After navigating the holes and puddles in the road leading to the cottage, we arrived there to a pleasant surprise. We had been left bread, milk and a bottle of wine which was a reall nice touch.
The rooms are spacious and every need catered for. A log fire, and outdoor patio furniture, but those really aren't important, it's important that the basics are right, here they fall well short of anybody's expectations.
On the surface it looks clean, but deep down it most certainly ain't.
The kitchen units, especially under the sink, smell badly of damp, even the wall units. All the crockery we intended to use had to be washed and left out on the worktop. Only the fridge and microwave were something like. The hob had grease marks running down the side and rust marks on the elements. The toaster was quite full of old breadcrumbs. Windows hadn't been cleaned for weeks, something we had to do. Old food jammed down between the leather cushions, cobwebs everywhere and weeds in the outside patio area in abundance.
The beds and linen were clean and crisp, but carpets were filthy, the kitchen floor was disgusting, looks like it's never seen a mop, or had disinfectant on it from people walking chicken poo in that you find on the path.
I could go on forever with faults in this cottage. The main thing that does concern me is the electrics here. The main cooker point is 75mm away from the back cooker ring , the place where the washer plugs in, dangerous or what.!! Has this cottage got a certificate .?
The bathroom is another disaster area where a hole in the floor is covered by a bath mat.!
The whole cottage has black damp patches, I understand it is old but in this day and age in can be dealt with.
This is our first experience in renting a holiday cottage and perhaps our last
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|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|
The short private access road to the cottage is in awful condition and the surrounding area is rundown and neglected, but we understand it belongs to others and the cottage owners have no control over it. This is not the case when you pass through the gate.
Our first impression was that the small front garden with seating area was nice but becoming neglected and overgrown, and with much evidence of the numerous visiting chickens. Entering the cottage, the pale carpet (not a good choice for a holiday let) had been badly soiled by previous less concerned users which vacuuming alone didn't shift. Another legacy of the chickens! Not a great start.
The cottage was generally well equipped, the furniture robust and comfortable. The kitchen had most things needed although a tray would have been useful. We suspect anyone with a young child or baby would have been pleased with the equipment provided for them, a high chair, safety gate, etc and plenty of games. Although the frame of the permanent safety gate at the top of the steep stairs left a dangerous trip hazard.
The small rear garden, again equipped with garden chairs and a table, was in pretty much the same condition as the front garden - in need of a few days concentrated attention.
However, this area of Wales is highly dependent on good weather for walking or visiting places further afield (Fairbourne has little to offer other than a very good Indian restaurant) and unfortunately the weather during our stay was cloudy and wet. As a result we perhaps needed use of the cottage's facilities more than if the weather had been hot and dry. The shabby condition therefore became more pronounced.
A more thorough clean would have not gone amiss; as well as the soiled carpet, cobwebs were plentiful, around light fittings, window reveals and corners and the stair handrail was sticky. In addition, several items of maintenance needed attention; the decoration was tired and paper was peeling from the walls, pieces of skirting were either loose or missing and the broken bath panel was fixed in place with a strip of masking tape.
Of greatest concern were the electrics which could have been installed by a non-too-competent DIYer. The two-way switching on the stairs didn't work, you had to switch the light off at the bottom, climb the stairs in the dark and switch the light on when you reached the top. However, the biggest problem was the electric shower which didn't work (incorrect wiring??). This was badly needed on cold wet days and the only alternative was to use the bath; unfortunately the heating arrangements only provided sufficient water for one person. We saw no evidence of an electricity test certificate (Sykes Cottages – your standards are slipping!)
Other things which annoyed us: we found slug trails on the kitchen utensils, then found the culprit - a 2" long brown slug; the TV has only a few channels although this might be because of the hilly terrain around the cottage (or poor instructions) and the instructions for operating the heating system didn't seem to work. Fortunately on the one particularly cold day we needed the heating there was the electric fire and a log to burn left by the owners.
In all, we thought the cottage was in urgent need of an overhaul, some items being more important than others - we would have swapped the welcome pack for a working shower. We booked 7 days but after 4, we'd had enough and went home. The worst cottage we have stayed in, our rating 1 star.
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|A romantic getaway||Older travelers|