Just wanted to let everyone know about our holiday experience, this was a good all inclusive hotel unfortunately we were on the menu.
My husband and I returned from the Hotel on the 3rd of May after what can only be described as our holiday nightmare, as we were literally being eaten alive!
We arrived at the Hotel late Friday night, on Monday my husband noticed three large bites on his right forearm. We thought he has missed with the mosquito repellent so the following night made sure we covered everywhere. The following day quite a few more bites had appeared on the same forearm, these bites always seemed to be in threes they were large, red, raised and very irritating and unsightly.
We thought that if we moved from the slight vegetation that we were sitting next to by the pool it would solve the problem unfortunately it didn’t, the following day he had over forty bites on his arm and now a couple on his back. I also noticed that I had started getting bites but I didn’t seem to be reacting to them as he did, mine were more around my neck and only slightly raised. We were getting quite worried by now as other holiday makers didn’t seem to be getting bitten and also a few had mentioned could it be something in the room, we did have a look around but the rooms were very large and quite dimly lit and we weren’t really sure what to look for.
The next day we awoke to find even more bites, my husband had over two hundred covering his arms, shoulders and torso with just the odd one on his lower limbs, I also had more across my back and neck but again mine weren’t as visible. We had no explanation as to how we could be getting bitten so badly after using repellents etc., so we went to the Pharmacist. She couldn’t explain what they could be other than “Not Mosquito”, we purchased anti-biotics, anti-histamines, creams etc., and went back to the Hotel.
Back at the Hotel we decided to have a look on the internet to see if we could shed any light on the matter, after searching bites the first thing that came up even on the history bar was “bed-bugs” after reading the about symptoms, how they bite and seeing photographs of past victims, (I say victim because that’s how they make you feel after being fed on in your sleep) and couldn’t believe the similarities, no mosquito bites could look like this, the only problem was my husbands looked ten times worse than any of the photographs on the websites. He became very self conscious about people staring at him.
We tried to explain to the Reception of our concerns with the bites and the room and asked to speak to the Manager. This didn’t happen but they told us they would inform him and send someone to the room to look into it for us. We waited for a couple of hours, no one came so we decided that we could no longer stay in the room. After what we had read we were afraid that we could contaminate another room if it wasn’t treated properly and tried to explain this to the Receptionist who didn’t really understand, he told us to go back again to the room and someone would come. No one did. We went back to reception and told them to move us.
The holiday “Advisors” had arrived by now so we told them what we thought. They had no experience whatsoever about bed-bugs and how to deal with them other than what we told them. They went to reception to ensure we could change rooms but we strongly re-iterated the fact that bed bugs can go with you and this is how they’re spread. We were terrified that we could be bringing them with us but the Thomson advisor said that they couldn’t survive the plane journey in the hold.
The following day we didn’t seem to have any new bites so were hoping that we were clear and hadn’t carried any with us but unfortunately as we had so many it was difficult to tell. Still feeling very worried by this time we went to speak to the Thomson and First Choice Advisors to tell them that we were still concerned and wondered if we should see a doctor. Again we showed them articles on the websites and the bite comparisons especially the formation of threes.
The doctor duly arrived and looked at the bites, they didn’t look as bad as the rooms were poorly lit, we tried to explain the possibility of bed bugs, so he looked at the mattress, we explained that this wasn’t the room were we got the bites and that they don’t have to live in the bed. The rooms were so big and dark it would have taken ages to locate them and like we said we had changed rooms. The doctor told the Advisors and the hotel that they were bites and that my husband was allergic to them and that there was no way whatever bit us could travel back with us. It cost us 50 Dirhams for the doctor to confirm that we were suffering from bites, but he didn’t know what had kept biting us.
Our holiday was totally ruined by these bites, we were told that the room would be checked but the following day new guests were in it so how they could have fumigated was beyond us.
We were still paranoid when coming home and to an extent still are after reading that bed bugs can live for up to 180 days and go without feeding for months. We complained to Thomson holidays about the room and that nothing was done or that they or the hotel didn’t have a policy on how to deal with bed bugs, this was there final reply:
“As advised, the hotel hasn't received any further complaints about bed bugs - your complaint was the only one they'd received. When the issue was reported, the hotelier dealt with this appropriately.”
Our holiday was ruined by these bites and apart from letting us move rooms nothing was done to stop the spread of possible contamination, Thomson said the hotel took the appropriate action which was? If other people had reported bites then they may have done something about it.
How many people know what bed bug bites look like and know that they just don’t live in mattresses or old mattresses as Thomson explained the beds were new so how could this happen? How many people like us thought they were mosquito bites and how many had reactions to them? This we’ll never know, but as far as Thomson are concerned that whilst you’re on holiday
“Sleep tight and hope the bed bugs don’t bite, because if they do, rest assured Thomson will do absolutely nothing”
If anyone did stay at the Riu Tikkida Palmerie and had any unexplainable bites please let us know.
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