So I was in Paris for an assisting job for Vogue for a few days this month. And Paris being one of my favourite cities in the world, and reuniting with the crew from NYC had me really excited. However, little did I know that our arrangement to stay at Normandy Hotel (7 Rue de l’Échelle, Paris, France) would be a fucking nightmare.
While the photographer and the director had stayed at the hotel since the 17th, I arrived a day later. When I got to the hotel from the airport, we met up for a team dinner, where the director showed us bite marks on his neck while joking about how he thinks he got bit by bed bugs. The team was in shock as we didn’t want to stay at a bed bug ridden hotel, but we had no proof, and the director said it was probably an allergic reaction. The director and the photographer then made remarks about how dirty the hotel was, and told me that when they requested for an extra duvet the night before, they received an old wool fabric with what seemed like either dog hair or after shave human hair all over it. Here are 2 photos of it -it’s disgusting.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for some sleep since our call time was at 6 am. Around 1-2am, the director wakes us up saying that he has caught ‘them’ -7 of them, with more bite marks on his body. We all got up in a panic and started packing our stuff. The director placed the bed bugs that he caught on a piece of toilet paper and showed it to the concierge dude who brushed it off saying that their hotel didn’t have bed bugs and that we probably brought it with us. The night concierge eventually moved us to a smaller room, but did not bother helping us with our stuff. At this point, we didn’t have much choice but to sleep and get ready for work.
The next day after finishing the shoot, we went straight to the concierge to get a refund for our stay, payment for our next hotel, and the payment for our clothes we had to throw away due to possible infestation. That would be the reasonable and humane thing to do, we thought. The hotel, however, had other ideas. They put up an attitude-filled argument with us then finally agreed to give us a refund, but nothing else. No shame on providing a hazardous shelter to our health and hygiene. Just classic Parisian sass. Anyhow, our next hotel which we had to pay for, was closer to the Opera House, and was much more modern and clean. At this point, we had tripled garbage bagged our equipment and spare clothes in hopes of not spreading the bugs. The photographer also made us all shower like 3 times (not together though). I never felt so clean and dirty.
This hotel needs to go under serious inspection with the authorities. If anyone has any lead on how to get it started, please message us.
This incident happened on January 18-20, 2018.