Is the Holiday Village in Benalmadena Taking Hygiene and Illness Seriously?


We've been hearing many complaints about hygiene standards at the Holiday Village Costa Del Sol, in Benalmadena. Currently, it seems that the hotels response to these complaints is that it is likely anyone who has got ill caught norovirus, from airports, planes, buses and such like. Some of you may know norovirus as the winter vomiting bug, so is hygiene being treated as some sort of joke?

Fresh Sickness Reports

From the reports we've seen, the problem areas seem to be the same as we see in many holiday illness claims, namely the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen and potentially swimming areas.

Reviews on top travel website Tripadvisor have mentioned things such as ants moving around on the bedroom floor, and a lack of cleaning under the beds. However, two points that kept recurring are dirty crockery and cutleryin the kitchens and restaurants, as well as bathrooms that smelt like a sewer.

The cleanliness of communal areas such as bathrooms and kitchens is something that a resort has to get right, in order to prevent a full-scale outbreak of holiday illness.

However it's the kitchen where the best effort must be made to adhere to hygiene standards. Several of the complaints we've seen focus around food being crusted onto the plates, and cutlery. While disgusting, this isn't a common problem, as problems in the eating areas often relate to the food itself, such as the food being undercooked or left at the wrong temperature.

In response to these complaints, the hotel management state that they had an issue with their dishwasher, and that any dirty crockery was kept away with holidaymakers until this issue was rectified. However, this contradicts the complaints made, since holidaymakers seem to have been using them.

One complaint noted that the tongs were often mixed up between the different plates of food on the buffet. This shouldn't be happening and the hotel should look at trying to prevent this. Using the same tongs for different foods can lead to cross-contamination, and expose people to a risk of food poisoning.

The Symptoms

Some of the guests staying in the Holiday Village in Benalmadena are finding themselves with vomiting and diarrhoea. Unfortunately, this doesn't narrow down the cause very well.

Andrew Tarling, Holiday Claims Executive at Simpson Millar LLP commented that "Of particular concern is that one guest reported her husband vomiting 'fresh blood'."

"The response by the resort, trying to shift blame onto an outbreak of norovirus, is typical of resorts and tour operators trying to deny responsibility for causing a holiday illness outbreak."

Not the First Time

In the past, we have been asked by holidaymakers who've stayed at the Holiday Village Costa Del Sol in Benalmadena to take on their holiday illness claim. This happened most recently in 2013, and scarcely a year later, we're seeing similar problems crop up again.

Hotels belonging to the holiday village chain, managed by tour operator First Choice, have quite frequently came under fire for holiday illness outbreaks. Regular offenders include the Holiday Village Red Sea in Egypt, and the Holiday Village Sarigerme in Turkey.

Andrew Tarling has one final piece of advice for those suffering from illness after their stay at the Holiday Village Costa Del Sol:

"We're not doctors. However, if you feel you may have been made ill by the hygiene standards at the resort, you should consider contacting us and your GP. That way, we can work out whether your holiday illness is a result of the poor hygiene standards being reported at the resort."

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