Multiple guests have taken to TripAdvisor to report a series of hygiene concerns and that the food was of low quality at the Melina Las Dunas in Cuba. Several guests reported stomach illness and diarrhoea during their stay.

The Melia Las Dunas in Cuba

The resort is advertised on an all-inclusive basis by TUI-owned tour operators First Choice and Thomson and is located in Cayo, in the Santa Maria region of Cuba. It boasts a beach front location with 925 rooms and offers a variety of entertainment for adults and children, ranging from workshops to parties and musicals.

Guests suffer stomach illness and report low hygiene standards

According to TripAdvisor reviews, the Melia Las Dunas rates 4/5 based on 8,238 reviews, but with that being said, some holidaymakers who left reviews brought attention to issues of sanitation and food quality.


‘LorieWhitby_ontario’ wrote a review of her stay this August titled “No more Melia…No more Cuba“, in which she states that they “were sick for 4 days into [their] trip as well as many many other guests“. She goes on to say that they “saw so many [ambulances on] the day [that they] left taking people to hospital as they were so sick and dehydrated“.

She explains that they had to be “close to a bathroom” during their stay, meaning that they spend some of their holiday “in [their] rooms sleeping with tummy pains and eating only rice and water“.

She goes on to comment that she “wasted [her] hard earned money and time with [her] daughter in another country [where she was] sick with so [many] others from this resort“, adding that there were other “resorts down [the] road experiencing the same [problems]“.

She concludes her review by stating that she is being tested to confirm the pathogen that caused her condition.


‘Jump2moon’ visited the hotel in August as part of a group of 14, and in their review titled “HORROR!” in which they state that each of them, with no exception, suffered from diarrhoea. The reviewer speculates that this was due to a lack of freshness in the food.


In his review of his stay in August titled “Big disappointment!” TripAdvisor user ‘AlxEcks’ says that his room wasn’t “very clean” and he found “hair on the floor from previous guests“. He goes on to explain that “at the buffet” he feels as though the hotel staff should “at least cover the food on the counters“, commenting that the food was “always full of flies“.

He implies that he was sick as a result of this, stating that “out of a week” he spent “three days with gastro“.


‘Denny P’ wrote a review of his stay in August titled “Too bad, [used] to be a great hotel” in which he says that the “hygiene practices were terrible“, explaining that “they would have one wash cloth for one section” which they would use to “wipe the counter, the mangoes, the knives, the blenders and the pitchers“.

He says that his “whole family became violently ill” and his “friends also were sick“, adding that “some of [his] acquaintances had the same problems“.

‘Denny P’ goes on to state that “the electricity was cut for a full day“, which he says raises the “question [of whether] the food was still served after no refrigeration“.


TripAdvisor reviewer ‘Eddie F’ stayed at the Melia Las Dunas in July, and in his review titled “[Nice] resort but terrible food” he states that “this resort does not handle food properly“.

He explains that he “found [mould] in the bread” and that out of their “group of 59“, approximately “60% [of them] got food poisoning“. He continues to comment that “they had the shivers and absolute abdominal pain for days“, before stating that “the resort needs to completely clean out the food and clean where ever the food is stored or handled“.


In his review of his stay in July titled “Entire Group Sick“, ‘Stephen R’ notes that diarrhoea appears to be the most common disorder reported by guests. He states that out of a “large group of extended family […] nearly everyone was sick“, suffering from “mostly [diarrhoea]“.

He goes on to say that his “family of 3 have been at home now for 2 days and the [diarrhoea] is persisting“, commenting that “there must be some sort of systemic hygiene problem at this resort right now“, as other guests that they spoke to “also claimed that the majority of their group members were sick as well“.


Gastroenteritis and diarrhoea on holiday

A common cause of diarrhoea is a condition known as Gastroenteritis. This condition can affect anyone, but it is more common for children and can be caused by bacterial food poisoning. Gastroenteritis can be very unpleasant, resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea, and although it usually clears up in within a week, it’s still advisable to speak to a medical practitioner about a diagnosis and treatment.

Gastroenteritis and debilitating symptoms on holiday

When suffering from any form of diarrhoea abroad, it is important to stay hydrated as the illness can cause an excessive loss of water through constant use of the toilet. If your child has suffered several episodes of diarrhoea within 24 hours, or if you find blood in your stool or experience noticeable weight loss, it’s advisable to contact a doctor immediately.

Gastroenteritis causing pathogens can be spread by spoiled or improperly prepared food, which many of the reviewers above reported, but low sanitary conditions at an all-inclusive hotel can also result in the spread of holiday sickness.

Find out if you have a claim

If you have suffered Gastroenteritis symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting, then provided your trip was an all-inclusive package holiday, The Package Travel Regulations 1992 states that you could have grounds for a compensation claim.

Our specialised travel law team offer a free no-obligation consultation, and as part of this free consultation, you can find out whether or not you are eligible to make a ‘no win no fee‘ claim.

Andrew Tarling – Holiday Compensation Claims Manager

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about claiming for illness at the Melia Las Dunas in Cuba; contact Andrew Tarling by completing our enquiry form, call us on 0808 145 1353 or visit our On Holiday Claims website.