Travel Law Experts Urge Authorities To Make Improvements OR Close The Hotel
A former Hospital Supervisor who was left with a permanent symptoms more than four years after becoming severely ill at a Bulgarian hotel is calling for urgent action as a fresh wave of reports of illness are made.
Linda Whittle, from Dagenham, stayed at the five star Royal Park Hotel in September 2007 with her son Stephen, his partner, Emma Bullock, and her grandson, Eddie. Whilst staying at the hotel both she and her grandson Eddie suffered from severe sickness.
Shockingly, Linda read reviews submitted online by previous Royal Park Hotel guests complaining of sickness before she travelled, so contacted her tour operator, First Choice, to raise her concerns. However, she was advised that there was no problem in the resort and her and her family were fine to travel. On arrival at the Royal Park Hotel she soon realised this was not the case as other holidaymakers were already ill.
The retired Admin Supervisor at Royal London Hospital has reacted with horror over the new reports of guests being admitted to hospital after stays at the hotel and demanded immediate action from tour operators.
The hotel has been attacked on review site Trip Advisor with holiday makers describing their stay as the ‘holiday from hell’ and a ‘disaster’. There are also fresh reports of serious gastric symptoms, with one guest claiming to have been placed on a drip on two occasions due to dehydration from a sickness bug.
Linda’s urgent call is being echoed by travel law specialists at law firm Irwin Mitchell, who have successfully represented hundreds Royal Park Hotel guests. Irwin Mitchell is currently representing over 100 holidaymakers who were affected by illness during or following stays at the hotel in 2008 and has previously successfully represented over 100 clients who had similar problems in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Despite Irwin Mitchell having repeatedly called for investigations into hygiene standards, further instances of illness have been reported by guests following holidays in August and September 2011.
Linda, 62, said: “It’s over four years since my stay at the Royal Park Hotel and I’m still suffering from the effects of the illness. I’m absolutely disgusted to hear standards have not improved and suggest tour operators act immediately to ensure holidaymakers no longer have to put up with dangerous conditions.
“Due to the hotel’s lack of standards, my stay there will have a negative impact on the rest of my life. The fact my two-year old grandson also needed medical treatment is beyond belief.
“Thankfully, from the support of travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell, we received compensation, but our holiday was ruined and I’m still paying the price in terms of my health now.”
Elizabeth Tetzner, a Travel Law Specialist, said: “This hotel has a disturbing history. It seems that important lessons have still not been learnt despite that more than 200 previous guests have contracted illness during stays at the Royal Park Hotel.
“Our main concern is the repetition in the type of complaints we hear; undercooked food, dirty plates and cutlery and food served not hot enough. Many of our clients have suffered serious illness as a result of their stays at the Royal Park Hotel. These kinds of complaints simply should not occur in this day and age.
"We are not talking about rocket science. We are talking about the application of basic food safety measures which should be employed in every home and certainly in every catering establishment and hotel around the world.
“Failure to comply with these kind of rudimentary food hygiene procedures will inevitably increase the risk of food borne disease which in turn can, and in the case of the Royal Park Hotel has caused serious illness amongst guests. With outbreaks of illness going back as far as 2004, we are appalled to see that even recent guests at this hotel are suffering unnecessarily and we call upon the management of the hotel and the Tour Operators that use it to ensure that standards are improved and maintained to a reasonable level once and for all.
"If for some reason this cannot be achieved the authorities we urge the authorities in Bulgaria to take immediate action to close the hotel until there can be confidence in its safety. Meanwhile, we will continue to represent guests who became ill there and help them obtain the full and fair compensation that they are entitled to.”