All inclusive holidays – get what you’ve paid for

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The BBC Save My Holiday programme has already highlighted some appalling conditions at all-inclusive holiday resorts around the Mediterranean. Today’s programme very much had a 'get what you paid for' slant and highlighted two stories.

Dangerous playground at hotel – save my holidayThe first was the Frier family on holiday in Marmaris, Turkey. Susan and Paul Frier, their son Ryan, his partner and their 2 toddler children had booked an all-inclusive holiday at the Club Pineta hotel. They had especially wanted a family-friendly hotel and were impressed by the large, colourful children’s play area and children’s swimming pool pictured in the brochure.

The family paid £2,900 for the all-inclusive deal and, like many others, found the hotel food to be inedible and even said it didn’t look cooked. So that added £100s to their bill as all 6 were forced to eat out every day.

But the biggest disappointment was the play area – just as colourful as the brochure showed, yet a complete danger to children. Play equipment wasn’t bolted together correctly and screws were left sticking out by up to inch at heights that would gash a child’s head or even eye. There were slip, trip and fall hazards everywhere and not a single piece of equipment was bolted to the ground – a clear danger. The slides were split in areas, leaving razor sharp plastic to cause even more harm. The programme also filmed a young girl getting into difficulties in the swimming pool, with not a single member of staff noticing. Another holidaymaker came to her aid.

In fear for the children’s safety, the family demanded to be moved to another hotel. It was only with the BBC’s intervention that they were finally moved after many lengthy phone calls to the Tour Operator in the UK – remember this can add £100s to your mobile phone bill as the promised return calls simply didn’t materialise. Be prepared to be firm and keep trying – you also need to try and stay calm.

Another story came from Malia in Crete where friends Yasmin, Chloe and Hannah had booked to stay in this popular resort. They understood that their hotel would be just five minutes’ walk from the town and that their room would have air conditioning. In fact, the hotel was a good 20 minutes’ walk away with poorly lit roads – clearly not what three young ladies on their own at night need. There was no air conditioning and the room was so hot the girls couldn’t sleep at night. The shower was faulty, yet there was a list of fines on the room wall including 20 Euros for getting sheets dirty and, bizarrely, 50 Euros for damaging the air-con remote!

Unfortunately the programme was unable to help as the Tour Operator claimed it did not have a record of the girls’ request for a convenient location and air conditioning.

The moral of this ruined holiday is: always get your holiday booking in writing, especially if you’ve made special requests such as for air conditioning or a cot - in fact, lack of air conditioning is the major compliant of UK holidaymakers.

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