The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is being sued by an American couple after they were bitten by bed bugs during a stay at the company's luxury Hyde Park hotel.
Sidney Bluming and his wife, Cynthia, are seeking several million dollars in damages in the lawsuit which was filed last month in the US District Court, Manhattan.
The couple claim they suffered hundreds of bites that left their skin red, swollen and itchy during a five-day stay in May last year.
They also say that after their stay in the capital the bugs embedded themselves in their luggage, subsequently infesting their home as well.
The lawsuit accuses the hotel chain of fraud, deceptive trade practice, negligence, recklessness, intentional infliction of emotional distress and nuisance.
Jill Kluge, communications director for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, said: "We can confirm a regrettable, but isolated, incident of infestation occurred in May 2006 within one guest room at our London property.
"On discovery, a full investigation was carried out and the problem fully rectified. There have been no subsequent incidents. The matter has been referred to our insurers.
"Mandarin Oriental's policy is to operate with the highest standards of conduct, with stringent hygiene systems and processes in place at all of our hotels to safeguard the health and safety of our guests."
By Daniel Thomas