This is our 2nd visit to Pullwood Bay and we have had access to 4 properties in total during these 2 visits, thanks to other guests.
We have had access to The Boathouse, one of the apartments in the main building, The Cedars and one of the other cottages on the estate.
The first thing to point out is that this estate runs properties to two different standards. If you are looking for, what I would class as 4 star accommodation stick to one of the apartments in the main building, Wyke Bay or The Boathouse. The excellent feedback on this site is almost all down to people who have stayed in one of these places, NOT the cottages. These are done to a very good standard and I have to be honest when I say the Boathouse was great to stay in, with the only down side being it was a little cold. The cottages on the other hand are a different story. We more recently stayed in The Cedars.
Some points about Pullwood Bay. Its website states its set in over 50 acres of grounds with over half a mile of private lake frontage. On paper this is the case. In terms of what a guest staying here is reasonably able to access is about 10 foot of lake frontage and about 2/3 acres of garden. Most of the grounds are in our view, inaccessible due to the boggy ground and overgrown foliage. The only other area that we could see to access the lake is from Wkye Bay Cottage (Private access to guests staying at this property only). I do however have to say that what you can reasonably get access to is pleasant and the grounds immediately around the main building are nice.
Our stay at the Cedars most recently was a very disappointing experience which resulted in us leaving the property 3 days before the end of our holiday. We were disappointed both with the property itself and the customer service experience of the site management. I have made more than 6 attempts both via email and phone to provide feedback to the management and also awaited a response from them which I was assured would happen yesterday, with still no response. So will outline our experience below regarding the Cedars, along with photographs.
The photographs on the Pullwood Bay website of The Cedars gave the impression that the interior of the property was to the standard of the Boathouse. Unlike some of the other cottage photos where it is clear they are dated and not to the same standard as the main building. We were left very disappointed. It says it’s suitable for 4 people but in our opinion it’s more suited to 2 people. Albeit has 2 bedrooms. The main issue that struck us straight away was the main living area. The living, dining and kitchen space is not much bigger than a caravan, with only 1 window at one end of the room leaving it very dark. The biggest shock was the lack of kitchen space (see photo). We had to prepare our food on the sink drainer. If you are the type of person who likes to “live” in your self-catering accommodation, to eat or entertain this property is definitely not for you. It’s more suited to someone who likes perhaps a sandwich and soup and somewhere to put your head down at night. As the member of the management team said to me on the Sunday. “It’s not the Boathouse it’s more like glamping” She wasn’t wrong, glamorous camping sounds more like it but we didn’t pay the sort of price to camp! The description on the old website (recently been changed) stated that there were washing drying facilities. This is an important issue to us as we like to take less clothes and wash as we go so I specifically emailed the management office prior to our visit to ask clarity on the these specific facilities. I was advised they were situated downstairs from our apartment. On the day of arrival we went to investigate to find a coin operated washing machine and dryer. When I raised issue the following morning with the management the response I got was “You made the assumption it was free” “We didn’t say it was free” My response was “No I didn’t ask it was free but you had a customer asking specific questions prior to the visit about this facility and in my opinion, that is an ideal time to make the customer aware that these facilities are chargeable” The response I got was to repeat her above comments over again. I guess my expectation was to be told “I apologise we didn’t make it clear either on our website or in response to your email, we will take your comments on board and improve our experience for future customers” What I got was in effect, told it was my fault for making assumptions. I got the feeling they didn’t want to promote the fact to you that it was a shared chargeable facility which is shared between most of the cottages as it smacks in the face of the image they are trying to portray with their website. It’s the sort of thing you would find on a camp site, not a gold awarded holiday let. However I do think they need to consider customer experience and actually listen to what the customer is saying, accept it and improve communication and marketing. Its not just a pretty interior that makes a place gold awarded. Its the people that run it.
To try and balance things let me explain the positives of The Cedars. Nice woodland location, good quality wall art, furniture (as can be seen from the website photos) soft furnishings. What was lacking was space and a basic standard of cleanliness I would expect, whether staying in a £35 a night B&B or this accommodation which was nearly £600 for the week off peak. Not good value for money, and if I am honest peak season rates on the apartments is a little on the expensive side for what you actually get and could get elsewhere in the area.
We were faced with the following.
Lamp without working bulb, broken sofa, damp in both bedrooms on the walls, loose toilet seat, strange electrical buzzing noises from an extractor fan. Mould in grouting in bathrooms, mould in bath sealant, dirty shower seal, dirty bathroom extractors, dirty window frames, dead insects in light fittings. In addition to this the following were not provided which in our opinion, seemed like a basic requirement. No where to put a drink down (my 80 year old mother had to pick her drink up off the floor) until we finally used a dining chair and the breadboard to make a makeshift coffee table for her. Nowhere to sit and dry hair or apply makeup. Nowhere to prep food other than the dining table, no mats or coasters so you couldn’t put a hot plate or drink on the table. There are no markings on any of the knobs on the electric hob and the only way to know if they are on or off is to touch them. Even the off position was not marked or which hob ring was which. A definite safety hazard in our opinion. We were provided with an industrial de-humidifier to try and remove the damp from the master bedroom and it did help with the damp smell but due to its noise we could only have it on in the day. We were assured that the service manager would come in on the Monday and fix some of the issues which did not happen. I have been promised a call-back from the estate manager at the weekend for yesterday and this didn’t happen. Their email system has been down for the last 4 days so I cannot even correspond with them via email either. I have to agree with the sentiments of someone else who fedback on here. The properties are up for sale and I really believe that there is a distinct lack of interest in spending any money on properties they are intending to sell. The sad part about this is with a little more honest marketing of facilities, a better cleaning regime and a couple of fixes this could be a really nice property for a couple. To anyone considering booking. Please be specific with your questions prior to booking, else you have no when you complain. The view very much here is the customer is never right!
Stick to staying in one of the apartments in the main building, Wyke Bay or The Boathouse. Cottages...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.