IN MADRID – Tourists have complained that some Spanish hotels appear to have turned off the air conditioning in their rooms in contradiction to the country’s new energy-saving rules.
Hotels, restaurants, shops and bars must limit the air conditioning to no lower than 27°C, according to a government order which came into action last week.
The temperature restrictions do not apply to private areas, such as hotel rooms, where the air conditioning can be adjusted to any level.
However, some tourists have complained that the hotels they stayed at in Mallorca have either turned off the air conditioning or raised it to above the 27°C level, which is only required in public areas.
Alexandra Smith, who runs the You Tube channel Mallorca Under The Sun, said she had received messages from tourists who said air conditioning systems at hotels appeared to have been turned up, making rooms stifling.
Karen Huffman, who stayed at the Inturotel Cala Azul Garden in Cala d’Or on August 15, wrote to Ms Smith’s site: “We’ve noticed a big change in our hotel both in the dining room and in the room in the last couple of days.
“We’ve been in Cala d’Or for the past two weeks going home today but last night was unbearable. It got to the point where we thought the AC was broken and reception sent up the maintenance man.”
She added: “He was full of apologies that he couldn’t do anything and that the hotel had turned the temperature up. He said this was ridiculous when you’re on holiday. We are in the middle of a heatwave and we pay for a hotel to have AC and they may as well have turned it off.”
When i attempted to contact the Inturotel Cala Azul Garden, it did not receive a response.
Claire Butler, who stayed at the AluaSun Continental Park Hotel & Apartments, wrote: “We have been here since Tuesday and we have definitely noticed a change in the AC since I was here a few back.
“It really affects getting ready to go out in the day and even more in the evening after showering (despite having cool showers) the temperature is far too high for a hotel room in this heat.”
The AluaSun Continental Park Hotel & Apartments told i that guests could set the temperature in their own hotel rooms.
Tony Gregory, who stayed at the TUI Suneo in Santa Ponsa, said the air conditioning in his room was hardly blowing.
Spain has experienced record temperatures and its government is trying to persuade consumers to cut energy use (Photo: Diego Radames/Anadolu Agency via Getty)
“I don’t know what to expect but if it has air- con surely the room should be cool. Shame really when you spend thousands for a week away,” he wrote.
Mr Gregory said that the TUI representative suggested renting fans from the hotel and said the holiday company reimbursed the cost.
“This was all sorted immediately which was very good from TUI. The fans aren’t expensive to rent for the week if this doesn’t work out for others,” he said. TUI has been contacted for comment.
Rachel Cousins, from London, wrote this week: “We are due to fly out to Mallorca on Thursday. After being in London in 35 degrees Celsius with no air conditioning and suffering from heat exhaustion we are contemplating swapping our flights for somewhere else.”
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Ms Smith, who is from Dorset but who has lived in Spain for 16 years, said it may be the case that some hotels have extended the new restrictions to hotel rooms.
“It is difficult to know whether these hotels have been over-zealous or the holidaymakers have just had problems with their air con. I have been surprised by the response to my earlier posts which said that these measures only applied to public areas, not private rooms,” she told i.
She said the people who had contacted her appeared to be from Britain but also Holland and Scandinavia.
Under the government measures, shops and other establishments must close doors to stop cold air from escaping and they have to turn off lights at 10pm. In winter, heating systems can only be turned up to 19°C.
Teresa Ribera, the Spanish environment minister, said the point of the measures was not to “persecute but to raise awareness”.
However, tourism chiefs and the conservative opposition People’s Party have opposed the new rules, fearing that they will harm the country’s tourism sector, which was devastated by the pandemic.