Guests freed after Cancun hotel holds them ‘hostage’

The Royalton RIviera in Cancun. Photo: Courtesy
The Royalton RIviera in Cancun. Photo: Courtesy

Cancun, Q. Roo — Over 550 guests are free after a hotel here tried to block their departure over some hefty charges in dispute.

When guests attempted to check out of the Royalton Riviera on Wednesday — the last day of a travel group’s travel program called Passover Paradise — they were told that they couldn’t leave until they paid tens of thousands of dollars each.

According to the hotel, the Passover Paradise program had declined to cover the costs and guests were slapped with huge bills, according to the Jewish Forward newspaper. 

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A lawyer’s letter convinced the hotel management to let their people go.

“The scare is over. Everyone is home safe,” according to  spokesperson at Passover Paradise. “That was a very big scare yesterday.”

“I checked out at 11 a.m. and had no problems,” said one guest, Dina Wohl. “People checking out after 1 p.m. were not released without payment of however much the hotel decided ($30k–$40k). The hotel is a mile off the main road and there is tight security so there is no way of just walking off.”

“Whether the balance owed by the program is legit or not, or fabricated by the hotel as the program claims we have no way of knowing,” she added. “But there was an unpaid balance left by the program and so guests had to contribute payment to that before they were allowed to leave.”

 The travel group operator is sticking by their guns, reports the Forward.

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“We have proof that we paid everything under the contract,” the Passover Paradise representative said. “We paid the contract, the full bill. We paid 30 days in advance. People are checking out, they’re charging people ridiculous amounts of money, holding them hostage.”

The Royalton told the Forward, “We consider the allegations in this letter to be completely false and our legal team looks forward to clarifying these misrepresentations.”

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