Couple claim honeymoon ruined after forest around hotel burned down

Newlyweds claim their honeymoon was ruined after forest surrounding their TUI hotel BURNED to the ground and was left looking like an ‘apocalyptic wasteland’

  • Alecz and Colin Finch booked Julian Forest Suites in Turkey for their honeymoon
  • Wife said she burst into tears when couple arrived as lush greenery was burnt 
  • TUI said they recognise the venue ‘didn’t meet the standard they expected’

A couple claimed their honeymoon was ruined after the forest surrounding their TUI hotel burned to the ground and was left looking like an ‘apocalyptic wasteland’.

Newlyweds Alecz Finch, 50, and Colin Finch, 60, booked the Julian Forest Suites, in Dalaman, Turkey, for their honeymoon – jetting off on September 13, just one week after tying the knot.

The pair chose the hotel specifically for the lush green landscape, with the TUI website describing it as ‘fringed by deep-green mountains on three sides’ and ‘pitched on the last road before you hit the thick forests behind Icmeler’.

But Alecz says she burst into tears as when they arrived they were met with a ‘grim and barren’ burnt landscape that looked nothing like that which the website had pictured and described. 

Newlyweds Alecz Finch, 50, and Colin Finch, 60, booked the Julian Forest Suites, in Dalaman, Turkey, for their honeymoon – jetting off on September 13, just one week after tying the knot (pictured on their wedding day)

The pair chose the hotel specifically for the lush green landscape, but Alecz says she burst into tears as when they arrived they were met with a ‘grim and barren’ burnt landscape that looked nothing like what the website pictured and described

The foot care specialist claims a bar man informed her that the forest had been destroyed in the wildfires of September 2021 that decimated hectares of Mediterranean greenery and killed eight people.

Yet the outraged couple claim the websites of both TUI and Julian Hotels continue to advertise the hotel based on the former brilliance of the forest a year later – with no mention of the fire or destruction of the landscape.

They claim TUI then refused to compensate them for the ‘misrepresentation’ on the basis that the fire was an ‘act of god’ – despite it happening a year earlier and no warning being given to booking customers.

TUI said they recognise the venue ‘didn’t meet the standard they expected’ and have issued the couple a holiday voucher as a gesture of goodwill.

Alecz, from Midhurst, West Sussex, said: ‘We picked this hotel because of the forest – Colin has very celtic skin and I’ve lived in India for most of my adult life and I’m not supposed to be going in the sun anymore.

Alecz, from Midhurst, West Sussex, said: ‘We picked this hotel because of the forest – Colin has very celtic skin and I’ve lived in India for most of my adult life and I’m not supposed to be going in the sun anymore’

The wife said: ‘It was a massive shock when we got there – I opened the curtains in the room and looked out on a burnt landscape and I was so upset I just burst into tears’

Alecz said: ‘That view was the same around the whole hotel. Colin just looked at me and said ‘what have we done?’ We were so completely deflated’

She claims: ‘It’s total misrepresentation. The forest does not exist as they are describing it and there’s nothing on the website to indicate that the forest isn’t there anymore’

‘It was a massive shock when we got there – I opened the curtains in the room and looked out on a burnt landscape and I was so upset I just burst into tears. 

‘I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It’s just barren. 

‘It looks like the apocalypse has happened, there’s just nothing. There were no birds, foliage or flowers. It was grim.

‘That view was the same around the whole hotel. Colin just looked at me and said ‘what have we done?’ We were so completely deflated.

‘When I went down to complain at reception no one really wanted to mention the forest fire, it was the bar man that told us about it while I was waiting for the manager to arrive.

‘It’s total misrepresentation. The forest does not exist as they are describing it and there’s nothing on the website to indicate that the forest isn’t there anymore.’

The couple booked their last minute honeymoon in August 2022 – just one month beforehand but almost a year after the destructive forest fires.

After complaining to TUI about the ‘misrepresentation’ of the hotel location, Alecz claims they were refused to offer any compensation on the grounds that the fire was an ‘act of god’.

Alecz said: ‘I waited and waited for months before someone finally came back to me and said ‘I’ve been told to tell you that there is no compensation because this was an act of god’.

‘I absolutely lost my composure at this point. I actually couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

‘Technically it was an act of god but not a year later because they had plenty of time to change that brochure and they are still advertising it as a lush, green forest.

‘I would still book that holiday based on the pictures and that is why I’m so angry with them.

‘I was trying to be reasonable with them and gave them the opportunity to do the right thing.

‘If they had apologised and given us a couple hundred quid voucher off our next holiday we probably would’ve just said ‘fine’ but it was the fact they didn’t do anything.’

As well as the upsetting disparity between the advertised setting and ‘apocalyptic’ reality of their honeymoon, the couple also claim they were struck down with a mystery illness that completely ruined the holiday.

The couple have vowed never to travel with TUI again after their ‘terrible’ experience and now hope to warn others about the issues they have faced.

Alecz said: ‘All of my patients have been asking how my honeymoon was and I sit there and try not to cry when I tell people what a terrible holiday we had.

After complaining to TUI about the ‘misrepresentation’ of the hotel location, Alecz claims they were refused to offer any compensation on the grounds that the fire was an ‘act of god’

A spokesperson for TUI said: ‘We are so sorry to hear about Mr and Mrs Finchs’ experience on their honeymoon in Turkey, as we recognise it didn’t meet the standard they expected

Yet the outraged couple claim the websites of both TUI and Julian Hotels continue to advertise the hotel based on the former brilliance of the forest a year later – with no mention of the fire or destruction of the landscape

‘I would never travel with TUI again. I don’t care if they give me a holiday, I’m not going and I would say to anyone booking a holiday with TUI, just don’t do it.

‘The general feeling I get from TUI is that you’re just a number and they don’t care. It’s like swatting away a mosquito.

‘To think I’m going to accept that this is an act of god a year after it happened is absolutely ludicrous.’

A spokesperson for TUI said: ‘We are so sorry to hear about Mr and Mrs Finchs’ experience on their honeymoon in Turkey, as we recognise it didn’t meet the standard they expected.

‘We do our best to ensure customers have the best possible holiday experience, and our teams are investigating the issues raised.

‘In recognition of their experience, we have provided them with a holiday voucher as a gesture of goodwill.

‘We have also provided Mr and Mrs Finch with the details of our legal team to make an illness claim.’

Julian Forest Suites was contacted for comment.

Source: Read Full Article