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Holiday Illness Complaint

Guests at the IBEROSTAR Bouganville Playa continue to report issues with diarrhoea and sickness

Holidaymakers have made continuing reports that they suffered from the symptoms of a gastric illness, including vomiting and diarrhoea, during their stay at the IBEROSTAR Bouganville Playa in Costa Adeje.

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The IBEROSTAR Bouganville Playa in Tenerife

The IBEROSTAR Bouganville Playa is advertised by UK tour operator Thomas Cook as an all-inclusive hotel located in the Costa Adeje region of Tenerife; one of the Canary Islands. The beachfront hotel appears to have a lot to offer, but since our previous article on holiday illness at the IBEROSTAR Bouganville Playa, holidaymakers have posted further reviews in which they say they suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting.


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Reviewers report diarrhoea and vomiting illness

If you read the reviews for the IBEROSTAR Bouganville Playa on sites such as TripAdvisor, you'll see that most of the reviews are very positive and praising them for providing an enjoyable break abroad. Some reviewers have also pointed out that the hotel appears to be quite clean and hygienic, making hand gel dispensers available to guests to reduce the risk of disease spreading, but despite this, a few reviewers have reported that they have suffered diarrhoea and sickness at the Tenerife hotel:



'Sarge9915' says that he "was taken ill on Tuesday 14th with [diarrhoea and vomiting]", saying that he also suffered from "aching joints". He says that they were "offered a doctor but declined", and "when the room was cleaned 2 days later there definitely was a strong smell of bleach and the room was spotless".


Lancaster holidaymaker 'bradybox' says that this is their "second time visiting this complex, and compared to last year the standards have seriously slipped". Amongst a range of complaints they say that they "were also not made aware of a [diarrhoea and vomiting] bug [that was] going around the hotel", commenting that "subsequently [their] partner did suffer [from the same symptoms for] a couple of days". They continue to say that there was "1 hand sanitizer outside a restaurant that seats 500 and […] it's not signed correctly", meaning that "unless you know it's there [you could arguably] would walk past it".


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'Linnet A' from Norfolk echoed some of these sentiments in her review titled "big health problem at this hotel". In it she says that they have "stayed at this hotel for the past 4 years but things have really gone downhill", explaining that "sickness and diarrhoea [are] prevalent throughout [the] hotel but Iberostar just will not admit it".

She explains that she "was struck down just 4 days after arriving and [she is] still suffering", explaining that "the original tables with cloths have now gone and [have been] replaced with smaller laminate topped tables" with "plastic woven placemats", of which she says "many [are] encrusted with food remnants", and due to the type of mat being used, she suggests that they will be "impossible to clean".

'Linnet A' goes on to say that "there appears much fewer [members of] staff than previous times and [she says that] they […] always [appeared to be] rushed", and "consequently shortcuts are [being] made and many tables are not [being] properly wiped and cleaned between [sittings]". She says that they "found dirty cutlery and glasses laid on the tables and dirty crockery on the serveries on many occasions".

She also comments on the hand gel being made available to hotel guests, saying that "according to the notice outside the dining room door; it is designed to seat 500 people but the only apparent preventive measures to limit cross contamination between guests is a small hand gel dispenser outside the dining room door". She says that "this is not in a particularly prominent position and [is] not used by many of the diners as it is easily missed".

'Linnet A says that "at no time did [they] observe the backs of chairs being wiped between guests which [she comments] is a primary source of contamination, nor did [she] observe frequent changes of dispensing tongs, ladles and spoons which [she comments] is the other main source of contamination".

She also states that she was concerned by "some of the cooking practices", saying that she "watched in horror as [she] saw a chef pick up raw meat with a pair of tongs only to use the same tongs to place the cooked food onto guests plates". She says that "most of the meat is show-cooked on griddles", and while "this particular chef had two tongs, presumably one for raw meat and the other for cooked; […] he was only using one pair for both operations", something that she says she "observed […] on more than one occasion".

She says that in resolving these issues, the hotel needs to provide "warnings and advice to guests when they check in and [provide] more hand-gel stations throughout vulnerable locations (bars, toilets etc.) with clear and visible signage highlighting the problems and emphasising to guests what they should do".


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In his review titled "we were ill at this hotel in February 2017", 'Stephen N' says that only a few days into his stay at the IBEROSTAR Bouganville, his "wife was ill with severe vomiting", which he subsequently suffered from "36 hours later". He explains that they "spent a full four days just in [their] room, vomiting and feeling very ill", and he is aware of "many other people [who] were ill", saying that "the hotel provided [them] with bottled water but otherwise played this problem down".

He also says that he has "coeliac disease and [event though he] double checked [the] gluten free signs on dishes with [members of the] kitchen and restaurant staff, on at least three occasions [he discovered that] the signs were inaccurate". 'Stephen N' continues to say that he "saw fresh dishes of food being brought out and emptied into existing containers on top of the remnants of food still in them".


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Hygiene errors that can increase the risk of food poisoning

While food handling teams at a busy all-inclusive hotel buffet have a very demanding job, there are a number of basic hygiene processes that they should adhere to. Practices such as piling new dishes of food on top of the old might not guarantee that holidaymakers will suffer from food poisoning, but it can increase the risk that a holiday ruining illness could be spread from the old food to the new.

Piling new food on top of old could increase the risk of contracting a holiday ruining illness

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Cross-contamination is another basic hygiene error that can increase the risk that hotel guests will become unwell. While thoroughly cooking high-risk produce to an adequate temperature has been proven to eradicate the majority of harmful pathogens, if that produce is then handled with utensils that have also handled uncooked produce, then any harmful strains of bacteria or parasites could be transferred.

While hand sanitizers aren't completely effective at preventing people from becoming unwell, they can prevent the spread of some strains of harmful bacteria, but only if they're used effectively. By placing multiple hand sanitizers in strategic positions around a hotel you can increase the chances that guests will use them, and by manning the stations with a member of staff, you can actively encourage their use, and potentially prevent the spread of diarrhoea and vomiting illnesses.

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You might be eligible for holiday illness compensation

If you've suffered a gastric illness while on a package holiday to an all-inclusive hotel, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you could be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator. It only takes a few minutes for a member of our travel law team to assess your case, and as part of a free no-obligation consultation, we can advise you if you're able to make a 'no win no fee' claim.

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Contact us about your holiday illness claim

To find out more about claiming compensation for illness at the IBEROSTAR Bouganville Playa in Tenerife; call us on 0808 145 1353 or complete our enquiry form and we will call you back.

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