A family-of-three from Sheffield have sought help from travel experts Irwin Mitchell, following a disaster holiday to the Paradise Village Beach Resort in Calangute, Goa, earlier this year.
Lee Shaw, 41, his wife Nicolette, 47 and their 15-year-old son, Billy, from Kiveton were appalled by the state the resort which has been named “parasite village” by other travellers on the independent travel website, TripAdvisor.com. All three family members suffered diarrhoea and vomiting in the first week of their holiday and have continued to suffer symptoms upon their return home.
Mr Shaw said: “Our holiday was a complete disaster. We had been looking forward so much to getting away for a few weeks. As a busy family it was a rare opportunity to spend precious time together but conditions were so poor and we were so ill that that it didn’t feel like we had a break at all. The level of cleanliness was concerning. Our bathroom and fridge were both covered in mould, the mattresses were dirty, and the bedding we had been provided with was ripped and covered in stains.
“Things were even worse outside. We were told by the pool attendant that there had been faeces in the swimming pool, and that the water had not been changed ‘for as long as he could remember.”
The Shaw family's experience is not isolated. Irwin Mitchell has been called upon by nearly a dozen British holidaymakers whose holidays were ruined following gastric illness at the resort. Irwin Mitchell have demanded answers from the tour operator, Thomas Cook, as to how these holidaymakers fell ill.
Elizabeth Tetzner, a travel law specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The standards that have been described as occurring at this resort in February 2011 are totally unacceptable. Tour operators have a duty to ensure their hotels provide a basic level of health and safety to guests and these holidaymakers have been badly let down."
“The Shaw family were looking forward to an enjoyable holiday but instead their holiday was ruined by the illness suffered. Sadly, it seems as though the Shaw family are not the only holidaymakers to suffer substandard conditions at the Paradise Beach Resort, and we have also received complaints from another three other families this year whose holidays have been ruined as a result of members of the party falling ill during their stay at the hotel.
“Guests should be able to enjoy their holiday without fear of falling ill and it is imperative that in situations like this Thomas Cook undertakes a thorough investigation into the levels of hygiene at the resort. If the hotel fails to reach the health and safety standards required then the tour operator should stop sending its customers there.”
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