A honeymooning couple hoping to relax and unwind in a beautiful forest destination is greeted by the charred remains of a deadly forest fire.
Newlyweds Alex Finch, 50, and Colin Finch, 60, booked the Julian Forest Suites in Dalaman, Turkey, for their honeymoon specifically for the area’s lush landscape, which the TUI website describes as ‘the edge of three green mountains’. sides.’
But on arrival, Alex says she was moved to tears when she was met with a ‘horrendous and barren’ charred landscape that looked more like an ‘apocalyptic wasteland’ than the leafy paradise they had been promised.
The foot care specialist claimed that a bar man informed him that the forest was devastated after the September 2021 wildfires destroyed hectares of Mediterranean greenery and killed eight people.
Yet the outraged couple claim that the websites of both TUI and Julian Hotels are still advertising the hotel based on the forest’s former glory a year later – with no mention of the fire or destruction of the landscape.
To make matters worse, TUI initially refused to reimburse the couple after claiming the fire was an ‘act of God’ – even though it happened a year earlier and booking customers were given no warning.
Alex, from Midhurst, West Sussex, said: ‘We chose this hotel because of the jungle – Colin has very Celtic skin and I’ve lived in India for most of my adult life and I don’t want to go out in the sun. No longer.
‘It was a big shock when we got there – I opened the curtains in the living room and saw the charred landscape and I was so upset, I burst into tears. I couldn’t believe what I saw.
‘It’s just barren. It looks like the apocalypse has happened, but nothing. No birds, leaves or flowers. It’s terrible.
‘The scene around the hotel is the same. Colin looked at me “What did we do?” We were so thoroughly disappointed.
‘When I went to complain to reception, no one seemed to want to mention the forest fire, which the bar man told us about while I was waiting for the manager to arrive.
“This is completely false information. The forest does not exist as they describe it, and there is nothing on the website to indicate that the forest no longer exists.
To make matters worse, the couple also claimed to have been struck down by a mystery illness that completely ruined their vacation.
The couple vowed never to travel with TUI again after their ‘horrendous’ experience.
Alex said: ‘All my patients ask how my honeymoon was and I sit there and try not to cry when I tell people what a terrible holiday we had.
‘I will never travel with TUI again. I don’t care if they give me a holiday, I won’t go and I would say to anyone booking a holiday with TUI, don’t.
‘The general feeling I get from TUI is that you’re just a number and they don’t care. It is like swatting away a mosquito.
‘To think that a year after it happened I’m going to accept that it was an act of God is absolutely ridiculous.’
A TUI spokesman said: ‘We are very sorry to hear about Mr and Mrs Finch’s experience on their honeymoon in Turkey, as we recognize that it was not up to the standard they expected.
‘We do our best to provide customers with the best holiday experience possible and our teams are investigating the issues raised.
‘In recognition of their experience, we presented them with a holiday voucher as a goodwill gesture.
‘We have also provided details of our legal team to Mr and Mrs Finch to make a sickness claim.’
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