Hays five-star ‘holiday from hell’ had ‘dirty’ hotels and bedding stained with body fluids

A couple’s five-star ‘vacation of a lifetime’ turned out to be a ‘holiday from hell’ after staying in ‘dirty’ hotels with moldy rooms and bedding stained with body fluids.

Nurse Lauren Jones, 37, and her partner Adam Donlevy, 36, booked the two-week Singapore and Bali getaway with an agent from the Broughton branch of Hays Travel – the largest independent travel agent from the UK – in September for £3,000.

The Cheshire couple had planned to kick off their well-deserved holiday on June 20 with a five-night stay at a hotel in Singapore.

This was to be followed by 10 nights in Bali – five in the cultural hotspot of Ubud and five in the resort town of Seminyak before flying home on July 5.

But the holiday turned into a nightmare for the couple in the first leg in Singapore, after they arrived at the ‘five-star’ hotel which she described as a ‘hellhole’.

“It was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime and it was hell. It was literally a holiday from hell,’ nurse Lauren Jones (right), 37, said of her trip to Singapore and Bali with partner Adam Donlevy (left), 36.

A photo of the dilapidated state of the hotels where Lauren Jones, 37, and her partner Adam Donlevy, 36, stayed

The holiday turned into a nightmare for the couple in the first leg in Singapore, after checking into the hotel

The holiday turned into a nightmare for the couple in the first leg in Singapore after they arrived at the ‘five-star’ hotel which she described as ‘hell’.

Miss Jones said they left feeling ‘uncomfortable’ due to the mold and generally dirty rooms and ‘body fluid’ stains on the bedding.

“It was just desperation and anxiety. The despair of having to stay in such horrible and filthy conditions and the anxiety of whether we were going to get sick,’ Miss Jones said CheshireLive.

“We both became ill in these conditions, with stomach problems. But it is also the fear of contracting something else.

“I am a nurse, I know the things you can contract in these situations. Even though you can be careful just using bottled water or that sort of thing, when the place itself is so dirty you are bound to get sick, which we obviously did.

“It’s also anger – anger and shock that we were placed in what should have been five star hotels that were nowhere near five star. But also anger towards Hays Travel for the way they treated us and how much I had to fight to get us moved to a safe and clean environment.

“It was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime and it was hell. It was literally a vacation from hell.

After their five-night stay in Singapore, the couple arrived at Sthala, a Tribute Portfolio hotel in Ubud, Bali on June 25.

They arrived late that Saturday night, went to bed and then got up the next morning when Miss Jones said she noticed the room ‘smelled quite damp’.

“It was just desperation and anxiety.  Desperation to have to stay in such horrible and filthy conditions and the anxiety of whether we were going to get sick,' Miss Jones said

“It was just desperation and anxiety. Desperation to have to stay in such horrible and filthy conditions and the anxiety of whether we were going to get sick,’ Miss Jones said

“We found the bodily fluids on bedding and towels”

She said: ‘We noticed Adam’s coat had started to develop mold when it had just been hung up in the wardrobe. When we looked around the room we found black mold on half the walls.

“We turned the cushions on the outside and they were covered in mold. There was just mold everywhere so we had to keep all our clothes in the suitcases.

“We weren’t impressed with the view. We looked at what looked like a rotting fence wall with loads of equipment put in there, when we weren’t promised that.

Miss Jones said she did not feel ‘safe’ and that she and her partner were ‘watching our shoulders constantly’ as she claimed to have seen a lot of ‘crime’.

She and Mr Donlevy contacted Hays Travel agents on Tuesday June 28 to complain about the hotel.

Miss Jones said she asked why they hadn’t been in touch sooner but explained they were both ‘shocked’ and ‘didn’t want to feel any more uncomfortable’.

They went to their next hotel two days later on Thursday, June 30, which was the Jambuluwuk Oceano Seminyak Hotel in Seminyak which was “10 times worse”.

“We found the bodily fluids on bedding and towels.  The pool was actually closed because the roof was falling off and was being held up with blue rope,' Miss Jones said of the Jambuluwuk Oceano Seminyak Hotel in Seminyak.

“We found the bodily fluids on bedding and towels. The pool was actually closed because the roof was falling off and was being held up with blue rope,’ Miss Jones said of the Jambuluwuk Oceano Seminyak Hotel in Seminyak.

“We found the bodily fluids on bedding and towels. The pool was actually closed because the roof was falling off and was being held up with a blue rope,” she said.

“There is a small pool at the top of the hotel, which was green, so you wouldn’t want to go in there. We couldn’t eat at the hotel because it was just dirty, it was disgusting.

“It was not a safe place at all and the bathroom was horribly dirty. The hotel was not fit to open and the sign said they were Covid-19 safe which was a blatant lie.

Miss Jones said that after they stayed at the first hotel in Bali, Hays Travel promised to move them ‘immediately’ to a new location if the second was equally bad. But she said they were not moved until Saturday July 2, despite numerous attempts to contact the travel company.

They found a room at the Grand Hyatt Bali Hotel, leaving the couple with just two full days of a “truly five-star experience” during their two-week vacation.

They arrived home the following Tuesday, July 5, and lodged a complaint with Hays Travel, asking for a refund.

Miss Jones said as of Tuesday July 12 she had not received a response from the travel company.

However, Hays Travel has now said the couple have been offered a refund for their stays at the two hotels as well as an “additional gesture of goodwill”.

The travel company also said it would conduct an “urgent review” and put a “selling stop” on both sites.

A spokesperson for Hays Travel said: “We were sorry to hear that Miss Jones and her partner were unhappy with the hotels during their stay in Bali.

“When Miss Jones contacted her second hotel and asked to be moved, we worked with our overseas supplier to find a suitable alternative to which Miss Jones and her partner moved.

“We have since passed details of both properties to our product management team for urgent review and can confirm that we have now placed these hotels on stop sale.

“The Broughton team have contacted Miss Jones to offer a refund of both hotels and an additional gesture of goodwill.”

The couple were only able to experience their true five-star Indonesian holiday for two days after they were finally moved to a good quality hotel.

The couple were only able to experience their true five-star Indonesian holiday for two days after they were finally moved to a good quality hotel.

Miss Jones also wanted to warn people about online reviews of hotels that date back to before the pandemic.

She said: “Many hotels have been closed during the pandemic and the reviews people are looking at are from when they were open, running and amazing.

“The problem is that with many of them barely operational now, many have been left to decay for a period of two years.”

She added: “People need to look at reviews from the last few weeks and not base anything on what a travel agent tells you from a review from two years ago when it last opened.

“We only realized that when we got out and saw how bad things were going.”

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