X-ray Hotel Guests Allege False Advertising
Guests at the world-renowned five-star X-ray Hotel in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have lodged a complaint with the Consumers Association of Ireland regarding the poor condition of their accommodation and what they say are several factual inaccuracies in American Correctional Holidays' brochures.
"This wasn't what we were expecting at all," whinged Mohammed Ali Al-Murphy from Clonsilla in Dublin. "It's clearly a case of false advertising." The brochure advertised the hotel as being a mere 600m from the beach "but we don't even have access to the beach from here as there's a 6m-high fence topped with razor wire blocking our route". Al-Murphy said that when he and his wife, Tehmina, attempted to go for a swim, they were shot at with sedative darts, hog-tied, and carried forcibly back to the luxury resort.
The hotel itself is also the subject of a complaint. Advertised as a five star, maximum luxury resort for high-priority guests, American Correctional have been accused of gross misrepresentation. "There's no roof, for one thing," said Mrs Al-Murphy, "and no place for the kids. We were told there would be a romper room, but it seems there are only dangerous, mined areas and electrified chain fences where kids could easily injure themselves on flying shrapnel. And then there are the guards with guns."
"We were given a money-back guarantee that this holiday would comply with the Geneva Convention, but it seems the owners and American Correctional have conspired to rip off the public. They only comply with the bits that suit them."
The Al-Murphys say they paid for the holiday on the understanding that they would be staying in an apartment with a balcony, sun terrace, air con, heating, satellite tv, a telephone and a safe. They are demanding a full refund, and have also made a complaint to the Guantanamo tourist board, but are now afraid they will not even get their deposit back.
ACT CEO, Donald Rumsfeld, said he was unaware of any way in which the holiday sold did not differ from one not advertised in his company's brochure. Asked if their expectations had been too high for the resort, the Al-Murphys said that they may not have had time to make a proper assessment as the only time they actually saw the hotel was when the guards took off their blindfolds and loosened their restraints in order to see if they were conscious enough for 'questioning games' laid on by the hotel.
"All in all, though, I've been through worse," said Mrs Al-Murphy. "And this outdoor Cuban climate would do wonders for my skin, if only I didn't have to wear these orange prison overalls."