Reviewers who recently stayed at the Hotel Sandy Beach Resort in Corfu have reported a variety of hygiene issues, with one holidaymaker commenting that they suffered from a gastric illness and that they were aware of other guests who had been affected.

The Hotel Sandy Beach Resort (Aquis Sandy Beach Resort) in Greece

The Hotel Sandy Beach Resort, which is also known as the Aquis Sandy Beach Resort, is situated in the Aghios Georgios South region of Corfu, which is one of the Ionian Islands in Greece. Advertised by TUI-owned tour operator First Choice on an all-inclusive basis, the Greek hotel is in a beachfront location and features a range of appealing facilities.

Holidaymakers report hygiene issues and illness

Although the Hotel Sandy Beach Resort has an average rating of 3.5 out of 5 on TripAdvisor, it ranks highly amongst other hotels in the Agios Georgios region of Corfu, sitting at position 2 out of 14 on TripAdvisor at the time of writing. Unfortunately, some holidaymakers report that they’ve witnessed concerning hygiene standards, with one reviewer saying that they were sick during their stay.

‘RedTravellor’ from the West Midlands wrote a review of her stay in September titled “Sadly a fallen and faded crown“. She says that “health and safety and maintenance aren’t taken very seriously here“, adding that “some of the issues [they] encountered here included; faulty air conditioning, dirty and dangerous old ‘luxury’ showers […], [mouldy] mattresses and walls, wobbly broken bannisters and railings“.

She goes on to explain that “wasps, [flies] and ants are also a significant issue here” with “flies crawling over the food in the buffet“.

London holidaymaker ‘garycs65’ wrote a review of his stay in August titled “2 star at best” in which he says that he and his wife “fell ill on the fourth day [of their holiday] with sickness and diarrhoea“. He goes on to say that his “five-year-old daughter then fell ill and spent the night in hospital two days later“. He says that they “travelled to the hospital in an ambulance with a mother and her two young boys“, and “it appears that a lot of guests were falling ill“.

He says that the “cooked dishes [were] only warm” and “on one occasion [there was] liquid dripping on the table coming from some sort of ducting which was exposed due to missing ceiling tiles“.

‘garycs65’ also says that there was a “smell of raw sewerage in the resort [that] was at times unbearable“, and that “the stench from the drains in the bathroom made it almost impossible to stay in [their] room“.

He says that “the pool area is unsafe with broken tiles and [there are] broken plastic grates at the side“, and they “witnessed five young children injure themselves in one day“.

In their review of their stay in August titled “Worst holiday ever“, ‘patcrooks22’ says that the “food [was] undercooked and served barely warm” and there are “ants crawling across [the] beds“, stating that “health and safety does not exist“.

‘Charlotte G’ wrote a review of her stay at the Sandy Beach Resort titled “First time to [Corfu]“, in which she says that her “youngest son had sickness and diarrhoea midway through the holiday“.

She explains that they later “found out this bug has been going around the hotel for weeks“, advising future guests to “be careful if [they’re planning on] going in the next week or so“, although she does say that “the onsite doctor was great“.

‘Charlotte G’ also points out that the “food was [okay], albeit a bit bland and warm as opposed to hot“.

In her review of her stay in August titled “Filthy, tired and very smelly“, ‘serioushousewife’ makes several complaints, including that the “main walk path to [the] beach by block 3 had very bad sewage smell each day“, stating that this was “unhealthy for children“, and that the “pools [were] filthy” and there were “stray aggressive cats in [the hotel] restaurants begging for food“.

She explains that their “bathroom had hair in [the] plug hole which was never removed” as well as finding that there were “large bugs“. She adds that “the back and underneath of the loo was never cleaned in [the] 10 days” that they were there, and she’s “glad [that she] took toilet wipes“, adding that a “sewage smell plagued the room“.

Continuing to talk about her hotel room, she says that there was “[mould] in one wardrobe“, as well as “ants inside on [the] floor and on [the] worktop which had eaten through [her] son’s T-shirt where BBQ sauce was“.

‘serioushousewife’ also says that the bed “sheets [were] flipped [and] not changed” leaving a “stain still evident by [the] foot of [the] bed“.

How to avoid food poisoning on holiday

While the majority of meals served at all-inclusive restaurants are arguably safe to eat, by following this hygiene advice, you could avoid contracting a holiday ruining bout of food poisoning:

  • Check that your food is piping hot – High-risk produce, such as chicken and other meats, need to be served at a high temperature to ensure that bacteria doesn’t breed. If your meal is served lukewarm, you could run the risk of getting sick.
  • Cut your food before taking a bite – Checking that your meal has been cooked through before taking a bite might seem excessive, but by checking that food such as chicken or beef burgers aren’t pink in the middle, you could save yourself from a holiday disaster.
  • Avoid eating food contaminated by insects – Hotel restaurants should take steps to deter insects such as wasps and flies from landing on food made available to guests. Flies can transfer faecal matter through their feet, contaminating food with hazardous food poisoning pathogens such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium and more.

The importance of food temperature

The risk posed by poor hygiene on holiday

While poor standards of cleanliness in an all-inclusive hotel won’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll contract a holiday illness, it’s not a good indicator of the hygiene practices at an all-inclusive hotel.

It’s commonly known that environments that aren’t clean can become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria that could result in a holiday illness that brings the enjoyment of your holiday to an end.

Sewage smells can also be concerning, as they could be an indication that the sewerage system of a hotel is struggling, or worse, it could indicate that sewage is seeping into the grounds of your hotel, which is a notable health hazard.

Find out if you can make a holiday illness claim

If you’ve suffered a debilitating holiday illness on an all-inclusive package holiday, 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 assess your case and advise you of the best way to proceed with your complaint. If we represent you, we can do so on a ‘no win no fee‘ basis.

Paul Rimmer - Holiday Claims Associate

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about claiming for illness at the Sandy Beach Resort in Greece; contact Paul Rimmer by completing our enquiry form, call us on 0808 145 1353 or visit our On Holiday Claims website.