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Woman wins £25,000 over ruined holiday

A woman whose £88,000 holiday in the West Indies failed to live up to the high standards she expected was awarded £25,000 compensation in the High Court yesterday.

Janet Keppel-Palmer booked the 32-day holiday at Villa Frangipani, near Bridgetown in Barbados, to see in the millennium with friends and family. But despite the luxuries advertised in the brochure, she said the holiday had been spoilt because the four-bedroom villa was cold, dark, exposed to extreme weather and poorly equipped.

A judge awarded the damages as compensation for the discrepancy between the expectations derived from the brochure and the reality. "I take into account that on any view this was a very expensive holiday and she was entitled to expect very high standards," he said. "As I have found, what she got fell beneath these very high standards."

Mrs Keppel-Palmer, the wife of a wealthy anti-fraud expert from Richmond, Surrey, was "delighted" with the outcome, according to her solicitor, Mark Milkovics.

Royal Westmoreland Villas Ltd, which organised the renting of the property, was ordered to pay £22,000, to represent a refund of 25 per cent of the rental cost, as well as £3,000 for loss of enjoyment.

Exsus Travel Ltd, based in Mayfair, London, was also sued under legislation covering package holidays but the judge ruled that it was not liable.