Family ‘in tears’ after five-star Cornish resort swapped for hotel 250 miles away

News

Ian Tomlinson and his family had booked six months in advance to spend their summer holiday at the Retallack Resort near Newquay, Cornwall

A family was left “in tears” after their luxury staycation at a five-star Cornish resort fell through and they were offered an alternate stay 250 miles away in a London surburb.

Ian Tomlinson and his family had booked six months in advance to spend their summer holiday at the Retallack Resort near Newquay, Cornwall.

The hotel is one of Cornwall’s top watersports centres, featuring an aqua park, a floating volleyball court, a wave pool and wakeboarding.

But upon reaching the hotel following a four-hour drive, he was told by the hotel that there was no record of the booking they had made through the travel website Booking.com, and there was no way of fitting them in.

Alerted to their plight, Booking.com sent an email telling the family that they had found them a similar alternative – in Uxbridge, a London suburb close to Slough.

In the email, the agency said it hoped they were “having a great day”, the Guardian reports.

Despite attempts to contact Booking.com by email and phone, Ian was unable to reach a representative from the agency and the family were forced to return home.

“Uxbridge was 250 miles away and not a place anyone would choose to have a holiday,” Ian told the paper.

“I had two very tired, upset children who were looking forward to all the resort’s attractions including a FlowRider wave machine for surfing, and my wife was in tears. We were not having a great day.”

It took 11 days for the travel agency to respond to Ian, where they claimed the hotel had overbooked and that it would consider refunding his costs but would not provide compensation for upset children.

The online travel agency refunded the family’s expenses and paid them £700 in compensation but did not explain how the error occurred.

A spokesperson for Booking.com said: “In exceptional circumstances where a property is unable to accommodate a guest, we always seek to rectify that immediately and will be working with this partner to ensure all future guests have a good experience.”