Michelle Obama, her daughters and her mother Marian Robinson are staying in a sumptuous presidential suite at a Beijing Westin hotel
Mrs. Robinson has been ‘barking at the staff since she arrived,’ a hotel staffer said, adding that ‘we can’t wait for this to be over’
Secret Service agents are monopolizing elevators and booting high-paying guests from their rooms to occupy a block of space near the first lady
Both front and back doors of the hotel are blocked off, with Chinese and U.S. security agents screening everyone who enters
Ordinary Chinese describe Mrs. Obama and her family as kind and gracious, but hotel staff are ‘fed up’.
Michelle Obama and three of her family members are staying in a $8,350-per-night Beijing presidential suite, but despite a 24-hour butler and other perks that come with the lodging, her entourage has inconvenienced ‘pretty much everyone’ and made the hotel staff ‘fed up,’ a well-placed hotel staffer has told MailOnline.
The sumptuous pad at the Westin Beijing Chaoyang hotel – its website calls the room ‘an oasis of comfort – is a 3,400-square-foot masterpiece including a private steam room, ‘corner sofas with silk pillows,’ and in-room dining for six.
But the Obamas’ stay has already affected staff and guests at the hotel, with the Westin front-desk veteran alleging that Mrs. Obama’s mother Marian Robinson has been ‘barking at the staff since she arrived.’
Government security forces from both China and the U.S. started Thursday to screen everyone who entered the building, including paying guests, setting up checkpoints that resemble those at airline concourse entrances.
The Secret Service’s monopoly on the hotel’s highest floors has meant the Westin had to boot guests with previous reservations out of their executive-level rooms.
Secret Service agents are also monopolizing hotel elevators long before the Obamas need them, added the staffer, who identified himself as a member of the concierge staff and spoke English during a phone call on Friday.
‘Many of them are Asian, too, or Americans who are Asian, so you know our guests don’t understand.’
‘We can’t wait for this to be over, to tell you the truth,’ he said in a sudden hush. ‘We entertain many important people here, but this has been, I think, very different.’
A spokesperson for Mrs. Obama declined to comment.
A U.S. Secret Service spokesperson promised answers to MailOnline’s questions but didn’t provide any in time for publication. The agency generally does not speak publicly about security arrangements for the officials it protects.
A spokesman for Starwood Hotels, which owns the Westin chain, referred questions to Secret Service.
Ordinary Chinese who have met the American first lady have described her in media reports as approachable and friendly, and the hotel staffer agreed.
‘The first lady is gracious, and the girls are lovely,’ he said.