A British mother was left in tears after tourists “swarmed like ants” to claim sun loungers 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 eight-year-old daughter Charley, described the rush for beds as “horrendous” and vowed never to return to the Spanish tourist destination.
It comes in the midst of peak sun lounger war season abroad, especially on the Costa del Sol, while Benidorm locals have been caught setting up their sun loungers in the middle of the night to beat down the swarm of Brits.
Ms Tuffs, who paid £2,000 for a Jet2 package holiday to Magic Aqua Rock Gardens, said she saw tourists rush to the sunbeds in the early morning to make sure they got the best spot.
The 34-year-old, from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, said: “They’re like ants running for food.” It’s horrendous. We’ve seen people throwing towels in the pool to get beds and people running even though it’s very slippery.
“We go on vacation five times a year and this is the first time we’ve seen anything like this. 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 eight-year-old daughter Charley, said she was close to tears.
Tourists were seen ‘swarming like ants’ to secure a sun lounger for the day at the Magic Aqua Rock Gardens hotel in Benidorm.
“I was about to cry, it was horrible. I had never wanted to cry on vacation before, but I did that first day.
Mrs. Tuffs said that the pool was full of brits queuing for an hour before it opened at 10am, then ‘chaos’ ensued as the gates were opened by staff.
Footage taken by the IT manager on Thursday shows tourists crammed near multiple entrances before running across the slippery floor to throw their towels on sunbeds in the shade.
Mrs Tuffs can be heard saying ‘Jesus Christ’ as she waits to see if her husband, who started queuing at 9am, could secure them a place.
Tuffs managed to reserve two beds on Thursday, one more than she was able to reserve during her 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 says that despite a rule that staff remove towels left on beds for more than 20 minutes, some are left unattended for up to six hours.
Mrs Tuffs (pictured on a plane to Benidorm with her family), was so upset by the rush for beds that she vowed never to return to the popular tourist destination.
The footage showed Mrs 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 Magic Aqua Rock Gardens (pictured) in Benidorm
She continued: ‘He [Andrew] We started queuing at 9am so we could get a bed and watch Charley play in the pool.
‘When it opens, one of the employees tells people not to go [and get a bed] yet, but you can see them moving forward to try to get there early.
‘The staff have no control. There is a sign that says “if you leave the towels for 20 minutes we’ll take them away” but I haven’t seen that for five days.
There are people keeping beds for five or six hours when no one has occupied 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 watch her play, so she has to stay with us or we have to be in the pool with her. We can’t leave her alone.
‘Everyone complains about the situation, but I just avoid conflict. People I’ve shown it to have been amazed and think it’s hilarious. You just have to laugh about it.
“Never in my life have I seen so many people packed into one area. I will never go back with my family because of how chaotic it is. I’ve been with my friends before, but it hasn’t been anything like this year.
Ms Tuffs, who flew home on Friday after five nights away, says she tends to go to “more relaxed” resorts in countries like Tunisia or Turkey.
People queue for sun loungers at the Hotel Estival Torrequebrada, near Malaga. Many brought chairs and a good book as they waited for nearly two hours before the beach and pool opened.
He posted his video on Facebook and captioned it “lounger wars” to show his friends the difficulties of securing a poolside bed.
One commented: ‘It’s like a swarm of ants when you pick up a rock.’
Another wrote: ‘My idea of hell. And pushed against people you don’t know, and in the shadows!! Craziness.’ A third added: “Nightmare.”
Last week MailOnline revealed how sunbed wars have gotten so intense at a hotel on the Costa del Sol that they introduced a system of parking tickets: towels left on unattended beds are removed after a time limit .
Hotel staff, who have seen tourists go to great lengths to secure a sun lounger, have introduced 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 that they can no longer leave towels as a marker on a lounger to claim it throughout the day.
Instead, management began leaving phone cards on sunbeds with towels, bags, and other personal belongings, warning that they will be removed after 45 minutes if they remain unoccupied.
In Benidorm, locals were seen erecting parasols in the dark facing the ocean as they fought off Brits crowding sun loungers.
At the nearby three-star Parasol Garden hotel, Brits are allowed to ‘take’ a sun lounger only when staff blow a whistle.
Meanwhile, in Tenerife, tourists have been seen reserving sun loungers at 6.30am despite the hotel pool not opening for another three and a half hours.
As hammock warfare season grips the continent, the locals have had to take matters into their own hands.
In Benidorm, residents were seen erecting sunshades in the dark facing the ocean, while Greek coastal crusaders have declared a sunbed war on British tourist hotspots, pledging to fight “abusive occupation” of the beaches.
The so-called ‘Towel Movement’ was created on Paros by jaded residents, tired of not being able to find a free space on the beaches due to aggressive sunbed companies.
They argue that illegal operators have been flushing out tourists, who are overpaying to secure a spot, and leaving locals nowhere to go.
Jet 2 and Magic Costa Blanca, who oversee Magic Aqua Rock Gardens, have been contacted for comment.