety and wellbeing of our guests is our top priority.”