-I started crying immediately

-I started crying immediately

On Friday morning, several Norwegian travel companions arrived at the Afandou Mare Hotel in Rhodes – a three-star hotel that includes a pool and breakfast.

Everyone booked the flight through Apollo.

– The first thing I noticed in the hallway was the cobwebs on the ceiling, the dirty sofa furniture, and it was very hot, says Régine Sur-Remy Celli (22 years old), who is on vacation with her boyfriend.

She says it took five hours before they were assigned a room.

– When we got up, I was immediately shocked. It stank of sweat, the walls were dirty, the mattress was covered in mold, and there were bugs everywhere, she continues.

“It doesn't look like it's been washed for days,” says one guest. Image: private

When Cele and her boyfriend returned to the reception to complain about the room, they met 20 other Norwegians who had also been assigned unwashed hotel rooms.

Among them were many children.

“I started crying as soon as I saw the room,” says Ingrid Sell Ryanis (26 years old), who is also on her honeymoon.

From left: Roy-André Randberg-Urdal, Ingrid Celle-Riannis, Régine Sur-Rémy Celle, and Henrique Ladry. Image: private

Student Hedda Fransund Mikalsen (22 years old) and her friend also had a terrifying experience:

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-We're getting a little paranoid. When we first got into the room, there were roaches in the bathroom, it was dirty, and you could feel the soap scum on the bathroom floor from previous guests, she says.

A guest came into the hotel room with leftovers in the sink. Photo: private

Tourists called Apollo to complain about the rooms, but were told that all they could do was ask the hotel to clean the rooms again.

-They cleaned our room, but it looked exactly the same. “I checked under the bed and found there were still dead insects and dirt,” says Ryanis.

Apollo lies down and apologizes. Read their response below on this issue.

He had to call his GP

Not only did Anders Damburg encounter dead insects, he was bitten by one after sitting up in bed.

“I sat down because I was going to change my clothes and put on a swimsuit, and then suddenly I felt a stinging sensation on the inside of my thigh,” Damburg says.

The bite quickly turned red, and after swimming in the pool, he saw that a white ring had formed around the bite.

– I had to send a picture to the general practitioner, because it itches and stings and pus comes out of the wound. I've never experienced this before, says the desperate tourist.

This is what Anders Damburg's bite looks like now. Photo: private

He also says there were fecal remains in the toilet in the hotel room assigned to him and his girlfriend.

Eventually, several disappointed guests gathered to complain to Apollo.

They were initially told that nothing could be done on Friday, as there were no other hotels available.

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So, everyone VG spoke to ended up booking new hotels, with money out of their own pockets.

– I am a student, and I do not have the financial resources to change the hotel and pay for another vacation. We are frustrated and tired. We asked for a refund for the first hotel, but it wasn't possible, says Mikalsen.

The holiday did not go as student Hedda Frangsund Mikalsen imagined. Photo: private

What guests were offered was to stay at a new hotel and receive a 20 percent refund on the amount they paid for the original hotel.

However, the new hotel is only 2 stars, does not include breakfast and does not have a swimming pool.

None of the guests VG spoke to were satisfied with this compensation.

-It is unprofessional for such a large travel company to be unable to find a better alternative. “I'm disappointed, the holiday was ruined,” Mikalsen continues.

Apollo's communications director, Beatriz Rivera, admits that Afando-Marie's standards were very low.

Beatrice Rivera
Beatriz Rivera

Director of Communications at Apollo

-We should just lie down and apologize. This should not have happened, Rivera says.

– The hotel certainly did not live up to the standards and requirements that we set in our partner hotels. It was not cleaned and not as it should have been.

She adds that they wanted to move the guests to a new hotel on Wednesday, but that was not possible due to the peak season and the lack of available hotels.

This is also why a lower standard hotel will show guests the hotel they have booked.

– Do you understand that guests are disappointed by the compensation you provided?

“I completely understand that they are disappointed with the hotel and also with the replacement hotel, and we understand that it is not what they asked for, that is clear, but then it is the case that we compensate within the normal range,” says Rivera.

She adds that guests should contact Apollo's complaints department regarding additional costs such as taxis and new hotel rooms.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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