Reviewers who recently stayed at the Palm Wings Ephesus in Turkey have commented on issues with hotel hygiene and stomach illness. Here we explain what to look out for when staying at an all-inclusive hotel, including what you can do if you encounter poor hygiene conditions or suffer a holiday illness.
The Palm Wings Ephesus in Izmir
Advertised by TUI-owned tour operator First Choice on an all-inclusive basis, the Palm Wings Ephesus Beach Resort is situated in the resort town of Kusadasi in the Izmir Area of Turkey. It features a choice of facilities and restaurants, however, recent reviewers have commented on potential hygiene issues that may have resulted in guest getting sick.
Reports of stomach illness and hygiene issues
Holding TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5, the Palm Wings Ephesus has many positive reviews, but the following reviewers have highlighted problems that they encountered during their stay:
In the review of their stay this October titled “Definitely not a 5 star“, ‘Erica A’ from Southampton says that “6 out of the 7 days [they] have had sickness and diarrhoea which has resulted in a visit to the doctors […] at home“. She goes on to say that “3 out of 4” members of her holiday party “have been ill“.
She says that “the amount of people ill during the stay was unbelievable and [their] Thompson rep confirmed that something was “going on” but [was] not sure what“, adding that “this was also informed to guests by guests relations“.
She explains that the “food was very poor, only just warm and always covered in flies“, before saying that this is the “1st time [that she has] ever been ill abroad, so people blaming this on the sun and poor hygiene habits doesn’t really make much sense“.
‘Erica A’ concludes her review by saying that her “doctor is now carrying out more tests“.
‘Alison T’ from Lincoln wrote a review of their stay this October titled “Average Hotel“, in which she comments on the food, saying that it’s “recycled between lunch/evening” and “there are lots of flies and birds flying about inside“.
She suggests that “cleanliness isn’t a high priority” and that “the cause of quite a number of guests, including [themselves] having [suffered from] gastroenteritis“.
Rochester holidaymaker ‘krisg316’ wrote a review of his stay at the Palm Wings Ephesus in September titled “2 week Holiday! Nice Hotel – Food Standards Crap“. In his review, he says that the “food standards [were] poor“, explaining that he has “had 10 days of sickness and bottom end problems“.
He says that his “wife reported this numerous times to guest relations and Jen the Thomson Rep“, and that during their stay they found that “the food hall has birds flying around inside, along with [guano] on the chairs“.
He goes on to comment on flies at the hotel, saying that he found them “on the breads, fruit and salad“. He says that “the food is just about warm“, saying that “the chefs and kitchen assistants do nothing to help the situation in keeping food warm“.
‘krisg316’ also says that he “wasn’t the only person [who] reported [these problems, and] there were a fair few [others], including two being sent to [the] hospital to be put on a drip“.
In her review of her stay at the Palm Wings Ephesus in September titled “Family holiday“, ‘Liz G’ says that the buffet “was cold and not covered” and she was soon “ill with serve stomach cramps and [diarrhoea]” which “lasted for 5 days“, during which time she “could only stomach bread, soup and bottled water“.
She says that “once the hotel management [was aware] of all the complaints [things] did improve, but the food didn’t“, commenting that during their 2 week stay they only had around “6 days [of] feeling good“.
‘John H’ from Great Yarmouth wrote a review of her stay in September titled “not the best“, in which he says that out of his holiday party “2 out of every 4 had been stricken with diarrhoea and sickness“. He explains that “3 [members] of the group required [an IV] drip in [the medical centre]” and his “wife was ill for 6 days of the 10” that they stayed for.
He goes on to say that “the complex was disinfected Sunday morning“, but in his “opinion this was too late“. He also says that “the food choices were generally cold or tepid“.
Health risk from undercooked and cold food
While it might seem excessive, if you’re concerned about the hygiene and food preparation standards of a restaurant at an all-inclusive hotel, it’s advisable to check your food before eating it.
Taking simple precautions such as cutting into pieces of chicken or beef burgers before taking a bite to ensure that there aren’t any pink parts could reduce the chances that you’ll suffer a bout of holiday ruining food poisoning from a pathogen such as Salmonella or Campylobacter.
A similar approach applies to buffet food that isn’t as hot as it should be. By allowing food to reach dangerous lukewarm temperatures for an extended period of time, the risk of harmful bacteria breeding increases.
Flies and holiday illness
It’s advisable to avoid buffet dishes that flies have landed on. Flies are known to be attracted to faecal matter, and once they land on faeces, particles can stick to their legs which can be transferred to an uncovered buffet, which can increase the risk of contracting a stomach illness bug.
Hotel hygiene and what you can do to stay safe
Although it’s not always the cause of disease, a lack of hotel cleanliness can lead to problems with holiday illness. In the event that a guest suffers from an infectious disease, it’s important for a hotel to take extra steps to prevent it from spreading. By practising good hygiene processes such as those laid out in HACCP, they can reduce the places that harmful bacteria can breed and spread.
If you have any hygiene concerns while on holiday, we recommend making a note of them, potentially taking a picture or recording video on a smartphone, and advising your holiday representative or a member of staff at your hotel of the issue. They should take steps to address your concerns, which could prevent you and other guests from suffering at the hands of a sickness and diarrhoea bug.
Find out if you can claim compensation
If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have suffered a holiday illness on an all-inclusive package holiday, then you could be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator under The Package Travel Regulations 1992.
A member of our travel law team can assess your case as part of a free no-obligation consultation, during which we can advise you of the avenues available to you to pursue your complaint. If you choose to make a claim through us, we can represent you on a ‘no win no fee‘ basis.