bizarre instructions in holiday cottages

(228 Posts)
TheNaughtySausage Tue 10-Sep-13 13:45:49

I am going on holiday on Friday and I am very excited. Not least because one of my favourite things is looking forward to finding out if the holiday cottage owner is anal/bonkers enough to leave little notes everywhere. I mean, I expect a certain level of "this is how the wood burning stove works" and "bins get emptied on a Wednesday", but some of them are mad... like the one which was laminated and hand-written in 1973 by the looks of the paper, balanced on the back of the ancient fusty sofa, instructing us that ALL the cushions MUST be plumped DAILY.

What odd things have you come across in holiday cottages?

TunipTheUnconquerable Tue 10-Sep-13 13:48:04

The one where EVERY piece of jigsaw or construction toy had a sticker with the owner's name and address on it.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Tue 10-Sep-13 13:49:55

We went to one rented out by a completely mad couple, who'd built it themselves, and who (it transpired) were camping in the field nearby so they could 'keep an eye'.

It had a mezzanine level that was totally open, no railings or anything, and one of the beds was there! They had a wooden draining board with a note saying 'please do not leave anything wet on the draining board at all as the wood will mark'. confused


gindrinker Tue 10-Sep-13 14:04:24

We had a wood draining board in our rented house... They're fucking shit. Its designed to get wet, don't make it from a porous material.

SimoneDeBeaver Tue 10-Sep-13 14:04:43

From the other side of the fence, I always look forward to bonkers things that our guests do (our cottage is next door to our house).

While we were away for a week in the summer, the family staying in the cottage spent happy hours shifting barrow-loads of gravel from our drive to the potholes in the farm track (not ours) ... why??

HumphreyCobbler Tue 10-Sep-13 14:08:37

There was a tiny wee sticker above the mirror in the hallway saying that the on button for the shower was behind the mirror. It took us two hours to notice.

Simone - WHY? grin

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Tue 10-Sep-13 14:09:11

Exactly, gin. We've got wooden worktops in our current (rented) house and they are a stupid choice. But at least we don't have a daft note telling us never to get them wet!

gindrinker Tue 10-Sep-13 14:11:52

I'm sure they're fine when installed and if you regularly wax them because they're your pride and joy.
Rented house when you never meet the owner and only deal with stupid letting agencies... Not so good.

SimoneDeBeaver Wed 11-Sep-13 11:22:40

The cottage we stayed in while our own cottage guests were busy with our gravel had the following:

'Do not hang clothes over the heaters or bad things will happen!'

which made me laugh because it at least acknowledges slightly anal tendencies, which as a fellow cottage owner I recognise grin

Sparklingbrook Wed 11-Sep-13 11:28:37

We stayed in an apartment last week and there were no instructions anywhere. It made me a bit nervous.

I did feel like leaving a warning notice on the bed though. It had sticky out feet and DH and I both stubbed our toes about 6 times. angry

But then too many laminate notices makes me feel very uncomfortable.

I love not meeting the owner. Key safes are brilliant!

BeaWheesht Wed 11-Sep-13 11:37:28

Oh I feel cheated we've never had any weird notes or instructions.

OliviaBenson Wed 11-Sep-13 11:50:49

We just stayed in one where we were asked to put all our rubbish in the public bins- don't think your even allowed to do that!

froomeonthebroom Wed 11-Sep-13 11:52:52

We stayed in the smallest holiday cottage in the world ever and the place was full of instructions about not leaving the tap running and other quite anal stuff, but the weirdest thing was all the stuff everywhere.

For a maximum of 2 people there were 34 mugs. And 6 teapotsl. And a whole grey canteen tray of cutlery.


Sparklingbrook Wed 11-Sep-13 13:30:49

I love all the random stuff in the kitchen drawers/cupboards. grin 6 eggcups for a 4 person apartment, and the drawers always have takeaway menus in, and random carrier bags.

SixPackWellies Wed 11-Sep-13 13:33:45

I stayed in a place once where there was a huge list of instructions, including the immortal 'Do not use the dining room for meals other than dinner. A breakfast room is provided for breakfast, not the dining room'.

Dh made the mistake of making a little joke about it to the owner. Who gave him a frosty glare.

Nassau Wed 11-Sep-13 13:47:37

SixPack - where do you eat lunch?

my parents went on a canal boat where the instruction manual said "please use the bread knife to remove debris from the engine" confused.

PeterParkerSays Wed 11-Sep-13 14:02:52

IShall, I take it they bought white sliced from the shop then?

inneedofrain Wed 11-Sep-13 14:22:53

Oh, please can have MORE! I have never had any notes in any holiday / short rental and some of these have me ROFL

NoMoreMadCatLady Wed 11-Sep-13 14:25:56

Lovely farm lodge had a note in a photo frame on top of the fridge which said "Do not encourage the chickens"

By the first evening it became clear what we were not to encourage the chickens to do...the cheeky fowl would peck on the glass patio doors to demand to be let in & fed smile

Not holidays cottage but my DH rented a room from a guy for a while, the list of instructions he got was and double sided page of A4 things like "if a door is left open at a certain angle, it must be left at that angle" and "Not to wash jeans in the washing machine as the rivets make a noise".

usuallyright Wed 11-Sep-13 14:32:48

do not urinate in the pool. (A villa we stayed in)
another one came with very specific instructions about how to drive up to the villa, up a very very steep driveway which resembled a bloody cliff face. It said : only one person in the car, remove all luggage.
Needless to say, we left the car at the bottom and walked up.
A French gite had 2 pages of A4 full of information on recycling, there were about 15 recycle bins. I think we used two.

DadDadDad Wed 11-Sep-13 14:34:00

"bins get emptied on a Wednesday" - now that would be helpful - last place we stayed had nothing obvious to say what the collection day was. I'll just get up really early each day on my holiday on the off-chance the bin collection is coming and I need to wheel out the correct bin, shall I?

But of course, there was the instruction manual for the toaster in a ring-binder, in case I'd forgotten how to operate a toaster... hmm

Mumsnut Wed 11-Sep-13 14:35:45

I'm goping to have a RECORDED VOICE in mine, saying 'Do not put sanitary products down the loo OR ELSE!' It will automatically come on when the light switch is pulled.

<<bad drains experience emoticon>>

usuallyright Wed 11-Sep-13 14:37:00

I've just remembered another one.
In our holiday cottage this summer, there was a notice in the bathroom telling us not to put any mercury or arsenic down the toilet. Because I often shove a packet of arsenic in with my toiletries.

Sparklingbrook Wed 11-Sep-13 14:41:30

On the canal boat we hired the note in the loo said 'Don't flush anything down the toilet you haven't eaten'.

specialsubject Wed 11-Sep-13 14:45:16

the notice about clothing and heaters should read 'don't hang clothes over the heaters because it is a fire risk, bozo!'

specialsubject Wed 11-Sep-13 14:45:17

the notice about clothing and heaters should read 'don't hang clothes over the heaters because it is a fire risk, bozo!'

TheNaughtySausage Thu 12-Sep-13 09:20:21

These are brilliant!

I love the one about not encouraging the chickens. It gave me a mental picture of all these chickens moping about with no self confidence grin

'do not encourage the chickens' gringringrin

I had the owner of a cottage phone me up and insist on reading out the instructions on recycling/cleaning etc to me the week before we went. She also emailed them to me and wanted me to print them out "so there's no misunderstandings".

In the Visitor's Book someone had put a reasonable comment about the property being a little overpriced for the facilities and she'd scrawled "What do you EXPECT for £600 in low season?!!!! You're being unrealistic HOW DARE YOU!"

This was through a large national cottage company, who had no answer as to why they allowed their clients to phone customers up and harrass them about Bin Day.

Frikadellen Thu 12-Sep-13 09:48:45

The toilet thing I can relate to from the owners. When we rented out our old property for a year we 3 times had the renters claim the toilet was blocked. A friend of ours runs a company that does all sorts of home improvements and he was who we had to go deal with such things. the first time it was a disposable nappy that had been chucked down the toilet. We paid and thought ok small child innocent enough mistake obviously they will not do it again.
2 months later toilet is blocked .. nappy again.. this time our friend had a word with them on the suitability of throwing disposable nappies down the toilet. Again we paid.

a month later toilet is blocked. We said to the estate agent to let the renters know if it once again was a disposable nappy we would charge the fee to them. Disposable nappy once again. they got the bill this time. After much grumbling paid. For the rest of the time they were with us we never had that problem again.

I still to this day do NOT understand how they managed to get 3 disposable nappies down a toilet..

Watto1 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:03:03

We had 'Please do not close the curtains'. We happily ignored this instruction as we did not want to be exposed to the street when getting ready for bed. However, the curtains failed to meet in the middle by a good 10 inches!

Sparklingbrook Thu 12-Sep-13 10:04:49

Bit off topic but does anyone do the leaving the holiday cottage thing of going back 5 times to check you haven't left anything, opening all the drawers and grovelling about under the beds? I annoy myself.

DH does, Sparkling. He annoys me grin

NoMoreMadCatLady Thu 12-Sep-13 10:07:17

grovelling about under beds that's what the children are for smile

It's usually their stuff under the beds, & they get extra pocket money to spend in the local tat gift shop for doing this job.

SoupDragon Thu 12-Sep-13 10:07:33

"Do not encourage the chickens"

I have visions of a flock of under achieving chickens and holidaying families with pom poms cheering them on to lay more.

Sparklingbrook Thu 12-Sep-13 10:10:23

You know that bit where you actually post the key back through the letterbox and can stop looking for stuff? It makes me anxious. blush

I nearly left a pair of my pants and a sock of DS's in the washing machine last week.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 12-Sep-13 10:22:03

Last holiday cottage we stayed in was divine, a lovely place in the Yorkshire Dales, really well Looked after.

The owner was obviously quite proud of it and we had a folder with details of the significance of the pictures on the wall. This one was painted by Mrs SoandSo who stayed here on this date in 1973 and loved it here and so on for loads of pictures. Completely fascinating and slightly bonkers in equal measures.

The house had wallpapered doors and a false door which we think must have gone through to next door at some point but not anymore, there was a padlock on itconfused The temptation to get the bolt cutters out was overwhelming! Such a shame they didn't write the story behind that in their foldergrin

greenhill Thu 12-Sep-13 10:24:22

I love reassuring sets of instructions and always read the folders full of info. I particularly like it when the visitor's book complains about the price of local amenities.

At one holiday cottage we were told not to use the tiny, ancient second staircase as the previous week someone had fallen down it and broken their leg. At another place we were told not to leave windows and doors open as a squirrel had got in shredded furniture and destroyed electrics. They'd not had an income there for weeks while it was sorted.

But at the last place we stayed at, I went round to the caretakers house to let them know that the slate roof was leaking onto the kitchen table and he said it always does that shock so we had to leave an enormous saucepan under it all week.

We stayed in a lovely cottage a couple of weeks ago. Nice owners, well equipped etc. But one of the terms and conditions left me a bit puzzled. 'The owners take no responsibility for disruption of the holiday caused by flora and fauna'.

Ok so it was on a farm. Cows mooing at stupid o' clock etc. But flora ? I was half expecting triffids.

Last year there were no less than 6 notices around the upstairs loo telling us in various degrees of sterness that it was only for wee-wees, and only then with very minimal loo paper useage. And it was in the instruction manual a few times, and the owners told us three times too. I was terrified of that loo.

TheNaughtySausage Thu 12-Sep-13 10:57:01

I once stayed in a haunted cottage (I'm not woo). Me and my brother hated it from the moment we walked in and were scared the whole time we were in it, to the point that we decided to share a room (we were 13 and 9 at the time). Then one night, as we were reading in our beds, the wallpaper rippled as though someone's hand was running across it from underneath. We were too scared to move so we screamed the place down. Mum came up all ready to be cross with us but we must have looked genuinely terrified.

She checked the wallpaper and it had no air bubbles or anything. It was pasted tight to the wall. She slept in our room with us after that.

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 12-Sep-13 10:58:06

Psammead, I expect someone got stung by a stinging nettle and complained.

fishandlilacs - was your DH renting a house/apartment with Sheldon Cooper??? (Big Bang Theory)

That sounds like something he would have in his 'Room-mate Agreement' smile

HungryHorace Thu 12-Sep-13 12:15:27

Sparkling, my dad once managed to leave with the only front door key to the cottage we'd been in. How he did it ice no idea as it was a massive, medieval looking thing and was in his front trouser pocket!

Psammead, what if a surprise poo happens? Do you have to fish it out?!

HungryHorace Thu 12-Sep-13 12:16:02

I've no idea. Crap typing!

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 12-Sep-13 12:20:23

We stayed in one once that had instructions for returning the key that were impossible to follow - you were meant to leave it with the caretaker at an obscure and difficult address and when you got there there was no-one in and no postbox, and failing that you were meant to go into Padstow 10 miles away in the wrong direction (nowhere to park except the park and ride) and take it to the letting agency which didn't open till the afternoon, etc. So we thought 'bugger that' because we weren't going into Padstow again and left it on the kitchen table with a note.
The owners failed to find it and phoned us up to ask what we'd done with it. confused

Clawdy Thu 12-Sep-13 12:35:55

We stayed in a villa in Italy which had a list of info about the villa and garden. One of the points was "Massimo will come twice a week and do gardening. He is very backward. "

Svrider Thu 12-Sep-13 12:54:41

Not really a rule, but we once arrived at a low cost caravan to find EVERYTHING covered in thick plastic (think laminated settee, table, bed etc)
The car wasn't allowed on the site and had to be parked 1.5 miles away (we had A LOT) of luggage
You weren't given a key, but had to call into reception to be let in confused
The reception was staffed by one man, who may or may not be available for said "letting in"
We didn't stay long...

Svrider Thu 12-Sep-13 12:55:45

Oooweer just realised my post was neither an instruction, nor about a holiday cottage
<slinks from thread >

Svrider Thu 12-Sep-13 12:57:47

Btw sparkling brook
I never double check
Hence leaving a fridge full of food
A DVD player (with DVDs )
And a bag of multi pack crisps

I did phone to apologise smile

Sparklingbrook Thu 12-Sep-13 13:02:01

Tsk Svrider, you won't do that again.

DS2 had ice cream and Ds1 had cheesecake for breakfast on the last day before leaving to empty the fridge. grin

DH and I stayed in one a few years ago (before we had DS) and there was a note on an A4 piece of paper inside a poly-pocket and staple-gunned to the wall which read "Please do not dry your towels"

I had so many questions...but no one to answer them

BrigitBigKnickers Thu 12-Sep-13 13:04:15

We were left an extra pile of towels with the instruction that they were to be placed on the chairs before they were sat on in order to keep the material clean.

BrigitBigKnickers Thu 12-Sep-13 13:04:46

We were left an extra pile of towels with the instruction that they were to be placed on the chairs before they were sat on in order to keep the material clean.

Sparklingbrook Thu 12-Sep-13 13:06:08

Oh no Brigit I would have had to leave immediately as the chairs towels or no towels would become dirty somehow.

Incidentally why do lots of SC properties have cream carpets? confused

Were you allowed to dry them, Brigit ? ;)

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 13:11:43

Oh this of a funny threadgrin

I've never had any bizarre instructions other than do not put sanitary towels down the loo which is sensible.

6 egg cups for a 4 person villa is also sensible/normal if someone wants more than one egg.

Last one we stayed in was incredible,I didn't want to leavesad we even had a survey emailed to us asking how they could improve and I couldn't think of a single thing.

Not a cottage but canal boat. Big sticker on the side of the cupboard telling us that to cut the engine in an emergency we should "yank the red knob to it's full length" shock grin

WipsGlitter Thu 12-Sep-13 13:19:20

We had some very, very complicated recycling instructions that made no sense whatsoever. I am sure they just ended up with loads of people leaving their rubbish behind. If you want people to sort at least provide sorting boxes.

TheNaughtySausage Thu 12-Sep-13 13:19:33

In With, what at all? What if they dried of their own volition?

UterusUterusGhali Thu 12-Sep-13 13:29:00

A lovely villa we stayed in in Tuscany.
We were asked not to wear sunscreen in the pool, as it Would leave a residue on their swanky pool. Fair enough, but you can't really let children swim without sunscreen, right?
Good job it rained all holiday. hmm

Same villa, we HAD to vacate the property twice a week to allow the cleaners in. That we HAD to have and pay for. Cue us stood outside in aforementioned rain watching them do the cleaning we had already done. (Tidy renters)

starfishmummy Thu 12-Sep-13 13:34:33

The holiday cottages we rent (we've been 6 times!) has no lamented notes. I feel a bit sad about that really.
They even have an arrangement with someone who puts the bins out grin

starfishmummy Thu 12-Sep-13 13:35:27

Argh it is one cottage. And the note is laminated!!

butterflyflyaway Thu 12-Sep-13 13:44:09

These are ace grin

grin 'lamented notes' grin

Sparklingbrook Thu 12-Sep-13 14:34:13

I have never boiled an egg in a SC property let alone 6. We very often don't even cook a meal in there.

Toast and cereal then every other meal out with goodies in the fridge for if anyone is peckish. grin

I hate shopping and cooking when i am on holiday. grin I always do all the washing before coming home though. <anal>

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 14:40:11

We only have breakfast,I refuse to cook and Dh loads the dishwashergrin

Parsnipcake Thu 12-Sep-13 14:43:15

In one we stayed in there was a welsh dresser crammed with nicknacks and a laminated sign ' do not take photos of the cups'.

MrsRambo Thu 12-Sep-13 14:55:21

Recently back from staying in a beautiful holiday cottage.

Only draw back .... We were instructed to take all our rubbish with us when we left!! WTAF? The cottage was fairly remote but we did see wheely bins at neighbouring houses.

This in a house that sleeps 12. There were 8 of us and 2 toddlers. You can imagine the amount of rubbish we generated. We had to find the local dump and make trips to it throughout the week!

Not what you want to be doing on your holiday!!

Sparklingbrook Thu 12-Sep-13 15:09:30

We always load the dishwasher and leave it running when we go. I ain't washing up on holiday either. grin

Did you take a sneaky pic Parsnip? i would have had to.

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 15:11:29

Parsnip-did you manage to resist?wink

Tee2072 Thu 12-Sep-13 15:21:03

The house we stayed at in California this summer didn't have any wacky instructions but did have green post it notes on the drawers/cupboards/closets we were allowed to use.

Confession: the closet in my son's room did not have a sticky on it. I used it anyway. How the hell would they know?!?!

starfishmummy Thu 12-Sep-13 15:33:03

Mrs Rambo I know how you felt. We once arrived at a holiday let to find the owner doing some jobs. Next day we went to put rubbish in the bin and it was full of his diy rubbish. The area only had fortnightly collections so we spent most of our holiday trying to get rid of ds's nappies. Bin was empitied the day before we left - we promptly filled it again.

starfishmummy Thu 12-Sep-13 15:37:50

Tee - perhaps they snuck in to look!!

I love the cottage we currently rent as the owners live about 100 miles away. After one very in your face (every time we went out/came back) owner, I tend to avoid cottages where it says the owner lives next door!

Tee2072 Thu 12-Sep-13 15:41:09

Owner in New York, starfish!

FungalSharkey Thu 12-Sep-13 15:50:41

A holiday cottage in France with a notice in the bedroom forbidding "bungling".

To this day I'm not entirely sure what that meant

We went to a cottage in France owned by an English couple once.
She had lots of instructions about what to do and what not to do to the HOB (always in capitals on every note).

It didn't seem like a particularly special HOB to me but it must have been her pride and joy as there were no such special instructions for the rest of the house and appliances.

TheNaughtySausage Thu 12-Sep-13 16:03:19

Fungal I have just woken the baby snorting at "bungling"

exexpat Thu 12-Sep-13 16:09:44

Has anyone read Care of Wooden Floors? It's a whole novel based on someone who leaves incredibly detailed notes for someone who is flat-sitting for him. Made me laugh and cringe at the same time.

Most impossible instructions I had were at a French cottage where we were meant to do very complicated things every day to check the swimming pool filter and chemicals. Instructions in French, obviously, and even with A-level French I really couldn't follow them. Have to admit that by half-way through the week I had stopped even trying.

The note I wish we had been left at the same cottage was a warning that if we had more than one appliance (cooker, dishwasher, kettle, washing machine) on at the same time, the main fuse would trip... Spent a lot of time running out to the fusebox in the garage before we worked it out.

Selks Thu 12-Sep-13 16:12:07

I stayed in a caravan once that had an alarming note saying "Do Not Step on the Floor" stuck on the wall, visible as soon as you opened the caravan door.

I spoke to the owner who confessed that they'd had a burst pipe and the underfloor - made of chipboard - had turned to weetabix in places and the whole floor was held together by the lino. This meant that if you stepped in the wrong place your foot sank through the floor. She thought it was totally fine to let it like that! shock hmm.

We survived the week by memorising the spots where it WAS ok to step and doing a kind of hop, step and jump to get from one end of the caravan to the other. It was inevitable that it would all go wrong however. On coming back from the pub one night I totally forgot about the blasted floor and sprained my ankle angry. Luckily it was on the last day and DP was able to pretty much carry me to the car and drive me home.

EmilyAlice Thu 12-Sep-13 16:15:23

We used to go to the same villa in the south of France every year for about 15 years. The patio doors had a wooden baton as a security device to stop them opening from the outside. The notice said, Wait! There is a stick behind the door! The whole family used to say it in chorus as we went in.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 12-Sep-13 16:20:24

We had a notice this year requesting that if anyone wished to dye their hair would they kindly use the special old towel so as not to ruin their normal, (very lovely) towels.

I mean, who the fuck goes to the arse end of the Yorkshire Dales and thinks "hmm, what shall I do today, nice I'll just dye my hair"confused

EmilyAlice Thu 12-Sep-13 16:26:03

We had a holiday cottage for a bit and on the forum for owners there were a lot of stories of towels ruined by hair dye and sun cream. There were some amazing stories. I remember one about some guests who went off for the day and came back three days later having forgotten where they were staying. Owner had contacted the gendarmes.

TheWickedBitchOfTheBest Thu 12-Sep-13 16:26:30

We rented a lovely house this summer with large gardens. The 'caretaker' met us to show us round, and implied the owners lived away.

Three days later we discovered the caretaker was in fact the owner, and he was living in a shed, literally a shed, in his own gardens. Really weird.

His wife came round halfway to change the bed linen and towels. She politely instructed me and our DCs to follow her upstairs, handed us all the fresh linen and got us to change all the beds. WTF?

She remarked that 'she was holiday that week'. Er, yes we fucking are too thanks.

idococktailshedoesbeer Thu 12-Sep-13 16:29:09

We stayed in a beautiful cottage in a well known town in the Lakes. Was reading through the normal welcome material when I saw a warning about being careful not to upset the woman next door, who was "slightly eccentric but harmless".

DP later went out to get something from our car and he got told to f* off and called the c word! We spent the week being abused for doing absolutely nothing at all every time we walked outside.

britaxmaxwayuser Thu 12-Sep-13 17:06:53

This summer I stayed at a cottage which came with a key fob with 2 buttons on it. In the visitor book it said "Please use button 1 on the key fob to open the gates. For reasons we cannot disclose, please do not press button 2 under any circumstances."

So obviously, on the last day, we drove up the drive pressing button 2 repeatedly.

britaxmaxwayuser Thu 12-Sep-13 17:10:06

Oh and all this weirdness about the rubbish - we had a similarly weird cottage owner who got REALLY funny about the rubbish so I did a bit of reading up on it.

Holiday cottage owners by law must make arrangements and PAY for a commercial waste disposal company to take holiday cottage waste away - it must not be put into the council's normal domestic refuse collection.

After being subjected to a whole load of passive aggressive nonsense all holiday about the rubbish by our holiday cottage owner (including him starting to dump my own rubbish back onto the doorstep of my cottage), I grassed him up to the Council for trying to sneak commercial waste into a domestic waste collection. twat

insanityscratching Thu 12-Sep-13 17:24:53

We had one that asked us not to feed the cats as they were used on the farm to keep vermin at bay. Trouble was though they'd sit and yowl pathetically at the back door for hours until they were given titbs.
At the last one it said that they hoped we enjoyed sitting in the beautiful gardens but do feel free to use the gardening equipment provided to help maintain them hmm funnily enough gardening isn't on my list of activities I enjoy when on holiday.

BringMeTea Thu 12-Sep-13 17:26:43

Selks you win. Crying here.

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 17:29:30

I've never experienced anything like described on this threadshock take your rubbish home with you? Wtaf?confused

Sparklingbrook Thu 12-Sep-13 17:59:31

I am loving these. I hate properties where they adjoin the owner's property in case the owner is a right sticky beak.

And 'use of the owners pool by arrangement'. hmm

My DB and DSIL went to one where the owners moved into a shed as the SC property was their actual houseWicked it wasn't Devon was it?

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 18:03:00

I nearly booked what I thought was a barn with it's own hot tub but just as I was about to enter credit card details I double checked and it was SHARED with 4 other barns. Mmmm nicehmm

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 18:03:10


TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 12-Sep-13 18:18:45

Britmax, thank you for that info re rubbish.

I've never been to one that told you to take all your rubbish away but I went to one where our two families sharing a cottage for a week were limited to half a bag and told to take away the rest hmm
Yeah right. Quite apart from the car being full with our 3 kids and luggage, nothing I'd like better than a 6 hour drive with stinky rubbish bags in the back of the car.
To add insult to injury, there were no recycling boxes or compost heap. We generally produce less than a bag of rubbish a week at home, but only because so much goes in the compost.

TheWickedBitchOfTheBest Thu 12-Sep-13 18:21:14

Sparklingbrook, no not Devon smile

GoofyIsACow Thu 12-Sep-13 18:44:15

Hilarious thread, britax what happened with button 2???

Sparklingbrook Thu 12-Sep-13 18:47:10

Has anyone ever not got their deposit back?

GoofyIsACow Thu 12-Sep-13 18:48:34

this is a hilarious book of notes left by people sharing flats, made me laugh a lot!

Tinlegs Thu 12-Sep-13 18:51:43

We rent out two holiday properties and have key safes so don't often meet our guests. However, our cleaner in Edinburgh had a strange encounter with 3 American teachers. I had given them a huge discount (as I am a teacher too and they were young and a bit bewildered by the travelling) so expected lots of happy customers.

However, they complained to our cleaner that they had been bitten by,"A poisonous giant Edinburgh biting spider". We eventually worked out they had been on a day trip to Skye (bonkers journey in itself) and it was probably a midge!

(Surely more poisonous creatures in Arizona than Scotland?)

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 18:51:58

Sparkling-I broke the washing machine and ds lamp and still got ours back. I think the deposit is to cover insurance excess and everything else is wear and tear.

Sparklingbrook Thu 12-Sep-13 18:59:19

Oh that makes sense valium.

We always end up at places with barriers and key fobs and spend the whole time wondering where the key fob is as we are warned that they are made of gold and £££££s to replace.

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 19:04:35

We were shitting ourselves about the washing machine but the care taker came and did or washing for us!

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 19:04:45


I once didn't get back my deposit, but that was because it was cashed while we were away by someone (I still suspect it was the owner trying to pull a fast one) and I ended up having to report it as stolen to my bank who were fucking useless at sorting it all out and took 6 bloody months to get me my money back (the Nationwide BTW, if anyone is interested, and no, I don't bank with them any more).

While we were in France the instructions for recycling said 'take it to the recycling banks in the park, don't be a lazy sod and leave it for the next person'.

IBakeThereforeIAm Thu 12-Sep-13 20:03:21

We are lentil weavers eco minded so read the laminated very detailed info on recycling (quite threatening re getting it wrong) only to find it didn't say ANYWHERE if we were week one or two -grrr! Might have annotated with a sharpie suggesting this would be useful blush

WipsGlitter Thu 12-Sep-13 20:11:59

We stayed in one once (when kids) where the owners lived in a shed in the back garden and were always peering in. It was their house the rest of the year. My mum HATED it.

MrsRambo Thu 12-Sep-13 20:25:52

Britax that's really interesting info about holiday cottage rubbish being classified as commercial! Top research marks to you. We just scratched our heads and merrily went down to the dump every other fucking day...

On the plus side, the toddlers in the group started to enjoy these excursions to the dump due to a small crane like machine there that they could marvel at from inside the car. Cheaper than the local petting farm and the highlight of the holiday for them!

Technoprisoners Thu 12-Sep-13 20:38:09

A holiday cottage in France, English owners living next door (never again), me 6 months pg. We had rented a 3-bedroom place, but she'd only made up twin beds for the boys in one room, plus ours, leaving the 3rd un-made. We wanted to be able to use this bedroom, due to much nocturnal bed-hopping between me, dh, and the dcs. All household linen under lock and key. Knocked on the owner's door to ask and she looked me up and down said: "I don't think you need to worry about that in your condition".

MrsRambo Thu 12-Sep-13 20:46:17

Not wishing to go off topic too much, but does anyone else really enjoy reading the visitors' comments book?

I stayed in a cottage once that had quite complex instructions about taking shower. A bucket precisely here and a shower curtain that had to be at a certain angle, to avoid pooling of water on a window sill.

One of the comments in the visitors book was a 2 page technical description of how this problem could be solved via a combination of re-tiling and ensuring the angle of the tiles on the window sill were X degrees and re-alignment of the shower curtain. It had diagrams and and the angle degree measurements and everything!

Amazing what some holiday makers feel the need to to!

JADS Thu 12-Sep-13 21:02:00

Omg these are hilarious.

We stayed in a place in france where they had a very comprehensive list of stuff that needed cleaning at the end of your stay plus a detailed inventory down to the last teaspoon! We had have it checked prior to leaving. I was desparately trying to mop the floor as the came round for the move out check. You were then given a ticket to take to reception to hand in with the key. Otherwise there was a list of charges they could make for cleaning, broken glasses and lost teaspoons.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 12-Sep-13 21:13:54

britaxmax what happened when you pressed the second button?

TheNaughtySausage Thu 12-Sep-13 21:24:15

Yes I want to know what the second button did!

I shall report back to this thread if I find any lamented notes grin

FrogsGoWhat Thu 12-Sep-13 22:00:29

I have some stories about cleaning rental properties after guests have stayed - is that allowed? grin

Armi Thu 12-Sep-13 22:09:43

'Please do not kill or harm the ant colony. They are beautiful and fascinating to watch as they scale the kitchen units and climb the wall.' They are fucking ANTS and they are EVERYWHERE. Shall I marvel at the wonder of nature as they drown in my fucking coffee and paddle around in my breakfast cereal?

Dancergirl Thu 12-Sep-13 22:19:07

Yes please frogs!

alemci Thu 12-Sep-13 22:21:19

I've had to clean cottages after staying. it is a real cheek. wouldn't do it now. kids were young.

my dh lost key in sea and it would've cost $25 to replace. luckily young lad found it and someone else had a metal detector.

FariesDoExist Thu 12-Sep-13 22:23:10

"Wait! There is a stick behind the door" is brilliant, I can just imagine a family chorus every time you entered the villa.

FrogsGoWhat Thu 12-Sep-13 22:28:58

Cleaning rental properties...

There's all the usual ruining bed linen and towels with hair dye and oil possibly off the beach, hiding broken china in the fridge and under beds etc...

But MAGGOTS from groups of anglers in the fridge was not something I expected to find - then they got annoyed because I threw them out confused

The family who complained about the power cut - as if it was my fault! (emergency torches are provided in the properties in case of power cuts)

The best one was:
The family who rearranged the ENTIRE house so beds were now in the lounge and sofas upstairs etc - this one was a real headache as I couldn't shift the furniture on my own, and the next family were due in 3 hours which is barely long enough to clean and strip/make beds as it is (4 bed house)

Sparklysilversequins Thu 12-Sep-13 22:35:16

We stayed in a beautiful apartment overlooking mountains and the ocean in Nerja. Our owner had kindly left us an A4 lever arch file of what we thought were instructions for the apartment but actually turned out to be detailed reviews, done by the owner of each and every restaurant within driving distance. Nerja is a large place so there were quite a few. There were also strict recommendations directives as to how and when these restaurants should be used eg "fancy", "celebration", "formal" , "casual", "children will enjoy", "recommend no children" and so on.

Me and ex H drank lots of Rioja and spent many hours sniggering over the flowery prose grin.

CelticPromise Thu 12-Sep-13 22:39:53

Brilliant thread.

We stayed in a total dump of a villa this year but sadly it had no mad instructions, just crap maps drawn on someone's ancient PC. It would have been handy to have a note saying 'beware of the rats'...

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 12-Sep-13 22:45:36

Oh I love this so much. Please please put it in classics.

Love these grin

Stayed in a hotel which instructed us to keep all biscuits in a tin provided for the purpose in a chest of drawers. No idea why specifically biscuits confused

Also rented a room in a student house where there was a part in the lease about not being allowed to keep a waterbed. There's got to be a story behind that one grin

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Thu 12-Sep-13 23:04:18

'Owner aware of noise in the walls'

We were confused on arrival but at around 3am every night heard weir scratching in the walls. It must have been vermin but if the owner was aware why didn't they bloody sort it. £400 a week to be kept awake from 3am is bollocks.

sarascompact Thu 12-Sep-13 23:08:43

I must be really dull and unlucky. Ar the last cottage I stayed at I was greeted with a very friendly message and a bottle of wine and after we'd left we received a lovely letter from the owner thanking us for our custom and for leaving the cottage in a nice condition. He also told us that he'd have never had known we had a dog had we not told him (dogs were allowed and we confirmed in advance that ours would be welcome) and how the locals in the village pub had told him they'd enjoyed meeting us and our dog.

I'm quite disappointed that I didn't meet a fruitcase cottage owner!

CakeMonster100 Thu 12-Sep-13 23:09:17

Most annoying and useless was the instruction in the plastic folder that the parking space next to our cottage was owned by the neighbour and shouldn't be used. Well if you'd told us that before we arrived we wouldn't have parked there and got sworn at by said neighbour. Bit late to tell us after we've arrived and unloaded and found where you'd hidden the plastic folder. Grrrr.

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 23:26:39

Mrs Rambo-ds and I spend all week sniggering over the visitor's books. This year there were FOUR books in the drawer, chock full of silly comments like 'shaker it rained for 2 of the days we stayed'confused hmm grin

WhirlyByrd Thu 12-Sep-13 23:46:46

Our cottage this year (dog-friendly) had reams of baffling instructions. My favourite was:

'If your pet has to relieve itself on the lawn, please use the shovel provided to DISCREETLY remove it.'

I was so tempted to borrow a dog just so I could trill, 'DP is it your turn to shovel the dog turds or mine' to see what would happen if I was Indiscreet.

NoComet Fri 13-Sep-13 00:24:36

TheNaughtySausage the flora can be very dangerous.

We were watching the TV late one night in a holiday let in Cornwall, when totally without warning an enormously tall pot plant toppled over on top of us.

It must have grown just one two many leaves.

It was a lovely bungalow, it had been next doors late mothers and I guess the plants had always been there. There was an amazing hoya-wax flower trailing round the kitchen shelves.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 13-Sep-13 09:30:58

We always go for holiday properties with parking because I hate having to trek with our stuff. So we stayed in a lovely holiday property on Anglesey where the space to park was about 2 inches wider than our car and it took me a 101 point manoeuvre each time we returned to get the sodding car inhmm

And this year in the Yorkshire Dales, there was a track outside the front of the cottage for parking. The instructions asked very politely that we didn't stray off the track because the postage sided patch of grass beyond the track was "The Village Green"grin

After our week in Anglesey we stayed beside the Llangollen canal and although the parking space was huge, the track wasn't very wide and the other side of the track was the canalconfused Reversing in was a time consuming affair!

Tinlegs Fri 13-Sep-13 11:45:21

We too have had people totally rearranging the furniture, removing lightbulbs from lamps (working ones - why not just not use the lamp?) and there is always the nightmare when they have plugged their games console into the TV and reprogrammed everything to suit them. People leave half eated food in the fridge and leave a note generously giving it to you (they are too lazy to remove it or throw it out). People who pitch tents on the lawn having booked a cottage for 7 - they then feed, shower etc up to 20. Some dog owners = fantastic. Others bring pets that moult everywhere.

Bonkers things written in visitors' book include entire week's activities written from the point of view of the dog (in "Dog" language). "I went walkies, woof woof, love walkies, with my mummy and daddy and we saw the baa baas which, because I am a good doggie I don't chase".

People who complained (after being warned) when they used our Scottish coastal cottage as a "base" for exploring Edinburgh. It is about a 4.5 hour drive! We told them it was a long way. We warned them that roads were often wet and snowy in winter. They still complained about the weather and the lenght of the journey.

I could go on.....

NB 98% of our guests are lovely, kind and wonderful!

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 13-Sep-13 12:23:03

I always write an essay in the visitor bookblush

I get carried away in that post holiday reverie and feel the need to share the details of all of our favourite trips, favourite walks, best tea shops....and so on!

I do love reading the visitor book though, it's fascinating.

What gets me is when people write to say this is their 50th year of coming or something.....I mean, yes I know it's a nice place but there are other nice places to visit!

Crowler Fri 13-Sep-13 12:33:05

This is, I think, the funniest thread I've ever read on MN.

I burst out laughing at the one "only eat dinner in the dining room. Eat breakfast in the breakfast room"

Bonkers people everywhere, I suppose!

TimeAgainForWellies Fri 13-Sep-13 13:00:01

I think the bonkers dog-language review people had been drinking when they wrote that one!

ABaconAndOnionTart Fri 13-Sep-13 13:15:19

I think most of the bonkers instructions are based on stupid things other people have done, but written with the assumption that you too are likely to do that same stupid thing. Guilty until you prove otherwise.

The last cottage we stayed in had the instruction NOT to put washing up liquid in the hot tub.

The owners also wrote in their own visitors book when they stayed in the cottage, they were always very complimentary about it.

Chelvis Fri 13-Sep-13 13:20:53

'Bins are to be emptied daily and bags to be put in the bin in number 10's front garden'. Arrived at bin at 10, only to see a notice 'People staying at number 12: DO NOT put your rubbish in our bin! The owner has been told REPEATEDLY that he cannot use our bin. DO NOT USE!'

Also, the beautiful apartment in North Wales which stated baby/child friendly and had -literally- glowing white carpets everywhere, including the hall and dining room. I spent the week cringing and feeding DD plain spaghetti and other white foods.

EmilyAlice Fri 13-Sep-13 13:29:03

The other thing about the Wait! There is a stick behind the door! villa, was that every key and lock had a different combination of squares, dots, lines and chevrons in different colours so you "knew" which was which. Also the shower was a trickle and eventually OH unscrewed the shower head and found it had lots of tiny pebbles inside to save water.

CaulkheadUpNorth Fri 13-Sep-13 13:32:33

"If you INSIST on dying your hair whilst here, please use the downstairs sink".

"Please do not use the downstairs plug sockets which are empty".

"Please do not take home plants from the garden"

These were from a bunk barn in Wales. Always wondered what the previous occupants had done.

Sparklingbrook Fri 13-Sep-13 13:33:52

Oh showers emily. i can never work strange showers. Scalded, frozen, drowned-that's me.

I was fiddling with one last week, I found out it had one of those rainfall ones in the ceiling and the normal shower head. How much water do you need?

And flooding the bathroom with said shower is a usual event. blush

valiumredhead Fri 13-Sep-13 13:34:57

All this refuse angst!shock we've always just had a bin and caretakers have taken it away. I feel robbedwink

Chibbs Fri 13-Sep-13 13:35:09

We had to put a sign on our canal boat saying not to put anything down loo that had not been eaten first!

canal boat toilets are VERY delicate!

Sparklingbrook Fri 13-Sep-13 13:36:15

I didn't use it Chibbs-I went at the pub, we only hired it for a day. How does toilet paper work then-I haven't eaten that. grin

CelticPromise Fri 13-Sep-13 13:40:50

I expect it's loo paper in the bin. We've stayed at a few places with that rule, country places in Southern Europe that aren't on mains sewage.

Sparkling I hate rain showers, am always happy to see an extra shower head! It's not my cottage though...

unlucky83 Fri 13-Sep-13 13:48:04

This is probably me taking them too literally ...
Our caravan rental (site with lots of rentals) had no instructions
...except 'leave caravan as you would expect to find it and vacate by 10am'
I never know how well you are expected to clean up after yourselves anyway - surely don't need to polish the shower screen etc ???? normally I would make sure it was tidy and clean ish ...
But I would expect it find it spotless clean ...cue me manically cleaning everywhere on leaving morning - except the basic cotton on a stick type mop had been put away damp by previous renters and was smelling musty so we put it outside the door and it had disappeared confused - no time to go in search for one etc - cleaned floors with a cloth on my hands and knees. we were just about to lock up a caretaker was driving past and shouted to us not to worry about looking for the mop - he had moved it in case it got stolen hmmconfused -who'd nick a musty mop?
I mentioned I'd cleaned the floor with a cloth and he said 'why did you do that - 'cleaners name' will be in do it anyway' ....angryhmm

tolittletoolate Fri 13-Sep-13 13:49:29

we are going away for the weekend today and staying in a log cabin, I hope there's lots of funny notes everywhere for me to tell you about, I'm feeling rather left out!!

unlucky83 Fri 13-Sep-13 13:51:55

Should say on this site we just put everything in a black bin outside the door and it was emptied every day - no recycling - tbh that freaked me out a bit - was very tempted to take milk bottles etc out with us to find a recycling bank...

Wallison Fri 13-Sep-13 14:02:30

Not a holiday let, but could you imagine having this guy as your landlord?:

valiumredhead Fri 13-Sep-13 14:21:09

We only every strip the beds and put them all in the bath and make sure the dishwasher is on!

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Fri 13-Sep-13 14:29:07

wall, I once had a landlady (not even a live-in LL) who instructed us that it was forbidden to leave any shampoo etc. in the bathroom, and put out little ornaments on the edges of the bath to discourage this.

Sounds like she'd get on like a house on fire witht hat bloke.

Wallison Fri 13-Sep-13 14:32:49

So, no to shampoo (which you do actually use in the bathroom) but yes to little ornaments?

Yeah, they two of them should get together. They could share tips on how to open doors.

SelectAUserName Fri 13-Sep-13 14:35:24

"Please do not clamp babies to the mahogany table".

There was no mahogany table.

Wallison Fri 13-Sep-13 14:36:42

Maybe the baby of the previous renters had run off with it strapped to its back.

See, and you thought it was a silly instruction, but look at what happened.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Fri 13-Sep-13 14:40:16


I love the mahogany table one.

Sparklingbrook Fri 13-Sep-13 14:49:21

I love a good firkle throught he Games Cupboard. Old, dusty editions of Monopoly and Dominoes. grin This is often mentioned on the website, so must be seen as a big plus.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 13-Sep-13 14:52:22

None to add thank God but 'surprise poo' is making me laugh.

usually, 'not to put any mercury or arsenic down the toilet'. confused Did you go on holiday to Agatha Christie World?

TheNaughtySausage Fri 13-Sep-13 14:53:18

Was there a normal everyday pine table for the purposes of baby-clamping I wonder?

Kerosene Fri 13-Sep-13 15:08:21

I once stayed in a B&B where all of the guest instructions were little poems:

We love the planet
We hope you do to
So please, please only flush
When you've had a poo

There were quite a few of these notes. I wish I could remember the window rules, as they were a work of art.

SelectAUserName Fri 13-Sep-13 16:22:25

There was indeed a pine table. We were unsure as to whether a) a previous baby-clamper had absent-mindedly packed the mahogany table along with their clamped baby, as in Wallison's scenario; b) the owners had removed the mahogany table to a place of safety in an attempt to save it from the further ravages of baby-clamping, or c) they weren't very good at wood identification.

Chibbs Fri 13-Sep-13 16:27:12

sparkling.... we used to have a bin for loo paper. disgusting i know, but it is more disgusting to have to take apart the toilet and macerator and get covered in shit, some yours, some not.

Sparklingbrook Fri 13-Sep-13 17:00:46

I totally get that Chibbs. Do you still have the boat?

valiumredhead Fri 13-Sep-13 17:10:27

I was brought up in a country where paper always went in the bin, so that seems normal to megrin

Saltire Fri 13-Sep-13 17:27:56

I've never really come across bonkers instructions - apart from the one pinned jsut inside the door of our Scottish Lochside (Litterally loch side) cottage
"do not go in the water, Nessie doesn't live there and it is deep and cold as it is a sea loch. Therefore time effort and moeny will be spent getting you out again. if you want to go on the water, hire a boat"

MarieDeGuise Fri 13-Sep-13 17:44:36

shock at babies being clamped to mahogany tables.

Never had bizarre instructions that I can recall. But we have had one very 'in your face' owner. It's a shame, really, because the cottage was lovely and in a beautiful location but we would never go there again because the guy was just too much. sad

Orangeanddemons Fri 13-Sep-13 17:51:56

We stayed somewhere in France, where the owners lived on site. They provided a large net for getting grass out of the pool.

They were fucking obsessed! Every time someone got out, the guy would appear like a troll to inspect the grass free pool. Evey single time! We also weren't allowed to leave the cottage without him inspecting it, ensuring we had cleaned it to his standard of cleanliness.

We called him the grass Nazi

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 13-Sep-13 19:26:27

When we stayed in a cottage beside the Llangollen canal, the owner bought us cakegrin Home made and very lovely it was......

She was very nice, friendly and welcoming without being overbearing. Mostly I prefer absent owners but if they are around, I wish they were all like her....

AnnaBegins Fri 13-Sep-13 19:56:58

We've stayed in some lovely cottages but one that stands out was the one with the list of prices for breakages occuring during your stay including £7.00 each for the glass "ramekins" - yes, they were empty Gu pots!

Inertia Fri 13-Sep-13 19:59:00

This thread has really made me laugh- especially the one about not clamping the baby to the mahogany table, and eating only dinner at the dining table smile

The one about the ants is terrifying !

FacebookWanker Fri 13-Sep-13 20:36:23

Great thread. More funny stories please.

starfishmummy Fri 13-Sep-13 23:04:06

One cottage had a notice requesting that any crockery that was broken should be replaced. It gave details of the stall on the local indoor market that sold it. One day a week. I wondered what would happen if anyone broke anything and were going home before the next market day....

valiumredhead Fri 13-Sep-13 23:13:08

Flipping heck, no way would I be replacing any crockeryshock

landrover Fri 13-Sep-13 23:41:23

More, More!!!!!!!

"Welcome to our Ool.
Notice there is no P in it.
Please keep it that way."

landrover Fri 13-Sep-13 23:48:13

These are FAB! Ive been giggling all night!

My folks used to rent out their cottage and my DM was more bonkers than anyone about the notes. Pages and pages in a binder, and yellow stickies stuck with Sellotape to every door, window, drawer, light switch, socket, cupboard, appliance and mirror.

The sticky notes were colour-coded. Red ink were things you MUST do (open bathroom window before showering, rinse feet before coming in from beach, hang shower curtain inside tub, back flush the water system every 2 days, don't use cast iron frying pan on new ceramic hob (but there was nowhere else to use a frying pan so why even keep it??)) and blue or green ink were helpful hints (please feel free to use this pile of old magazines for the campfire but not in nights with an onshore wind)

Mild to moderate OCD, my mum wink

marzipanned Sat 14-Sep-13 00:11:18

Haven't laughed this much in yonks! Love the ant colony, dog entry in guest book and the "backward" gardener... Guttingly have never come across any amazing holiday cottage instructions

YouAreTheOneAndYoni Sat 14-Sep-13 10:11:11

There are actually some academics who are in the process of analysing National Trust cottages visitor books... Fascinating stuff! Lots of bragging, apparently.

(Disclaimer: this study has nothing to do with me, and the researchers are very careful about ethical approval and privacy/anonymisation as is the NT!)

alemci Sat 14-Sep-13 10:16:50

the thing is you come on holiday to relax and often pay through the nose for some tatty place that the owners feel they are doing you such a favour letting it out to you.

you shouldn't have to stress about lots of rituals etc.

after that went to USA and got used to quite nice accommodation with all mod cons.

we once stayed in quite a nice cottage in Aberporth (i think) and it was so old fashioned and there wasn't even a shower. no dishwasher either so hard work. I remember having to clean it and feeling fed up as the dc were quite young

apparently we got a good deal as it was with Prima cottage breaks and it was in a nice location

georgettemagritte Sat 14-Sep-13 10:26:32

I also stayed in a holiday cottage with a (laminated!) notice saying "Do NOT put anything wet on the [wooden] draining board." Maybe it was the same one!!

JaneTennison Sat 14-Sep-13 10:34:24

I stayed in a gorgeous Gite in France, and we were most amused by the visitor book posting about how kind the owners were when the guest fell and broke her leg in the house.

Not so amused when I had an accident and had to wake the Gite owners at 1am to summon an ambulance.

I did write in the visitors book how kind the owner was in removing his garden fence to let the stretcher in. That'll teach me to laugh at visitor book entries.

Dubjackeen Mexico Sat 14-Sep-13 11:07:29

This thread is brilliant. I am only half way through, but laughing so much at the chickens who must not be encouraged, the cups that must not be photographed, the floor that must not be walked on, and the button that musy not be pushed...brilliant! I stayed in a bed and breakfast once where there were little signs about everything, I can't remember any funny ones though. I remember seeing a sign in a hotel instructing guests not to hang clothes on a lamp to dry. Can't say it would have occurred to me to do that anyway.

These are great!
Sadly I don't have any.
At my parents caravan, the only rules are: No smoking anywhere around the caravan, and if you eat any of the food in the freezer, replace it. It's very restful!

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 14-Sep-13 11:26:40

In defence of resident owners though.... I've only ever had lovely ones. Much prefer that to the absent owner and agency that doesn't give a shit.

There was the one where the owner asked if everything was all right, we casually mentioned that the shower head was dripping (just in a spirit of keeping her informed) and she appeared a few hours later with a brand-new shower attachment. It was between Christmas and New Year and snowing.

Going slightly off subject, but dh and I once stayed in a lovely gite in France.

It appeared as the week went on, that dh and I were the only ones filling the 'glass bottles' bin, which was situated at the end of the row of gites, and which got emptied every evening by the owners.

Every morning, we had to walk past the other gites to get to the bin, which had been emptied the night before, so there was a massive noise as we dropped the bottles in. Ever tried dropping glass bottles gently into a bin when you're in a very quiet, rural, part of France? blush blush

As you can imagine, our empty wine bottles which mingled with the beer bottles, meant that the bin got rather full on a regular basis blush blush

We kinda hoped somebody else would drink so it wouldn't just be us, but sadly, this was not to be.

A few comments were made by the owners, I'll say, though they seemed to find it amusing smile

We don't drink that much, honestly grin grin

Great thread, by the way smile

Dubjackeen Mexico Sat 14-Sep-13 13:09:09

This thread has to go to classics. It's brilliant. I suppose some notices came about because of a specific thing that happened with previous renters, but some just defy any logical explanation.

Meringue33 Sat 14-Sep-13 13:09:36

We stayed in a Bavarian villa once where the instructions/ welcome note had been carefully translated from the German, literally and word by word, using a dictionary.

It began: "Love Guests!"

Turniphead1 Sat 14-Sep-13 13:18:50

Not a holiday cottage per se - but my own house is used for tv / photo shoots from time to time. I put a post it note by the toilet roll holder in each loo saying "PLEASE nothing else down here except loo roll & what's supposed to go"

(I ended up with a bill for over a grand to fix the foul pump on my basement which broke due to make up wipes and sanitary products that I didn't put down there).

The funniest thing I was asked by a director was "could you make the grass a little less "fly ridden" they were doing product close ups on the lawn ...
Given that there were no rotting animal carcasses or poos on the lawn, only grass, it was hard to know what to suggest other than snorting slightly when he said it...

Turniphead1 Sat 14-Sep-13 13:23:42

Just came back from an apartment on Ibiza (really manky)which my sister rented. Completely bonkers rental agent told us if we used anymore of the (rotten student like thread bare towels ) than the ones she'd laid out, she would retain the deposit.

She also said she was glad there were only 4 of us. Last group had been 8 (much younger I presume) girls whom she came in at check out time to find all completely off their heads on E's and shagging blokes they's picked up on every available surface.
Needless to say - we did NOT sit on the manky fabric covered sofa. Eugh.

LisaMedicus Sat 14-Sep-13 15:26:45

I once stayed at a holiday cottage where the owner was selling and had viewings during our stay I was frantically keeping things as clean as possible with no storage and four people staying in a small space.

Not what I had signed up for!

If that had been me, LisaMedicus, you would not have been able to see the floors for mess and I wouldn't have washed up for a week grin

KateSMumsnet Cameroon (MNHQ) Sat 14-Sep-13 15:53:06

We're going to move this to Classics!

JaneTennison Sat 14-Sep-13 18:57:58

Oooo Good decision mumsnet.

Quite right too. Brilliant thread

ZingWantsCake Sun 15-Sep-13 00:29:22

oh howling with laughter here! great thread!grin

ZingWantsCake Sun 15-Sep-13 00:35:31

I am incredibly tempted to buy a cottage, rent it out and use all these ideas!
then sit back and wait for the guest book to fill up with great comments! grin

FrogsGoWhat: about the renters who moved the beds downstairs and the sofas upstairs. Sounds like what someone might do if the upstairs was too haunted to sleep in. grin

Just remembered this year's villa in Majorca which had NO instructions whatsoever. So no instructions about what to do to use the dishwasher - the water was so hard that it left thick white impossible-to-get-off deposits on every last thing we'd loaded it with. I spent the next 2 days scrubbing the damn stuff and cursing about having to wash by hand when there was a dishwasher you couldn't use sitting next to the sink.

No instructions for play station which the kids were keen to have a go of having been told of its availability on the villa website. We couldn't get it to work and soon discovered it was because there were no batteries in the wireless controllers. We duly bought batteries next time we went to the shops. Dh then spent an hour trying to figure out which channel it was assigned to and setting up the language to English (it had been left in German) only to find there were no bloody games for it anywhere in the place! The kids had been trying to discover some amidst all the crappy DVD/CDs/videos and in amongst all the dusty box games etc but no...... Why the hell didn't they put "bring your own games" on the website to forewarn you?!

A note not to worry about strange 3am noises coming from the attached garage would have also prevented me thinking it was vengeful Spanish drug barons trying to get in to kill us (had watched too many episodes of Mad Dogs, I think). After 2 hours of trying to work out what the hell the emergency services phone number was in Majorca cursing the dodgy 3G Internet connection, and fighting over who was going to get the heaviest most lethal pottery vase as a weapon to hit invading hitmen over the head with, I realised that if someone WAS actually trying to break in then they would have succeeded by now. And that they probably wouldn't make their invasion noises regularly every 20 mins ending in a slightly whooshing watery noise and then stopping to have a rest. Yes, I finally twigged that it was just the boiler firing up but really, couldn't we have been forewarned of that in the instruction pack. Oh yes - there wasn't one! Grrrrr.....

GhostsInSnow Tue 17-Sep-13 15:05:32

Not an 'in cottage one' but an en route story.

We'd rented a cottage in Pembrokeshire and the instructions the owner had sent to find it were awful. After lots of driving round and DH being a typical bloke about asking for directions (pre sat nav days) he finally admitted defeat and said he'd pull over and ask the next person he saw.

Driving down the lane and he sees a man walking down it, can only see him from behind. As DH pulls level, lowers the window and says "excuse me" I'm rolling around the passenger footwell with silent tears streaming down my cheeks because I've seen what DH hadn't...

He'd stopped to ask directions from a blind man, complete with guide dog.

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 20-Sep-13 15:29:28

Ok so this one was more of a hotel....but reckon it still counts.

Xdp and I had booked a weekwnd away for valentines one year. Got shown to our room which was huuuuge. Proper old victorian features.....even the bathrrom looked like it hadnt been changed for 100 uears at least.

Massive a4 ringbinder of rules regs and instructions which included:

Please refrain from any lively activity on the bed as it is an antique.
Do not use the warderobe as it is an antique.
Dinner is at 6pm sharp.
No food is permitted in the rooms.
Do nrot eat the xhocolatws provided until you leave the room.
Do not deink the wine provided in the room. You may deink this on the terrace if it is fine weather.

The worst bit. There were 5 pages of info about a murder that went on in the grounds around 1900 ish. A man had murdered his lover and cut off her head hiding it in the bushes outside the terrace. Had all the gory details and everything!

Our valentines get away was not as passionate as previously hoped. :/

Sparklingbrook Fri 20-Sep-13 16:59:08

<arf. at 'lively activity' grin

TheNaughtySausage Thu 03-Oct-13 16:18:40

Omg, classics!


There were no little notes anywhere in the one I've just stayed in. And the owner was lovely and brought about a million extra towels when I asked for one extra one for the baby.

And she left wine and chocolates for us.

Most disappointing grin

insanity I think you may have stayed at the same place we did with the cats! We opened the kitchen door and put saucers of milk down. <disclaimer, it was a family holiday and we were early teens at the time>

I remember another family holiday, possibly in Dorset, where the cottage we let was charmingly decorated in varying shades of brown. Brown nylon bedcovers, brown sofa, brown carpet... and there were labels on all the drawers and cupboards to the effect of: '6 plates, 6 cups 6 saucers', '8 knives, 8 forks..' there were also labels on on the pull cord in the bathroom 'light' and 'shower'.
We nicked Dad's fag papers and wrote little notes which we stuck to everything else, 'window', 'door', 'doorknob'.

Cadastre Thu 10-Oct-13 14:58:49

We stayed in a cottage in Wales this year and the owners were in a caravan next door. We had an electricity meter that ATE pound coins like they were Cadbury buttons... The last day we put all the appliances on and left the meter with zero. We worked out that based on the 14.11p per kw consumption of a normal house they were making at least £50 per week someone was staying in the house. That was on top of what was needed to pay the electricity bill.

There was a huge sign saying "no sexual activity in the hot tub - we've got to clean the mess afterwards". Needless to say we didn't use the hot tub.

Thirstysomething Fri 11-Oct-13 17:49:23

Printed sign by the kettle:
"Caution. Water may be hot when boiling".

Thirstysomething Fri 11-Oct-13 17:50:30

PS have such a wonderful image of babies clamped to a mahogany table!

kweggie Fri 11-Oct-13 17:52:46

This thread is so funny!
We used to go to friend's parents' house in the south of France. It was in a lovely hamlet with terrific views, but the owners had grown up during the war and NEVER threw anything away which could be botched. So the tiny ice-box on the 60's fridge had lost its covering flap and was a concoction of half a polystyrene ceiling tile and black electrical tape. Ice lollies were slush in about half an hour. The kitchen dresser was trendy vintage before vintage was ever trendy. A piece of paper on the cutlery drawer informed us that if we 'stood squarely, with shoulders back, and slid the drawer out evenly', we would be able to get to the knives and forks.(I may have invented the bit about the shoulders, but it felt like it) The garden recliners had broken but the owner had fashioned wooden armrests out of odd and ends. The sand pit was full of coarse builders sand (the sand,not the builders)and Ds2 emerged glowing and grazed- looking like a freshly zested orange. The sun parasol only covered half its wire skeleton and when I pointed this out I was told'oh but the other half is perfectly usable'! The lloyd loom bath stool doubled as a cool box!
On the first night of every stay we had the ritual of the Talking Table. There were two identical rattan tables and the owners moved them around so we were never quite sure which was which. We used to put both of them out on the balcony and wait. As the evening drew on, one of them would begin to make a strange rasping noise. Once we had identified the TT, we left it on the balcony for the rest of the holiday and brought the other one back inside........
That said it was great fun and the kids have many happy memories of it.

Thirstysomething Fri 11-Oct-13 18:08:00

Kweggie, My mother-in-law just had the curtains repaired at the holiday cottage she owns. They are flimsy orange and brown cotton and are 50 years old, so they were literally in ribbons, which she paid a seamstress to painstakingly sew together. It cost her over £450 to have them repaired, relined and rehung.

willyoulovemewhenyouknow Fri 11-Oct-13 18:41:07

On recommendation I have just finished 'care of wooden floors'

Highly recommended

20wkbaby Fri 11-Oct-13 18:51:25

Not instructions but DH were staying in a B&B. Everything was perfectly normal until we came down to breakfast the next day. Waitress/ hostess greets us and shows us to a table:

W/H: Would you like tea or coffee?
Me: Coffee please.
DH: Tea please.
W/H: It's on the trolley, please help yourself. Would you like white or brown toast?
Me: White please.
DH: Yes, white please.
W/H: It's on the trolley. Jam? Marmalade?
Me: Marmalade please.
DH: Jam please.
W/H: It's on the trolley.

Etc etc.

It's on the trolley was repeated a lot in our house for a long time after that. The mind boggles about why she was actually there, they could have just had a sign reading, 'It's on the trolley'.

Vert Fri 11-Oct-13 18:56:57

We stayed in a place with the opposite of a visitors was an owners book slagging off everyone who had stayed week by week for heinous sins such as leaving the teaspoons in the wrong place and children leaving finger marks on the glass doors. Would love to know what they said about us!

Randomkath Fri 11-Oct-13 20:40:01

Labeled photos on each windowsill and shelf with position of each nic nac and ornament, of which there were A LOT. Of course I would be respectful of this now I'm a mother leading by good example, but this was a few years back and to a group of mates on boozy weekend it was just too much to resist a bit of tampering... te he.

Overcooked Fri 11-Oct-13 20:48:51

We stayed in a fab one in Wales that had notes everywhere, best one was on the remote control which said: 'to operate point at free view box and press button' - we'd have been stick without that.

cathystitcher Fri 11-Oct-13 21:03:28

Stayed in a cottage a few years back which was really part of a single house, unexpertly separated off. There was a HUMUNGOUS sign in the kitchen telling us not to turn off the boiler, as it provided the heating for 'next door'. So we suffered a week off stonking temperatures in a glorious Indian Summer, eating our meals in a rush to get away from the roaring monster.

GladitsnotJustMe Fri 11-Oct-13 22:20:15

When I bought my house, there were those little printed tapes that you could make with a special machine stuck everywhere with instructions like "Please keep the shower curtain in the shower when in use". But my house was not a holiday let - the previous owners lived there... and printed notes for themselves hmm I still have some of them up because they amuse me!

I heard of a local holiday let that has notes such as "Cot - for baby" above the cot, and "Toaster - for Toast" above the toaster...

Alfiecat Fri 11-Oct-13 23:04:20

We stayed in a hotel a few weeks ago in Weston Super Mare which had a note above the hot water tap saying "Warning, water may be hot"

NorthumberlandJules Fri 11-Oct-13 23:52:16

What a hoot! Loved reading this! From the flipside, I have several holiday cottages and hate little notices, you just have to get the balance right in providing just enough guidance to help the holiday run smoothly without ever 'telling people what to do', but sometimes it's frustrating. Just last week a guest emailed me on the Sunday to report that he'd broken the mirrored top of a pretty French dressing table. He said he'd taken a full teapot to the bedroom on the Sat morning, put it down on the mirrored top and it cracked. He didn't make the link between the teapot and the crack until he did the same thing on the Sun morning and it cracked again in another place! Doh! It's been cracked before with hair straighteners, we leave 2 pretty protective mats on there but people just ignore them. I SO want to leave a little sign on the dressing table about this but as I hate signs myself, I haven't yet done it - but how many times will I replace the glass (at £88 a time) before I get irritated enough to put a sign there?!

I think there's probably a tale of woe behind a lot of the wacky notes some owners leave, I've certainly had plenty of fluffy white towels totally ruined by hair dye (yes why DO people dye their hair on holiday - are they on the run??) and lost count of the times people wash a full set of our (very) white towels with their black jeans and leave them all grey. If I left grey towels out for the next guests they wouldn't be impressed. Mind you, the local dog rescue do very well out of us, as all the ruined stuff goes to them but it's an expensive way of donating to charity!

when I was younger (much!) we stayed in a caravan, parents, me and brother, There was sign next to TV saying "we know the picture isn't very clear but please do not move the TV" My father in his wisdom thought he would instead move the Arial and tried to stick it to the caravan window to get a better reception (it had suction pads on the base) Well he cracked the huge window didn't he!! Oh how we laughed!! I can't remember the outcome, must ask him, all I remember is my bro and I rolling about on the floor laughing grin

WhatWouldFreddieDo Sat 12-Oct-13 10:59:33

Northumberland as a fellow cottage owner I do sympathise, but at £88 a shot wouldn't it be simpler to replace the dressing table? grin

And when our guests occasionally do muppet-ish things, I have to remind myself that on our own cottage holiday this year I managed, in my post-holiday-preparation exhaustion, to leave a pan to boil dry and lock the keys in the cottage (luckily not at the same time). These things just happen when tired people are on holiday in an unfamiliar place.

muminthenorthwest Sat 12-Oct-13 12:08:38

Not so much bizarre instructions, but the lady who owns the cottage we rent in France is completely bonkers. She often forgets to cash our cheque for months on end, presenting it when we (and our bank account) least expect it (yes Mum, I know it should have been on my bank reconciliation...). She also gets her dates muddled on a regular basis, and our fortnight's holiday a couple of years ago was sandwiched between our arriving from the overnight ferry at 4am to find the cottage still occupied, and our last evening being interrupted by the arrival of the owner herself, en route from southern France, and in need of somewhere to stay overnight!

The best bit of the cottage by far though is the visitor's book, which is just hilarious. we spend hours reading it, crying with laughter at the antics of the couple who are now on their 137th visit (how is that possible?!) and who know the locals so well that they are practically invited to the births of their (seemingly unending) offspring. Other classics which reduce us to tears every year include:-

"the champagne cork wasn't the only thing that popped that night!" (the mind boggles).

"charming, charming, charming!" and

"a lovely house but we were surprised that the wardrobes were so small"...

we have even made up a family song based on one of the entries, but as it was written by my mother-in-law, perhaps it's best left unsung...

Some of these are hilarious.

My brother is in a house share. The lady who's house it is, is a vegetarian. My brother is not allowed to cook or prepare meat in the kitchen. The poor sod only has a kettle in his bedroom, so when his craving for meat became a bit too much, he decided to attempt to boil some chicken chunks in the kettle!

I have suggested maybe just going to McDonald's in the future.

Reastie Sat 12-Oct-13 15:08:26

I once stayed somewhere where it said not to run the tap in the bath and the sink at the same time or it might cause some awful plumbing emergency causing the bath to fall through the ceiling and down into the kitchen shock I was too scared to bath for the whole week . At the same place the owner kept ringing us up on the landline they provided to check everything was OK and we weren't trashing her holiday house . We called her Mrs. Badger as she kept badgering us grin .

We also stayed in a place this summer that had a huge welcome folder that said do not under any circumstances use their china in the garden as it might break and it was very good quality apparently , and that they had provided a 'good quality melamine dinner set' for outdoor purposes which would not break. The first day DD dropped one of the unbreakable plates and it broke confused

TaudrieTattoo Sat 12-Oct-13 16:24:01

I stayed in one that was full of bonkers laminated notices about not wearing shoes, etc.

When we got home they refused to return our deposit because they accused us of standing on the pool table and loosening the lightbulbs in the light fitting.

Apparently they could see footprints on the baize.


JillinSwindon Mon 14-Oct-13 12:01:00

Love this thread!! We had a family staying not long after we started letting (our place is on the Norfolk coast) where the granny had been an old-style hospital matron with incredible phobias about hygiene. They actually brought their own microwave 'because you never know what's been in anyone else's'... And they rang us up with a long list of complaints while we were on a camping holiday in Wales - we had to phone them back from a phone box as the mobile signal was so bad. When we got there to meet them they accusingly showed us photos of a few bits on the floor of the shower room, and finger marks on the shower screen. They also complained about the amount of stuff they had vacuumed up - until my husband pointed out it was all fluff from the new carpet! Still, the experience has made us paranoid ever since about making sure everything is perfect!

GladGran Tue 15-Oct-13 22:25:09

We stayed as the first letting in a cottage in North Wales. The owner came in daily to change all the towels - lovely but slightly intrusive. There was a mattress protector on the bed which was plastic and both very noisy and very hot during the night. We took it off but hid it in the wardrobe under other stuff so she wouldn't see it. We started hiding anything we thought she would not approve of after that. There were no napkins provided so we bought some in Llandudno and she commented on those next time we saw her. We were totally paranoid by the end of the holiday. As others have said, never stay anywhere where the owners live on site!

Those of you who like to holiday in Wales, I can highly recommend a holiday let. The owners are definitely NOT bonkers. There are only a very few notices around, and all of them relate to specific issues (i.e. septic tank, low windows/safety, etc.).

Desertrat101 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:52:41

We stayed at a villa in Spain this summer where the owner had gone to town with a label making machine - the remote controls had labels on them saying 'remote control'...there were also multiple laminated copies of threatening notices about having the security deposit withheld for various infringements including leaving the clean washing up on the draining board, failing to use towels on top of protective throws on top of sun lounger cushions, and my personal favourite, deflating all inflatables used in the pool! We were so nervous on check-out day, I half expected the owner to pitch up for an inspection before we were allowed to leave!

teacoffeewine Sun 20-Oct-13 12:27:44

We arrived tired at an apartment in Tenerife that we had used once before. The key was in a key safe and the owners lived in UK. The first time it was clean, tidy and there was wine etc.
Thist time breakfast dishes were on the side with crumbs everywhere. The sofa bed in the living room and the bedrooms had dirty ruffled sheets on as if someone had just got up. We couldn't contact them so
i had to set to and strip the beds and put in the small washing machine in shifts and attempt to dry them on the balcony.
Finally with all this done,a man arrived saying he was a friend of the owners and we were meant to be staying in their other apartment and they had given us the wrong number apartment. Cue repacking and moving to clean apartment, not the best start!

ballstoit Tue 22-Oct-13 23:48:26

This summer's cottage had a notice in the laundry area 'The washer and dryer are only to be used for items required for your holiday. Please was your non-emergency items at home.' confused

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