Family's £8k TUI 'trip of a lifetime' to Mexico left 'in tatters' after hotel insists there was 'no booking' on arrival

Gerard and wife Natalie
-Credit: (Image: Supplied to The Record)

A "heartbroken" family said their "trip of a lifetime" to a luxury resort in Mexico turned into a "horrific ordeal" when the hotel insisted it had "no booking" on arrival. Gerard and Natalie Brodrick spent 18 months saving for the £8,000 stay at Moon Palace, Cancun.

But when they arrived at the start of their two-week getaway on June 5, they were told holiday provider TUI had "failed to pay" the resort. The couple, who jetted out with their 11-year-old son, Lennon, said they were then transferred to a nearby hotel that cost half the price of their original booking.

Gerard said the whole holiday had been "ruined" and "left in tatters". The 35-year-old told the Record: "When we arrived and were told there was no booking for us, I thought my pals had paid Jeremy Beadle to wind me up and that he'd appear with a video camera - that is how bad this was."

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He continued: "The staff were extremely rude and appeared to smirk at us and our situation. They told us TUI had failed to pay for our booking and that if we wanted to stay, we'd have to pay in full - again. I couldn't believe it, we saved up 18 months for this. If we wanted to stay for the night, they were going to charge us 600 dollars."

Gerard, who lives in Glasgow, said they had a three-hour debate with hotel staff before TUI moved them to another hotel - and claimed security staff threatened to throw them onto the street before a taxi arrived to collect them. He said: "At one point, they got three security guards to stand behind me and threatened to chuck us out if I continued to speak. My son was terrified, it's not exactly the safest place to chuck a family onto the street."

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He continued: "The ordeal was horrific, we are heartbroken. It was meant to be the trip of a lifetime. It might be the last holiday our kid wants to come on with us before he turns into a teenager, so we wanted to go all out. We genuinely booked this holiday for Moon Palace - it is the place to be in Cancun, it offers a premium family holiday and that's exactly what we wanted.

"It had amazing reviews and is highly-reputable, so it seemed like the perfect holiday for us. The hotel we have been moved to is fine but it isn't a patch on what we paid for and expected to get. The quality and prestige that Moon Palace offers just isn't here, it is really inferior in comparison. We paid for a jacuzzi in our room at Moon Palace and they obviously don't have that here. It's the detail we wanted. We're gutted and angry about the whole situation and it's left us pondering over what we can do to salvage this holiday."

A TUI spokesperson said: "We are so sorry to hear about our customer's experience in Cancun. Our goal is to ensure customers have the best possible experience, so this is not the way we wanted their holiday to start. Our destination team is working to get this resolved as quickly as possible." The Record has approached Moon Palace Hotel for comment.