Effigy of the couple’s dead son was a result of ‘misunderstanding’ by staff.
Faye and Andrew Stephenses had made the yearly trip to honour their late son Alex’s birthday since 2014, with family friend Karen Baker asking staff at Royalton Jamaica Resort for a cake and some balloons to be put in the room.
However, the staff went above and beyond, creating a life-sized dummy with tears running down its face holding can of beer, next to which were the words “we miss you Alex” written in flower petals.
Baker found the dummy before the Stephenses saw it and had it removed immediately, saying she was “utterly horrified”.
“I have truly never seen anything like it,” she said. “I still look at the photographs now and can’t believe somebody thought to do that.”
The couple were refunded in full for their holiday, which cost $2,300 per person, while spokesperson for the British-based travel operator that runs the hotel, TUI UK , apologised to the family.
“We’re following up with the hotel and believe it was a misunderstanding with no intention to cause upset,” the spokesperson said.