To go or not to go ... 3 nights, 4 days in a caravan in Torquay in October ..that was the question! I read, re read and read again the reviews of this poor excuse for a holiday park as money is tight I wanted to make sure we were not heading for disaster! How wrong I was .... This was mine and my husbands last holiday before our baby is due!!
To start off with I booked via Sun Holidays thinking Blimey £9.50 per night for a break away how bad can it be ... ha ha nothing can prepare you for the shock you get when you arrive at this place that I can assure you! I didn't receive anything from the holiday park for confirmation from our holiday until 3 weeks prior to our departure date when I recieved a final demand notice for the balance of our holiday, which needless to say was a little bit of shock seeing as we didn't know we were going there. So, I went online to pay the outstanding balance where I saw all of the hidden charges mounting up to over £100 - another shocker! £13.00 charge for bedding (which is highlighted on the website as free), £22.00 for entertainments passes (for 4 people despite only my husband and I travelleing), surcharges, supplements for 2 people sharing .. oh my days they were charging me for everything. After sorting all of this out, I paid the outstanding balance and was ready and raring to go.
Being heavily pregnant at this time I thought I best check the reviews once more before I go just to make sure it is friendly to people in my condition, and to be honest having read the latest reviews I was horrified that my baby and I were at risk as they were talking about mouldy curtains, no central heating, broken furniture, poor gas and electricity supply, car parks miles away and up hill and I can assure you after a few sleepless nights my husband managed to convince me that nothing could be THAT bad!!
Due to the reviews I contacted the park the day we were due to arrive to ask them if they could kindly position us closer to our car and the facilities as I'm sure all you ladies who have had children can appreciate walking is somewhat difficult the more pregnant you become! The lady on reception said "ofcourse we can do that but it will cost you £20.00 for the privilidge" - now, when I spoke to her I said the only reason I am doing this is because I have been informed that there is a rather large hill and the car park is miles away as you can't park next to you caravan is there any truth in this?! her response "yes, how would you like to pay?" so I paid the money to upgrade and we headed off.
We arrived at the park and I nearly turned around and came home it was dirty, dark and univiting. I went to reception to check in and got given a map, entertainment pass and the key to our caravan. As promised we were indeed close to the facilities, however it appears that I was ripped off as there is indeed parking right by all of the caravans, the hill people were complaining about was tiny and even this pregnant I would have managed it, and the facilities were so disgusting that I didn't wish to use them anyway. But they were pleased because they had lied and got extra money out of me!! So ..... the caravan!!
We parked up, took about 15 seconds to walk to our caravan, I opened the door and the smell hit me like a steam train. I took a little look around, I saw my husbands face and he had drained in colour. It smelt like old faggs with a touch of mould and pooh. The bedroom was so small that being heavily pregnant meant I couldn't walk around the bed as the gap was too small, the second bedroom which had 2 single beds in was big enough for children but you could never an adult in there - my husband tried and his feet touched the door, the bathroom was spacious but had pubic hair over the floor, toliet and sink, the shower was dirty and recently used, the kitchen was old and dated, and the lounge was old, with mouldy curtains, torn sofa cushions, 2 foot stands from the 1970's, a glass panel inside both doors which had no curtain to cover them so at night you could see everything!! But never the less I grabbed my clearning bag and scrubbed for 90 minutes to make it reasonably stayable.
We headed out for a tour of the local area, grabbed some fish and chips and thought we would head off to the entertainment that night seeing as we had paid £11.00 for the privilidge. We sat around the fire that heats up only the lounge to watch some tv - the tv had a lose cable and get dropping in and out of signal, the freeview box kept turning itself off during a programme randomly, and the rest of the caravan was so cold that we decided to head off to the entertainment earlier than planned. I went to get ready in the bedroom - now I know its October, it was raining but I never knew inside could be so cold. I could see my breath in the bedroom so getting changed was not a pleasurable experience.
Having read the entertainment programme I had prepared myself for live entertainment followed by a cabaret - suitable for adults it said. We got to the bar which was loud, overpriced and sticky to say the least, we took out seats and waited for the adult entertainment to start .. we waited, and waited and then it began at 9:25pm - a balloon show, a man in a balloon covered shirt came up on stage and made balloon animals for an hour and 15 minutes. Now don't get me wrong the kids loved it but REALLY, balloom animals on a Friday late at night. My husband resorted to drinking - £3.50 a pint and we waited for the next enteratinment to begin. A lady then comes on stage and said I hope you enjoyed the first half of the adult cabaret now here is a man who will sing you some songs. Excellent I thought, Nope wrong again, he sang out of tune, the auidience participation was none existant and he sang some firghtfully awful and dated songs. Needless to say 15 minutes later we headed off into the reception area to head on back to the caravan, we came out of the room to bit hit by a massive cloud of smoke, people had decided that because it was raining not to shut the door and to all hudle around the only door in and out of the facilities, even with security managing the evening entertainment no body said anything - I smelt like an ash tray and tasted a variety of cigs that night.
We headed on back, the caravan was so cold when we got back that we put layers on, turned on the fire and ended up sleeping on the sofa in the lounge on a plank of wood- the only heating in the bedroom was fan on the wall that was loud, processed air and made the room so hot that you were sweating so you turn it off and with the walls being made of paper the heat escaped in seconds where it became freezing all over again. So we moved the matress into the lounge and headed off to bed! The rain was coming down pretty hard so with the noise and the cold it was pretty difficult to get any sleep, luckily we had taken our own winter bedding as the stuff they had provided was stained, to be used in summer and small.
After a somewhat difficult nights sleep my husband decided to make us breakfast, now please ensure if you do visit this place you take baking trays, a spare oven shelf, a frying pan that actually has enough non stick on it that you don't burn your food and plenty of washing up liquid. The grill part of the oven worked fine however the main oven door didn't close so you had to cook with the door slightly open, there was only one shelf in the oven so you could only cook one thing at a time and due to the door being open the smoke alarm went off several times so you have to have the caravan doors open to stop the alarm going off. After a failed attempt at breakfast we decided to head out for the day. The local area is amazing, the beaches, the sea air, the local attractions, cream teas and acitivities you could do were incredible and saved us. We spent all day out and about on a tight budget however we still managed to enjoy ourselves. The only thing I would mention is the car parking charges everywhere are pretty steap so make sure you have plenty of change.
To be honest, I could probably write negative things about this caravan park for the next week or so, however all I actually wanted to do was say that if you have any kind of standards then this holiday park will disapoint you endlessly. Please think before you book this park, as they will not refund you any money or give out any kind of compensation if you are as unsatisfied as we were. I left my feedback form with reception this morninng she was not surprised I had complaints but she did not wish to discuss them any further with me. All in all a disapointing holiday that I would not recommend to anyone. If you read any reviews that say its not that bad they are lying.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It was the Vistorian's who coined the phrase 'the English Riviera', likening this stunning 22 mile stretch of Devonshire coastline to its French equivalent. And with its balmy weather, sub-tropical plants, gastronomic delights and colourful waterfronts, it's easy to see why. So where better to spend the summer than at Torquay holiday park, close to all the Riviera's finest attractions. * A lively park in a country hillside setting * Stunning views towards nearby Torquay * Close to Brixham and Paignton seaside resorts * Blue Flag beaches just three miles away * Fantastic Showtime Entertainment ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Torquay Holiday Park Hotel Torquay
- Parkdean - Torquay Holiday Park Devon