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Holiday Illness Complaint

Illness Outbreak Alert: Feral Cats, E. coli, Diarrhoea and Vomiting at the ClubHotel Riu Bambu

*Update 31st May 2016*

We can now confirm that we have been instructed by a large group of British tourists who have been affected by illness at the ClubHotel Riu Bambu. This could just be the beginning of a larger outbreak, but we will continue monitor the Riu Bambu and provide you with any further updates. If you've experienced profuse diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach cramps or any other food poisoning-like symptoms at the Riu Bambu, contact a member of our travel law team as you may be entitled to compensation.


We've received reports of what appears to be the beginnings of an illness outbreak at the ClubHotel Riu Bambu which is located in the popular Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic. Previously we have found that when illness strikes at one of the four Riu hotels in the area, guests at the other three hotels soon begin to experience similar symptoms, and in this article we're going to make sure that you are aware of the dangers before you book your summer holiday, as well as let you know what to do if you've already suffered an illness.

About the ClubHotel Riu Bambu

The ClubHotel Riu Bambu is sold by Thomson as an all-inclusive resort that benefit from blazing temperatures all year round with very little rain, making it perfect for British tourists looking to get away, no matter what time of year it is. Featuring an outdoor pool with a "swim-up bar", a nearby Casino and miles of tropical gardens, this Dom Rep hotel should be an ideal option for holidaymakers, however it appears that there are serious issues with food hygiene at this Punta Cana hotel.

Food Poisoning in Punta Cana

Along with reports that we've received, negative reviews have recently emerged on TripAdvisor that point to the buffet as a cause for concern. TripAdvisor user 'Troy S' said in his review that while the staff at the hotel are friendly and helped him while he was ill, he wouldn't recommend the buffet after experiencing "very bad diarrhoea and severe vomiting" only 10 hours after eating, which lasted for over 4 days. TripAdvisor users 'Stephen L' experienced "nonstop diarrhea" only two days into his stay and found 4 others who had suffered similar symptoms, a number that continues to grow.

It appears that there are issues with food preparation, temperature controls at buffets and a potential cross-contamination issue, as indicated by TripAdvisor user 'Jolene B'. In her review she indicated that the "towels smell like cat urine" and the "resort is over run with mange covered feral cats that pee everywhere, mate everywhere, fight everywhere" and stated that there were "cockroaches as big as my hand in our room". Her review also stated that food is left out at buffets for hours, and unsurprisingly she too became sick for 3 days after her first night at the Riu Bambu.

Another user; 'sandof3' has reported that he travelled with a large group of 30 people and found the quality of the food to be "terrible", with many of their holiday party becoming unwell and suffering from E. coli.

Food poisoning awareness on package holidays

What is Going Wrong at the Riu Bambu

From these reviews and the reports that we have received it looks like there are serious problems at the Riu Bambu, and that these instances of food poisoning are likely just the beginning of a full blown illness outbreak. Unless the following issues are resolved it is likely that we will see multiple group actions and individual claims being made:

Issues at the Riu Hotels in the Dom Rep

Unfortunately the ClubHotel Riu Bambu isn't the only Punta Cana hotel that has a history of problems, with the ClubHotel Riu Bachata, ClubHotel Riu Merengue and ClubHotel Riu Mambo (now part of the Merengue and simply titled Merengue Village) have experienced issues in the past. In our experience we find that if one of these hotels experiences an outbreak of holiday illness the rest soon follow.

We monitor hotels and resorts for sickness not just in the Dominican Republic, but around the world, so be sure to check our Holiday Hotel Watch page regularly for updates.

Sick holiday complaints and compensation claims

What to Do If You Get Food Poisoning

If during your stay at the Riu Bambu you suffer from the symptoms of food poisoning, it's imperative that you receive medical assistance. This can be achieved by making a complaint to the hotel management and your holiday representative, who should together ensure that you are looked after and can receive a diagnosis and treatment. When making your complaint at your resort it's important to receive a written record, as if you decide to proceed with a claim this can be useful.

In the event that you have missed out on a portion of your holiday, you'll likely be angry, annoyed or disappointed that you were unable to enjoy your hard-earned break in the Dominican Republic. If you booked a regulated package holiday to the Riu Bambu, Merengue or Bachata and become ill as a result of poor hygiene or unsafe food, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you may be eligible to claim compensation.

Make a Group or Individual Claim

Holiday illness complaint - what you need to know

Making a claim against Thomson, First Choice, Thomas Cook or any other tour operator is a simple process, and all it takes is a quick phone call to start the process. Our travel legal team can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation on your claim in which we can advise you of the approximate value of your claim and the best approach to winning compensation. Previously we have won compensation of £16,000 compensation, so it's worth finding out how much your claim is worth.

Find Out More

If you would like to find out more about making a claim for compensation following food poisoning or any other illness at the Riu Bambu, Merengue or Bachata, then please don't hesitate to contact us.

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