Hotel guests launch legal action over ‘holiday from hell’ in Red Sea resort

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HOLIDAYMAKERS have launched legal action against one of Britain’s main tour operators after claiming their vacations at a four-star hotel in Egypt were blighted by illness and squalid conditions.

The 27-strong group has complained their holidays at the Holiday Village Red Sea in Sharm El Sheikh were ruined amid poor hygiene standards, with food left out uncovered and an overpowering stench of sewage. A seven-year-old girl was diagnosed with both salmonella and cryptosporidium, while it has been alleged a child was sick at the edge of the pool but staff failed to clean up the vomit.

The holidaymakers have recruited the Yorkshire-based legal team, Irwin Mitchell, to pursue the legal action for compensation from First Choice.

The law firm revealed it is the fifth consecutive year it has represented holidaymakers who have suffered serious bacterial infections at the resort including salmonella, cryptosporidium and shigella.

Among the holidaymakers involved in the latest legal action is Charlotte Howard, 34, from Settle in North Yorkshire.

She travelled with her three children, Aiden, four, Connor, six, and Elizabeth, 12, to the hotel in November last year and claims they suffered from diarrhoea, sickness, lethargy and stomach cramps, which continued until after they returned home.

Ms Howard said: “The tour operator needs to held accountable for the illness me and my family suffered – I never expected us to become ill on a holiday we paid so much for.

“We were really looking forward the holiday and we were so disappointed in the resort and we haven’t even received an apology.” Irwin Mitchell is calling on First Choice to carry out an investigation into hygiene conditions in a bid to prevent further problems.

The legal firm claimed First Choice had previously admitted liability for the 2007 cases and a large number of settlements were agreed for guests who became ill after staying at the hotel in 2008 and 2009. But a First Choice spokeswoman accused Irwin Mitchell of “playing out cases in the Press rather than resolving them”. She maintained all hotels operated by First Choice are monitored to ensure the “highest health, safety and comfort levels”, and reports of sickness at the Holiday Village Red Sea were “minimal” in 2011.

The spokeswoman added the hotel remains one of the firm’s most popular in Sharm El Sheikh.