Although I originally was teasing Edan that she would be limited to protein bars and water for our trip, the reality is that we had to have a food budget as well.
When it came to hotels our HairBoutique.com finance person gave us a suggested nightly limit for Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.
(Image of Bed Bug from Wikipedia
It seemed a little low to me but I made every effort to find a nice hotel within the budgetary constraints.
Actually I had other HB.com folks surfing the web looking for appropriate lodging in the price range and close to where we would be doing most of our interviews (West Hollywood, Hollywood, Burbank and surrounding areas).
The first hotel that was selected fit into the nightly price range and was off Sunset in West Hollywood. The photos of the hotel looked nice and the list of amenities were impressive for the nightly cost. After some debate it was agreed to get a room with two queens and a little sitting area so that Edan and I would have a little personal privacy, but still keep the hotel costs to a reasonable amount.
After the reservations were made and we had provided the HB credit card (which was nonrefundable for the first night) I felt we had made a good choice. Unfortunately, a day before we were to leave and I was putting together my own personal trip notes I started reading some of the reviews of our hotel off Sunset. I was shocked and horrified to discover that more than one recent post with feedback was about bed bugs.
I understand that when you read reviews about a hotel or a restaurant that you have to take some feedback with a grain of salt. However, there was more than one very detailed report on the hotel with their bed bug experiences. I was horrified and had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Besides the creepy feeling of bugs crawling all over me in the wee hours of the morning (they tend to strike around 4:00 AM) there is a major danger of taking the bugs home with you. That thought really sent me reeling.
I wasn't sure of the proper approach to take so I spent a couple of hours reading how to detect the existence of bed bugs in any location. It seems that bed bugs have popped up all over the place including nicer hotels and even cruise ships. One way to at least minimize your risk, is to take the bed apart and look for some telltale signs that are clearly provided on the Web.
Edan and I discussed the bed bug dilemma at length. We decided to go to the hotel where we had our reservations and first inspect the room before we agreed to stay or even take our belongings into the room. We arrived at the Sunset location of our hotel and went to the assigned room. There were several telltale signs on the beds of bugs. I was beyond freaked out and so was Edan.
We beat a hasty retreat to the front desk and just politely told them we couldn't stay there. They didn't argue and cancelled our reservation which was a blessing because I didn't want to make a stink. I just didn't want to get eaten up by little crunchy brown blood creatures who feast on my blood. Ewwwww.
After we left the first apparently bed bug infested hotel, which did not look anywhere as nice as the photos on the web, I called my friend, Celebrity Hairdresser Robert Hallowell and asked him for recommendations of a good hotel with minimal bed bug risks. Robert said he understood our plight since he had experienced a less then wonderful hotel experience in the past. I won't go into details out of respect for Robert but I will tell you he guided us to an amazing alternative hotel.
Yes, even though the hotel looked gorgeous, I was already so paranoid about bugs, that with Edan's help, we tore the beds apart and looked for signs of the dreaded pests. No signs whatsoever. Hurray.
I slept like a baby and awoke completely bug bite free. The hotel, which will be the subject of some of my future blogs, is wonderful and I feel so lucky that we avoided a potential ongoing midnight feast situation.
During my research of bed bugs, I was shocked to discovered how much of a problem they have become. I was also surprised how scary they can be because one they invade one location, they multiply quickly and can overtake and entire hotel property. If you have a squemish stomach don't look at the videos of actual bed bugs on UTube or you will never be the same.
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