An America's Cup sailor has expressed frustration over the state of one of New Zealand's Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities, labelling it as "degrading" and "unacceptable".
But Rotorua's Sudima Hotel say staff removed a large piece of furniture from Luna Rossa's Andrea Tesei's room to allow for a piece of equipment to be used, meaning dust became visible.
Tesei has been placed in the hotel for mandatory isolation before joining his team to prepare for next year's America's Cup in Auckland.
In a now-deleted post to Instagram, Tesei expressed shock over the room's state with a photo of what he'd collected in a dustpan from sweeping the floor.
"I'm absolutely not prone to social complaining, but definitely think the situation we are experiencing is pretty degrading and unacceptable. We are (rightly) imposed a 14day quarantine period upon arrival in New Zealand, in a random chosen hotel after landing," he wrote.
"We picked the unlucky card with @sudimahotels in Rotorua, which has already been reported on the @nzherald in the previous days for not meeting hygiene and cleaning standards. It's clear rooms haven't been cleaned and sanitised for a long time and after the permanence of previous guests, which feels absurd since we're in here to prevent the spread of the virus in the country hosting us for the #americascup. Bear in mind this service is not free and costs $3100 per person!! We've been provided self cleaning kits and this is the result of few minutes knees on the ground with brush and shovel.
"I want to clearly state that the Army and Medical staff supervising the structure have always been super cooperative and kind, helping us in any request to make our period easier. Hotel management is definitely not on point if the goal is to fight a global pandemic."
When contacted by the Herald, Sudima Hotels proved a statement to explain the situation.
"Sudima Hotels is proud to be hosting members of the Luna Rossa team and has worked hard to accommodate various requests to ensure their isolation experience is as comfortable as possible. This has included removing a large piece of furniture from the guest's room, which is usually a permanent fixture, to allow for a piece of equipment to be used in his room (which was facilitated along with the NZDF) – this has meant that dust which had gathered under this piece of fixed furniture has become visible," the statement read.
"The regular removal of permanent furniture from the rooms for deep cleaning is not possible in this setting, however strict cleaning and sanitising protocols of the rooms are followed.
"We apologise for any discomfort experienced and encourage any guests to call our reception team if there is anything hotel staff can do to make a difference to their day."
A Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokesperson said they had passed Tesie's feedback onto hotel management and urged anyone else to raise their concerns with the facility manager or wellbeing coordinator.
"Regular and thorough cleaning in strict adherence to the health guidelines is a fundamental requirement of each facility and its staff," the statement said.
"All Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities have been undertaking infection prevention and control audits, which include review of environmental cleaning procedures. These audits are one way to ensure infection and prevention processes and procedures are being undertaken."
The Auckland man, who was quarantining with his partner, also said he was not surprised a person had escaped Rotorua's Sudima Hotel, comparing what he described as "depressing" living conditions there to a prison.
Managed Isolation and Quarantine staff confirmed they "received complaints from the couple and that an MIQ complaints staff member had apologised to the couple for their experience".
"We have received excellent feedback from other returnees about this hotel, but have passed on this person's feedback on to hotel management."
Tesei, Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena and about 25 other team members are going through their 14-day quarantine before setting up base in Auckland.
Their second Cup boat will be flown from Italy next week and most of the team should be based in Auckland by October 10.