Ksenija Knezevic, of Zurich, and Marlies Barisic, of Kreuzlingen, both in their early 30s, say the bloodsucking insects began attacking the night they checked into the Hotel Pennsylvania in September.
The women's lawsuit, filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, says they suffered bedbug bites over their torsos, arms and legs. Their lawyer, Alberto Ebanks, said bugs also bit their cheeks and necks and caused possibly permanent scarring.
"They were eaten alive," Ebanks said Wednesday. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
Roann Kulikoff, a spokeswoman for the hotel and its owners, said her clients did not comment on pending litigation.
Ebanks said that when the women told hotel employees that they were uncomfortable and something was wrong, one worker immediately exclaimed, "Bedbugs!"
"That tells us that this hotel was certainly on notice that they had a bedbug problem," the lawyer said.