Hotel Illness Ruins Holiday in Turkey for Friends

Illness Outbreak At La Luna Hotel


Two friends are taking legal action against their tour operator after they became ill following an all-inclusive holiday at the Hotel La Luna in Bodrum, Turkey in April 2007.

Jodie Kenny (25) from Cannock in Staffordshire was four and a half months pregnant at the time of her holiday. This was meant to be her last holiday with her best friend, Michelle Stephenson (26), from Rugeley before she became a mother. The pair travelled with Surrey based tour operator, Goldtrail Travel Limited.          

Miss Kenny said: “My friend and I had intended to get away and relax before the birth of my baby, but instead of relaxing we were both taking it in turns to dash to the toilet due to severe diarrhoea, abdominal pains and vomiting.’   

Miss Kenny said that initially when they arrived they were allocated a room, which was dark, smelly and dirty. As a result she and her friend asked to be moved but the new room was no better.

 Describing the room in which they had to spend the remainder of her holiday, Miss Kenny said: “The carpet was absolutely filthy, you did not dare to walk barefoot on the carpet. The bed linen was disgusting it had stains all over it. When I complained, the staff just turned the bed linen over instead of replacing it, so I had to spend the whole of my week in a dirty room.”

Miss Kenny continued: “The hotel restaurant was a real disappointment, the food on the buffet was left uncovered for long periods of time and was exposed to flies and insects. There were bird droppings all over the food counters and I even noticed the birds picking food from the salad bar, I was disgusted, I could not believe that this was supposed to be a 4* hotel.”

The holidaymakers’ ordeal worsened when Miss Stephenson became so ill that she was taken to hospital and kept in overnight. Ms Kenny said: “I went back to the hotel that night alone and ended up having to barricade myself in. Several Turkish men began hammering on the door and were demanding sex with me. I was literally terrified for my life and was so upset I thought I was going to have a miscarriage.

“I made an official complaint to the hotel and also told them I believed they were members of staff, but they did nothing and for the rest of the holiday Michelle and I had to put up with the waiters and bar staff verbally abusing us.

“We have never been so relieved to come home. On the one hand, Michelle was still so ill that she probably shouldn’t have been allowed to fly, but we were so glad to leave the nightmare behind us.”

Suki Chhokar, partner in the Travel Litigation Department at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors said: “It is shocking to learn both about the lack of health and hygiene and also the apparent lack of security in the hotel where our clients stayed which was all the more distressing given that Jodie was pregnant at the time”.

“Jodie had sought the advice of the hotel doctor regarding her illness, but the symptoms were dismissed as being due to her pregnancy. She also complained to her tour representative, because she noticed that there were so many other people falling ill. However, the rep was of little help and dismissed her illness by saying that it was due to change of food. Little regard was paid to the fact that she was pregnant and the illness might have harmed her unborn baby.

Mr Chhokar continued: “Jodie and Michelle had paid for a 4* hotel and expected to receive 4* service, but due to the lack of basic health and hygiene procedures they suffered a severe gastric illness. Thankfully, Jodie now has a healthy 6-month-old baby girl whose health was not affected by her Mum’s ordeal. However, almost one year on, both Jodie and Michelle continue to suffer the side effects from the outbreak.”