Accommodation: 2 Stars
Entertainment: 4 Stars
Food: 4 Stars
Overall: 3 Stars
In the interests of full disclosure this is the third time I have stayed in a caravan but I don’t remember the other two times. We have always stayed in holiday cottages, apartments or hotels so I have been used to a certain standard of accommodation. I am trying to bear in mind that the conditions that we were in may be usual for a caravan.
Accommodation: 2 Stars
We stayed in the Veryan Caravan (B37) in May.
We arrived quite late on a cold, wet and windy day, but within the time allowed as stated on the Parkdean website. We picked up our keys from the Arcade from a security guide who also gave us a welcome pack.
As we drove past the caravans we were quite impressed, the rows looked neat and the caravans seemed quite nice. We passed the white ones until we reached the green ones which I have to admit didn’t look quite as nice but I reserved judgement until I could get inside.
We entered in the caravan and first impressions were good. There was a glass bowl on the little table with a little note saying the caravan had been cleaned by (person’s name) and if we had anu problems to go to reception.
The living space was nice, there was a sofa that took up the length of the back of the caravan, cupboards EVERYWHERE, and a nice little gas fire. The kitchen was serviceable and the bedrooms looked clean. There was the matter of the teeny-tiny television but hey, I knew there would be compromises. I set my toddler on the floor to have an explore, and we brought everything in from the car.
As we sat down for a quick dinner (our toddler needs to eat at a certain time or he gets very grouchy) we realised it was getting colder. My husband went about trying to put the gas fire on. It took about five minutes but he was able to get the flames going.
Cooking the first dinner was a breeze. The gas hob was easy to use and our emergency tinned Spaghetti Bolognese on toast was delicious!
We brought our own cot bed because we wanted to make sure that our little one would have a good night’s sleep, I just wish we had been as foresightful with our own sleep! There were two little beds in his room and no space for his cot. We stacked the two beds on top of each other and placed mattresses on top of the construction allowing us to put the cot bed up in the remaining space.
We took our toddler in to brush his teeth in the bathroom and the smell hit me like a wall. That’s awful! Still it got worse through the stay so I learnt to toughen up a bit. As we stepped into the bathroom the floor dipped as if there was a hole in the floor covered by vinyl. It was disconcerting but after a while I automatically did a large step every time I had to go in there.
We made sure the radiators were on in the bedrooms and we settled in for the night.
Day two started with minor aches and pains from sleeping on the uncomfortable mattress. Luckily I had the more comfortable side, my husband was really grumpy because he hardly slept at all from the feel of the bed.
We picked up our baby, gave him breakfast and headed up to entrance to the camp where the reception was to ask if they could change the mattress. The lady was polite and very helpful and said that she could make no promises but that they would see what they could do. Satisfied we toddled off to where Tot Stars would be held, which was excellent, but after we tired our little one out, we headed back to the caravan to let him have a nap.
We got back to the caravan to find the bedroom door open and all our bedding thrown on to the floor. The sheet was half up the mattress and our stuff was strewn around the bedroom. My first thought was that the caravan was burgled but a quick look at our electrical equipment led us to surmise that Parkdean’s customer service didn’t extend to its mattress changing staff.
We got our baby to sleep and we went about putting the bed back together again. What a great way for the holiday to begin! The next morning I was aching all over and my husband was only slightly aching. They had simply rotated the mattress so then I had the bad side. I’m still a bit aggrieved by that!
The next day I took the duvet from one of the beds in the other room (our baby had his own that we brought with us) and put it between the mattress and the sheet. Not perfect but we were only aching as opposed to being in agony the following day. So the configuration was mattress, duvet, sheet, double duvet and for me, the other duvet from the second room to keep myself warm in the night. The double duvet provided was the thinnest duvet I have ever seen!
To cut a long story short here are the lowlights of the holiday:
- After the initial lighting of the gas fire, it got progressively harder so we ended up having to light the hobs to make the caravan a tolerable temperature.
- The boiler light kept going out at inconvenient times.
- The hole? on the bathroom floor kept tripping me up at the beginning.
- The bathroom stank.
- The grill pan handle couldn’t be the right handle for the plan as if kept falling off. My hsiband burnt himself as a result.
- The knives were blunt in the kitchen so we had to buy a utility knife from Sainsbury’s which luckily was just down the road by car.
- The mattress was really uncomfortable.
- They forgot to put pillow cases on all the pillows. Luckily I brought my own.
- The thinnest double duvet known to man was provided in May.
- They threw all our bedding on the floor!
Highlights of the accommodation:
- It was clean.
- Tot Stars was excellent
- The soft play area was good but it did need a clean and they should really empty that bin more than they do.