By James Blower
Senior Holiday Claims Specialist
British tourists report that the enjoyment of their winter holiday was brought crashing to a halt after they suffered the symptoms of a debilitating gastric illness while staying at the Riu Palace Macao in the Dominican Republic. Some of the unfortunate guests say they were hospitalised by severe gastroenteritis and had to be placed on a drip to stabilise their condition.
Riu Palace Macao in the Dominican Republic
The Riu Palace Macao is advertised by TUI-owned UK tour operator Thomson on an all-inclusive basis as providing easy access to a sandy beach and featuring 6 restaurants with a variety of cuisines. Located in the resort town of Bavaro in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic, this Caribbean hotel should be an ideal choice for holidaymakers looking for a bit of winter sun; however, guests who stayed at the Riu Palace Macao in January and December say that they became unwell during their stay.
Reports of gastric illness and hospitalisation
Reviewers on review sites such as TripAdvisor appear to have very mixed feelings about the Riu Palace Macao, with some praising the Dominican Republic resort, and others criticising the staff, saying that some of their practices are less than appropriate. A few of the negative reviews also commented on a holiday illness that they were afflicted with.
Following their stay at the Riu Palace Macao in January, Wigan holidaymaker ‘Ronnie H’ reports that “at about 2 am on Wednesday morning Pat“, who was also on holiday with Ronnie, “started vomiting till 6 am“, and soon afterwards she began suffering from diarrhoea and “was ill in [her] room for 2 days“. He continues to say that they “took her to see a doctor“, before getting an “ambulance to [the] hospital” where she spent “2 nights with server gastroenteritis“.
‘Ronnie H’ comments that they had issues with receiving medical treatment before a deposit was paid, that “there was one toilet for everyone to use but no soap to wash your hands“, and at their hotel “the food in the buffet at lunchtime and evening […] was cold“.
‘dit998’ from Stourbridge stayed at the Riu Palace Macao in December, and they say that they encountered hygiene issues in the hotel restaurant, commenting that they “ended up in hospital on antibiotics and drips“, which meant that they “missed Christmas Eve [and] Christmas Day“, and ended up travelling to the “airport from the hospital” as they opted to travel home, despite still being “really ill“.
Mansfield holidaymaker ‘Debz6476’ also stayed at the Riu Palace Macao in December, and speaking about her partner she says that “both of [them] have had the runs“, which they believe “can only [be] down to the food.“
Using antibiotics to fight a holiday illness
Antibiotics are only supposed to be administered to fight a bacterial infection, so in the event that you’re given antibiotics because you’re suffering the symptoms of a gastric illness such as nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting; it’s likely to be due to harmful bacteria. The symptoms of Gastroenteritis can be caused by a wide range of bacterial pathogens, including Salmonella, E. coli O157, Campylobacter and more.
While some hotels may say that your condition has been caused by an airborne virus or something along the lines of the Norovirus, if your doctor examines you or performs a stool sample test and then administers antibiotics; it’s highly unlikely that you’re suffering the effects of a virus. It’s more likely that you’ve come down with a case of bacterial food poisoning, meaning that you could be entitled to compensation.
Claim compensation from your tour operator
If you become ill on a package holiday that you worked towards and saved for, then it’s understandable to be upset that your break abroad has been ruined by illness, especially if you were unable to return to work when you got back to the UK. Fortunately, The Package Travel Regulations 1992 allow you to make a compensation claim against your tour operator in the event that the holiday illness that you suffered at an all-inclusive hotel could have been prevented.
We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation, during which one of our travel law specialists can advise you of your consumer rights, the best way to pursue a claim, and how we can represent you on a ‘no win no fee‘ basis.