TUI have apologised after they were caught out passing off as “brand new” a trouble-hit holiday resort which recently renamed itself.
Sunscape Bavaro Beach in the Dominican Republic was at the centre of salmonella outbreak claims in October last year, with the children of TUI customers needing hospital treatment.
The resort has since been renamed Impressive Resort and Spa and TUI currently describe the four star facility in Punta Cana as a “brand new property”.
Enraged holidaymakers have taken to social media to accuse TUI of “conning people”.
TUI today apologised to customers for what they claimed was a “simple mix up” and said they would correct the wording.
The renamed resort is currently being offered by TUI at £1,139 per person for a seven-night all-inclusive stay leaving the UK on Thursday.
TUI say on their website: “This is a brand new property so no TripAdvisor rating exists for it yet.”
They add: “The Impressive Resort and Spa is pulled right up to El Cortecito beach. Plus, it’s popular with foodies, thanks to its themed restaurants and adults-only wine bar.
“It’s all eyes on the beach at this place. You can expect a trio of lagoon-shaped pools surrounded by palm trees, and a chiffon-white stretch of sand on your doorstep.”
But promotional pictures on the Impressive website are identical to those used for the Sunscape resort, as are the addresses.
Canadian airline Air Transat more accurately informs its customers: “The Impressive Resort & Spa hotel was formerly known as the Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana.”
Carl Lawton, who is currently staying at the renamed resort, revealed TUI’s bogus claim on Facebook.
He wrote: “Please everyone be warned that TUI are advertising The Impressive Beach and Spa resort as a brand new property in the Dominican Republic.
“We are currently staying at the resort and it’s not a new resort or a new property, it’s in fact the Sunscape beach resort.
“I feel totally let down by TUI and believe this to be the highest degree of mis-selling I have ever come across.
“Just to add, the same problems are being encountered at the Impressive beach = stinking of poo, cold food etc.”
“TUI should never ever be able to get away with this blatant act of conning people.”
The Sunscape suffered a publicity meltdown last year after Billie Baker and Reiss Monkfield from Wickford, Essex, took two of their children to hospital with high temperatures and diarrhoea.
Billie commented on Carl’s post: “Please be careful at this resort! My family went through hell and are still battling with TUI over the disgusting treatment we received staying at this resort!”
A forum on Tripadvisor is titled: “New resort – Impressive Resort and Spa Punta Cana”.
PuntaCanaMike said there had been several name changes. “In my time here since 2005: Ocean Blue and Sand, Barcelo Dominican Beach, Sunscape Dominican Beach and soon to be Impressive.”
A review by DeeaP said: “First of all, this is not a new resort. Nothing in this resort is new. The rooms are outdated, the shower was broken when we came in, the AC was broken too. We called twice to have it fixed.”
The Impressive has received praise on Tripadvisor and has an average review of four stars based on 42 reviews.
Wareskelly wrote: “Resort is very clean, they are working on some projects but it does not interfere with guests.”
Another reviewer, Hannah, said: “This is one of those resorts that you get more than you pay for. I will definitely visit again.”
A TUI spokeswoman said today: “We’re sorry for any confusion about the Impressive Resort and Spa in Punta Cana.
“We would like to thank customers for bringing this to our attention and the wording is being updated and corrected following the simple mix up.”
Billie Baker and Reiss Monkford were at The Sunscape Resort and Spa for one day last October before two of their three children were struck by salmonella poisioning.
They claim contaminated chicken eaten at the hotel was the cause of the illness, which ruined their £6,000 holiday. TUI said at the time they were investigating the claims and assured customers they regularly audited hotels for health and safety, including hygiene.