A family of six from Sydenham, London, have spoken of their disappointment with travel firm Away Holidays after a £7,350 anniversary trip to the Maldives was spoilt.
The long list of problems included blood stained walls, rats in the bathroom, ant infestations in the bedroom and hazardous walkways.
Carol and her husband Anthony booked a holiday to the Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort in the Maldives with the main point being to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary with their children and grandchildren.
The 5-Star holiday turned out to be a living nightmare that left the young children in the group too afraid to sleep in their room in fear of rats.
The family told the hotel and tour operator of the substandard conditions they were faced with. But after their complaints were shrugged off, they were left with no other choice than to involve leading consumer claims solicitors, Bott and Co.
The family are making a compensation claim under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 2018 for the unsatisfactory holiday and their loss of enjoyment.
Nasty Trip In The Tropics
After a long journey, the family arrived at the resort on 3 May 2019 to begin their ten day holiday. Unfortunately, from the moment they arrived, elements of the holiday didn’t match up to its 5-Star rating and things went from bad to worse throughout their stay.
Carol said: “For the first couple of days, the resort representative was on hand to deal with the issues we faced but when she became ill and was unable to work, we were left with no one to turn to as the holiday got progressively worse…
To her horror, she looked up and saw a large rat on the shower door pole.
In the evenings, the walkway to our room had no lighting and was extremely dark. We were very nervous about walking around the resort at night. One night I fell over a tree trunk and scraped the skin on my nose and had a swollen top lip and bruised arm.
I spoke to the representative and they agreed that there was not adequate lighting. The next day a light was fitted but it was still not enough as both my son and granddaughter tripped in the same area the following evening.”
Rats In The Bathroom
On the first morning, Carol’s daughter Nadine woke to find blood on the bathroom walls and rat droppings by the sink and around the drain.
“To her horror, she looked up and saw a large rat on the shower door pole. She immediately called for help and two men arrived 20 minutes later and captured it.
After that, my grandchildren were too scared to use the toilet or sleep in their own room and used mine and my husband’s bathroom for the remainder of the holiday.”
When Nadine asked hotel staff to do a thorough clean of their bathroom following the incident with the rat, she was told by one staff member that there were no rats on the island, despite one being captured the previous night. The same staff member told her that the rat must have been attracted by all her cosmetics and makeup!
“My daughter felt insulted by what was said, it’s not the sort of comment you’d expect while on a five-star holiday.”
Ant Infestation Was The Icing On The Cake
The family weren’t happy with the cleaning service at the resort. Not only was the rat excrement in the bathroom not cleaned up, even when this was requested, but the lack of basic cleaning was alarming…
“One of the main reasons we’d chosen the resort and paid extra for a room upgrade was due to the outdoor shower. Unfortunately, we were only able to use this once as it was never cleaned. Carol explained.
Not only was it dirty and unhygienic but there were also safety risks such as no shower mat provided.”
A couple of days into the holiday, Carol’s son was shocked to find an infestation of ants in his bathroom. The room had to be fumigated because there were so many. This was the last straw for the family.
“I can honestly say it was as if we were in a two-star resort. The surroundings were beautiful but the incidents that occurred didn’t make for a pleasant or relaxing holiday.”
Complaints Not Taken Seriously
Throughout the duration of the trip, Carol and her family felt as though their complaints were not taken on board or addressed in the right way. They were hoping that Away Holidays would take the issues more seriously upon returning home.
“I believe that the issues need to be looked into so that other guests won’t have the same problems as we did. We were so disappointed.
I got in touch with Away Holidays with a three page letter which they refused to acknowledge leaving me with no choice but to instruct solicitors to help.”
Compensation For The Disappointment And Loss Of Enjoyment
Speaking of how the law firm is going to help the family, David Bott, Senior Partner at Bott and Co said: “Away Holidays had a duty to ensure that the holiday was as described at the time of booking and which matched that which was advertised.
The family encountered instances which are unimaginable and endured a sub-standard holiday and accommodation which didn’t reflect what they reasonably expected.
Under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 2018 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the holiday provider had a responsibility to provide all the elements of the package to a satisfactory quality, which was not complied with.
We’re seeing more and more cases of neglect towards holidaymakers who have parted with their money to experience what can only be described as unacceptable situations.”