I have accepted £100 from the booking agents, I have been trying to get my money refunded for nearly 4 months now and I have to accept that I have reached stalemate.
ABTA have been no help at all.
I looked into the small claims court, but it is too much to pay out to start proceedings, I am already a couple of hundred pounds down and I can't afford to pay out anymore.
Somewhere2Stay are still refusing to comment on, or even acknowledge, the month it took them to tell me that the Maritim had refused the booking.
As well as the difference in price between the hotels and the cost of eating out even though I had paid for an evening meal, there was the cost of a taxi to the airport from Calella, this cost €120. I had booked a return transfer and I received confirmation of the time of the return trip and pick up location.
For whatever reason, the time of the pick up was changed, the transfer company contacted all the hotels where pick ups had been arranged so that they could put signs up in the reception area noticeboard to notify the traveller. Unfortunately, as I had been moved, I did not receive any notification.
After waiting at the pick up point for an hour, I tried ringing the contact number on the booking confirmation, but there was no answer. I walked down to the train station and took a taxi.
I have calculated what the holiday cost me.
I expected to pay £510
I could have paid £420 had I booked the Santa Monica myself, choosing B&B and eating meals out.
I ended up paying £685.
(I laid all of this out in an excel spreadsheet but I couldn't post it to my blog!)
So lesson learnt, make sure the company you are ultimately booking with is reputable.