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Luxury Anniversary Celebrations Ruined By Illness

Expert Travel Lawyers Issue Proceedings Against Tour Operator


A couple are continuing their legal action against tour operator First Choice after their New Year holiday in the Dominican Republic was ruined when all six members of their family suffered gastric illness, including their pregnant daughter. 
International travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell, who are representing the family, from Hale Village near Liverpool, have been investigating their stay at the Catalonia Bavaro Hotel and have now confirmed that they have issued court proceedings against the Tour Operator, First Choice who has not admitted liability for the problems the family experienced on holiday.

Robert Bowden-Davies booked the 30th wedding anniversary trip with his wife Linda and four other family members to the Dreams Palm Beach Hotel between December 2011 and January 2012. But on their arrival to the Dominican Republic, Robert and his party were informed that due to the hotel being overbooked they were being transferred to the Catalonia Bavaro Hotel for four days. 

Just a few days into their stay, booked through travel operator First Choice Holidays and Flights Limited, Robert began suffering symptoms of gastric illness, including diarrhoea, sickness and stomach cramps which he found difficult to manage and his wife also endured diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea.

Their daughter Nicola was 10 weeks pregnant when she fell ill with a fever, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. She also suffered from palpitations and was seen by the hotel doctor and went to hospital on her return to the UK to be monitored. 

Expert Opinion
Mr and Mrs Bowden-Davies had most of their holiday, New Year and anniversary celebrations ruined as a result of the illness in addition to the problems they experienced with the accommodation they were provided with by First Choice. Being advised your preferred destination is fully booked and being moved elsewhere is completely unacceptable.

“Aside from making holidays extremely unpleasant, these types of illnesses can have a debilitating long-term impact on holidaymakers’ health. After investigating our clients’ claims we have had no choice but to issue proceedings against First Choice Holidays as we want to find answers as to the cause of the illness.”
Suki Chhokar, Partner
Linda, 50, said: “This holiday was meant to be an idyllic, romantic and unforgettable 30th anniversary celebration with our family, but it turned out to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

“We had originally planned to stay at a different hotel – the Dreams Palm Beach Hotel - but on arrival we were told it was fully booked. We were offered a room at the Catalonia Bavaro Hotel and were told it was a five-star, luxury resort. It did not feel like a luxury resort. We had a number of meetings with First Choice representatives and members of hotel staff during our stay due to the mix up of hotels to resolve the issues, but found them uncooperative and rude.

“One of our families’ bedroom at the Catalonia Bavaro Resort was riddled with bugs and had to be fumigated whilst we were there, which was an unpleasant welcome to the hotel. In the restaurant area there was no real staff presence at the buffet and birds were allowed to land next to the food and on the tables. 

“On occasions I noticed that some of the food was served lukewarm and that some of the food was also inadequately cooked. The gastric illness symptoms my family and I suffered caused us a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety – ruining our holiday, particularly over New Year, not to mention our 30th Anniversary.”

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