Tourists Struck Down By Holiday Illness In Bulgaria

Illness Outbreak At Riu Helios Bay Hotel


Leading travel law solicitors at Irwin Mitchell are calling for hygiene improvements at the Riu Helios Bay Hotel in Bulgaria after dozens of British tourists were struck down by gastric illness, including salmonella.

Experts at the law firm dealt with similar claims from holidaymakers who stayed at the hotel three years ago.

Irwin Mitchell lawyers are now pursuing legal action on behalf of a number of Britons who suffered nightmare holidays at the four-star resort.

Problems at the hotel were first reported in 2006. Irwin Mitchell is still pursuing a group claim on behalf of people affected in that outbreak.

The Riley family from Solihull were among those affected by this year’s outbreak. Anita and John Riley travelled to the resort with children Megan and Jack.

Within days of arrival they were struck down with stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting, with Mrs Riley diagnosed with salmonella.

Anita Riley said: “The first 24 hours were fine and at first glance both the hotel and the food looked lovely, but then things rapidly went down hill”.

“During our stay we noticed that the food, which was often left uncovered, appeared to have been reheated and was undercooked. On one occasion we found the chicken that was served was still pink in the middle.

“One by one John, Jack and I fell ill. Only Megan managed to escape illness and she couldn’t go anywhere or enjoy her holiday because the rest of us were all confined to our room with stomach cramps and diarrhoea. The holiday was a complete nightmare and we were all so thankful to come home.”

Anita, John and Jack continue to suffer symptoms following their return to the UK.

Amandeep Dhillon, from the International Travel Litigation department at Irwin Mitchell said: “I am very disappointed that three years on, we have again received reports of illness at this hotel and it is distressing to see that holidaymakers who travelled to the Riu Helios Bay Hotel for a relaxing, well earned break had their holidays ruined.

“In many cases we find these illness outbreaks are as a result of a failure to ensure that basic health and hygiene procedures are correctly implemented by the hotel owner and properly enforced by the UK tour operator. 

“We hope that Portland Holidays Direct will now quickly and fully compensate our clients.  If a negotiated settlement cannot be reached, then formal legal proceedings will be inevitable although we hope that will not be necessary.”