A British mother was left close to tears after tourists ‘swarmed like ants’ to claim sunbeds and forced her family to sit under a water slide on the first day of their Benidorm holiday.
Cayleigh Tuffs, who is on holiday with her husband Andrew and their eight-year-old daughter Charley, described the rush for beds as ‘horrendous’ and vowed never to return to the Spanish tourist destination.
It comes amid peak sunbed war season abroad, especially on the Costa del Sol, while locals in Benidorm have been caught setting up their loungers in the middle of the night to beat the swarm of Brits.
Ms Tuffs, who paid £2,000 for a Jet2 package holiday to Magic Aqua Rock Gardens, said she saw holidaymakers sprinting to sunbeds first thing in the morning to ensure they got the best spot.
The 34-year-old, from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, said: ‘They’re like ants scurrying for food. It’s horrendous. We’ve seen people throw towels across the pool to get beds and people are running even though it’s massively slippery.
‘We go on holiday five times a year and this is the first time we’ve ever seen anything like this. On the first day we got here in the afternoon so there was no chance of getting a bed so we sat under a slide to get some shade.
Cayleigh Tuffs, pictured with her husband Andrew and their eight-year-old daughter Charley, said she was left on the brink of tears
Holidaymakers were seen ‘swarming like ants’ to secure a sunbed for the day at the Magic Aqua Rock Gardens hotel in Benidorm
‘I was nearly in tears, it was horrendous. I’ve never wanted to cry on holiday before, but I did on that first day.’
Ms Tuffs said that the pool was packed with queuing Brits an hour before it opened at 10am, then ‘chaos’ ensued when the gates were opened by staff.
Footage taken by the IT manager on Thursday shows holidaymakers crammed near multiple entrances before rushing across the slippery floor to throw their towels on shaded sunbeds.
Ms Tuffs can be heard saying ‘Jesus Christ’ as she waits to see if her husband, who began queuing at 9am, could secure a spot for them.
Mr Tuffs managed to reserve two beds on Thursday, one more than he was able to grab during his other attempts on Monday and Wednesday.
Ms Tuffs says there are at least three different entrances to the pool and some have even resorted to using a ‘sneaky’ entrance near the toilet blocks.
The mother-of-one claims that despite there being a rule of staff removing towels left on beds for more than 20 minutes, some are left for up to six hours unattended.
Ms Tuffs (pictured on plane to Benidorm with family), was so upset by the rush for beds that she has vowed never to return to the popular tourist destination
Footage showed Ms Tuffs and her daughter Charley (pictured together) waiting to see if Mr Tuffs could secure a bed
Ms Tuffs had paid £2,000 for a package holiday to stay at the Magic Aqua Rock Gardens (pictured) in Benidorm
She continued: ‘He [Andrew] started queuing at 9am so we could get a bed and watch Charley play in the pool.
‘When it opens one of the staff tells people not to go [and get a bed] yet but you can see them edging forward to try and get there early.
‘Staff have no control. There’s a sign that says “if you leave towels for 20 minutes, we’ll remove them” but I haven’t seen that happen in five days.
‘There’s people saving beds for five or six hours when nobody’s been on them. That’s really frustrating when I just want to watch my daughter play.
‘When we’re not sitting around the pool we can’t see her play so she’s either got to stay with us or we’ve got to be in the pool with her. We can’t leave her on her own.
‘Everyone’s moaning about the situation but I just avoid the conflict. People I’ve shown have been shocked about it and they think it’s hilarious. You’ve just got to laugh about it.
‘I’ve never seen so many people packed into one area in my life. I’ll never come with my family again because of how chaotic it is. I’ve been with my friends before but it’s been nothing like this year.’
Ms Tuffs, who flew home on Friday after five nights away, says she usually goes to ‘more relaxed’ resorts in countries such as Tunisia or Turkey.
People queue for sun loungers at Hotel Estival Torrequebrada near Malaga – many brought chairs and a good book as they waited for almost two hours before the beach and pool opened
She posted her video to Facebook and captioned it ‘sunbed wars’ to show friends the struggles of securing a poolside bed.
One commented: ‘It’s like a swarm of ants when you lift a rock up.’
Another wrote: ‘My idea of hell. And pushed right up against people you don’t know, and in the shade!! Madness.’ A third added: ‘Nightmare.’
Last week, MailOnline revealed how sunbed wars have become so intense at one hotel on the Costa del Sol that they have introduced a parking ticket style system – with towels left on beds unattended removed after a time limit.
Staff at the hotel, which has seen tourists go to extreme lengths to secure a sun lounger, have brought in new measures to curb the madness.
Guests at the Estival Torrequebrada in Malaga, who have often paid thousands to enjoy a break, have been warned they can no longer leave towels as a marker on a sunbed to claim it for a whole day.
Management have instead begun leaving calling cards on sunbeds with towels, handbags and other personal belongings on them, warning they will be removed after 45 minutes if they remain unoccupied.
In Benidorm, locals were seen erecting parasols in the dark in front of the ocean as they battle with Brits swarming to sunbeds
At the nearby three-star Parasol Garden hotel, Britons are being allowed to ‘grab’ a sunbed only when a whistle has been blown by staff.
Meanwhile in Tenerife, tourists have been spotted reserving sunbeds at 6.30am despite the hotel’s pool not opening for another three-and-a-half hours.
As sunbed war season grips the continent, locals have had to take matters into their own hands.
In Benidorm, residents were seen erecting parasols in the dark in front of the ocean, while Greek coastal crusaders have declared a sunbed war on British tourist hotspots, pledging to fight back against the ‘abusive occupation’ of beaches.
The so-called ‘Towel Movement’ was set up in Paros by jaded residents, tired of not being able to find a free space on beaches due to aggressive sunbed firms.
They argue that illegal operators have been rinsing holidaymakers, who are paying over the odds to secure a spot – and leaving nowhere for locals to go.
Jet 2 and Magic Costa Blanca, who oversee Magic Aqua Rock Gardens, have been contacted for comment.
I am Rakesh Sharma, I associated with Elite News as an Editor, since 2021. I take care of all the news operations like content, budget, hiring and policy making.