If you’re starting to think about booking that winter sun getaway, one Hemel Hempstead couple would tell you to look away, now.
Leonard and Linda Mays, who live in the town, are seeking legal action against holiday tour operator Thomson after their 2013 break to Tenerife left them with severe gastric illness.
The married pair, aged 67 and 63, stayed in the Los Gigantes hotel on the Spanish island in February last year, but soon noted every holidaymaker’s nightmare – poor hygiene standards including undercooked food and dirty crockery and cutlery.
The husband and wife both suffered diarrhoea, sickness, stomach cramps and lethargy during their week-long stay.
But it was only after the damage had been done that the couple were told specialist travel lawyers were already representing more than 40 people who had become seriously ill at the same hotel two years previously.
Leonard said: “We had an awful experience on holiday and we were angry when we found out that others had been ill there before.
“There were other holidaymakers at the hotel that were ill at the same time as us – I even gave some of my medication to a guest who ran out as he was so unwell.
“Some of the other guests who were ill were also old and more vulnerable, and I dread to think how the symptoms may have affected them.
“I still continue to suffer from illness and just hope no one else has to suffer like my wife and I had to.”
Sandi Sidhu of Irwin Mitchell, representing the Mays and other affected travellers, said: “Severe gastric illness can lead to long term health problems and it is essential that effective health and hygiene systems are in place to prevent guests becoming ill. We are investigating our clients’ claims and hope that Thomson will work with us to draw a swift conclusion to this matter.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have represented holidaymakers who stayed at this hotel, and it is therefore a matter of significant concern that we have been instructed to act for further guests who have suffered illness there.”