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Dream Break Became Illness-laden Nightmare


Two British holidaymakers forced to cut short their dream holiday after falling seriously ill at a luxury Mexican hotel are amongst several British tourists pursuing complaints following illness during their stays.

Stephen Davidson, 20, and Dean Morrison, 26, holidayed at the Barcelo Costa Cancun Hotel with Tour Operator First Choice in July 2011. The break was meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime dream holiday but it turned out to me a nightmare.

Stephen and Dean reported being served undercooked chicken, seeing fresh food being added to old food in the buffet area and hot dishes served at luke warm temperatures. Both developed gastric illness at the hotel and were forced to return home just nine days into their break.

Nichola Blackburn, an international travel law specialist from Irwin Mitchell, is now investigating a claim against First Choice on behalf of Stephen and Dean. She said that the complaints made by Stephen and Dean against the hotel echo reviews made on independent travel website, Trip Advisor, where one reviewer complains of '12 consecutive days of diarrhoea’. Another brands it as the ‘worst hotel ever’.

Nicola continues: “Stephen and Dean booked the two-week holiday through First Choice and were very much looking forward to an enjoyable and memorable summer holiday, instead they were both left extremely ill and with only memories they’d sooner forget.

After seeking medical attention both on holiday and on his return to the UK, Stephen turned to travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell to find out how a luxury four-star holiday could result in illness.

Stephen, of Aberdeen, added: “We decided to book an all-inclusive package holiday through First Choice as we wanted to be able to eat our meals at the hotel. However, after our health had deteriorated and knowing we had been served undercooked chicken and beef at the hotel prior to falling ill we quickly realised this wouldn’t be the case. We saw fresh food being added to old and it appeared that at times some food was reheated and served on more than one occasion – surely a four-star hotel should know better.

“As a result of how ill I was we had to return home earlier than planned which was extremely disappointing for both of us, but we just couldn’t stay there any longer”.