The reputation of TFE Hotels, one of Australia’s largest accommodation groups, has taken a hit after 366 guests quarantined in the Travelodge Hotel Sydney were last night evacuated by NSW Police who determined that complaints about poor standards of cleanliness and hygiene at the property were valid.

Guests, some of whom had had vigorously complained about the cleanliness of their rooms at the budget property, boarded a couple of buses under the glare of TV cameras and were transferred to other properties to serve out their mandatory 14 day quarantine.

One guest transferred to the Novotel Darling Harbour told the ABC that the “first thing he noticed was how much cleaner the air was”. Comments like that have got to hurt.

Compounding the issue, is that TFE Hotels promotes high cleaning and safety standards across its portfolio of accommodation brands, which apart from Travelodge include Vibe Hotels and Adina Apartment Hotels.

“At TFE Hotels, we’ve always had rigorous standards for cleaning and safety, and we’ve worked to deliver hygiene protocols over and above WHO recommendations,” reads a blurb on the TFE home page.

The TFE hygiene program – known as ‘Clean Touch’ – is outsourced.

“We have partnered with Diversey – a global leader in professional cleaning and hygiene solutions for more than 95 years – and will continue to provide the safe, clean and healthy environment you’ve come to expect in in our hotels,” TFE Hotels says.

“Clean Touch uses Diversey products which are approved by the Australian Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use against the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus, across our network.

“It’s just a safety culture that’s firmly embedded in our business and hygiene standards that are as second nature to us as our customer service.”

A TFE spokesperson said the company had no knowledge of an August 25 audit conducted by NSW police, which led to the removal of all quarantined guests, some of whom were paying a fee of $3000.

‘Our most recent site inspection with police and health authorities was conducted on July 28, and we were deemed compliant and retained on the isolation program.

‘We are not aware of any subsequent audit, nor are we aware of any COVID-19 related concerns.

“Since March, Travelodge Sydney has continuously hosted around 2000 rooms as part of the NSW Government’s mandated hotel isolation program, and has received thanks from many guests who have appreciated the care and service from our team.”

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