A Travelodge guest found a hidden camera in her shower which was linked by a wire to a cupboard in the hotel hallway. Harmony Hachey, 23, from Edinburgh, was washing in the cubicle when she noticed a small electronic device hidden behind a vent at the Oxford Wheatley Travelodge.
She took a closer look and realised it was a camera which was pointing directly at where she was standing naked in the shower.
Ms Hachey immediately informed the hotel staff, who traced the device to a maintenance cupboard which backs onto the room.
She said: ‘I was absolutely disgusted. I got a fork and stuck it in the vent. You could see so clearly it was a camera.
Ms Hachey, a food festival business development executive, had travelled to Oxford with colleagues last Friday as she was working at an event in the area over the bank holiday weekend.
She explained: ‘It was on the first of my three nights. We had had a long day at work and went back to the hotel to have a shower.
‘I broke down at one point. I just felt so violated.’
‘I put all my luggage down, checked into the room, got myself ready for a shower and as I got ready for the shower I noticed a vent next to the shower head.
‘It looked a little suspicious to me, like a camera, but I tried to convince myself that I was crazy and that it wasn’t the case so I continued to have a shower and got it over as quickly as possible because I wanted to investigate what was in the vent.
‘When I got out of the shower I poked around in the vent a little bit and the camera was being held up by white tape and it looked like it was trying to be hidden.
‘I pulled the tape away and it was blatantly obvious it was a camera pointing at me while I was showering.’
Trying not to panic, she went to alert hotel staff and asked for a second opinion from her colleagues, who were also staying in the hotel.
‘The manager came down to the hotel and inspected the camera and looked in the janitor’s closet behind where the camera had been installed.
‘He immediately took it out using a plastic bag and luckily it wasn’t attached to anything at the time so hopefully it wasn’t live streaming.
A receptionist went to investigate and found the camera linked up to a cupboard next door.
‘I don’t know how long it had been in there, I don’t know how many people it had filmed before me. I just felt completely shocked and violated and it was disgusting.’
The camera, which was attached to a USB cable but had not been switched on, was discovered in a cupboard located in the main hallway at the back of the shower.
Ms Hachey, who had taken photographs of her discovery, said: ‘After that the police came, they had a look at my pictures and looked at the camera itself and the vent.’
She then received a call from upper management, who told her it was there for maintenance.
‘She told me to calm down and there was no footage on there. But no one had looked,’ she said.
After giving a statement to Thames Valley Police, Ms Hachey tried to find another place to stay for the weekend, but ended up having to switch rooms.
She said: ‘I didn’t want to stay in that room. They moved the bed into another room. Later I got a call from customer services saying I was going to get a full refund and that was it.’
A spokeswoman for Travelodge confirmed a device had been found in the room and apologised to Ms Hachey.
‘We can confirm that on Friday 28th August 2015 a customer at our Oxford Wheatley hotel made us aware of the presence of what appeared to be a camera in their room.
‘The privacy of our customers is a matter of the highest importance to us and the hotel team investigated immediately.
‘While the camera appeared to be inoperative, we have reported this matter to the police and we are now supporting them fully with their ongoing investigations.