Renaissance Newark Airport’s Water May Be Making People Sick, Hotel Still Taking Bookings

The Renaissance Newark Airport hotel is informing guests that there is Legionella bacteria in samples collected from its water system, which they learned after two reports of guests contracting Legionnaire’s Disease following stays on property. They continue to take guests, but are telling people not to shower.

The hotel is working to “chemically treat the water and swiftly implement a plan to permanently disinfect the hotel’s water system to kill any remaining Legionella and prevent more from growing.”

Renaissance Newark Airport On My Last Stay

This is a big deal, with symptoms including fever, shortness of breath, and muscle aches. According to the hotel, those at particular risk – over 50; smokers; chronic lung disease; weakened immune system – should not:

  • shower on property “even a cool shower – since it could create water droplets in the air.” Such guests can take a bath, but “minimize your time in the bathroom while the tub is filling.”

  • fill the sink too quickly “to avoid splashing and producing water droplets in the air” while brushing teeth or washing hands.

  • drink the water if you have swallowing difficulties

Renaissance Newark Airport On My Last Stay

View From Renaissance Newark Airport

The hotel’s message was shared by a guest with an upcoming stay. Somehow the property is still taking bookings! Even though 50 year olds shouldn’t shower in their rooms!

There was a Hilton in Hawaii where Legionnaire’s recurred. There were a couple of cases at The Orleans in Las Vegas and at Caesar’s Palace. Also watch out for those hotel hot tubs.

Early in the pandemic one man lived alone at the W Hotel in Barcelona, self-isolating there while maintaining the property.

He lived by himself on the 24th floor of the hotel, cooked his meals alone in the huge hotel kitchen. He washed his socks in housekeeping’s gigantic industrial washer. And every five days he’d open all 1,400 pipe taps inside the hotel, and run them for five minutes, to avoid stale stagnant water pools that can spread Legionnaire’s.

I’d like to think that a hotel which has reason to believe they may be exposing guests to a harmful bacteria would close down until they were confident they had eradicated it. I guess not? I called the hotel and was told that they expected testing and eradication to take 6 to 8 weeks.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Why exactly is the health department okay with this? The hotel shouldn’t even have the option of remaining operational.

  2. With all the restrictions, the hotel should have guests signing a release. And the how is this allowed by the health department?

  3. Haven’t stayed at this hotel in several years, but I thought that this hotel had some kind of water problem years back. But maybe it was pool water contamination.

    What compensation is the hotel providing to guests who complain that they can’t shower on premises?

  4. The case can be made that visiting Newark can be hazardous to your health regardless of where you stay.

  5. I refuse to travel to Newark or Elizabeth NJ ever again unless no other choice
    I hate the airport and transportation options
    the train station platforms are also a health hazard covered with bird poop everywhere with non existent customer service
    it is totally like visiting a Third world country and the area hotels all suck
    Did I say it’s a mob scene ?

  6. OK, I can maybe understand staying open for existing guests (with the option of penalty free cancelation) so that they don’t have to scramble to find a new location — as long as they’re fully informed of the situation. But taking NEW guests? Yeah, where is the Health Department?

  7. Dwonderment,

    EWR airport hotels are the only US airport hotels I’ve used where I’ve repeatedly noticed prostitutes being dropped off for “work” as if it’s business as usual for them and the hotels. Maybe I don’t get around enough at airport hotels in the country, but I’ve seen this stuff repeatedly over the past 20 years while in and around the lobbies at various EWR airport hotels that are or have been part of Marriott.

  8. My husband and I stayed at the Renaissance hotel on Feb 6, having made a reservation for a parking package a month earlier, since we would be leaving on an early flight from EWR on Feb 7. We received the email notification from the hotel about the water situation on the morning of Feb 6 before we left our home in PA. We decided to go to the hotel because we could not figure out alternate arrangements to include a week of parking. When we arrived at the hotel, they showed us the sheet with the list of precautions, including not to shower. I asked whether there would be a price reduction or some additional points, at least. The answer was no. We were told that we could leave and not be charged a cancellation penalty. We decided to stay, asked for several additional bottles of water, and used that water for washing our faces and brushing our teeth. I had some saniwipes which we used to wash our hands. Anyway, we are both of an age to be susceptible to the disease and were very careful. When we took the hotel airport shuttle in the a.m., there were 2 uniformed airline personnel in the van with us — they likely had no choice of hotels. I cannot imagine donning one of those uniforms without a shower in the morning.

  9. @GUWonder, this is very true. The Marriott at MEX has a line every morning at the ATM with the hookers saying bonvoyage upon collecting payment.

  10. This hotel should be shut down by the public health authorities. They ae not doing the job they are being paid to do (or is other money changing hands?).

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