When the Hall family flew from Luton airport on July 27, to the popular Costa Blanca holiday resort of Benidorm, they had little idea of the nightmare that would unfold.
35-year-old Martyn Hall, his wife Michelle, aged 35, and their two children, Brandon aged 13, and Kobe aged 21 months, had booked a week’s holiday in the sun at the Sol Pelicanos Hotel. Their holiday was doubling up as a honeymoon and first-year anniversary after the couple got married on August 20 last year.
Michelle contacted the Euro Weekly News on Saturday, August 6, after reading an article we had published about a similar incident that happened to another family at the same hotel, on the same day.
On returning to their room on Friday, July 29, they found that their door had been forcibly broken open. Among other items, a wallet containing their holiday money was missing so they immediately went to reception to report the incident. They were left with just €16 that they had on them at the time.
“It wasn’t the fact we got robbed, it was the hotel’s attitude towards us and what happened that made us the most upset”, said Michelle. “The kindness of the hotel guests was amazing. They gave us their left-over euros which helped, but made me and my husband feel even worse, as we couldn’t see what to do”.
The family had been on half board, and the hotel offered to upgrade them to all-inclusive for the last few days of their holiday, for €14 each, per day. When Michelle informed them that she could probably afford to upgrade just one of the kids at a push, the hotel allegedly asked her which child she wanted to choose.
“It was the hotel’s attitude that got us the most. No compassion, no help, and they didn’t want us reporting it at first, we were the ones who called the police first”, Michelle continued. “We went to the police the next morning and they were very nice”.
“Apparently the police see this all the time”, Michelle explained. “The hotel hasn’t put anything in place to stop this from happening. Apparently they are professionals that come from other parts of Spain to do other hotels”.
As if things couldn’t have gotten any worse, 21-month-old Kobe was then taken ill. It had started with a high temperature on Friday night, and eventually, when he was not any better, they took him to the medical centre at the back of the hotel the next morning.
They were asked for their European Health Insurance Cards, which would have meant not having to pay for the visit. As Martyn explained, that is when they realised the cards were in the wallet that had been stolen. As a result, the family had to pay €95 for the consultation, plus the cost of the medication prescribed.
With the Hall family now cleaned out of money, Martyn continued: “I even asked the hotel if they had insurance to cover things like this and they said ‘Yes, but that doesn’t matter'”. Martyn said they had emailed the hotel asking for the contact details of Sol’s head office to make an official complaint, but have had no reply yet.
As Michelle pointed out: “We went three years ago and it was a lovely hotel, food was nice, and staff were lovely and friendly, couldn’t fault the holiday. That’s why we went back this year, and from start to finish, it was a disaster”. Martyn added: “Yes, we went three years ago and enjoyed it, but it’s dramatically gone downhill”.
The Sol Pelicanos is the location used to film ITV’s award-winning comedy series ‘Benidorm’, where it is renamed the ‘Solana’. EWN has contacted the hotel for a statement but the manager was not available, and we were told to call back tomorrow.
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