Mother-of-two spent £12,700 on TUI holiday at 'shabby' four-star hotel

Mother-of-two outraged after spending £12,700 on TUI ‘holiday from hell’ at ‘shabby’ four-star hotel in Jamaica that provided ‘awful food, filthy conditions and a wardrobe that collapsed on her father’

  • Lisa Wickstead took the family to Jamaica to celebrate her retirement from MPS
  • She upgraded to expensive hotel option at a ‘shabby’ four-star hotel
  • Food was ‘tasteless’, a wardrobe fell on her father, and rooms were ‘filthy’
  • The 53-year-old has since refused TUI’s £1,775 voucher as compensation 

A mother-of-two was outraged after spending £12,700 out of her pension on a TUI ‘holiday from hell’ at a ‘shabby’ four-star hotel in Jamaica that allegedly provided awful food, filthy conditions, and a wardrobe that collapsed on her father.  

Lisa Wickstead, 53, booked the Christmas holiday getaway for her family to celebrate the end of her 30-year career with the Metropolitan Police.

She treated her parents, policeman husband, and two children to a luxury week-long cruise with Marella Cruises, before upgrading to expensive hotel option The Jewel Runaway Bay, in Jamaica, as part of their holiday package with TUI. 

But the former officer was shocked to discover a ‘shabby’ hotel serving ‘lukewarm and tasteless’ food and offered rooms with broken appliances.

Ms Wickstead of Essex complained of their rooms not being made in advance for the family-of-six, despite running two hours late for check-in. 

Lisa Wickstead (pictured middle right) booked the Christmas holiday getaway for her family to celebrate the end of her 30-year career with the Metropolitan Police abroad (pictured with her husband Andrew, a policeman, and her two children)

Her parents found their bathroom lights were not working, while a wardrobe collapsed on top of Ms Wickstead’s father. 

The 53-year-old was mortified after spotting a dead bird caught in a trap above the buffet restaurant, the walls of which were splatted in bird faeces.     

All the beds were wobbly, door handles were loose, tiles were cracked, and there were no pillows or towels in the children’s room. 

Meanwhile, dead insects were found squashed all over the walls, which were so thin that Ms Wickstead claimed she could hear guests as she tried to sleep.  

She treated her parents, husband, and children to a luxury week-long cruise with Marella Cruises, before upgrading to expensive hotel option The Jewel Runaway Bay, in Jamaica, as part of their holiday package with travel company TUI

Her parents found their bathroom lights were not working, while a wardrobe allegedly even collapsed on top of Ms Wickstead’s father

She also found dangerous exposed wires from lamp posts around the hotel, open pipes leading to the beach, and algae in the outdoor pool.  

When Ms Wickstead requested changing rooms at The Jewel Runaway Bay, the family were met with similarly filthy conditions in the other suites. 

She was left in tears and devastated as the scenery of her dream Christmas holiday fell all around her, and vowed it would take a ‘lifetime to forget’ the trip. 

Despite complaining to TUI about the quality of the so-called four-star hotel, the travel company offered her a £1,755 voucher as compensation. 

Her note to TUI read:  ‘I am disgusted by TUI – what is your advert says, we cross the T’s and dot the I’s with U in the middle… Really?

All the beds were wobbly, door handles were loose, tiles were cracked, and there were no pillows or towels in the children’s room 

The former officer was shocked to discover a ‘shabby’ old shack serving ‘lukewarm and tasteless’ food (pictured) and offered rooms with broken appliances

The 53-year-old was mortified after spotting a dead bird caught in a trap above the buffet restaurant, the walls of which were splatted in bird faeces

‘We were neglected, forgotten about and my holiday experience left in tatters with poor transportation issues.

‘This is the worst hotel I have stayed in and inadequate food, my older daughter’s Christmas Dinner was French fries and a bread roll.’

She added: ‘My husband lost half a stone on the holiday and our first ever all-inclusive hotel experience as a family will NEVER be repeated.

‘From now on I am doing what I always do and book our family holidays independently for half the cost of this one.’ 

The Jewel Runaway Bay resort in Jamaica, as advertised on its website

The outdoor dip pool at The Jewel Runaway Bay resort in Jamaica, as advertised on its website

A bedroom at The Jewel Runaway Bay resort in Jamaica, as advertised on its website

The buffet restaurant at The Jewel Runaway Bay resort in Jamaica, as advertised on its website

Ms Wickstead has since refused the £1,755 voucher and returned it back to TUI, saying all her concerns simply fell on deaf ears.

Despite repeated emails, TUI has shut down any further communication with her, though she doesn’t expect to receive her money back for the trip.

A spokeswoman for TUI said: ‘We are very sorry to hear that Ms Wickstead was unhappy with her hotel following the cruise she went on.

‘We take any matters like this seriously and have offered her a goodwill gesture for her disappointment in the second week of her holiday, as well as our sincere apologies. We’d like to reassure our customers that we regularly audit all of the hotels we feature in respect of health and safety, including hygiene.’  


Ms Wickstead and her husband Andrew complained to TUI repeatedly over the holiday, and continued to chase up the travel company for further explanation afterwards 

TUI offered her a £1,755 voucher as compensation (pictured). Ms Wickstead has since refused the £1,755 voucher and returned it back to TUI, saying all her concerns simply fell on deaf ears

Pictured are Ms Wickstead’s parents and her two children in Jamaica over Christmas

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