A British couple have hired lawyers after they, along with more than 80 tourists, suffered gastric illness symptoms at a luxury five-star hotel in Cape Verde.
Hannah Smith, 28, and 27-year-old Oliver Dean developed sickness and diarrhoea symptoms so severe that they had to see a doctor at the five-star Hotel Riu Palace where they were staying.
The couple, who live near Wolverhampton, had booked a week-long break at the resort in Santa Maria, on the island in continental Africa, between August 13 and 20.
They had always wanted to visit the islands and had been looking forward to a relaxing holiday, reports Birmingham Live.
But Hannah, 28, felt unwell on the fifth day of the holiday and within a matter of hours needed an anti-sickness injection as well as rehydration salts from a doctor.The couple had always wanted to visit the islands and had been looking forward to a relaxing holiday
The teacher was so ill the couple had to skip the island tour they’d hoped to book for the end of their trip.
Two days later, IT technician Oliver also started to feel ill – just as they were preparing to come home. The sickness and diarrhoea was so severe that he also had to be given treatment and anti-sickness injections by the hotel doctor.
The couple – and over 80 other British holidaymakers – have now instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their illness.
Others affected include a couple from Devon and a self-employed beauty therapist from Lincolnshire, who doctors initially feared was suffering a stroke. They all travelled to Cape Verde between May and October, after booking through TUI.
“The holiday was such a disappointment,” Hannah said.
“Our symptoms were so bad that we had no choice but to see the doctor in resort and I continued to feel ill for weeks afterwards. It only really hit Oliver hard at the end of the holiday and, by that point, neither of us was in a fit state to help the other.
“The flight home was unbelievably difficult and Oliver was so ill, he had to take more time off work when we got back. To be that ill on holiday is the last thing you expect, particularly at what is billed as a five star hotel.
“I now wish we’d never booked the holiday, but I think the least we can expect is an explanation of what went wrong and some assurance that other people aren’t going through the terrible experience that we did.”
Jennifer Hodgson, associate solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Gastric illness can lead to long term health issues and their effect should never be downplayed.
“Understandably, those we represent have many questions about how they fell ill, while many of the group have queried why they weren’t informed of illness at the hotel, before they arrived at the resort.
“We’re determined to establish the answers our clients deserve and to support all of them following what has been a terrible experience.
“If during the course of our investigations any issues are identified, it’s vital that lessons are learned to ensure that other travellers aren’t left with ruined holidays and potential long-term illnesses.
“As part of our work and to assist with our investigations, we would be keen to hear from anyone else who may also have been affected by illness while staying at the Hotel Riu Palace, Santa Maria, Cape Verde.”
A TUI spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear of these experiences at the Riu Palace in Cape Verde. As this is now a legal matter, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
“We’d like to reassure customers we regularly audit all of our hotels in respect to health and safety, including hygiene.”