Bexley couple experience holiday hell
PUBLISHED: 09:28 13 December 2012
Violently vomiting and holed up in their hotel room in a foreign country, Bexley couple David and Christine Richards could not believe their dream vacation had turned into the holiday from hell.
Just 24 hours after arriving at The Beach Club Hotel in Torremolinos on April 10, 2008, they contracted a severe case of gastroenteritis and their hopes of sipping cocktails by the pool bar and relaxing in the summer heat had quickly disappeared.
David was so weak he began hallucinating and became delirious after severe vomiting, diarrhoea and a fever.
Christine also fell with vomiting and diarrhoea, although she was not as sick as her husband, who she spent the majority of the time caring for.
The couple were just getting their strength back as it was time to board the plane back to England.
Last week, they and 67 other British holidaymakers who also booked trips to the resort between September 2007 and August 2008 received a combined payout of £205,000 from Thomson and the Globespan Group for illnesses contracted at the hotel.
While not disclosing the exact figure they received, it was around five times the cost of the original holiday.
“It was horrible,” recalls Christine, 71. “When David got ill he was hallucinatory and delirious for a few days. It was very severe.”
David says the compensation that Irwin Mitchell solicitors won for them was fair but added: “That doesn’t make it worth it though.”
Explaining why he wanted to bring action, he explained: “The money isn’t that important, we just wanted to save people going through what we did.
“I’ve seen on their website that Thomson are no longer using the Beach Club Hotel for their packages.”
Some holidaymakers had it even worse than David and Christine, with some requiring hospital treatment.
One traveller reported a dead cockroach in their pasta, flies buzzing around food and bird droppings on the floor of the hotel restaurant.
Irwin Mitchell solicitor Gurpinder Chana said: “A large number had their holidays ruined by the severe illnesses they suffered.
“Many of these people, such as David and Christine, decided to take on the tour operators for the unacceptable standards they experienced at the hotel. Because of this, justice has been done and they can move on with their lives.”
David says that despite the torment of Torremolinos it has not put them off going on holiday again – it was merely a case of going to the wrong hotel with the wrong tour operator.
“We definitely wouldn’t go back to the Beach Club Hotel again but we’ve tried not to let it affect us too much.
“When we left there were still people going down with the illness. We knew something was up.”
Christine added: “I know it could have been worse – some of our fellow holidaymakers were hospitalised.
“It still ruined our trip though and it was a terrible experience.”
The Beach Club Hotel has now been taken over by Marconfort hotel and apartment chain who were not involved in the legal action. Thomson have removed it from their brochures.
A Thomson spokesman refused to comment.