Poor Hotels Assessed by BBC One’s Holiday Hit Squad

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With thousands of Britons travelling abroad every year and the number of holiday complaints rising, holiday makers are required to keep an eye out for the hotels that fail to deliver.

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Whilst the responsibility to provide a true reflection of the holiday sold lies with retailers, travellers are also expected to carry out a level of research on accommodation and resorts before jetting off on their dream holiday in order to avoid being disappointed.

BBC One’s Holiday Hit Squad identified the potential horrors that holiday makers can come across whilst on holiday. Specifically identifying the 3 star rated Hotel Da Aldeia in the resort of Albufeira, Portugal and the 2 star Neon Hotel in Malia, Crete, the risks and dangers posed were extremely high.

Hotel Da Aldeia in Portugal illustrated a number of concerns with the rooms alone, some of which included:

  • Stained mattresses and bed sheets enabling the possibility of bacteria, viruses and infection being spread
  • Sockets hanging out of walls and exposing electrical wires, increasing the risk of fires and electrocution
  • Old tatty rugs that could easily cause small children to trip over onto nearby objects such as a glass table which had a sharp chipped corner
  • Fire exit maps on the back of hotel room doors that failed to correctly identify all the nearest fire exits and instead directed people to the furthest
  • Balcony rails made out of wood were rotting and not secured into the wall. There was a very high chance that the balcony rail could become detached from the wall if leaned on, causing people to topple over. Small children specifically were also prone to getting splinters from touching the balcony. Having assessed the measurements of the balcony it was also found that the balcony was only 90cm in height when it should have been at least 1m and gaps in between the wood in the balcony were 14cm wide as opposed to the correct width for gaps to be 10cm

The above were just some of the dangers posed in the hotel rooms and the hotel has been described as ‘disgusting’, ‘appalling’ and dubbed ‘faulty towers’.

Many people regard the swimming pool to be the heart of the hotel. With it being a public place where holiday makers enjoy most of their day it is also the place where people are most susceptible to illness and infection. The swimming pool at Hotel Da Aldeia was shown to fall way below health and safety levels. Mildew was found to be growing on the sides of the pool and a chlorine test indicated minimal levels of chlorine, which unsurprisingly was too low to disinfect the pool. People enjoying a dip were therefore likely to contract illness and infection through bacteria and parasites, which in turn are likely to cause nausea, vomiting and a number of other symptoms.

Holiday makers should also be weary of high chlorine content whilst abroad. This is usually detected by rashes on the skin which usually identify higher levels of chlorine than required.

The show aired on BBC One and the presenter confronted the hotel manager at Hotel Da Aldeia, who had agreed to make a number of changes and whilst some have been made, the dangerous balconies still remain.

Another hotel featured on the show was Neon Hotel in the popular holiday destination of Malia in Crete. Online reviews describe the hotel as being ‘a very old hotel’ and ‘in need of renovation’. It was found that the hotel had no smoke or fire alarms in the rooms, stair wells had large gaps that were not covered by railing which was a safety concern for small children who could fall through and again there were exposed electrical wires in reach of small children.

The hygiene levels in the kitchen following a swab test also identified extremely unclean conditions for the preparation of food and the fridge storing meat was at a temperature of 10-11 degrees centigrade. In order to preserve food such as meat, fish and eggs fridge temperatures should be at 5 degrees centigrade so that food is fresh upon service. If correct preservation is not in place behind the scenes of any travel accommodation, tourists are likely to be at risk of food poisoning and contracting Salmonella.

Rozeena Mahatay in our Holiday Contract Claims Department commented: “Holiday makers are blinded by the dangers and poor conditions of their accommodation namely due to tour operators overselling and providing incorrect information. Not only does it cause a loss of enjoyment because the standard of accommodation is not up to scratch but more importantly people's health and safety and also that of their children and others is put at risk. Many lose out and return home with nothing but a complaint form of the list of things that went wrong.”

With holiday makers opting for bargain holidays, they seem to come at a price at these hotels… and many more.

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