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Family Seek Answers After Nightmare Holiday In Turkey

Hotel Named In Dirtiest Hotels In Europe Survey 2011


A family from County Antrim have contacted travel law experts from Irwin Mitchell after their holiday in Turkey was ruined by illness.

The Gallacher family travelled to the Altin Orfe resort in Icmeler, Turkey, last August. After just six days of their two-week holiday, they paid to move to another hotel due to a range of problems including:

  • Having to switch rooms on their first night at the hotel due to the conditions
  • Being served undercooked food
  • Being offered grubby and dusty rooms that had dangerous electrics and leaking air conditioning units
  • Animals roaming the resort, including dogs, cats and even monkeys

Now almost a year on from their holiday, the family are still suffering from the diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps that developed while they were at the resort.

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are now demanding that tour operator Thomas Cook carefully considers whether it should send other holidaymakers to the hotel, which was named in TripAdvisor’s Dirtiest Hotels In Europe 2011 survey.

Elizabeth Tetzner is the lawyer representing the Gallachers. She said: “The experiences that the Gallachers had are some of the worst that we have ever come across."

“What is even more concerning is the possibility that the tour operator involved has failed to improve on standards at the hotel, meaning a huge number of people who have stayed there could have unknowingly put themselves at risk by doing so.

“This is simply unacceptable and we are demanding that Thomas Cook guarantees that standards will rise at the resort.”

Talking about his family’s ordeal, Allan Gallacher said: “We were all so excited to be spending time together as a family for a couple of weeks in the sun. However, we were stunned to see the state of the place when we arrived.”

“Soon after arriving we were devastated. Our hotel room was filthy and dusty and there was hair everywhere. It was completely disgusting and unsurprisingly we demanded to move rooms immediately.”

The family soon realised that moving to another room wasn’t going to solve their problems.

“The electrics across the hotel appeared unsafe, as we saw wires hanging down in bathrooms and leaky air conditioning units on site.” Allan recalls.

“But, like in the rooms, it was the hygiene that was completely horrendous. We were served undercooked food on several occasions and saw stray animals in and around the dining area. I actually saw monkeys in the men’s toilets at one point - it was so bad I started to worry about my family’s safety. We had to get away.”

On the fourth day at the hotel the family fell ill with gastric symptoms. On day six the Gallachers decided that they couldn’t take any more and paid to move to another hotel. Unfortunately, they still continued to suffer with gastric illness symptoms that still blight them to this day.

Allan explained: “We got the money that we spent on the second hotel back once we came home, but nothing for our experience at the Altin Orfe. In addition, we all went to see our GP upon our return to the UK and we’re continuing to struggle with illness symptoms more than nine months later.

“All of the problems and hassle we’ve faced have left me wishing we’d never gone to Turkey at all. It’s put us off ever going back to the country.”

Elizabeth Tetzner of Irwin Mitchell adds: “Thomas Cook describe the Altin Orfe hotel on their website as a place where staff contribute to making stays as ‘enjoyable as possible’, but the Gallachers’ story suggests that this is clearly not the case.

“We are very concerned that the Gallachers were not the only victims of illness at this hotel, particularly as the tour operator is so large and TripAdvisor’s research has flagged serious concerns about the hotel that are held by a number of people.

“So many of the cases we deal with highlight when the safety of holidaymakers has been undermined by both hotel owners and tour operators failing to act. This has got to stop.

“Suffering illness on holiday is a deeply serious issue and can often lead to long-term and even permanent health problems. The issues raised about the Altin Orfe hotel cannot be ignored and we will fight on behalf of our clients until action is taken and reassurances are offered about the future. We also expect Thomas Cook to work with us constructively to provide our clients with the full and fair compensation that they deserve.”