Windsor man says dream vacation in Cuba turns into nightmare
A dream vacation in Cuba, turned into a nightmare for a local man.
Richard Foster says his hotel stay in Havana was riddled with problems. So bad, the Canadian consulate in Cuba had to get involved.
Foster wants to warn others about his experience and he also wants his money back.
He booked the vacation for him and his brother through a Strathroy-based travel agent using Sunwing.ca, but he says the "three star all-inclusive resort" was anything but.
"It's rated as a three-star resort from Sunwing,” says Foster. “It's rated as a four-star resort in Cuba."
But when Foster arrived at Havana's Club Acuario on Feb. 12, he says he wasn’t happy with what he saw.
“I've been to Mexico, Dominican Republic, but this was the worst,” says Foster. “I wouldn't even give it a half-star rating. It's a place to stay away from."
Foster went to Cuba from Feb. 12-19. He says from the moment he arrived, he was appalled with the conditions.
“There was water running through the ceiling from the light fixtures down the wall,” says Foster. The main corridor, the women's bathroom was backed-up. There was feces floating out of the bathroom."
He says the swimming pool was filthy. Raw and cooked food were handled with the same utensils and at times there was no running hot-water or air conditioning.
Foster says other amenities listed on the site, like deep sea fishing, were not offered.
“It was one of the worst trips I've ever been on,” says Foster. “It was false advertising."
Sunwing's website states: “Sunwing makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of information contained herein and cannot be held responsible for changes, errors or omissions.”
Foster says he and 22 other people at the resort were so upset and concerned for their health they called the local Sunwing rep to get moved to another hotel.
Foster claims the Sunwing rep tried to charge a moving fee.
That's when he called the Canadian consulate.
“When I called the consulate, right away, they ordered Sunwing to move us and they deemed it unsafe for Canadians to be there," he says.
The consulate confirms Foster's claim, saying "at least one Canadian citizen was removed from a resort in Cuba due to health concerns. Consular assistance has been provided to this individual. Due to the privacy act, further details on this case cannot be released."
CTV News also reached out to Sunwing, who confirmed they received a complaint from Foster.
In a written statement, Sunwing said “We have immediately launched a full investigation, requesting that the hotel provide a full and detailed report that addresses all the issues that he has raised. The safety, comfort and well-being of our customers remain our primary concern and if appropriate, we will be swift to press for compensation on our customer's behalf.”
CTV News attempted to reach management of the hotel, but was unsuccessful.
Foster says he wants to be reimbursed for his trip and the week of vacation pay he's out.
He also wants an apology from Sunwing and wants the resort removed as a destination.
CTV News also spoke with Foster's travel agent, who couldn't say much for confidentiality reasons, but she says she won't send clients there ever again.