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Three stars...and an invisible pool

The BBC programme Save My Holiday has uncovered more holidays from hell, this time in a popular resort in Crete. The programme makers came across 2 couples – honeymooners Adam and Emma and holidaymakers Jim and Carole – who were all staying at the '3 star' Rea Hotel in Crete. And who had the same complaints.

Both couples had been led to believe there was a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool. Whilst there certainly was a roof terrace with sun loungers to soak up the sun, it was kept locked and inaccessible to guests, presumably on safety grounds. And there was definitely no sign of a pool – when the couples asked the hotel manager where the hotel pool was, they were directed to the sea – 'the biggest swimming pool in Crete'!

In fact Adam and Emma were so disappointed with their honeymoon hotel that they went home early, feeling 'cheated'. But the BBC team was able to help Jim and Carole, who had spent £1,000 on their all-inclusive break.

Carole had booked the holiday via a travel company’s internet site which clearly showed pictures of a sun-drenched roof terrace with a swimming pool – her main aim for the holiday was to relax at poolside. But it seems the hotel manager had been somewhat ‘creative’ with his marketing images. And that wasn’t the only disappointment. Despite having paid for an all-inclusive holiday, the couple had to pay an extra £5 per day for air conditioning in their room, which was stifling without it. The eighth floor room itself was very basic, the balcony little more than a strip of tiled floor with a dangerously low wall, the carpet was infested with fleas and bedding wasn’t changed.

The public areas of the hotel were just as bad – Jim and Carole witnessed a glass ceiling lampshade come crashing down on another guest’s head, gashing her badly. The air conditioning units were not turned on, making the heat oppressive. The food was described as ‘inedible’ and the bar was closed for hours at a time. Even more alarming, the hotel lift didn’t have a door – guests simply step in and watch the walls whizz past their faces. This is a shocking Health and Safety hazard.

Jim and Carole did what any holidaymaker should do when faced with these appalling standards. They got as much video evidence as possible and contacted the travel company’s Rep for the resort. But there was to be a frightening twist – the Rep met the couple, saw the hotel’s shoddy standards for herself and filed a report to her Head Office damning the hotel. The next Jim and Carole knew they were being verbally abused by the hotel manager who was threatening to have them arrested. Jim at one point felt physically threatened too and feared violence.

The stress was certainly taking its toll, especially on Carole who blamed herself for booking the all-inclusive deal. But with the BBC’s help they were moved to another, far nicer hotel which had that all-important swimming pool!

The morale of this holiday from hell story is to complain, complain, complain as soon as possible. Gather your evidence and contact your Rep. Jim and Carole put up with their shoddy hotel for days and quite possibly wouldn’t have done anything about it but for the BBC’s intervention. They may well have been able to claim holiday compensation on their return to the UK but only after a fully ruined holiday.

If you are unhappy with the standard of your hotel or resort and even feel misled by your travel company’s descriptions, you may be able to claim holiday compensation. But, if you want to enjoy what’s left of your precious days away, do what you can there and then to be moved to a hotel or resort matching the standards you have paid for.

If you have been injured in an accident due to shoddy health and safety standards at your hotel then get in touch with our Holiday Claims Experts to find out how they can help you claim compensation for your injuries on:

Freephone: 0808 145 1353 or drop us a line using the form above.

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Dated: 01/02/2011

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