Family Take Legal Action After Cuban Holiday Illness

Call To Improve Hygiene Standards At Barcelo Solymar Hotel

16.11.2010

Travel claims experts at Irwin Mitchell are urging a tour operator to “take immediate action” to improve hygiene standards at the Barcelo Solymar Hotel in Cuba after a British family were taken ill at the resort.

The family contacted the law firm after spending much of their two week holiday fearing for their health.

Wayne Ellis and Kellie Campbell both suffered severe gastric symptoms, as did three of their children.

The family, who say that other guests were complaining of similar symptoms, have supported calls for hygiene standards to be reviewed. They report being served undercooked and reheated food and seeing birds eating from plates in the hotel restaurant.

Amandeep Samra is a travel law expert at Irwin Mitchell and is representing the family. He said: “What this family went through whilst on holiday is totally unacceptable. Our experiences suggest that gastric illnesses can lead to long term health consequences or even permanent problems for up to 40% of people affected.”

Kellie Campbell said: “We feel completely conned! We were told that this was a five star resort, but it was nowhere near that standard. Especially the food – it was disgusting and hardly anything was cooked properly.

“As the holiday was supposed to be an all inclusive holiday, we didn’t have extra money to spend on food outside of the hotel, so after a few days, when we had become really concerned about the health risks of the food, we were just stuck to eating what we considered to be ‘safe’ from the buffet, such as toast and cereal.

“But the damage was already done and we are still suffering now. We’re all still suffering the effects of illness now, even after numerous trips to the doctors and several courses of antibiotics.

“This was our first family holiday together, and was supposed to be a real treat. It was bad enough that we fell ill but to watch three of our children who are just four, nine and ten suffer so terribly too was almost unbearable.

“I want the tour operator to tell me why they saw fit to send us to such a disgusting hotel, putting our health at risk, particularly as we were travelling with young children.”

Amandeep Samra from Irwin Mitchell said: “The stories from our clients, and others who have described their experiences at this resort, are horrendous and show that there is clearly a serious issue at the Barcelo Solymar.

“Tour operators have a responsibility to ensure that the hotels they send their customers to are of a reasonable standard, and that they comply with health and safety regulations, which are in place to protect their guests for good reason."