“A few minutes walk to the beach” costs tour operator 1795 euros

Is a hotel 1.3 kilometers away “just a few minutes’ walk from the beach”? The Munich District Court has now dealt with this question and reached a clear decision.

A hotel 1.3 kilometers from the beach is not “just a few minutes’ walk from beautiful beaches” – this is what the Munich District Court decided in a ruling. A tour operator who had advertised the hotel despite the distance must therefore pay the costs of a replacement hotel and compensation – a total of 1,795 euros.

25-minute walk to the beach: mother sues hotel

The lawsuit was filed by a woman who had traveled to Costa Rica with her nine-year-old daughter in 2022 and discovered on site that the boutique hotel she had booked, which was advertised as “just a few minutes’ walk from the best restaurants and beautiful beaches […] away” was actually a 25-minute walk from the beach. At reception she was told she would have to take a taxi there.

After consulting a local contact person from the tour operator, the mother booked a replacement hotel. She demanded reimbursement of these costs and compensation for a day of vacation wasted by changing hotels from the operator – and the court has now ruled in her favor.

Judge: “Time specification ‘a few minutes’ should not exceed five minutes”

The 1.3 kilometers to the beach could only be covered in five minutes at a walking speed of about 15.6 kilometers per hour. And that was “an ambitious pace even for experienced runners,” the court ruled. “Given that the defendant knew when planning the trip that the plaintiff was traveling with a nine-year-old child – she adapted her leisure program to suit the child – it cannot be assumed that such a pace would be maintained.”

The court also pointed out that at just under 9,000 euros for twelve days (excluding flights), this was a “high-priced trip.” “The defendant, who advertises that she offers ‘unforgettable luxury trips’, must be measured against her own standards,” the court said. “The court is convinced that, in the case of a high-priced luxury trip, ‘a few minutes’ walk’ is a time that does not normally exceed five minutes at a normal walking pace.”

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