Tina Marquez and her 17-year-old daughter planned an end-of-summer trip to Myrtle Beach before her daughter started back at school in August.
Marquez, of North Carolina, expected to spend a few days lounging on the beach and hanging out with her daughter, so she rented a car and booked a three-night stay at The Viking on Ocean Boulevard.
But her plans quickly dissipated shortly after arriving at the motel to find roaches all over her room: on the floor, walls and even in the bed.
A manager with the motel was not immediately available for comment Wednesday morning.
Marquez, who had traveled more than four hours from Newton, N.C., called the trip a disaster.
“I should not be waking up to my own bed, Marquez told The Sun News after going back home. “I should have been there at the beach for a good trip, but I feel like it was taken away from me very quick.”
Marquez had visited Myrtle Beach in 2014 and stayed at The Viking without incident, so she wasn’t expecting to find the motel to be in such awful condition, she said.
Their mother-daughter trip was supposed to be from July 11 to July 14. But after one night, they decided to pack up and go home.
She said after they had checked in and saw the bugs, they immediately alerted the employees working the front desk, who then sent maintenance personnel to the room.
After inspecting the room, the maintenance man recommended Marquez and her daughter be moved to another room, Marquez recalled.
From there, they relocated to only find more roaches in their room. But, at that point, Marquez said her daughter wanted to sleep, so they decided to stay the night.
“She slept with her shoes on, her clothes on, and she had her own little blanket with her and a pillow,” Marquez said of her daughter.
She, however, spent most of the night fighting off the roaches with bug spray left over by maintenance. That didn’t help, Marquez said, and she was left to stomping on them until she was sure they were dead.
The next day, Marquez decided they would leave and told front desk staff. She was told she would be refunded for the second two nights but would still be responsible for the first night.
“I don’t get how you can charge so much to stay somewhere, and they can’t keep the rooms up to date,” she said.
Marquez told the Sun News she paid $174.87 per night for the room. She also provided a photo of the receipt she received from the motel before she left, detailing her total.
Although Marquez ultimately decided not to sue the motel after receiving a refund, many others that have stayed on Ocean Boulevard filed suits after experiencing bugs in their motel rooms.
A North Carolina woman filed a lawsuit in March against a company that owns the Vancouver Motel after she said she woke up to bed bugs biting her, which forced her to cut her family’s vacation short. People who travel and sleep in frequently visited hotel rooms are at higher risk of coming in contact with bed bugs.
Marquez, who reported her experience to the Better Business Bureau, said she was refunded for the three-day stay after she left a negative review online. The motel did respond to the comment privately.
The motel has a 2.4 rating out of 5 based on 126 reviews on Facebook.
“I was definitely happy about the money being refunded, but I would have rather been at the beach, so I still kind of feel I was robbed of that.”
She said the motel should be held responsible for not taking care of their guests and their rooms.
“The situation just needs to get under control to protect any other people that go there.”