It's important for our readers to know that we just don't talk to holidaymakers who have a complaint, but also those who have had a good holiday! This last few weeks has been dominated by calls to our helpline from concerned pre-travellers or those who have been rendered ill following their visit to the resort of Los Gigantes in Tenerife.
So I thought it would be a good idea to set out an unbiased viewpoint on what one couple found on their recent visit to Los Gigantes; on the positive side:
- They were greeted like old friends by this particular hotel's manager;
- The hotel manager and staff were constantly changing utensils, cleaning and making sure hotel guests were OK;
- They never encountered lukewarm food;
- The hotel manager checked each day that they were enjoying their stay;
- The fresh water pool was considered to be clean;
- The hotel supplied anti-bacterial hand-wash at the entrance's to the hotel's indoor and outdoor restaurants;
- The hotel enjoys a contemporary refurbishment.
On the negative side, they observed the following:
- On arrival, whilst at the bar, they spoke with 5 couples - 4 of whom had been affected by the 'bug';
- They spoke daily with people who reported that they were ill - they even supplied paracetomol and anti-diarrhoeal medicine to 2 people;
- They reported that this hotel's restaurant at night was 'almost' empty with some guests seated on their own - they believed that their partners had chosen to stay in their rooms because of the illness;
- This couple carried out a straw poll in the hotel lift and determined that 95% of those they had spoken to had either one or both suffering with illness;
- One man they spoke with reported that the 'bug' had been in the resort for the 15 years he had travelled there;
- This couple took, anti-bacterial wipes, marigolds and anti-bacterial liquid and cleaned their bathroom every day after the hotel maid had been in (is this how holidaymakers now equip themselves for a stay in hotels?);
- The couple reported that there were two tour company reps 'almost permanently in residence' in the hotel foyer (I know this is not a negative but read what follows!);
- The reps were being visited by holidaymakers complaining that they were ill;
- This couple refer to the 'script' which appears to deny that there is an issue at the hotel;
- The reps appeared to suggest to the sick holidaymakers that the Queen had the same virus as they did - that's right - HM The Queen!
- The reps told sick holidaymakers that the virus was virulent in the UK;
- The reps told sick holidaymakers that UK hospital wards were being shut because of the virus;
- The reps told sick holidaymakers that UK holidaymakers carry the 'germ' with them on the aeroplane;
- The reps told sick holidaymakers that arriving holidaymakers spread the virus and so that is why it 'ends up all over Tenerife';
- When the sick holidaymakers leave the rep's desk, the reps were seen to clean their hands with anti-bacterial gel.
As this couple have told us, one of them would like to return whereas the other would not return until the issue of illness is resolved in the resort; that suggests a greater problem for this tour company and dare I say, the island's tourism!
So what we have here is an honest set of observations made by two holidaymakers who were not affected by illness, but I would venture to suggest, they experienced a certain amount of trepidation each day of their holiday.
It is frankly ridiculous to justify a resort's illness based on the health of HM The Queen and the steps taken by the UK's National Health Service, against a local problem some 2,000 miles away.
It is evidence again how in their attempt to deal with matters, the blame is always shifted onto the holidaymaker - it was they wot dun it m'lord!
It really is time for Consumers to recognise when they are being manipulated and take action and time for travel companies and the authorities of Los Gigantes to get a grip!