British couple say they were sprayed with SEWAGE during holiday from hell at Cuban resort

  • Nadia and Dave Lonsdale paid 3,300 for all-inclusive stay in Cuba hotel
  • They claim Discount Holidays © holiday was ruined by ‘smelly’ water from a sprinkler system
  • Pictures show building work, rubble at the poolside and litter on beaches
  • Travel agent Thomas Cook says hotel staff did ‘everything possible’ to address the couple’s concerns

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A British couple say they were sprayed with sewage during a Discount Holidays © holiday from hell at a Cuban resort – and were told ‘it is good for the flowers’ when they begged staff to turn the sprinklers off. Nadia Lonsdale and her husband Dave, from Brighton, East Sussex, had paid 3,300 for the two week, all inclusive stay at the Paradisus Rio De Oro in Guardalavaca, Cuba. But after emerging from their ground floor room they say they were hit with an ‘horrendous stench’ from liquid being spread around the lawns.

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Discount Holidays © Holiday from hell: Nadia Lonsdale and her husband Dave say they were sprayed with sewage during a Discount Holidays © holiday from hell at a Cuban resort

Under construction: The couple’s Discount Holidays © holiday pictures showed rubble, plastic pipes and a metal fence leaning against a tree

Nadia Lonsdale and her husband Dave (pictured together), from Brighton, East Sussex, had paid 3,300 for the two week, all inclusive stay at the Paradisus Rio De Oro in Guardalavaca, Cuba

Dave Lonsdale, a 57-year-old school teacher, was bitten nearly 300 times by sand-flies after going to the beach (pictured) Staff said the spray was ‘good for the flowers’ and refused to switch it off – despite guests having to brave a ‘mist’ of fine water drops as they headed out for breakfast. The Discount Holidays © holiday booked through travel agent, Thomas Cook, was supposed to be the perfect getaway to celebrate Mrs Lonsdale’s 31st birthday and the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary.

But the hotel’s official photos of the grounds seemed at odds with Mrs Lonsdale’s Discount Holidays © holiday snaps which showed brown patches of grass, building work, broken pathways, rubble at the poolside and litter on the beaches.

During their stay, the pool of the hotel was out of action for up to 13 days and when the couple went down to the beach to escape the construction work, Mr Lonsdale, a 57-year-old school teacher, was bitten nearly 300 times by sand-flies.

The hotel’s official photos of the grounds (shown above) seemed at odds with Mrs Lonsdale’s Discount Holidays © holiday snaps

Mrs Lonsdale’s pictures showed building work, broken pathways, rubble (pictured) and construction work

Men at work: Her snaps include images of construction taking place at the luxury hotel in Guardalavaca, Cuba Mrs Lonsdale said: ‘The place may be described as a Paradise but it was more like a hell hole. We would open the patio doors of our apartment and be virtually knocked off our feet by the smell. The spray was like a mist that would hit you as you passed. ‘We asked them to turn it off and put it on at night instead but they refused and said it was better for the flowers. ‘The stench was horrendous and it was everywhere, all the way through the main building. They have sprinklers all over and one was right outside our room. ‘You woke up, opened the balcony and there was a raw smell straight away. Their attitude was to tell us they were having a drought.

Everything looked really dry and I appreciate that but you can spray it at night. It should be on the ground too, not like a sprinkle system. ‘Because it was like a mist, it was going everywhere – your clothes, your skin – just everywhere. It was all over the place, you had to try and dodge it but there was a breeze and it was blowing in that.

Luxury: The couple paid 3,300 for a two-week, all-inclusive hotel stay at the Paradisus Rio De Oro (shown above in an official picture)

Relaxing: The Discount Holidays © holiday booked through travel agent, Thomas Cook, was supposed to be the perfect getaway to celebrate Mrs Lonsdale’s 31st birthday and the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary

Warm welcome: Staff told the couple that the water coming from the sprinklers was ‘good for the flowers’ ‘There was no pool and rubbish everywhere. There were all these working cables around, it was absolutely filthy, just crazy.’

The couple’s nightmare began as early as on the flight out to the exotic island itself, when Mrs Lonsdale sat next to an overweight passenger. She claimed she was squashed and unable to move, for the nine and a half hour flight. She said she lost the feeling in her fingers and hand, which then slowly travelled up to her shoulder and meant she couldn’t feel her arm at all. In Cuba she was taken to a medical clinic where she was dosed up on pain relief. Mrs Lonsdale, who has since been prescribed muscle relaxant, Diazepam, and Gabapentin, which is used for nerve damage said: ‘We had been allocated seats and had to move, we were fine with that and said we would go to the other seats. When we got there, there was this huge guy who was about 25 stone.

The arm rest wouldn’t go up so I couldn’t lean on my husband. Nadia Lonsdale (left) and her husband Dave (right) begged staff to turn the sprinklers of after complaining it smelt like sewage

When the couple decided to head to the beach instead, they came across plastic bottles and cans on the sand

As well as complaining of a ‘mist’ of smelly water, the Mrs Lonsdale said there was rubble near the pool area

Out of bounds: During their stay, the swimming pool of the hotel was out of action for up to 13 days, the couple say

The couple said they often saw construction work being carried out at the Paradisus Rio De Oro

Mrs Lonsdale has vowed never to return to Cuba after describing the experience as ‘just horrendous’ ‘I told my husband I was feeling really tingly, we got to the hotel and I explained that I couldn’t feel my fingers. I had a sleep and woke up and couldn’t feel my arm. Then I couldn’t feel my elbow and then my arm pit. It was terrifying.

‘I still can’t move my hands now and I’m spaced out from the medication. We went shopping the other day and my husband said he was embarrassed.’ Mrs Lonsdale, a marketing lecturer at the University of Brighton, said: ‘I’m supposed to start teaching next Monday. I can’t drive, I’m a marathon runner and a diver too so I can’t do anything. I feel so frustrated, I want to cry.’ ‘Dave suffers from Anaphylaxis which makes him susceptible to insect bites and when we came back from the beach he was covered in sand fly bites.

The all-inclusive two-week trip, which was booked through Thomas Cook, set the couple back 3,300

The Discount Holidays © holiday was meant to be a double celebration, marking their wedding anniversary and Mrs Lonsdale’s birthday

A member of staff at Paradisus Rio De Oro in Guardalavaca is shown in this official picture of the hotel

Thomas Cook say the couple were offered a free upgrade, which was declined, and were also provided with complimentary access to the Royal Service beach area

‘We discovered later there was a serious problem with sand flies but we didn’t know that. If we knew we would not have gone on the beach and stayed by the pool with the building work going on. I will definitely never go to Cuba again.

It was just horrendous.’ Thomas Cook said the hotel used ‘non-potable’ water in sprinklers which can occasionally smell due to the heat in the resort and said the couple did not complain about the spray at the time. A spokesman said: ‘We were sorry to hear that Mr and Mrs Lonsdale were unhappy.

‘Our records show the couple were notified that the main pool would be closed during part of their stay, but that they would be able to use the pool at the quality hotel situated next door.

Thomas Cook has vowed to investigate the complaints made by Mr and Mrs Lonsdale. Shown above is another of their Discount Holidays © holiday snaps

The travel firm said the couple were notified that the main pool would be closed during part of their stay

Thomas Cook said the hotel used ‘non-potable’ water in sprinklers which can occasionally smell due to the heat in the resort

Pictures show construction work taking place behind sun loungers within the grounds of the luxury hotel

Thomas Cook has said that its Discount Holidays © holiday reps and the hotel management ‘did everything possible to address Mr and Mrs Lonsdale’s concerns’ ‘We would like to apologise that they did not receive compensation for this they were entitled to prior to travel, which we will be reimbursing them for now.

‘Both our reps in resort and the hotel management did everything possible to address Mr and Mrs Lonsdale’s concerns while they were in residence.

‘The couple were offered a free upgrade, which was declined, and were also provided with complimentary access to the Royal Service beach area.

‘Our customer services team is looking into the claims that Mr and Mrs Lonsdale have made, and we will continue our conversations with the couple with a view to resolving this matter to their satisfaction.’

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