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Holiday Illness Complaint

Melia Buenavista guests comment on possible holiday illness

27th April 2017


The all-inclusive Melia Buenavista is located in the Cayo Santa Maria region of Cuba and advertised by TUI-owned First Choice. This adults-only hotel has a wide variety of facilities, but recent reviews have shed light on a potential problem with food poisoning.

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Melia Buenavista in Cayo Santa Maria

The all-inclusive Melia Buenavista is located in the Cayo Santa Maria region of Cuba and advertised by TUI-owned First Choice. This adults-only hotel has a wide variety of facilities, but recent reviews have shed light on a potential problem with food poisoning.


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Reviewers comment on potential food poisoning problem

Reviews on TripAdvisor for the Melia Buenavista are very positive, with the hotel averaging a score that sees it ranked amongst the top hotels in Cayo Santa Maria, however over the past few months there have been some negative reviews.



'torontoeddy' stayed at the Melia Buenavista in February, and in his review that is simply called "Disappointed", and while he had mostly positive comments to make about the hotel, he also says that "the food was almost inedible to the point that [they] were dreading our meals". After listing a few of the problems he encounters, he says that "rarely did [they] encounter a warm plate of bacon or eggs", and "by mid-week [they] both had food poisoning".


In her review titled "Still recovering from the shock", Cambridge holidaymaker 'CambridgeTrees' who stayed at the Melia Buenavista in January, says that "this hotel is without question the worst hotel [that they] have ever stayed at", continuing to say that they experienced "the most dreadful food, [that they] have ever been served".

She goes on to explain that they were served "ice cold mashed potato" and "undercooked chicken", and comments that there were "flies everywhere, particularly over the breakfast buffet" and "a very serious smelly drain problem".


London holidaymaker 'susanms601' made similar comments in her review of her stay at the Melia Buenavista last December, simply titled "Food poisoning". In it, she warns people to "beware of this hotel", explaining that she and her husband "both got food poisoning a couple of days into [their] stay", and upon their "return to the UK, [her] husband ended up in [the] hospital for four days as a result of the food poisoning".

She concludes her review by revealing that "all the menus in the hotel have a disclaimer saying that if you eat undercooked fish or meat it is your responsibility".


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Hotelier response

In response to a reviewer by the name of 'abager' who also encountered some problems, Managing Director Angel Pereira said that "the management […] have reflected on all aspects of [their] opinion" and as a result of this they say that they "have already implemented different actions aimed at giving an excellent service to our customers".

While this can't be interpreted as an admission that there is an issue with food poisoning at the Melia Buenavista, it can be seen that the hotelier is aware that there are areas for improvement at the Cuban hotel, which they are addressing.

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Flies and the link to food poisoning

Flies can become quite a concern in a hotel restaurant, even if they are adhering to other HACCP standards. Because of the way that flies taste and their attraction to faecal matter, they are known for landing on faeces, which they can then transferred to whatever they land on next.


Worms and holiday illness

This is a problem that can be addressed by ensuring that buffet dishes are covered when they're not being accessed by hotel guests, and by investing in bug repellent equipment.

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Cold holiday food could lead to illness

Cold meals in a hotel restaurant can be equally concerning, especially if they're being served undercooked. Doing so could result in harmful bacteria and parasites surviving the cooking process and ruining your holiday.

While the risk of food poisoning can be reduced by efficient cooking practices, if buffet food is left in a non-temperature controlled environment for too long, the risk of infection could increase.

Sewage smells could result in sick holidaymakers

In some instances, sewage smells can be an indication that there's something wrong with a sewerage system that could become a health hazard. If sewage seeps into the ground, you could be exposed to a wide array of pathogens, from Amoebiasis to Salmonella.

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You might be able to claim holiday illness compensation

If you've been served an undercooked meal or encountered what you feel were questionable hygiene standards on a package holiday after suffering diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and other such symptoms, you might be entitled to claim compensation.

This is because of The Package Travel Regulations 1992, a regulation which places responsibility on your tour operator to ensure that your package holiday performs to an acceptable standard. As part of their contract with you, they have agreed to take reasonable steps to prevent you from coming to harm, and if they fail to do this, they could be seen as being in breach of that contract, and you might be able to claim compensation.



Paul Stevens - Group Travel Litigation Claims Manager

Contact us about your holiday illness claim

To find out more about claiming compensation for illness at the Melia Buenavista in Cuba; speak to Paul Stevens by calling us on 0808 145 1353 or complete our enquiry form and we will call you back.



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