Anyone else been disappointed with a Haven holiday?

(69 Posts)
Chrysanthamum Sat 22-Aug-09 17:59:03

We booked a 5 star haven holiday park at the last minute in a really lovely part of England this summer and found it horrendous. We went for a park with lots of kid's facilities as I'm heavily pg and we have a toddler and 6 yr old and we wanted to just be at a pool chillin'.
Our caravan was filthy- toenails in bedroom, sticky carpet, dirty tables and fag butts outside everywhere. We checked out early and were so relieved to be home. We had to queue for 20 mins to get into the overheated pool and then we were put out after 1hr to let more people in. Even the restaurants served disgusting fare with no condiments on the table. Never again! We've had so many fab breaks and holidays all over the Uk often on a budget but this was sooo bad. shock

Notalone Sun 23-Aug-09 10:20:22

Which park did you go to? I have been to Lydstep near Tenby which was lovely and Primrose Valley in Scarborough which was very busy but clean. However some of the other sites have some horrendous reviews - especially Craig Tara in Scotland, Blue Dolphin near Scarborough (had near misses with these two!) and one near Berwick on Sea.

I am sorry you had such a shocking time. Its horrible when you look forward to something and end up disappointed. Did you complain at the time or take photos of the caravan?

Chrysanthamum Sun 23-Aug-09 13:25:07

Yes Notalone we complained and checked out early. We were at the one near Berwick Haggerston Castle. I'm glad some of them are nice though as they're a great idea.
My kids did enjoy it more than us and after a while all we could do (me and dh) was laugh so it wasn't a complete disaster I suppose!

Notalone Sun 23-Aug-09 14:28:41

Eeek - Haggerston Castle. That was the one. Beautiful area but the site is supposed to be filthy. I hope you get some money back from Haven - the very least you should expect is cleanliness. Have they said they will investigate?

Not sure if it helps but we have stopped going with Haven now and have started booking with smaller independent sites. We have just had a week on the Llyn peninsula in a caravan right next to the sea with views of mountains and its own huge private garden for £230 - a fraction of what you would pay through Haven. The site was very small with no pool or clubhouse but our DS was able to have complete freedom to play out and made lots and lots of new friends. He said he would rather have had that freedom than all the swimming pools in the world. I wish we had realised how much better the smaller places are before we paid almost 800 last year for a week at Haven.

Chrysanthamum Sun 23-Aug-09 20:32:15

I don't think we'll get any money back but luckily we got a bargain/bum deal. We've had some great breaks from the Hoseasons site in the past but I really appreciate recommendations. Our 7yr old does like company which is why we thought a kids club would be an idea but even that took place in a manky bar and he wouldn't go.
A couple of years back we tried a wigwam on Waren Mill site in the same area and it was lovely with a wee pool too and play areas.

TotalChaos Sun 23-Aug-09 20:37:19

Been on 3 Haven holidays, the one I liked least and wouldn't return to was Haggerston Castle! The pool was too small so had the weird session system you describe, and the caravan was freezing (we went last October half-term). We were lucky - the only problem with the upkeep of the caravan was a dodgy wobbly toilet seat, but no cleanliness issues. We didn't eat onsite, so can't comment either way about restaurant standards. I felt the setting and facilities, especially swimming pool, were much better at Devon Cliffs and Hafan Y Mor Havens, which both even have their own beach!

TotalChaos Sun 23-Aug-09 20:38:30

I think the 5 star rating is a bit of a con tbh - as it's all very well them having horseriding and spas etc, but that costs £££££ so isn't going to be relevant to the majority of holidayers.

TheChilliMooseTalksNonsense Sun 23-Aug-09 20:49:52

We had a great holiday at a Haven site this year, but we booked a privately owned caravan, which was immaculate. A friend of mine went in one of Haven's own caravans and had a n awful time. She complained and got a third of her holiday cost refunded.

morocco Sun 23-Aug-09 20:50:28

ours was awful and put me off for life tbh. toilet door kept locking people in the bathroom and wasn't fixed for days, noisy, not overkeen on bingo every night as the entertainment, someone did a poo in the swimming pool, could go on for ages. . . . whole thing was grotty. I wouldn't go back - even though I know other people who rave about haven - I don't want to risk another wash out of a holiday

Fimbo Sun 23-Aug-09 20:52:29

We went to Reighton Sands near Filey once when dd was tiny - it was crap.

Never been near a caravan again.

TheChilliMooseTalksNonsense Sun 23-Aug-09 20:54:17

That's where we went, Fimbo, and we had a good time. We were lucky to have great weather so spent a lot of time at the beach. DS loved the tractor ride down to the beach. The indoor pool was a bit pants though.

TheChilliMooseTalksNonsense Sun 23-Aug-09 20:55:05

I loved the Bingo blush
Someone did a poo in the pool? Was it a young child?

Fimbo Sun 23-Aug-09 20:57:32

I think I am a snob, bingo is just not my thing at all, as for dh, well put it this way if you have tats, smoke and like to drink loads, play the machines he would not like to make friends. wink

TheOldestCat Sun 23-Aug-09 21:01:02

Our Haven experience was grim, grim grim too (at Craig Tara in Ayrshire). I'm a lifelong camper/caravanner so am used to things being basic, but the van was filthy and smelled of a million cigarettes, dogs etc. If we hadn't been staying for a mate's wedding nearby, we'd have been out of there like a shot.

Sounds like some of the sites are better than others. I'd recommend what some of the others have suggested too - book independent sites through the van owners.

pellmell Sun 23-Aug-09 21:02:00

Lakeside in the lake district anyone?
Is it shit?

onepieceoflollipop Sun 23-Aug-09 21:06:04

We went to Burnham on Sea one September and it was fairly grim (not as bad as the OP's experience).

It was very "end of seasonish" - i.e. quite dirty and in need of a very good scrub.

morocco Sun 23-Aug-09 21:07:09

the poo in the pool bit was really grim - no - it wasn't a small child shock shock

yuck

we still do the whole caravan thing but small sites - no more haven.

Wilts Sun 23-Aug-09 21:09:15

We went to Devon at the beginning of the summer holidays. The caravan was lovely ( private rent), the site however, was grim.

Food court was filthy, toilets mank and swimming pool packed and then we had to queue for changing rooms to get dressed once out.

IlanaK Sun 23-Aug-09 21:09:38

Oh no! I have booked a Parkdean caravn in Challborough Bay which is right by Bigbury on Sea in Devon for the end of September. I booked a luxury caraven, but now you have me all worried!

I did google reviews of it and the negative ones were mostly about the nightmare drive to it.

Rubyrubyrubyrubi Sun 23-Aug-09 21:10:31

I am off on one tomorrow!

Fimbo Sun 23-Aug-09 21:17:47

My friend has been to the Mablethorpe one and hated it, smelly and dirty - she left early.

annoyingdevil Sun 23-Aug-09 21:58:27

We went to Devon Cliffs last week and were pleasantly surprised - the pool was great and the caravan spotless.

However, DS had an accident on the final day - falling from the top of a staircase through a missing glass panel. He was extremely lucky to escape serious injury.

ilovetochat Sun 23-Aug-09 22:04:52

we went to presthaven sands this march and it was grotty, swimming pool was filthy as were the changing rooms and we all got an ear infection and the only water slide was closed. whole site needed painting and repairs. soft play was tiny. we wouldnt go back. caravan was clean but freezing.
we went to one at great yarmouth last year which was great, clean, tidy and heating in the caravan.

rookiemater Sun 23-Aug-09 22:08:57

Stayed at Haggerston castle once. It was grim. Our actual caravan was ok and we enjoyed the outdoor heated pool but not having to wade through mini Las Vegas style casino to get there. Plus it was a lovely weekend and it was so sad to see entire families chugging their cash into the machines rather than enjoying the nice weather. Was v glad when we left.

We have stayed at South Lakeland caravan sites a number of times and find them excellent. There isn't as much entertainment but there is a swimming pool at one of them and they have outdoor play areas.

Loulou73 Sun 23-Aug-09 22:10:31

We had a week at the Haven site in Perranporth last month. We stayed in a chalet and to be honest, I wasn't expecting anything special.

I had to wash all the plates, and cooking utensils before we used them and one visit to the on site restaurant was enough!

Unfortunately it rained every day and most of the site activities were outdoors but we had lovely cornwall to explore and found some great restaurants.

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