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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?

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

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!

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!

MrsCosmopilite Wed 16-Oct-13 08:56:24

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.).

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!

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!

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.


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

NotQuiteWithItAtAll Sat 12-Oct-13 15:02:29

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.

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...

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.

honeybeeridiculous Sat 12-Oct-13 08:43:45

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

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!

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"

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...

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.

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.

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.

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!

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'.

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

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

Highly recommended

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.

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 17:50:30

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

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

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

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