Tourist wins settlement after “nightmare” holiday in Dominican Republic


Gran Bahia Principe Ambar, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (File photo)

LONDON, England, Tuesday September 2, 2014 – In October 2009, a British tourist’s dream holiday in the Dominican Republic turned into a nightmare when he fell seriously ill just five days into a two-week stay at the four-star Bahia Principe Hotel in San Juan.

Mark Bidwell, a builder from Bristol, suffered diarrhoea, abdominal pain and lethargy during what was intended to be a relaxing getaway with his pregnant partner Nicola Greathurst before the birth of their first child.

Bidwell, 33, also experienced weight loss as a result of falling ill at the four-star hotel, and claims he is suffering ongoing health problems.

According to Bidwell: “The holiday was a nightmare for both of us. The food was awful and we have both been put off travelling to the Dominican Republic ever again.

“I regret ever staying at the hotel. It was a terrible experience for us and I am still suffering the consequences today as I am still experiencing ongoing symptoms.

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“I feel as though my life has completely changed and it will never be the same again,” he added.

Bidwell sued tour operator Thomas Cook, and last week, a fortnight before the case was to go to trial, a £20,000 pay out was agreed.

Ms Greathurst received a sum of money from Thomas Cook at an earlier date.

It appears that the young British couple do not represent an isolated incident, with Irwin Mitchell, the law firm that represented them, having now secured in excess of £5.5million in settlements for vacationers who have stayed at the hotel since 2007.

Spokesman for the law firm Amandeep Dhillon said: “We are pleased that Mark’s case has been settled and that both of them can now move forward and put their awful experience behind them.

“Sadly, we have had a long history of having to take legal action due to illness at this hotel.

“This was meant to be a relaxing luxurious holiday for the couple before the arrival of their baby, and they had worked hard to save for it, but instead Mark fell badly ill and they were unable to enjoy the facilities the resort had to offer.

“Severe gastric illness can lead to long-term health problems and it is essential that the appropriate health and safety guidelines are followed to prevent illness to guests at hotels wherever they may be in the world.”