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    A luxury holiday to the Caribbean ended in disaster for two wealthy travellers from the West, a court was told yesterday.

    Ronald and Prudence Constantine, from Devizes, Wiltshire, another elderly couple and a family of four paid £7,000 per person to travel by Concorde to Barbados.

    But the holidaymakers discovered that they would have to stop to refuel en-route to Lisbon – a delay which added two and a half hours to the four and a half hour transatlantic flight on December 23, 1998.

    When the party arrived at the luxury Tamarind Cove Hotel in St James’s for the 10 day holiday, it was to find workmen’s rubbish, and wires hanging out of the walls, as the hotel was undergoing refurbishment, Judge Kenneth Zucker was told at Central London County Court.

    Bryan and Jean Sullivan, from Lymm, Cheshire, the Constantines and Gordon and Thelma Laurie, of Milton, Cambridgeshire, seek unspecified damages for “loss of value and enjoyment” from Superlative Travel, a tour operator which specialises in luxury trips.

    Superlative is in turn seeking damages from the hotel.

    Mr Hugh Tomlinson, counsel for the six claimants, said: “The hotel was highly recommended and stylish and of the highest quality.”

    But the trip fell “lamentably short of a luxury holiday in a number of vital respects”, and his clients had experienced “distress, anxiety and trouble”.

    Refurbishment work a the hotel led to furniture missing from the guests’ rooms, rubbish lying around the hotel, workmen going in and out all day.

    The hotel safe was not working, which left his clients felt their valuables were insure.

    Mrs Constantine, 67 of High Street, who said she has been to Barbados 15 times, told the court: “It was a holiday from hell. The most miserable holiday I’ve ever had.”

    “If I had known about the stopover I would have cancelled without a doubt. My husband has Parkinson’s and I’ve just had a spine operation.”

    Mrs Constantine, who kept a diary during her stay in Barbados, told the court she was plagued by the constant noise of workmen laying ceramic tiles.

    After complaining about her first bedroom she and her husband were moved to a second room, which she claims flooded due to faulty air conditioning.

    She said her shoes “were floating in two inches of water”. The court also heard that on her first night at the hotel restaurant she “waited so long I fell asleep at the table”.

    Her husband, retired farmer Ronald Constantine, 72 told the court: “I was absolutely appalled that when I arrived the hotel wasn’t ready for new visitors.”

    He added: “There were concrete mixers, cement barriers and general debris.”

    “Western Daily Press”