96 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Traveled over 8 hours to come to this old, damp, filthy 4 bedroom silver chalet. Bought my 10 year old a pack of sausage rolls while waiting to get into the accommodation from the shop on site they were that old they were covered in furry mold. When we did get into the chalet it was damp, filthy, cold. Had to mend the dining room chairs, bleach the toilet,
clean the table, cobwebs on windows, put my pajamas on the bed when it came to put them on 3 hrs later were damp and cold to the touch, 2 of the children were asthmatic they coughed all night because of the damp.Came to bedtime went to shut the bedroom door and found a used sanitary towel stuck to the back of it, went to reception next day to complain as was late they sent cleaners in, only sprayed air freshener and changed bedding which made no difference by bedtime as was damp again arrived Saturday after numerous complaints to staff finally got relocated on Tuesday to per ran view we paid over Â£1000 for a week, this place needs shutting down and all the old 1960s chalet accommodation replacing, honestly don't know how they can allow guests to stay in them. DO NOT BOOK HERE"
- Travel date: Sun 3rd of August 2014
trading standard and health and safety
"We stayed at this site in 2011 and had all the problems that people are still complaining about, we also were put into what was said to be a time share witch was damp and dirty and a disgrace everywhere was filthy and needed cleaning this bring me to ask as to why no one has reported the place to health and safety ,and why is a company like John Fowler allowing it to continue, you only have to read the past reviews to see how bad the site is . It is a shame that nothing has been done to improve the site and conditions as it is in a good location and could be good . The fact that they are ignoring what is going on there is unbelievable taking peoples money that they have saved in hard times why has it not been reported to trading standards "
- Travel date: Sat 26th of July 2014
This park was a disgrace!
"A damp, moldy, smelly shack, the furniture was ancient, it was cold and dirty, the bed was stained. We refused to stay! This was bronze so we didn't expect luxury but something liveable would have been good, after all we paid for the weekend away there!!! To make matters worse, the overweight male on reception was rude and patronizing when we handed our key back and asked for a refund, you'd think he'd be used to it looking at some of the other reviews on the internet."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of July 2014
Disgraceful / terrible/ smelly/ unclean.
"I booked this weekend (27/06/14) for my daughter as a treat.. Well it certainly wasn't that. We arrived after a 4 hour drive and checked in. On entering the chalet we were immediately hit by the damp,musty dirty smell. And the disgusting appearance. I went to speak with the staff as I had paid to upgrade and wanted to know what I had upgraded from? I was informed by the chap that as they were full there was nothing else that could be done as I had already upgraded to the highest I could due to it being a sun holiday? He went on to say when I asked what we had upgraded from that the budget were far worse than the one I was in. .This really didn't help although there was nothing we could do. They did come and clean the windows which did help as we were then able to see outside! We didn't even dare to cook in the place as everything appeared unclean and had the terrible smell The following day the member of staff who said he was full brought a lady into reception and said that he had to move her to somewhere better as he felt bad due to the accommodation he had put in and the fact it was very dark there. I must state that this person did not ask for a move it was just offered???? As he was telling her this he noticed I was in the room and appeared quite embarrassed !!! And to be honest he should have been. We paid for the entertainment pass reluctantly as there was no way we could stay any length of time in the chalet due to the state. However this was also a mistake as the area was also dank and dismal and not very clean. The entertainment staff did try to do their best with the people who happened to be there ( it certainly was not full by any means) we spoke to a few of the staff who all said the same thing about the accommodation and how bad it was to the point that one even thought we had won the holiday in he raffle and prayed that we hadn't due to a conversation previously with them. ( thankfully we had not), if the weather had not been as good as it was this would have been like a living nightmare. We only stayed in the accommodation for minimum amount of time we needed to each day. The damp was terrible and was worse after a period of rain. This holiday ended up costing far more than it should have and we will certainly never be returning although we will return to St I've. Everything about this weekend was tainted with the thought of having to return to that chalet. I would say that although I did complain on arrival not one person acknowledged it as a complaint and I felt it was shrugged off and at one point laughed off!!!
So very disappointed by the whole experience."
- Travel date: Sat 5th of July 2014
Damp, Dirty, Damp, Smelly, Wood sheds and clad sheds, but still a shed and Did i say Damp
"Absolutely Awful, booked for a week in a Silver chalet in the woods.
Arrived at 17:30, First shed Dirty, Damp, dingy and Damp, Damp beds, which were rock hard, quilts so thin, very shabby but most of all Damp and very smelly.
complained offered another, just the same Dingy and Damp.
Complained offered a third, just slightly better as it was supposedly a private but again so Damp and smelly,
complained offered number 4, Kitchen window so misshaped it would not shut and so bloody Damp.
All surfaces sticky, sofa beds which are collapsing, every sofa close to falling apart and all shaped like a Banana, sheds are often only a few yards apart, so many that the wood cannot be seen for the sheds.
last visit to customer services, (Part of the Bar) only person left was a acting manager who Rang for help from head office and another site, after 3/4 hour wait he said he could get no answers, by now it was 20:20, told I would have to stay tonight and manager would do something tomorrow.
Then offered another site in some other wood, I asked is it just like this and was told it was the same, so I declined it was now getting very late, he said come back tomorrow and you should get all money back except our Â£50 deposit.
So we went looking for somewhere to stay could not get one night in a B&B so had no real choice but to book for the week.
Went back next day as advised and spoke to a female manager and was told we would have to write to head office, and we may or may not get some sort of refund.
She was only interested in us going to the other site, but this was all far too late as we had to book somewhere to stay, The journey down had taken over nine hours with roughly two one hour stops on the way.
But as a point to those running site, it had been raining for days and every shed had the windows open, I suppose to air them but it just made them so very damp. none had any heating On which might or might not have helped.
So to recap, overall DAMP, Dingy, Smelly but mostly everything so very Damp."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of May 2014
stay at your own peril or death wish
"Was met at the door of our shack by the stench of damp, stained wet patches on the thread bare dirty carpets, the mattresses were hard and stunk of damp and wet to the touch and found it strange that they had bothered to cover the double bed in a sheet but not the other beds,turned out the reason was the mattress was blood stained up, the duvets were embedded in dead flies and insects, old,grubby and stunk of damp, damp spores caused us chest problems, window stays fell out in your hands, plates,dishes and cutlery covered in dried up food, worktops filthy, wood rotting and to top it all we got bit up either fleas or bed bugs, left after one nights endurance and went and booked in elsewhere, wouldn't go back there even if you paid me, only fit for demolition, "
- Travel date: Thu 10th of October 2013
"On returning a day early from John Fowler Holiday Park St Ives, here is my review of the pro's and cons of our holiday - I'll start with the pro's as its a shorter list.
The 2 female lifeguards (one is called Amy, not sure of the other).
Very friendly, professional members of staff and a pleasure to meet and speak with.
Where do I start?
On arriving in our Wooden Bronze Chalet we were hit with the smell of mold and damp. In the kitchen we were met by a fully living cockroach. On killing this insect, we progressed to the "living" area. The carpet had not been hoovered and needed a proper clean as it looked like its never had one. The sofa bed was from the 1970's and dirty, my son had to squash in with me and his dad as he wouldn't sleep on it.
The bathroom smelt of urine, there were cobwebs and dead insects in the corners of the window.
The twin room, where two of my children slept, had fleas in it and a half dead cockroach in one of the beds. In the corner of the room by the floor were cobwebs, dead insects and a slug.
The double room also had fleas in it. They could be clearly seen jumping along the walls and ceiling.
The mattresses were all plastic which made the beds feel wet and the sheet on the double bed had a urine stain at the bottom
There were slugs, spiders and wasps inside, which we put down to the fact that we were in the woods. Whilst we accept that we may encounter insects from being in the woods, we do not accept cockroaches and fleas!
We had arrived on a Monday and spoke with reception staff about our cleanliness/bug issues. We were told that no upgrade was available and to check back on Friday. By Friday we had bleached the kitchen and cleaned through the rest of the place as best we could. We didn't check back for another chalet as most of our holiday was over anyway. We informed reception staff again on Sunday that the chalet had fleas and cockroaches and would need a thorough clean, Pest Control and/or knocking down. We also said we were leaving a day early as we could not tolerate it any longer. Photos were shown to the staff of live cockroaches, fleas and flea bites on my 7yr old, my 4yr old and my husband.
Whilst the staff thanked us for letting them know, they offered no apology at all and no offer of someone to clean our chalet was ever made.
Whilst sitting in the reception area I heard several new arrivals complaining about the cleanliness of their chalets too.
Another family we spoke with told us that they had similar issues. They complained to the evening duty manager (the man who wears the pink tie). From then on, that man would not serve them at the bar, instead he asked the people behind them in the queue what drinks they were having. On hearing that, we were put off making any further complaints.
For me, I wanted to leave the day after we arrived due to all the reasons stated above, plus the constant itching whenever we were in the chalet. But I stuck it out as my 3 children wanted to stay. It has been the worst experience I have ever had on a holiday. It has certainly put me off any other John Fowler Holiday park.
Just reading through reviews on various websites (eg. JFH, Trip Adviser), there are many complaints of very similar issues. The few positive comments, I would say are the lucky few who happen to have been put in new accommodation.
The accommodation that Ho seasons show a picture of, claiming it to be a Wooden Bronze Chalet, is not even a similar building to the actual chalets. This is FALSE ADVERTISING! For this reason as well as all the ones listed above, I will endeavor to have my money refunded. We did not expect luxury but we expected cleanliness and good customer service, of which we received neither."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of August 2013
Dingy, damp and dirty.
"The chalet that my family and I stayed in was unlivable. My dogs kennel was cleaner than this dump! When we arrived the smell of damp made my eyes sting and almost made me gip. We felt like undervalue human beings and that our feelings didn't matter, even though we had already complained. We would rather have spent a week in a prison cell it felt that inhabitable. We got up early every morning to spend the full day and most of the evening out as the thought of going back to the chalet was depressing. The bathroom looked like it had never been cleaned and we were expected to be ok with using it?! I am stunned as to how John Fowler has stayed in business. I have seen better mattresses in a skip! Yet we were expected to sleep in these death traps for a week! Two of the beds had broken springs sticking out, causing sleepless nights for my children. When we pulled out the sofa bed for my children to hopefully get some sleep, we were greeted by nothing else but rust! This bed had clearly not been maintained or taken care of. We even considered sleeping on the outside bench with quilts or even in my car! But even the quilts smelt damp and felt wet! If it wasn't for the breath-taking, beautiful sights of St Ives we would have left the day we got there. If only we had read the reviews before we went, we could have avoided this happening. "
- Travel date: Sat 17th of August 2013
"6 hours to drive to drive to this hellhole! First impressions were the suspicious overuse of Shake n Vac......after two nights of heavy rain, my suspicions were confirmed as the Shake n Vac smell gradually began to lift and reveal the unmistakable stench of stale urine....Whole chalet was filthy, split dried in milk in fridge, moldy shower curtain, sticky dining table. Carpet was black with dirt! Everything stained. Bedding was damp, beds were lumpy, old and had springs sticking out. Drab 70`s decor. Cooker did not work properly. One plug socket only in kitchen, none in bedrooms. Windows rotten and difficult to open. Full of spiders, crane flies, wasps and apparently fleas too seeing as i have flea bites! All for Â£540! The pool was unusable due to the overuse of chlorine to compensate for the filth it contained. Customers were complaining left right and center. As for their onsite takeaway. They pop to Tesco, buy the Tesco own brand fish in batter, oven chips and tinned mashed processed peas, throw it in a polystyrene tray and charge Â£8 per portion! Vile!"
- Travel date: Fri 16th of August 2013
"Four of us have just returned from a week in chalet number 96 with our (very clean) collie dog. The shed - for that's what it is stank of stale smoke, fingering and fugitives!
What a wreck of a place! One towel ring in the phone-box sized bathroom, dead flies in the ceiling lights. The beds had visible springs and no padding.
I was charged Â£40 for my dog... I should charge them for pest control as he ate several spiders!
We delayed returning each day and shot out again quickly as the whole ambience of the site is dark and dreary.
The few staff we dealt with were very polite and helpful. They should get new jobs! The club was a dire version of Neptune's bar from TVs Benidorm!
My final bit of advice would be consider sleeping rough by the pub bins rather than giving Mr Fowler's organisation your hard earned cash for this '70s throw-back experience!
- Travel date: Tue 28th of May 2013
"we were in 260 this April i wasn't expecting much but this was a disgrace they say you cant book in until 4 pm because of cleaning but i think they must have missed 260 as i had to do it.
we took our dog and for him the walks were great so was st Ives we went for 7 days but Tuesday morning i got up and packed we couldn't take any more this camp should be a gold mine why have they lat it get so run down and then ask the prices that they are "
- Travel date: Thu 9th of May 2013
take a vacuum cleaner and plenty of air fresheners
"Arrived late and was hit by damp smell in property. Bathroom smelt of urine. The place had not been hoovered for months so I had to get the broom and sweep the dust and insects from under the bed. Next morning my daughter found a woodlouse on her pillow. Emailed the owner but said she would sort it out but kept fobbing us off."
- Travel date: Mon 10th of September 2012