In recent weeks we have been receiving calls from holidaymakers, who having believed that they had purchased a 'family' all-inclusive hotel or a 'family hotel', found on their arrival that their getaway location also entertained large groups of young holidaymakers!
For many of these families, often on limited budgets, their opportunity to escape the mayhem they experienced was just too difficult and in all cases, the Travel Company failed to help them.
One recent set of complaints from Malta included the following:
- The holiday was sold as a peaceful getaway;
- On arrival they found the hotel in the middle of the nightclub district;
- Music blared from local pubs and clubs from 5pm to 5.15am the following morning;
- The hotel was full of young holidaymakers, mostly under 25 years of age;
- Many of the holidaymakers were witnessed to be drunk in the Public areas of the hotel;
- Many of the young holidaymakers were heard shouting and swearing openly;
- There was lots of screaming and shouting along the hotel corridors at night;
- The holidaymaker's family was quite distressed and the children were frightened of where they were staying.
Then there is the condition of the hotel; this family told us that:
- The long corridor where their room was situated only had one bulb to light the way;
- Emergency fire safety lights did not work with no bulbs in some!
- They did not see any smoke detectors;
- Water was constantly running down the walls of the corridor;
- An open service door opposite their room contained piping and a clear drop between the floors of the hotel;
- Their room door had obviously been broken into previously and did not offer complete security;
- Their room contained 2 broken beds - one had no bottom to the bed;
- The parent's had to sleep on a mattress on the floor for 4 nights until the hotel agreed to fix the bed;
- They reported cockroaches in their room;
- Drawers were broken and could not be used and they had to store their holiday clothing in their suitcases during the holiday because of the cockroach infestation;
- Their balcony contained rubbish and cigarette ends from the previous guests;
- Curtains were ripped and hanging off the walls so allowing the bright lights from the bars and nightclubs to shine into the room;
- The bed-linen appeared to have blood stains on them;
- Cracks in their room ceiling gave the impression that the ceiling could fall through at any time;
- Hotel lifts were not always fully operational;
- The swimming pool was littered with cans, plastic cups and cigarette ends;
- There was a construction site opposite the hotel which they were not warned about at the time of booking;
- Work on the construction site commenced at 8am each morning and lasted through the whole day, then at 5pm, the bars and nightclubs began to play their music!
When they made their complaints to the Travel Company, they were simply told that there was nothing that they could do as they 'had somewhere to sleep'!
These holidaymakers had only booked a week's holiday, but after 4 days of enduring impossible conditions and having to deal with a Travel Company who simply did not care, they paid for their own flights and returned to the UK.
Frank Brehany, the Consumer Director for HolidayComplaints.com states:
"This is one of the most shocking complaints we have received this year! I have no problem with young people going away on holiday and having a good time, but mixing and matching families and young holidaymakers is like mixing chalk and cheese!"
"We are helping this family, but I must express my utter disgust at the way this holiday was sold and the way in which this family's complaints were handled by this UK based Travel Company! Equally, it is shameful that the Ministry for Tourism in Malta would allow such a hotel to operate without the necessary standards in place and adequate enforcement. I call upon Malta to contact us directly and we will share the detail of this hotel with them, because no holidaymaker, whatever their age, should be exposed to the risks evident at this hotel!"