A WEDDING party who paid over £25,000 to travel to Turkey for a dream ceremony and holiday have slammed Thomas Cook after their experience was ruined by sickness in their hotel.

Stacey and Mark Bibby, their three children and 19 other family members have all been left out of pocket after they paid thousands to stay in the Liberty Lykia World Hotel near Olu Deniz in October.

But rather than the dream trip they had all envisioned, the group, from Blackburn, were left in shock after they were told they could no longer stay at the resort and would be moved to a lower-standard hotel high up in the mountains and away from the beach.

Mrs Bibby’s mum, Lyndsay Whittle said: “My daughter and her then fiancé had travelled over with the kids a few days before everyone else so they could have a bit of a holiday before the wedding. But shortly after they arrived at the hotel my grandson was taken ill with a sickness bug and ended up in hospital.

"Thomas Cook had told them before they travelled that there had been some issues in the hotel, but ensured them it was safe to stay there. This obviously wasn't the case.

Lancashire Telegraph:

“We were all due to fly over two days later, but one member of our party had been told that Liberty Lykia World wouldn’t take us anymore as there had been an outbreak of illness.

“We were left two days before travelling without knowing where we could stay.”

To make matters worse, the family say Thomas Cook refused to move Mr and Mrs Bibby from Liberty Lykia World to new accommodation as they wanted to ‘confine the bug’.

Instead, once extended family had found a new hotel to stay in, Stacey’s sister Amy Whittle paid £2,000 on her credit card to get her bride-to-be sister a room in the same hotel as the rest of the wedding party.

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Ms Whittle said: “Stacey was distraught that her wedding would not go ahead and had no idea where her guests would be staying. Thomas Cook unacceptably expected my daughter and her now healthy child to return to the hotel where he had become sick. They were not willing for us to stay there but were happy enough for my young grandchildren to be there. Never mind the fact that we were a wedding party and wanted to all be together.”

When the remaining family members arrived at their newly appointed hotel, the Garcia, they were shocked to find that everything on offer was far inferior to what they had been promised at the Liberty Lykia Resort.

Ms Whittle said: “There was no daytime entertainment, no kids club and very limited evening entertainment.

“The food was almost inedible and after a few days of eating cold food and having an upset stomach, we had no choice as a family to pay for taxis and pay to eat out for the remaining duration of the holiday.

"There was also no representative around to talk to about all off the issues we were having."

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The one saving grace about the trip was the fact that Stacey had planned for a beach wedding, meaning it could still go ahead outside of the hotel.

Ms Whittle said: “The lead up to my daughter’s wedding was truly ruined. We had plan to have all the bridesmaids stay together the night before the wedding and the groom with his groomsmen.

“Garcia could not facilitate this, nor had they any facilities to press the bridal gown or dresses.”

Since arriving back in the UK the family have fought hard to get some of their money back, but so far Thomas Cook have offered to pay them £40 for any inconvenience which has been caused.

Ms Whittle said: “It’s a disgrace. Since coming back we have learned of the fact that Thomas Cook knew there was an illness going around at Liberty Lykia World yet they still welcomed Stacey, Mark and the kids.

“While staff inside the branch in Blackburn have been a real help throughout, the customer service in general is horrendous and the fact they’d offer us £40 each is an insult."

A spokesman for Thomas Cook said: "“Our customers’ health and safety is always our first priority and we are very sorry to customers at the Liberty Lykia World hotel whose holidays were spoiled. We are working hard to put things right for Ms Whittle.”