Jetting off to Turkey on their honeymoon, Jodie McGuinness and her new husband looked forward to a relaxing week in the sun after weeks of wedding “chaos”.
The loved-up couple didn’t take much money, planning to make the most of the all-inclusive features and swimming pools at their four-star hotel in Marmaris.
But, they claim, the trip ended up being the “worst week of their lives”, after they encountered a host of issues including a room “like something from a horror movie”.
They allegedly walked in to a soaking wet mattress, “fresh” towels stained with blood and faeces, a damaged hair dryer that “sparked blue lights” and a filthy shower.
They also claim one of the resort’s pools was closed for six days because of faeces. And they say cockroaches, rats and other creatures were present in the hotel.
“It was literally the worst week I’ve ever had,” Jodie, who was on her first trip away without her two-year-old son, Harrison, exclusively told Mirror Online.
“We went all inclusive because we’re not very well off. I understand it was a budget hotel, but it was meant to be four star and I feel it wasn’t even one star.
“I cried the whole week. I don’t know how we stayed together.”
The mum, a receptionist at a doctor’s surgery, even claims that she heard staff members joking about terrorism and that they were rude to holidaymakers.
The hotel has said there were no maintenance reports relating to the couple’s room during their honeymoon and that “an ongoing maintenance programme is in place.”
It has also said it “totally refutes” the alleged staff comments.
However, Jodie and Neil are not the only unhappy customers.
Gemmalee Coombes, from Cwmbran, Wales, was a guest at the hotel at the same time as the couple and said the holiday “was a disaster from the moment we left the airport”.
She told Mirror Online: “I met them [Jodie and Neil] on the flight over. Unfortunately the hotel was not fit for living in, it was not sanitary and had many health and safety concerns.
“We raised these with our designated holiday rep who claimed we are ungrateful and expect too much. I really would not give the hotel a one star [rating].
“The food was not edible, the staff were rude and despite it being a basic hotel there was not one positive aspect of the business.”
She added: “My friend and I paid extra to get early flights home after three days. It really was a disaster… a holiday from hell.”
“I don’t know how we stayed together”
Out of 2,060 traveller ratings on TripAdvisor , the hotel has scored “terrible” 947 times. It has been rated as “poor” 252 times, “average” 319 times, “very good” 342 times and “excellent” 200 times.
Only yesterday, Darren Harvey, from Maidstone, Kent, took to the site to describe his trip to Pineta Club Hotel as a “holiday from hell”, claiming the venue was “falling to pieces”.
He alleged staff were rude, the food was “poor”, and the towels had holes in them.
Another guest, Ian Smith, from South Shields, claimed that the first room he was placed in had faeces on the headboard, dubbing the hotel “absolutely disgusting”.
Jodie, 26, and her husband, Neil, flew off on their honeymoon on July 10. Two days earlier, they had tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony at Cardiff’s City Hall in Wales.
“We had an Alice in Wonderland-themed wedding,” the bride said. “It was an outdoorsy ceremony. We had the most magical time – and then the honeymoon happened.”
The couple, who had got engaged in Marmaris in June 2012, decided to return to the popular Mediterranean resort town to mark the start of their marriage.
“We thought, ‘let’s go back to where it all started,'” said Jodie.
“We couldn’t wait to get out for a week break for our honeymoon.
“As we were all inclusive, we didn’t take a lot of money as we didn’t really plan on leaving the resort and just wanted a relaxing holiday after all the wedding chaos.”
The newlyweds say they paid between £700 and £800 for the break.
However, when they arrived at the hotel at around 2am after a “long flight”, they claim they were told by staff members that their room wasn’t ready.
“They said go downstairs and have food and drink and we’ll have a upgraded room for you,” said Jodie. “We were too tired from the long day travelling to disagree.”
She added that it was about an hour later they were taken to their “upgraded room”.
“We turned on the lights to something from horror movie,” the mum wrote in a letter to A1travel.com, the travel agent that she used to book the honeymoon.
She claims there were “open wires” above the pillows, the toilet was “mouldy”, the fridge was cracked and supposedly clean towels were stained with blood and faeces.
“It was truly the worst hotel I have ever been to”
She also alleges that their mattress was wet, as if it had been “thrown in the pool”.
“We sat on the bed and water rose up,” she told Mirror Online.
“It was like someone had put the mattress in the pool. We asked for a dry sheet and they said there was nothing they could do because of the time of the day.
“They eventually threw another soaking wet sheet at us.”
The next morning, the couple went downstairs to the reception desk. But they were allegedly told that there was “nothing they could do”.
“We were told there were no other rooms to move us to,” said Jodie, who lives in Cardiff.
“They had sent a man up the night before to look at the room… but he didn’t actually help. I would have been happier with just a clean bed and toilet!”
Outside of the bedroom, Jodie claims there were a number of other issues with the hotel, including “dirty plates” and flies in the dining area.
She and Neil had planned to stay at the venue to eat, as all-inclusive guests.
However, she alleges that cockroaches, rats, birds and cats were spotted “on more than one occasion”.
“It was truly the worst hotel I have ever been to,” she said.
“The pool was also closed as someone kept going to poo in it.”
She added that she and barber Neil, 34, went to use another pool at the hotel – only for her to cut her leg on its “damaged and sharp” metal ladder.
“I got out of the pool to find it bleeding quite badly so went to put antiseptic cream on it and a plaster,” Jodie wrote in the letter to A1travel.com.
“Due to the heat over the week, the plaster didn’t stay on but I continued to use the antiseptic cream which I took with me.
This is the best place to retire in the world
Picture postcard West Sussex has knocked Dorset off the top of the retirement league as the place for golden oldies.
For the county which includes the seaside resorts of Bognor Regis and Shoreham as well as cathedral city Chichester has been named number one for quality of life for pensioners.
Low crime rates, good health care and better than average weather have made it a popular retreat for the nation’s elderly, a study has found.
According to the Prudential’s Quality of Retirement Index, Dorset is second best, with East Sussex third, Devon fourth and Norfolk fifth
With 10.6 million Brits aged over 65 – a million more than five years ago – those looking to spend their dotage in a pensioner-friendly environment should head to the Isle of Wight where a quarter of the population is over 65.
But the cheeriest old folk are in Wales, the fittest in Rutland and the wealthiest in Surrey where pensioners’ incomes are around £21,400 – a third higher than the national average in England and Wales.
The Index analysed eight categories including access to healthcare, crime rates, weather and income to define the nation’s retirement hotspot.
Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “Our analysis shows that every part of the country has something different to offer pensioners, but the counties with the most attractive attributes tend to be along the southern and eastern coasts of England.
“Counties like West Sussex and Dorset may be attractive because of their low crime rates or the quality of their health care.
“However, finding the right spot to live in such popular locations can be tricky.
“It is understandable that many people want to choose somewhere attractive to live in retirement.
“To get the most choice when the time comes to give up work, people will benefit from saving as much as they can into a pension as early as they can in their working lives.”
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