|Bed bug infestation caught on video during nightmare hotel stay at the Astor on the Park, New York|
'Don't let the bedbugs bite' is a cheeky refrain. Unless you're staying at Astor on the Park. In which case it's a stern warning.
A man holidaying in New York to celebrate his 30th birthday has posted footage of what appears to be an alarming infestation of the creepy crawlies in the three-star Manhattan hotel, according to ABC News New York.
Californian Elgin Ozlen had moved hotel rooms twice already during their two-night stay, marred by shonky heaters and blown power outlets.
But it was the discovery of a horde of bed bugs in the lining of the mattress in their third room that prompted Mr Ozlen to pick up his smartphone and start filming.
His first sign that there was something (or things) devouring the couple in their sleep was the red, angry rash that covered his girlfriend's skin.
"I noticed today my girlfriend's arm and side and stomach in a full rash from what I assume came from outside, but really, it came from this bed," Mr Ozlen can be heard saying as the video pans to the stripped mattress.
"I flipped the bed over, where we discovered an infestation of bugs the size of your pinky nail," he says.
The camera zooms in, revealing small dark dots around the mattress seams.
"They're everywhere on the bed … two clumped together there, one there, one there, about three right there, another one there." Mr Ozlen continues until he spots a clump of "fifty" bugs on a mattress corner.
Then, to his horror, he pokes a large dark splodge with a pen and sends dozens of bug scampering over the white mattress.
"I wanna let everyone know, today's my birthday and this is what my experience has been," Ozlen said in mobile phone footage.
"We're not staying in the Bronx, we're not staying in Brooklyn, we're not staying in Queens. This is Manhattan.
"Let me show you what the damage was after sleeping in this bed," he says as the shot pans to his girlfriend, whose arms are covered in large red welts.
"Look at that. That is from staying at the Astor on the Park," he said.
"And I hope this video makes it court and this place gets what they deserve," he says.
The footage was picked up by a number of US media outlets, accruing hundreds of comments from readers disgusted by the sight of the infestation at one of the city's best-known hotels.
"I lost it. They looked like they could hurt horses. It was a colony, a breeding ground," Mr Ozlen told the New York Daily News.
A bug exterminator who had seen the video confirmed the insects were bed bugs, according to The Gothamist.
The hotel did not respond publicly to multiple requests from local media outlets to comment on the claims.
A hotel employee who told the New York Post that he was in charge said he had been "instructed" not to talk about Mr Ozlen's claims.
The Astor on the Park has since apologised to Mr Ozlen and his girlfriend and refunded the cost of their stay.
On its website The Astor on the Park offers accommodation for "tourists on a budget but do not wish to skimp on location.
Guest rooms are complete with alarm clocks, CD Players, colour television, and telephones.
The marble bathrooms are "decent" and feature extras include hair dryers and glass vanities.
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