Brit family’s dream £6,000 Thomas Cook trip to luxury Cuban resort turns into holiday from hell after they are struck down by crippling stomach bug
A MUM has told how a holiday of a lifetime was ruined when her family were struck down with a crippling stomach bug at a “dreadful” resort.
Debbie Wood said her family’s dream trip to Cuba turned into a nightmare when their hotel served them raw chicken and sewage leaked near the “filthy” pool.
Debbie Wood went on holiday with her three kids and her ex-partner to Cuba in March. She was shocked at the state of the hotel that came as part of her £6,000 Thomas Cook package. She claims her daughter’s bed was made with what appeared to be blood-stained sheets
Her ten-year-old daughter Talia got so ill that she needed emergency medical treatment and was bedridden for much of the two-week stay at the Memories Varadero Beach Resort.
Their harrowing story will form part of a group lawsuit being brought by several families who say they suffered holiday hell at the venue.
Debbie jetted off from Leeds with her ex and their three kids to the Memories Varadero Beach Resort with Thomas Cook on March 31 hoping for all-inclusive family fun at a cost of over £6,000.
But all five family members fell ill from a suspected food poisoning outbreak.
Their plight was made worse by “dreadful” bathroom facilities and a hotel said to be in a general state of disrepair.
Foster carer Debbie compiled an alarming list of hygiene failings, claiming that her family was served raw chicken on at least two occasions.
She said the outdoor buffet selection was often left uncovered, inviting birds and bugs to feast on prepared dishes.
She claimed that cutlery, crockery and glassware were frequently chipped and not properly cleaned, with drinks appearing watered down and mains water used.
Talia before she was struck down with illness. Her family claim to have been served raw chicken twice
Debbie, 46, said: “The swimming pool was simply filthy.“It was horrific and was not once cleaned properly. You could see green algae on the tiles.“Whilst we were there, there was even a raw sewage leak behind the bar in the pool.”
Debbie also slammed cleaning standards inside the hotel, and remains angry that her daughter Talia’s bedding was replaced with what appeared to be blood-stained linens.
Debbie said: “It was terrifying seeing how ill my daughter was.
“She had a raging fever as well as gastric issues but she was too poorly to go anywhere so we had to call the doctor to the room.
“There she was given an injection, antibiotics and analgesics.
“She was in bed ill for at least four days, too ill to go out. She then spent the rest of the holiday resting in the shade or spending time in the room as she was so ill.”
The family were shocked to find a mouldy shower curtain rail in the bathroom. The Wood family say they have still not returned to full health with both Debbie and Talia attending their GP at home.
Debbie added: “I have been told that it is likely we contracted food poisoning, possibly salmonella.
“My daughter and I are still suffering ill effects weeks after we have returned.
“It could have ended in a tragedy due to the unhygienic food practices.
“My advice to other holidaymakers would be to avoid Memories Varadero Beach Resort at all costs.
“We spoke to experienced Cuban holidaymakers who advised us this was the worst hotel they had ever stayed in.
“According to reviews, sickness has been a long running issue at Memories Varadero Beach Resort with reports stretching back as far as 2012.
“We booked almost a year before going so Thomas Cook had ample time to contact us regarding the problems that I can only assume they must have been aware of.”
Solicitor firm representing the family said: “We have reported on outbreaks of illness at Memories Varadero Beach Resort for a number of years.“This latest sickness saga is especially worrying – illness coupled with disrepair is a recipe for disaster and I sincerely hope that the hotel and tour operators work together in order to fully investigate the cause or causes of illness.
“Contracting food poisoning on holiday is not only unpleasant but can have lasting and even life-altering consequences if any number of post-infective conditions are developed.
“For this reason, it is imperative that anyone affected by illness at Memories Varadero Beach Resort seeks both medical and legal advice.”
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said: “We want our customers to have the best possible holiday, so we are sorry to hear that Ms Wood and her family became ill while in Cuba.
“We take all reports of sickness very seriously and will look into this case thoroughly with the hotel as soon as we receive it.”
Claims Legal who help clients under their brand Holiday Sickness Claims said it isn’t unusual that Tour Operators are aware of several previous sickness claims at resorts and they continue to sell to UK consumers without declaring this which should not be allowed to happen.
You can contact us with your holiday sickness enquiry on Freephone 0800-8-654321
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