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Pensioner's holiday nightmare at rubble-filled building site hotel

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Mar 22, 2016

Pensioner Ernest Cook booked the plush Albufeira Jardim hotel in Portugal to recover from a major knee operation.

Ernest, who first injured his knee in the army, wanted to spend a week relaxing next to the pool.

But when he and his wife arrived, there was a big problem: the hotel was a building site.

Workmen, lorries and cement mixers filled the resort and the pools were just concrete shells.

“The main reason we booked the trip was to recover from my knee operation – to relax and do some exercise – but the hotel was just not suitable,” Ernest, 70, said.

“From our room you had panoramic views of the rubble-filled building site. We had nowhere to sit and relax.

“None of the pools were operational. They had a great big machine that pumped out concrete and cement and you could hear drilling all day long.

“I’ve worked on building sites and it was the same – just continuous noise, electrical drills going, sanders, machines. There was no peace and quiet.”

The couple were forced to pay for day excursions to escape the noisy, dusty resort.  

Take a look at the pictures Ernest sent us of the site...






“If On the Beach knew it was going on, why didn’t they tell customers?"

Ernest, from South Wales, booked through travel agent On the Beach, paying £680 for a week-long stay at the hotel in Costa de Algarve in early March.

He is frustrated the hotel’s listing on the On the Beach website does not make it clear that building work is taking place.

The site says “there are 3 swimming pools” but doesn't say they’re currently unavailable.  

And the pictures at the top still show pools filled with water being enjoyed by happy guests.

“Looking at the pictures on the website the hotel looks fantastic,” Ernest said, “but it was just a building site.

“If On the Beach knew it was going on, why didn’t they tell customers? If we’d known, we wouldn’t have gone.”

Compare Ernest's pictures with those currently on the On the Beach website...



In recent TripAdvisor comments, disappointed guests claim they weren’t aware of the construction work.

Peter, from Manchester, says his family “didn’t expect a building site”, whilst Maureen commented that her travel agent “knew about the building works but didn’t tell me.”


What next?

Holiday-makers should be wary booking in low-season – roughly between November and March.

Yes, you can get great deals - but it's also when hotels carry out maintenance work in preparation for summer.

Holiday listings sites have come under fire before for not highlighting any building work taking place.

April Molyneux and boyfriend Oliver blasted Thomson for failing to warn them of maintenance work taking place at the luxury Caribbean hotel they had booked for £2,400.

We have contacted On the Beach and asked them to respond to Ernest’s complaint. We’ll update you how they respond.

If you want to complain about a holiday company, publicise the case on A Spokesman Said. We’ll fight your corner.


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