By James Blower
Senior Holiday Claims Specialist
We have received reports that there could be a problem with holiday illness at the Riu Vallarta in Mexico, where holidaymakers have complained that the all-inclusive hotel is beginning to show its age, and there may be problems with hygiene.
The Riu Vallarta in Mexico
The Riu Vallarta is located in the Nuevo Vallarta region on the Pacific Coast side of Mexico. Advertised by TUI-owned tour operator First Choice, this all-inclusive hotel is advertised as featuring a choice of restaurants, a range of facilities for activities, and a tropical jungle setting. Sold as one of their Premier branded hotels, the Riu Vallarta looks quite appealing, however from reports made by guests who stayed in January, it looks like there may be a problem with hygiene and holiday illness.
Holidaymakers report possible hygiene issues
Reviews of the Riu Vallarta on sites such as TripAdvisor have been quite mixed for the last couple of months, with some reviewers speaking very highly of the Mexican hotel but others highlighting issues with maintenance, saying that the resort is in need of renovation. The following reviewers have found hygiene issues that could be causing problems:
‘Matt S’ was a guest in January and he says that the “lobby furniture is dirty and stained“, the “toilet would not flush properly“, the “hallways in multiple areas often smelled” of “vomit” and the “pools are crumbling/stained“.
‘Redlead’ was also a guest in January and in their review titled “Food Poisoning Disaster” and while they had a few good things to say about the Riu Vallarta, they also commented that “on the second [to] last night of [their] trip, [they] both got a horrible case of food poisoning after eating at the steak restaurant Flamingo.” They continue to say that they “were so sick […] that [they] missed an excursion the next day“, and when they asked the hotel staff “to send the doctor, they explained that they could only put [them] on the phone with the doctor, and that would be an extra charge.“
Illness caused by toilets and sewage
One of the most important advances that society has made is the availability of clean running water, and while it’s understandable that in some less developed countries that clean water might not be safe to drink, it’s generally expected (or at least hoped for) that working toilets will be available. A broken toilet might seem like quite a minor problem, but in an all-inclusive hotel with a large number of guests, the health risks that it poses could become very problematic.
It’s no surprise that human faecal matter and sewage is very harmful to your health, but even if you do your best to stay clean, in the event that a toilet or sewerage system begin to fail, you could end up facing the painful reality of a holiday illness.
Housekeeping and renovation could be vital
Good hygiene is an essential part of ensuring that your holiday isn’t ruined by illness, and the housekeeping teams at your hotel play an important role in the fight against diseases. By ensuring that they thoroughly clean your hotel room, as well as public areas, they help to limit the risk that a harmful bacterial infection or parasite will spread.
It’s also important that once in a while a hotel is properly renovated. While maintenance and housekeeping are important and beneficial in preventing hotel guests from becoming unwell, they can only help so much. Eventually, the time comes when a hotel needs to start from scratch and replace worn and aged fittings and fixtures, particularly ones that may have developed nooks and crannies in which dirt can reside.
Find out if you could claim holiday illness compensation
If your package holiday was ruined by an illness that could have been prevented by better hygiene processes, or if you suffered food poisoning due to inadequate food safety in the kitchen of your all-inclusive hotel, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992, you could be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator.
Our travel law specialists can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation, during which we can advise you of the best option to pursue your claim, as well as how much compensation you might be entitled to. If we represent you we can do so on a ‘no win no fee‘ basis, so you can rest assured that we’ll do all that we can to maximise your holiday illness compensation.