What was supposed to be the happiest day of a bride’s life turned into a waking nightmare after a skin-crawling hotel experience.
On the eve of her big day, Isabel Chan and her bridesmaids checked into a Gold Coast hotel to pamper themselves ahead of a picturesque beach wedding on the tranquil Stradbroke Island.
But she told 9NEWS her stay at the Meriton Holiday Apartments in Main Beach unexpectedly descended into disaster, as a dramatic chain of events began to unravel.
filled bugs. (Supplied)Ms Chan said staff initially demanded a cleaning fee for the bug-infested room. (9NEWS)
She said the “wedding from hell” began when her four-year-old flower girl was tucked into bed, only to find “20 blood-filled bugs surrounding her head”.
“It looked like a spider’s nest had hatched on her pillow,” Ms Chan said.
“All three rooms were checked, and all three were positive for bugs coming up out of the mattress behind the pillows.”
With reception closed for the night, the bride said she called an after-hours number only to be repeatedly hung up on.
Telephone recordings obtained by 9NEWS revealed the hotel manager was aware of the issue, but still refused to help.
“The lady who answered was no help at all, she told us the manager was not coming back and we would have to wait for reception to open in the morning,” Ms Chan said.
“No amount of pleading for a new room … made any difference.”
Multiple bugs were found crawling on the hotel bed. (Supplied)The bridal party were forced to camp out on tiled floors and leather couches as a result of the infested room. (Supplied)
After being told the only person who could help was a few hours’ drive away, Ms Chan said the bridal party had no choice but to camp out on the tiled floors and leather couches, shocked to learn there were no spare sheets, towels or even pillows available.
“There was no choice but to use the cleanest top sheets from the beds that bugs weren’t visible on,” she said.
“Some were brave enough to use couch cushions as pillows while one bridesmaid used a pile of her spare clothes as a pillow.”
Ms Chan said things went from “bad to worse” in the morning when the sleep-deprived bridal party confronted “extremely rude” hotel staff who were “hesitant to help us or even believe us”.
She said staff eventually changed their tune and agreed to issue a refund, moving the bridal party to a much smaller apartment, but still demanded payment for the extra beds needed to accommodate all of the guests.
Ms Chan said she and her sleep-deprived bridal party confronted the hotel staff, only to have them be rude and “hesitant to help”. (Supplied)The bridesmaids were all smiles at the ceremony despite their horror hotel stay. (Supplied)
Ms Chan also said the hotel demanded a cleaning fee for the bug-infested room, but then bowed to pressure to waive it.
“The reaction of the Meriton … was appalling to say the least,” Ms Chan said.
“Regardless of who the guests are – a bride on the eve of her wedding or a few people taking a spontaneous trip to the Gold Coast – no effort was made by (the hotel) to help their guests, all help had to be demanded.”
“All in our party were weary, astounded, and outraged.”
The bride and groom made it to the ceremony despite the chaos, but Ms Chan said her mother didn’t get to walk her down the aisle as planned. (Supplied)
Ms Chan eventually made it to her beachside ceremony, but because of the chaos and delays, she said her mother didn’t get to walk her down the aisle as planned.
In a statement to 9NEWS, Meriton Holiday Apartments said: “The guests were given the option of a full refund so they could relocate to another hotel or another apartment at a VIP rate of $280.”
“They chose to stay at the Meriton (for another night).
“The rate is usually $300 to $350 for four guests, however six guests stayed at no additional charge for the two extra guests.”