Hotel leaves effigy of couple’s dead son on bed in ‘horrifying’ tribute

Tom Embury-Dennis

A travel firm has given a couple a full refund after staff created a “horrifying” effigy of their dead son in a hotel room in Jamaica.

Karen Baker tipped workers at the five-star Royalton Jamaica Resort to fashion a tribute, using a cake and balloons, for her friends Faye and Andrew Stephens, whose son Alex died aged 22 in 2014.

Instead, Ms Baker, who joined her friends on the holiday, was left “shaking” when she found a body stuffed with clothes propped up on the Stephens’ bed with a cake on its lap, according to the BBC.

“When I walked into the bedroom, all I can describe is a dummy body on the bed,” she told the organisation.

“Staff had gone through my friend’s wardrobe and stuffed the clothes with towels to make it look like a body on the bed. They even put tears down the face and a can of lager in his hand.”

Ms Baker, from Hertfordshire, said she was the first person to discover the dummy and removed it before her friends, who were on holiday celebrating their son’s birthday, saw it on their bed.

“I was absolutely horrified – as you can imagine I was sweating and shaking. We just didn’t want our friends to see it,” she said.

“I have truly never seen anything like it. I still look at the photographs now and can’t believe somebody thought to do that.”

A spokesperson for TUI UK, the travel operator which arranged the trip, said: “We offer our sincere apologies to the Baker party for their holiday experience in Jamaica.

“We’re following up with the hotel and believe it was a misunderstanding with no intention to cause upset.”

The family received a full refund of £1,300 per person for the holiday.