Whilst dining out one night, on leaving Vangelis restaurant after enjoying an excellent meal, Harry Parkins (92) collapsed. He sat on a chair for a few minutes and seemed ok. He had been complaining of dizzy attacks over the previous few days.
A few minutes later, his wife Mavis Parkins (87), on walking past Zodiac bar, stepping to one side to avoid a crowd of people on the pavement, toppled off the curb into the road.
An ambulance was called, taken to a clinic, then to hospital, where x-ray taken and seen immediately by an orthopaedic surgeon. She was found to have multiple complex fractures of the shoulder. Ideally needed an operation, but the surgeon decided not safe due to her age. The alternative was at least a week or more in the clinic with the shoulder immobilised, plus maybe a further month locally, before fit to fly home.
They were scheduled to fly home on the Sunday. Ideally be able to stay in the same hotel, being familiar surroundings, Mavis Parkins confused and suffering from dementia. But, now approaching peak season.
Hotel was e-mailed in the early hours of the morning, the situation explained, was it possible to stay, if not, then alternative accommodation would have to be found. E-mail sent to reservations. To date, no reply.
Nine o’clock in the morning Harry Parkins knocked on their door. He was dismissed and told to go away. He tried again an hour later. Same rude response. Had they not read the e-mail when he first inquired, they must have the second time, if not gross incompetence.
This is an appalling way to treat any guest, certainly not a guest who has visited many times, certainly not guests who are elderly and infirm. It was a bad reflection on the person, a bad reflection on the hotel.
A second e-mail was sent. The situation was again explained, furthermore an apology was required, and it was now urgent that a reply be given. No apology was ever made, to date no reply to e-mail.
Not knowing if had anywhere to stay, only led to more stress.
It was only thanks to intervention by a Thompson rep Magda that were allowed to stay. Thomson instructed Sunrise they had to stay. Not only stay, but keep the same room. They only learnt on the Friday, two days before they were due to leave on the Sunday. Days of unnecessary stress.
Magda, together with her manager, also took the trouble to visit Mavis Parkins in the clinic. Magda had also wished to visit the patient on her birthday with a bunch of flowers. It was only when she contacted the clinic to ask how was the patient, she learnt had departed for England a few days earlier. The hotel had lacked the courtesy to inform her.
Hotel reception falsely claimed the clinic where Mavis Parkins was being treated was not a registered clinic. The treatment and care was excellent, plus added advantage the clinic was located nearby within easy walking distance. No apology received for this malicious allegation or the stress caused. It begs the question was the the hotel or the person who made the malicious allegation receiving a fee for referral to a clinic located a taxi ride away?
On the Sunday, room card updated to grant access to the room. Two visits to the clinic morning and afternoon, a walk along the coast path for a coffee.
On return to the hotel, reception told Harry Parkins he had to pack his bags and leave. Or, pay. Why? They said had not heard from the insurance. Three hours had elapsed from midday checkout, it was a Sunday. Insurance had not said no, they had simply not yet confirmed yes.
What had changed? There was no problem when key was updated, no problem early afternoon. Who had instructed reception to order pack bags and leave?
Reception were asked. They said no one.
Next day hotel manager claimed there had been a misunderstanding. There was no misunderstanding.
Mavis Parkins was transferred by air ambulance back to UK and is now in hospital. Harry Parkins only had confirmation approaching midnight and had to leave after an early breakfast and sleepless night. He asked night reception to connect a call to enable other parties know he was leaving. Night reception refused to connect the call.
Whilst discussing the case with Thomson rep Magda, the son of the hotel owner often walked by. Not once did he have the courtesy to walk over and ask how was things, was there anything the hotel could do to help.
Contrast with local businesses, bars, car hire, restaurants, water sports, owners and mangers of other hotels, other guests at the hotel, all who asked how was the situation.
When they left the hotel, the hotel never had the courtesy to inform their Thomson rep Magda. She only learnt when she contacted the clinic, that they had already returned to UK.
Harry Parkins and his wife Mavis have often helped out the hotel when illegally overbooked (a frequent occurrence), by vacating their room and moving to another hotel. When it comes to their needing help, the hotel does nothing.
This is how Sunrise treats its long-term guests, guests who in the past have gone out of their way to help the hotel.
Harry Parkins and his wife Mavis have stayed at Sunrise 61 times, usually two weeks in May and four weeks in September, over a period of more than thirty years. When they first stayed, not long after the Turkish invasion and occupation of the north of Cyprus, there was only Sunrise, Vrissiana and No 1 restaurant and Happy Days apartments.
On arrival at the hotel at the start of their holiday, a complimentary bottle of wine delivered to the room. Delivered with the cork removed. The wine was like vinegar, undrinkable. The bottle was taken to reception. Reception said go to the bar. Bar said talk to restaurant manager. Restaurant manager refused to speak, refused to look in the eye. Ordered a waiter. It was claimed no bottles of wine. Harry Parkins pointed to racks of wine. With reluctance it was changed.
Harry and Mavis Parkins were honored a few years ago by the mayor for over 50 visits. Sunrise falsely claimed the credit. It was Alex of Windmills Car Hire who arranged this with the mayor.
It is not only long-term guests who have problems, it is new arrivals too. A family asked every day how were things. They checked out a week later. They said never before had they had a holiday where they had to keep complaining. One night, at midnight, they found they were locked out of their room. The hotel did nothing to gain access to the room or offer an alternative room. They were told to wait in reception until a technician arrived in the morning. When the technician dismantled the lock they saw it was held together by tape. They complained to the manager. He said denied access to their room was not considered to be an emergency. Whether or not an emergency was irrelevant, the family were locked out of their room, a room they had paid for. The family had a young girl, an elderly man who had difficulty walking, with breathing problems, and his breathing apparatus was locked in the room. It does not bear thinking about had the man panicked that he was denied access to his breathing apparatus.
Last year Harry Parkins was honoured by the Dutch Ambassador for his role in Operation Manna, dropping of food to the starving Dutch under German occupation. He has been honoured by the RAF on numerous occasions, was guest of honour at inauguration of the monument to Bomber Command in Lincoln.
Thompson need to give very serious consideration to whether or not they continue using this hotel, or any of hotels and apartments within the Sunrise group.
- Mavis and Harry Parkins meet Mayor of Paralimni
- Guest of honour at RAF Strike Command High Wycombe
- ‘After 36 operations and a mid-air collision, I made it to the end of the war’
Reposted in Travel Writers.