RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - When you check into a hotel, you may not be able to assume it's completely clean and safe. Just as NBC12 looks at restaurant health inspections, this time we checked out hotel inspections by the State Health Department.
At The Virginian Motel at 8924 Jeff Davis Highway in Chesterfield, an inspector reported finding trash and underwear under a bed. We went to the motel and asked to speak with the manager about it. We haven't heard back yet, but The Virginian Motel has a history of correcting problems inspectors have found.
Inspection reports for the Richmond Inn, 6346 Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond, showed one smoke detector in disrepair and two missing. The owner explained that smokers often disable detectors by removing the batteries. He says his cleaning staff make sure the smoke detectors are working every time they clean a room.
We saw customer complaints about bedbugs on reports for some hotels across the region, including the Apple Garden Inn, 99 South Carter Road in Hanover.
An employee at the front desk told us, "If you go to a big franchise, everybody has the same problem because traveling people bring it. But yes, we take care of it every day, you know. If you find anything, we take care of it, we spray and everything."
Inspection reports and operators told us every room receives monthly pesticide treatment and that staff spray a bedbug killer in the rooms. The hotel owner says the problem is completely under control.
Reports showed a lack of chlorine in pools at some hotels in Henrico, including the Clarion Hotel, 801 East Parham Road. Chlorine is required to kill bacteria in the water. The Clarion manager told us proper chlorine levels were restored right away.
Hotel inspection reports are not posted on the State Health Department website, as restaurant inspections are. Your tax dollars paid for the creation of these public records.
We had to ask for the reports under the Freedom of Information Act and pay a total of nearly $140 in copying fees to four localities for a year's worth of reports. If you want to see a hotel inspection report, you will have to request it from the health department and may have to pay copy fees as well.