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Beware of using Rural Retreat cottages - dead flies everywhere & choking pesticides fumes

(11 Posts)
Lotusinbloom Fri 22-Nov-13 01:23:48

Recently booked a cottage with rural retreats "Apple barn & apple store" near Abergavenny & had a horrendous start to our stay. We are 2 young families, each couple with a little one, ours is 16 months old & walking, & our friends' little one is 10 months old & crawling. Imagine our horror when on arrival the entire cottage was suffocating with the smell of "raid", and everywhere you look there were still twitching, dying bodies of flies - in the kitchen sink, the window sills, the floor, the bathroom, even inside the bath. Outside was pouring with rain, so we couldn't even leave the windows opened for long to vent the cottage. Eventually we decided the car was probably the safest place for the babies to stay, which wasn't ideal as they were already desperate to get out after the long drive to get there in the first place.

We eventually got rural retreat on the phone. Their total indifference was infuriating. "Some properties have problems with flies. I suggest you get the hovers out". No apologies, not a hint of anything out of the ordinary. When we explained the lack of ventilation given the torrential rain & the suffocating pesticides that would likely be harmful to children, their overriding message was "deal with it". We contacted the house keeper who did not answer the phone at any point during our 3 days there, nor did she return our call at any point when we left her messages. Rural retreat never answered any of the emails we sent including photographs showing the extent of the fly problem. They did not acknowledge there was even a problem.

I have been using rural retreats for nearly 15 years and have noticed that over the years there has been an insidious slipping of their standards. I think their indifference to the welfare of the kids on this particular trip was the final straw for us and we will look elsewhere for businesses that do care.

mummymeister Fri 22-Nov-13 08:41:25

sounds awful Lotus. if the cottage is star rated then you can complain to the ratings people and they will do something. flies are one thing but they could have hovered before you arrived at the very least. make sure you put stuff on trip advisor lots of people look on there and always feel its worth it for good or bad experiences.

LIZS Fri 22-Nov-13 08:46:26

Surely they are just the agent though , the owners/managers are responsible for their own properties.

mummymeister Fri 22-Nov-13 12:33:18

depends who the OP paid the money to. if she paid rural retreats and they then passed it on to the owner then it is down to rr. even if she paid the owner direct they should have handled the complaint much better.

Em2010 Fri 22-Nov-13 12:35:52

Sorry your holiday was ruined. We spent out honeymoon in a rural retreats cottage and it was awful sad We complained but never heard anything back.

offblackeggshell Fri 22-Nov-13 12:39:16

We stopped using Rural Retreats a couple of years ago after a cottage we'd booked (and had used serval times previously) was full of black mould. We complained, and got little help, not even an offer of an additional clean.

If they were cheap, I'd be less surprised, but they are £££££, and sell themselves as very upmarket.

It is a great pity, they used to be brilliant.

BrianTheMole Fri 22-Nov-13 12:41:59

Thats gross. Poor customer service as well.

elastamum Fri 22-Nov-13 12:44:26

I hate to say it, but flies coming in to rural homes are a fact of life at this time of year. They are coming into the house looking for warmth as it is now cold outside. We live in an old rural house surrounded by woodland currently have 100's every day and we just keep killing them. Like many old houses, our windows dont fit all that well and they just get in. It is the same every year for about a month.

RR dont sound as if they are making the place as welcome as they should and someone should have gone in the day or two before, sparyed and killed them and then cleared up. But there would still be some flies there, thats just how it is. Next time, sweep them up and open the windows to get rid of the smell, then light the fires, a bit of damp air wont kill you.

Welcome to the countryside smile

duchesse Fri 22-Nov-13 12:49:46

Well, in fairness, there are lots of flies in the countryside. Our house can fill with flies in a matter of hours at some times of the year. The winter seems to be especially bad for some species of fly- they seem to congregate in the (relative) warmth of the attic and invade the house regularly.

The owner/ company ought to have cleaned up before you arrived though. Sounds like they just sprayed some fly spray just before you arrived, hence the twitching bodies. They also could have met you at the door, explained there'd be an unexpected invasion and offered you coffee somewhere else while they cleared up. That would have been good PR.

BrianTheMole Fri 22-Nov-13 14:03:29

Really? That puts me off having a dream house in the country grin Looks round at fly free house smugly.

Lotusinbloom Fri 22-Nov-13 23:24:53

Some of your comments have cheered me up and made me laugh! I think it's fair enough that there are flies in houses, and I'd like to think we are pragmatic sorts & would roll up our sleeves & just get on with it. What was not so easy to brush aside was rural retreats' lack of acknowledgement that there was any issue worth their attention despite the above average rates they charge & they justify it by saying they provide a good service. If they had so much as apologised for the inconvenience I think it would have helped. An offer of a reduction of the cost of the stay was most definitely beyond them I think!

I use trip advisor a fair bit but wasn't aware it was possible to feedback on a specific property belonging to a particular company - might be handy to know.

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