Tui refunds couple over hotel’s effigy blunder
The travel company Tui has refunded a couple for their holiday after hotel staff at a Jamaican resort left an effigy of their dead son in their room as a misguided tribute.
Faye and Andrew Stephens have made it an annual tradition to celebrate their son’s birthday following his death aged 22 in 2014. Alex Stephens died after falling from a balcony while on holiday in Spain.
Alex’s godmother, Karen Baker, who was on holiday with the couple, had asked staff at the five-star Royalton Resort to surprise them with balloons and cake in their bedroom to mark the occasion.
The hotel workers instead created an effigy by stuffing the couple’s clothes with towels, and arranged it on the bed. The figure had tears on its face and a can of lager in its hand and was positioned next to petals spelling out: “We miss you Alex”.
“When I walked into the bedroom, all I can describe is a dummy body on the bed,” Baker told the BBC’s Three Counties Radio. “I was absolutely horrified.”
A Tui UK spokesperson said: “We offer our sincere apologies … We’re following up with the hotel and believe it was a misunderstanding with no intention to cause upset.”