Viral footage of a moldy hotel room in South Carolina has prompted the business to respond, but its explanation failed to quell a torrent of disgusted reactions.
“Best friends trip from hell,” traveler Kellz titled her clip, which she posted on TikTok under the username @kandy_flavored_kellz on Saturday. The video showed thick mold coating the floor, walls, furniture and bedding of her room at the Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Kellz said Sea Mist initially gave her group the wrong room—this unit was supposed to be their upgrade.
In her nauseating video tour, the guests could be heard gasping in shock.
“This don’t make no damn sense,” she yelled behind the camera. “It’s mold on the f**king floor!”
“This is a damn upgrade. I have an upgrade,” she added. “Oh my god, I can’t believe this. This is the second room!”
Her friend said, “Oh it’s mold. It’s mold infested.”
The video quickly went viral, racking up 5.9 million views by Wednesday afternoon. Sea Mist responded to the internet outcry in a statement on Monday.
“We are aware of the viral TikTok video depicting a room with mold,” the hotel said on Facebook. “This unit is managed by Sea Mist but not owned by Sea Mist. The unit was on Maintenance block to be treated for mold, which is a regular issue at EVERY resort in a humid climate. The unit was released in error and the guest was moved to a newly renovated unit that she then occupied for her 2 nights.”
This was “an isolated incident,” Sea Mist added.
Kellz confirmed that she was moved to a newly renovated building, but said it was “not cheap” and she was still “traumatized.” She urged her viewers never to visit the resort.
“I just wanted to spend some time with my best friends, the two closest people to me, and this whole freaking weekend was tragic,” she said in a follow-up video. “We were devastated from the things we saw.”
Revolted viewers found little comfort in Sea Mist’s response, flooding the guest’s videos with horrified reactions.
“Throw the whole damn building AWAY,” one comment said.
“My allergies started messing up watching this,” remarked another stunned user.
Mold infestation is among the most common problems reported in hotels, typically linked to poor management of a building’s air duct system and infrastructural leaking problems, according to Indoor Air Quality Consultants.
Short-term exposure to mold can cause mild allergic reactions, including nasal congestion, a cough and irritated throat, eyes and skin. More sensitive individuals may suffer from an asthma attack or other respiratory problems. The toxins in mold spores can also induce neurological effects such as depression, anxiety, dizziness, confusion and memory loss.
Over a longer period of time, exposure to mold has been associated with pulmonary fibrosis, which can develop into lung cancer.
Newsweek reached out to Kellz and Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort for comment.