Laura Denmar and her boyfriend Jeremy Lafond were holidaying in Split, a town on Croatia Dalmatian Coast, popular for its proximity to beaches and the fourth century Diocletian’s Palace in the town centre.
Facing peak season hotel prices, they booked a £60-a-night hostel (about AU$105) through an unnamed major website, MailOnline reported.
Upon arrival in the city’s picturesque Old Town, they were instead sent away to a grimy suburb.
“We were told that we had to pick up the keys from a different hostel, and then make our way to the apartment,” she said.
“When we arrived we realised that it was not legitimate at all – there were 30 beds and only one bathroom and no one there running anything.
“We had nowhere else to stay and we had already paid so we decided to make do.”
But on the last day of their stay, a cleaner entered their room and demanded they leave immediately or pay more money.
“I told her that was unreasonable and refused to hand over any money and so she told us she would call the police if we did not leave,” Denmar said.
“I knew what they were doing was illegal so I told her to go on and call the police. Instead she called a man who we think was the owner.
“She locked the doors so we could not leave until the man arrived.
“When he did, he slammed Jeremy into a wall with another guy and the woman started beating me with a metal pole. It was awful.”
Denmar required stitches to her head and suffered a fractured hand as well as bruising to her arms and body.
She made a statement to Croatian police, has been in regular contact with the British Embassy and complained to the website which brokered the hostel.