British grandfather blasts £4,000 five-star Turkish holiday

‘I thought the hotel manager wanted to stab me’: British grandfather blasts £4,000 five-star Turkish holiday, saying ‘I didn’t see bacon or sausage for two weeks and a man with no arms or legs was dragged through sewage’

  • Carl Sinclair arrived at the Turunç Resort Hotel on September 1 with his family
  • But what should have been an idylic holiday soon turned into a nightmare

Raw sewage flowing into the sea, broken glass in a children’s playground and a dangerous, slippery floor: These were among the many unwanted features of one British grandfather’s holiday from hell at a supposed five-star Turkish resort.

Carl Sinclair arrived at the Turunç Resort Hotel on September 1 with his wife, son and two granddaughters – one aged three, the other 21 months – for a family holiday during which they would celebrate his 53rd birthday.

The hotel is located in south-west Turkey in a stunning Mediterranean bay, and the family arrived expecting an idyllic all-inclusive vacation away from their home in Doncaster. However, the £4,000 holiday quickly turned into a nightmare.

Rather than enjoying ten days away with his family, Mr Sinclair spent much of his time trying to get several hazards addressed by the hotel management, only to be black-listed by the staff and told they would not be helping him or his family.

Now, after being told by the company he booked the holiday through that he will not be receiving a refund, Mr Sinclair has spoken to MailOnline about his ordeal.

Raw sewage flowing into the sea, broken glass in a children’s playground and a dangerous, slippery floor: These were among the many unwanted features of one British grandfather’s holiday from hell at a supposed five-star Turkish resort

Carl Sinclair arrived at the Turunç Resort Hotel on September 1 (pictured) with his wife, son and two granddaughters – one aged three, the other 21 months – for a family holiday during which they would celebrate his 53rd birthday

Mr Sinclair (centre) went to Turkey with his wife Nicola (left), 47, along with his son Ryan (right), 26, as well as Ryan’s two young daughters – Nelly and Delilah (3 and 21 months)

Mr Sinclair’s travelling companions were his wife Nicola, 47, along with his son Ryan, 26, as well as Ryan’s two young daughters – Nelly and Delilah.

Upon leaving Dalaman airport, having arrived in Turkey on Friday, September 1 from Manchester airport, the family of five got into a taxi that was to take them to their hotel, which they had booked through travel company TUI.

Already, the problems began.

‘Day one, we got there… the driver was terrible,’ Mr Sinclair tells MailOnline. ‘He thought he was Nigel Mansell. He was just speeding away. Honestly, it was terrible.’

On the long journey from the airport, they also dropped off other families at their hotels, ‘and in fairness,’ the 53-year-old says, ‘we were saying, oh god I hope that’s not our hotel. And then we got [to the Turunç] and from the front, it looked nice.’

The family checked in and were shown to their room, but quickly realised it wasn’t quite what they had expected. ‘I opened the curtains and all you could see was a wall [and a] road… no view at all. I said “I’m sure I requested a view” but they said none of the rooms have got views. So I left it at that, that was fine.’

When the family went for dinner, they found there was little variety on the menu. Mr Sinclair questioned why the menu was catered towards locals, when it still served lager and spirits at the bar. Drinking alcohol is forbidden in Islam.

‘I’ve never seen a sausage in two weeks. I’ve never seen any bacon in two weeks. Everything being laid on for us was Turkish,’ he said.

After a long day, the holidaymaker decided to head back up to his room for a bath. 

However, rather than clear water, pictures taken by Mr Sinclair – the first of many he took of the resort – show that the water that filled the tub was filthy and yellow, and that the area around the bath was also dirty.

‘The water was absolutely disgusting. It was like what you can see in the pictures,’ he says. ‘You end up having to have a shower just so you didn’t see the colour.’

There were also other problems with the room, he said. ‘There was no Wi-Fi at all, that never entered our room, and in the fridge, the mini bar, it was just water, just bottles of water. There were no spirits, no beer, no nothing.

On the first day, the family found that dirty yellow water was coming out the taps in the bath at the hotel, booked as part of a £4,000 all-inclusive holiday

There we also yellow marks around the bath in the bathroom of their hotel bedroom

‘So I thought: “Fair enough then – at the end of the day, we only went on holiday to see the grandkids.” That’s all it was about.’

The following day, the family’s first full day of holiday, they decided to go down to the children’s play area with Mr Sinclair’s two granddaughters.

But when they arrived, they found some of the equipment was broken, including some of the panels on a wooden bridge, making it dangerous for the children.

He also spotted empty bottles had been left scattered around the play area.

‘[We go to] the kids play area, and there’s broken panels on the bridge,’ he says.

‘So I say [to my grandchildren]: “You can’t play on this, you can’t play in there – look at this – you’ll end up breaking your legs.” So I reported it straight away. And then I also noted – dotted around the play area – are empty glasses from the night before.

‘Someone’s had beer, watching the kids on the park, and have just left the glasses everywhere,’ he added. ‘But at the time it wasn’t broken.’

On the third day, the family went down to the beach. Pictures of the hotel online show an idyllic, white sand vista set in the picturesque bay with pristine turquoise-blue waters, dotted with jetties, small tour boats and floating platforms.

But to their horror, Mr Sinclair and his family found something quite different: Raw sewage flowing from the hotel and being pumped into the sea.

Pictures and video taken by the shocked Brit shows dark sludge running from underneath a beach jetty, down a small stretch of sand and into the water – turning the turquoise-blue ocean black. The smell was ‘repulsive,’ Mr Sinclair says.

‘Pictures show black flowing into the sea – but what it doesn’t show you is the smell – the stomach-churning smell. I complained about this, but it fell on deaf ears.’

In some of his pictures, he points out, a man can be seen being carried out of the water on what at first glance appears to be some kind of stretcher. 

But on closer inspection, it’s clear that the man is disabled – with both of his arms and legs amputated. ‘If you zoom in on the picture,’ Mr Sinclair says, ‘you can see he’s got no arms or legs, and he was left to swim in [the sewage].’

At the children’s play area, the Sinclair family found broken equipment, such as this bridge, which was missing some of its slats

Pictured: A piece of the bridge in the children’s playground is seen on a table, with a rusty-looking screw protruding out the side of it

When the sewage started spilling out, he says lifeguards from the resort had to come and rescue the man from the water.

‘The Baywatch people came and took him out of the water using that special wheelchair, but they bring them all the way back through the sewage,’ he says.

Mr Sinclair would go on to complain to the hotel rep about the beach. He told them there was raw sewage being pumped in to the sea, to which they asked him: ‘How do you know it’s sewage?’

‘I said: “I’m no scientist, but it absolutely stinks. Stomach wrenching stink,” he says.

Separately, with his complaints building, Mr Sinclair spoke to the reception about a separate matter – requesting a late checkout for him and his family on the day they are planning to leave. Their flight home was booked for 2am, and so he wanted to make sure he and his family would have somewhere to wait.

However, he was told that a late check-out could only be arranged on the day of their departure itself, leaving them in an uncertain position.

They were also told a late check-out would cost 250 euros. 

In his notes, which he made throughout the holiday about his experience at the hotel, he wrote: ‘Hotel reception gave us no interest in late checkout request… to be honest they’re the rudest hotel staff I have ever come across.’

On September 4, the family returned to the children’s play area to find that the wooden bridge had been repaired. However, it was now covered in broken glass.

To make matters worse, Mr Sinclair’s granddaughter – three-year-old Nelly – slipped on a wet floor in the entrance to their accommodation, hitting her face on the ground, causing her lip to split.

Their room was far from the pool, he says, and yet the floor was still wet. ‘Not a single tile in the hotel is anti-slip.’

The grandfather went and found the manager to complain about the slippery flood, but the manager pointed to a tile on the floor that said ‘don’t run’.

‘I said: “She’s 3 years old. She can’t read that. She has no idea what it says”,’ Mr Sinclair recalls. ‘They said there’s nothing they can do about it, but they put a wet floor sign down and they put a towel down on the floor.’

The sign wasn’t there when Nelly slipped over, he says.

It was at that point Mr Sinclair had a realisation. 

Around the hotel, Mr Sinclair had spotted broken glasses at collection stations, or placed in various points around the hotel – such as this one in a mirrored alcove. He suspects the glasses were being broken when people were slipping over on wet floors, with no warning

Mr Sinclair’s granddaughter, three-year-old Nelly, slipped and hurt her lip on this bit of flooring in the hotel. He says there were no non-slip tiles in the hotel, and that particular bit of flooring was not near the pool. The only warning was a small ‘no running’ sign, which he said his three-year-old daughter couldn’t read. The wet floor sign was placed there later, he said

Around the hotel, he had spotted broken glasses at collection stations. 

Pictures he took at various points during the holiday show several smashed glasses left in various points in the complex, such as mirrored alcoves.

‘That’s when I realise,’ he says. ‘There’s glass all over the hotel, absolutely everywhere, all over the hotel – and it’s because people are falling over all the time because the tiles are so dangerous, they’re slipping.

‘If it’s chucking it down with rain, then they should make sure the floors are dry, or they should have put anti-slip on the tiles. I’ve seen numerous people fall on the backs, wind themselves and the plates go everywhere – and there’s food everywhere. And people don’t clean it up… they just leave it.

‘The only people that pick it up are the odd one or two guests who clean up after themselves. But the hotel itself doesn’t tend to clean anything away,’ he says.

Mr Sinclair says he complained to the hotel rep about Nelly falling over, and about the fact that there’s glass everywhere in the children’s play area. He took the rep – whose name he says was Maxine – there so she could see for herself.

‘She seemed disgusted in her findings and went to see if there was alternative accommodation,’ he says, and she offered to help find alternative accommodation, as staff began to clear some of the glass away.

However, he says, ‘she went away for 40 minutes to find the manager, she left us waiting 40 minutes in the lobby. We then filled in a complaints form, an accident form, then she took photos of the area where my granddaughter slipped. 

‘At this time, the wet floor sign was down and so were the towels,’ he says.

‘Two reps spoke with the hotel manager about moving us out of the hotel but he insisted there weren’t any rooms available at the premier hotel – which is their sister hotel at the other side of the bay until September 8.

‘It would be two separate rooms instead of a family room,’ the family was told.

Mr Sinclair says he told them that would be fine, but if possible, could they keep looking for somewhere else in the meantime?

The next day, the family were at the beach again. This time, the disgruntled holiday maker says, there was a foam party.

‘It looked nice, however, they were playing music as loud as they could, and the music they were playing was no good for kids,’ he recalls.

‘The entertainment team found it acceptable to play music with the lyrics ‘f**k’ and ‘f***ing’ as loud as the speakers could handle – not something my granddaughters wanted to hear,’ he says, looking back at his notes.

In some of his pictures, Mr Sinclair points out, a man can be seen being carried out of the water on what at first glance appears to be some kind of stretcher

On closer inspection, it’s clear that the man is disabled – with both of his arms and legs amputated. ‘If you zoom in on the picture,’ Mr Sinclair says, ‘you can see he’s got no arms or legs, and he was left to swim in [the sewage].’

By September 6 – two days after making the complaint – Mr Sinclair had received no update on whether it would be possible for them to move to a different hotel.

However, he says he spoke to another family who had similar complaints that had gone to the premier hotel across the bay to enquire about vacancies.

There, he says, ‘the manager said to them we’ve got two rooms available but you can’t have them because you’re a family of six and [the rooms are for] five people.’

‘I said: “Really? Five people? We’re a family of five but they’ve told us there’s nothing available until the 8th. But they’ve told you [the other family] there’s a room available now for five people.”‘

Mr Sinclair says he went to speak to the hotel rep again a day later about moving hotels, but this time was told that the additional rooms would now feature an extra cost. This went against what he was originally told, he says, and he enquired why it was that the rooms he was offered on September 4 for free now had a cost.

He says Maxine told him that the charge would be due to them being separate rooms instead of one family room. ‘I told her we were offered the two rooms on the 4th at no additional cost,’ he says.

After the rep and hotel staff made numerous phone calls back to the UK and to various other hotels, Mr Sinclair says he was told his complaints did not warrant a free hotel move, that he would have to pay £600. 

On top of that, he would have to pay for a taxi fare to a different complex, that was over two hours away, back near the airport in Dalaman.

Mr Sinclair said he told Maxine that he hadn’t brought that kind of money with him on holiday, on account of the hotel being all-inclusive. 

At this point, he says, the rep said she would stop speaking to Mr Sinclair because he was writing what she was saying down (he was taking notes on his phone).

The following day, with their grievances with the hotel still unsolved, Mr Sinclair says the family went down to the beach again. 

The grandfather says at one point in the day he popped back up to their hotel room to get some food, but in the meantime, another incident occurred.

Mr Sinclair granddaughter Nelly suffered a swollen lip earlier on in the holiday (shown right) and later hit her nose (left) when she fell through a table with a makeshift top

Pictured: The table that Nelly fell through

 ‘My son met me in the foyer and said: “Dad it happened again. Nellie is bleeding” and my son’s T-shirt is covered in blood,’ he recalls.

Nelly, he says, had put her hand on a table with a ‘makeshift top’. As she did so, the top fell through, and she fell forward, hitting herself on the table’s metal frame.

Her nose was pouring with blood, Mr Sinclair says.

After his son Ryan administered his daughter with first aid, he and Mr Sinclair spoke to the rep’s manager expecting to fill in another accident report.

However, Mr Sinclair says the rep and her boss refused any interaction with his son.

‘My son said: “What do you mean? My daughter has been injured yet again by the unsafe nature of this hotel”, but the manager said all rep assistance had been revoked,’ the grandfather says.

Ryan, he says, was later handed a letter that said rep services had been withdrawn from the family, and that they risked eviction if they argued with staff further.

A frustrated Mr Sinclair said he went to find Maxine to ask why the rep services had been revoked, at which point he says he was accused by her manager of verbally abusing her while she was trying to help his family.

Mr Sinclair denies this, saying she was not helpful and pointed to his notes which he had been taking throughout the holiday where he recorded their conversations. At no point, he says, was he intimidating towards the hotel rep.

‘Maxine’s manager then very rudely said “who the hell am I to talk to her rep the way I did yesterday?”,’ Mr Sinclair recalls.

‘I told her I didn’t talk to her rep in an unreasonable way yesterday and she has acted solely on Maxine’s opinion without investigating anything,’ he says.

Both reps walked away from the conversation and refused to talk to Mr Sinclar any further, he says, going into the hotel manager’s office and asked that the family be evicted from the hotel.

While the manager never followed up on the request from the rep to evict them from the hotel, Mr Sinclair said it made the rest of the holiday unpleasant. 

‘The rep was terrible,’ he says. ‘As for the [hotel] manager, I honestly thought he wanted to stab me. Our holiday was so uncomfortable.’

Mr Sinclair says he had no further contact with the holiday reps or the manager for the remaining days of his stay, or from TUI.

He marked his 53rd birthday on September 11 with what a meal organised by a local restaurant owner they had gotten to know.

Mr Sinclair has been told he will be offered no refund for his holiday at the Turunç Resort Hotel

‘He went above and beyond to make us welcome, he put balloons and a happy birthday sign up above our table and gave us a birthday cake with a flare type candle,’ Mr Sinclair said. ‘He made my birthday meal very special.’

The family flew back to the UK on September 13. Since then, he says he has spoken to TUI, and was initially told – according to his notes, seen by MailOnline – that his complaint should have been escalated by the team at the hotel.

However, in email correspondence also seen by MailOnline, he has since been told by the company that he will not be receiving any refund over his holiday. 

MailOnline has contacted TUI with Mr Sinclair’s complaints, and the company has been requested to comment.

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