Newlyweds Stayed At Gran Bahia Principe
A bride who was hospitalised when she was taken ill on her honeymoon in Mexico has demanded to know why her tour operator subjected her to ‘appalling’ hygiene standards.
Paula Blagoci and husband Julian Alexander Levene travelled to the Gran Bahia Principe hotel in December last year. Their holiday at the five star resort turned into a complete nightmare when they were both struck down by illness.
The newlyweds had been at the Gran Bahia Principe for just two days when they began to experience gastric symptoms including diarrhoea, vomiting and blood in their stools. Paula’s symptoms were so bad that she was rushed to hospital, where she spent 24 hours including part of Christmas Day.
Talking about their ordeal at the hotel, Paula said: “Just like every newly married couple we couldn’t wait to go on our honeymoon and spend some quality time together, but as soon as we got to the hotel we just wanted to leave.
“The standard of the food was disgraceful - chicken was bloody, fish was raw in the middle and the same food was often served up day after day. We were really worried about getting ill because of the food and the hygiene standards generally as the entire place was filthy – especially our room which was grotty, mouldy and damp.”
Paula and Julian told lawyers at Irwin Mitchell that glasses seemed to be dirty and have a rotten smell coming from them, and they also said that they rarely saw hotel staff washing their hands when handling food. To make matters worse the couple also stated that hotel staff seemed unwilling to help when problems were reported.
Paula added: "When I saw the doctor and said I’d started coughing up blood he was so concerned he ordered an ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital. I was distraught, I couldn’t believe that I was spending what was supposed to be the happiest time of my life in a hospital bed."
Their illness meant that both Paula and Julian had to take time off work on their return to the UK, with Paula needing almost two weeks off. She said: “I want and deserve answers from First Choice. I want to know why they saw fit to send us to this hotel which totally ruined our holiday and such a special occasion for us.”
The couple are being represented by Lloyd Williams, a solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s travel law team. He is urging tour operator First Choice to take immediate action to determine the cause of the couple’s illness and prevent others from suffering in similar circumstances at the hotel.
Lloyd said: “For standards of food and general conditions at a hotel to be so appalling, that guests need to be hospitalised beggars belief. Tour operators have a responsibility to make sure their clients go to hotels that are safe and that no holidaymaker’s health is put at risk.
“To have to spend part of your holiday, never mind your honeymoon, in hospital because of illness at a hotel is totally unacceptable. First Choice owes them an apology, an explanation and fair compensation.”