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Holiday Illness Complaint

Flies, holiday illness and more reported by Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa guests

21st June 2017

A number of recent guests at the Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa in Varadero, Cuba have reported that they suffered the symptoms of a gastric illness during their stay at the all-inclusive resort, with some reviewers highlighting problems with flies at the buffet and a lack of chlorine in the pool.

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The Varadero Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa in Cuba

Advertised by UK tour operator Thomas Cook on an all-inclusive basis, the Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa is located in the popular Varadero region of Cuba. The adults-only resort features easy access to the beach and a wealth of facilities, but recently, reviewers have commented on potential problems for the Cuban hotel.

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Reports of holiday illness, flies and more

On TripAdvisor, the Paradisus Princesa ranks as one of the top ten hotels in Varadero (at the time of writing), with over 5,000 reviews resulting in an average of 4/5 on the review site, but recently, reviewers have highlighted issues with flies, gastric illness and swimming pool hygiene.

Cambridge holidaymaker 'usacc' wrote a review of their stay at the Paradisus Princesa this June titled "Beautiful beach, friendly staff, absolutely horrific food!" in which they say that they "got sick and had to seek medical attention", explaining that "the food was absolutely horrific".

They say that they are "in shock to see that some people are reviewing it as acceptable", going on to say that "the most disappointing thing was the main Buffet", which they say was "hot with flies everywhere" and that it "was undoubtedly the worst buffet [they] have ever eaten from".

Another TripAdvisor member wrote a similarly titled review of their stay in June; "Beautiful beach, nice resort, won't return though". In it, they say that while there was "a lot of great things about this resort", but they also "got sick and still are [unwell] 4 days later". They also explain that their "room flooded and [it] took almost 2 hours to get [it] cleaned".

'rachelhickey0618' stayed at the Paradisus Princesa in May, and in her review that was simply titled "Disappointing", she says that on "the third day […] all [of their] troubles began".

She explains that she and her husband "went to the lunch buffet and about an hour later, within 5 minutes of each other, [they] were violently sick". She says that "this continued for about 12 hours", leaving them unable to do anything for fear of feeling "nauseated" and "throwing up".

She says that she "started to get very concerned that this was more than just food poisoning" and "called for the resort doctor", but was told that they "would have to come out to the medical outpost at the front of the resort". She explains that they were unable to leave their room due to their condition, and were told that they needed "to actually go to the [medical centre] to get help".

She comments that they had to "spend the last four days of [their] honeymoon in bed sick" and kept being "brushed off" when they tried to report their condition. She goes to say that "when [they] got home [they] actually went to the doctor to get blood work and tests done, and it was confirmed that [they had contracted some form of] food poisoning".

'Carson S' also stayed at the Paradisus Princesa in May, and in their review titled "Bad Combination - Food and Hundreds of Flies!" they say that they "were shocked [by] the enclosed buffet area". They say that they witnessed "hundreds […] of big black flies crawling over every bit of food", as well as the "tables, plates, mugs, glasses, napkins, tablecloths", commenting that they were "constantly batting them away while eating".

They believe that this poses "a health hazard" to guests, comment that "people can't find this acceptable", adding that "there must have to be some standards that have to be met when it comes to food".

In their review of their stay in May titled "Worst service, disgusting pool, never going back to Cuba", 'Ell12345' says that "on [their] third day [they] noticed [that] the pool's water was completely yellow".

They say that they "asked the staff what was going on" and "they said they were out of chlorine and had been for some time". They explain that the hotel staff "did not mention this to anyone, and people/new arrivals were continuing to use the same pool with the same unclean water".

They conclude their review by explaining that there was "lots of flies at the buffet" and commenting that "it was horrid".

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Tell holiday food poisoning to buzz off

Flies might just appear to be a nuisance, but they can present a serious risk to your health, especially at hotel buffets. Flies need to land on things to taste them, and that includes less desirable substances such as faecal matter. When they do this, particles of faecal matter can become attached to their feet and legs, which can become dislodged on whatever they land on next, including the food being served at an open buffet.

Flies and holiday illness

Faecal matter is notably hazardous and can contain a plethora of food poisoning pathogens, including Salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter. There's a variety of methods that a hotel can use to deter flies from buzzing around a buffet, but simply covering food when it's not being accessed is generally quite effective.

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Beware of unclean water abroad

While it's common practice for travel seasoned Brit's on holiday to avoid the local drinking water unless they know that it's potable (safe to drink), swimming pool water can be detrimental to your health.

Chlorine isn't just used to keep a pool looking clean; it also helps to kill off harmful bacteria and parasites. While it isn't guaranteed to kill off every pathogen that could ruin your holiday, it can help, and by not using it a hotel could be seen to be putting the health of their guests at risk.

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You might be able to make a 'no win no fee' claim

If you've suffered an illness that resulted in a ruined package holiday, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992, you could be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator.

As part of a free no-obligation consultation, a member of our travel law team can assess your case and advise you of the best way to make a claim against your tour operator. If we represent you, we can do so on a 'no win no fee' basis.

Claire Rabbetts - Holiday Accident and Illness Claims Specialist

Contact us about your holiday illness claim

To find out more about claiming compensation for illness at the Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa in Cuba; speak to Claire Rabbetts by calling us on 0808 145 1353 or complete our enquiry form and we will call you back.

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