A Horley couple have told how their Moroccan holiday was ruined when they suffered stomach pains and diarrhoea staying at a hotel that stunk of sewage.
Terry Groves and his partner Marie Bayham were expecting four-star luxury at the Las Omayades hotel in Agadir during their week-long all inclusive trip last September.
They had gone there to relax and unwind and to see some sights.
But three days into their break, Terry fell ill with stomach pains and diarrhoea.
Terry, 57, a semi-retired mobile telesales representative, branded the stay a “nightmare.”
He said: “I have visited 56 countries across five continents in my lifetime and I have never experienced these types of problems or illness anywhere else before. It was a nightmare.”
Terry said: “We booked the holiday online and the site rated it as four-star, so we expected a high-quality resort.
“But this couldn’t have been further from the truth though because as soon as we arrived we noticed an overpowering smell of sewage.”
He continued: “We asked to change rooms because the smell was so bad and because we had no hot water, but we could still smell the sewage smell once we moved into the new room, and again we had no hot water in the new room.”
He said: “In the restaurant some of the food was not hot enough and some of the food served was limited and repetitive. “The restaurant area smelt of stale, dirty water. “On several occasions I saw waiters pouring what was left in guest’s cups back into the dispensers.”
Terry added: “The hotel was advertised with a shop but when we arrived we were told it had been closed for 18 months, and there were shards of glass all over the floor from the window which was next to the children’s play area.”
He said: “Some of the staff were unhelpful and unfriendly which didn’t help matters, particularly because we were forced to stay in the hotel rather than head out to the beach or on excursions because my illness was so bad.”
The couple are now taking legal action through international travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell.
Terry said: “We now want to know that action has been taken to improve conditions and that lessons have been learnt to prevent anyone else’s holiday being ruined like ours' was.”
Irwin Mitchell has confirmed it has been in touch with tour operator Freedom Travel Group Limited and is now investigating standards at the hotel.
Suki Chhokar, from Irwin Mitchell’s specialist illness abroad team, said: “Terry and Marie booked their holiday expecting a quality resort that would allow them to relax and unwind for a week, as well as take in the sights of Morocco.
“But on arrival it seems the hotel fell well below their expectations and their plans were left in tatters once Terry fell ill three days in.
“We now hope the tour operator will work with us quickly and amicably to settle the case fairly on our client’s behalf.”
A spokesman for Thomas Cook said: “Freedom Travel is part of Thomas Cook. We have yet to receive information from the family's solicitors, but as soon as we do we will carry out a full investigation.”