We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“You pay for what you get!!”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Pontin's Camber Sands Centre
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Before we went to camber sands Pontins I was reading all the awful reviews about the place, the day before we left I was considering canceling, but we decided to go as we only lived an hour away and could leave to go home at any point!! Considering all the bad comments we loved it there, it was a our first little family break. We checked in at 4pm and I had my keys by 4.05pm and was in out apartment bu 4.30pm. The apartment was clean which was my biggest worry the only thing that was grubby was the cooker! The night entertainment was brilliant was abit pricey at the bar but all places like that are, my son absolutely loved kids bingo in the queen Vic! Overall we would come again as we think the price we paid was acceptable for what we got!

  • Stayed: September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Emma1290
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (3,516)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

2,508 - 2,514 of 3,516 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2013

I sent this complaint in by post to the general manager at Camber Sands Pontins 6 weeks ago and have had no reply:

Dear

I am writing to complain about our recent stay at Pontins Camber Sands from Saturday 3/8/13 to Monday 5/8/13 (room 189). Luckily this was only a 2 night break for us as part of our holiday. Had we booked a week here as our main holiday we would have been suicidal. We heard comments from other customers such as 'this s**t hole' and 'they keep you waiting to check in in the hope that you'll spend money on site while you're waiting'.

We had booked months ago to go to Paris for 4 days and nearer the time we thought 'why not extend our trip and stay a couple of nights near Folkestone before continuing our journey?'. We booked 2 nights at Pontins as a last minute thing thinking it would be nice.

We travelled down from Liverpool and left at 2.30am to avoid any traffic problems on the way. We arrived at 7.45am and went to reception when it opened at 8.00am to ask about the possibility of an early check in (obviously not expecting to check in there and then but expecting possibly 'come back at 12 or 1' maybe). We were told that check in was absolutely 4pm with no exceptions. I explained that I was very tired and just wanted to get some sleep. I was told that guests do not check out until 10am and then the rooms have to be cleaned. I explained that I didn't need every room to be clean just 1 and offered to leave my mobile number. I was told that if I came back at 3 she would find out if any rooms were available. I came back at 3 to be told no rooms were available and I would have to come back at 4. I wasn't told where to check in was but happened to notice a sign saying check in upstairs at 4. We went upstairs at 3.40 to see if there was any flexibility by 20 minutes (by now very tired). We found a room very busy with people waiting to check in. I asked a member of staff if there was any chance of checking in and he said we had to go to the stage at 4.00pm. I asked if all of the other people in the room were waiting to check in too and he said yes. I explained that I had been on site all day and had asked a few times about a little flexibility on check in time and told him that I was picturing some kind of free for all at 4.00 with everyone rushing to get their keys. He assured me that it would be ordered as the keys would be given out alphabetically! I said that the company he worked for had so many customers that customer service was lacking. The impression early on was that you are more interested in quantity (how many you can pack in) rather than the quality of the service you are providing. At 4.00pm I made my way to the letter D on the stage and said my surname. THE MAN SAID I CAN'T GIVE YOU YOR KEY UNTIL THEY SAY OVER THE MIC 'CHECK IN IS OPEN'!!! At 4.03pm I listened to a countdown 10... 9... 8... ...1! I got my key and walked away through the crowds of people waiting to get theirs. This was just the start... Whilst trying to find our room we had to cling to our daughter as car after car started circling the site looking for spaces near their room (or even just spaces)! There are not enough spaces for the people you pack into the site and people were becoming frustrated.
As we walked into our room, the first thing I noticed was crumbs on the couch. This was strange as I was told the cleaners had been hard at work for 6 hours! Looking further around I found a biscuit wrapper by the window. I found mould around the windows in the bedroom near to the head end of the bed (not just a little but right along the bottom of the frame). I saw a metal bracket, which was supposed to be securing a unit, sticking out. I saw a rusty nail sticking out from a wardrobe. I saw mould on the ceiling above the shower. I saw spiders and their webs on the ceiling. I saw chewing gum on the window ledge outside (not fresh it had been there a while). I went over to reception to speak to someone about the state of the room to find that there was a huge queue there. I noticed a special desk which said 'maintenance issues' (which says a lot that there has to be a special desk for maintenance issues!). Oh that had a queue too! I found the nearest member of staff and asked if someone could come over to see the room rather than me just describing it. The duty manager was over within 10 minutes. When he arrived I felt like doing a countdown from 10 before entering the room but resisted.
The duty manager agreed that the room was not at an acceptable standard but said it was not mould on the window and it wouldn't do any harm to anyone breathing it in. He removed the bracket sticking out and said he would have a cleaner come over to sort the cleaning issues out and someone from maintenance to fill in the wardrobe with some filler so that the screw was not sticking out where my 3 year old could hurt herself. No one came to fix the screw and it was still the same when we left. I told him I was actually gutted that I had paid in advance and was tempted to ask for a refund as we could have got a travel lodge or premier inn for the same price and more comfort and cleanliness. He told me that no refunds can be given on site and I would have to write a complaint after our stay. I wondered if this might change if I mentioned sending the pictures to environmental health and review sites but resisted. I also pointed out the chaos of checking in and said it must be frustrating for him that there always seemed to be queues at reception which may be eased if check in was spread over a window of time like 2-4 rather than just at 4. I told him that the last time I went over the queue was actually across the bottom of the stairs and people actually had to move to let me through as I came down the stairs. He admitted the layout was always a problem but beyond your control. I suggested that spreading check in times may ease this problem.
We are a young family with not a lot of money and we realise you are a budget holiday company but there is no excuse for poor cleanliness and safety hazards.
When the cleaner arrived she agreed that the room was not at an acceptable standard and said she didn't blame us for complaining, she would have too, especially with our young daughter there too. I told her that the duty manger had said it was not mould on the window and she said 'well if that's not mould what is?!'. She apologised that she had not been to see the room after it was cleaned and before we checked in (as she normally would). She said this was because they were short staffed that day. She sorted out the cleaning issues but admitted it wasn't perfect. The mould had faded but the staining had not completely gone. I noticed after she left she was being called into other rooms and was in and out of them for at least the next half hour.

I understand this next part is out of your hands as these are the actions of guests. it could represent the clientele you attract and could be an issue of where you place guests in terms of families and groups. On the first evening our daughter was playing on the grass outside. There were a group of youths staying in the flat above us who didn't want to use the stairs. We heard 2 thuds and looked out to see they had jumped the balcony just missing children playing below. Later on as we were watching our daughter, a cigarette flew past her head which had been flicked from above!

When we continued our journey to Paris we arrived at our hotel there (which was the same price per night) to be greeted by a very friendly man who said 'you're a few hours early but that is no problem come to your room' then showed us to a very clean well decorated room. The difference in in service and product for the same price was unbelievable!

We saw on the website and on signs there saying 'new in 2011'. Misleading - the site was obviously not new and needed a good clean. I assume it means rebranded / relaunched in 2011 - not 'new'.

Our stay at Pontins was unacceptable and had we received a refund we would have left immediately! We were told no refunds could be given on site and any complaint would have to be made in writing after our stay (have you had problems with large numbers of refunds and guests leaving early in the past i wonder and had to bring in this policy?). We couldn't afford to pay out for somewhere else and wait for a refund from you so we felt trapped and forced to stay. I would hope that you use the feedback given to improve your facilities and service but am sure that your current policy of stack them in and make lots of money will continue.

I have not gone straight to review sites or environmental health with these photographs and comments yet. Needless to say we will not be staying here again but will take no further action if this issue is resolved.

When trying to send this, obviously I thought email would be the fastest and most convenient way to do it. Having looked at the Pontins website I saw 'all complaints must be made in writing to the manager of the site involved, email complaints will not be replied to'. Now that has annoyed me even further. I have had to print the letter out, print the colour photographs, pay for a stamp and walk to the post box. I can see no other reason for you not allowing email complaints other than - it puts people off complaining and you receive less complaints! If there is another genuine reason let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to this letter,

Room Tip: Don't go here book somewhere else
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Alan971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

4 days at this place was enough. We stayed the duration as we didn't want to let the kids down! Whole complex is dated, filthy an depressing! If anyone thinking of going here, take a full bag of cleaning products with you for the chalet an tables in the sands restaurant! Even the kitchen staff are in need of a good bath an cleanse!! Windows are filthy!! The tables were sticky, hense why I carried antibacterial wipes around with me!! Chalets need a lot of improvement!! Bedding provided was smelly an worn out!! Furniture had certainetly had its day!! Restaurant was dowdy looking. Food was cold, bland an piled high on your plate, worse than school dinners!!! Entertainment was ok if you don't mind corny jokes an dated music!! Shows were put on way to late, 10oc, Personally I think pontins at camber sands has seen better days!! Close it down an put the money into the remaining ones!!! We won't be going back there!! The criteria of the clientele that holiday here says it all about this place!! Cheap, an way down bottom of the scale!!! We even saw youngsters smoking cannibus around the chalet areas!!! Not the sort of thing you expect to see on a family complex!!! Nisa the on site shop is way over priced!!! Although we didn't pay a lot for this short break, cleanliness shouldn't come into it!!! Cleanliness of staff, chalets & restaurants should be made priority!!! The manager of this site should be ashamed of the running, cleanliness of this place!!! We won't be going back an I certainetly won't recommend it to anyone either!!!

  • Stayed: September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank sctUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

I don't know where to start. Well firstly we booked a 3 night stay Friday-Monday. Me, my friend and my son. I have never been to a place like this I am fortunate enough that my family took us abroad to wonderful hotels and lovely summer beach holidays. I thought this would be a nice break away for my son and a change of scene for my friend and I. HOW WRONG were we!!

We checked in at 6pm on the Friday. The room was disgusting, cobwebs, mold and damp. writing on the wall IN BLOOD! stains on the cupboards, splatters of god knows what. I was horrified. we wrapped ourselves up and needless to say none of us slept a wink on the uncomfortable beds and the paper thin walls!

We wandered around the following day. none of the equipment was available - such as the bouncy castles/go karts etc. There is nothing nearby to do, the beach is quite a walk away luckily we had a car! The pool was dirty and smelt so strong of chlorine we could smell it before we stepped in. no we didn't use it on this basis alone. The arcade pleased my little boy - although half the equipment was out of order.

The staff I must say were pleasant. We went into Rye for the day on the Saturday had a lovely walk around and enjoyed ourselves. However could not face another night in the god awful room that we had paid for and so left that evening. I complained and was told to write to the manager. Nothing was done to help our visit or encourage us to stay for the weekend we had paid for. we left and drove the 2 hours back home. So all in all a disappointing weekend for all of us! Rye is beautiful but DO NOT STAY HERE!

Room Tip: "DO NOT stay here! A tent would be more habitable!"
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Laura C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

recently visited Pontins Camber, and the place is very sad. We had three chalets next door to each other, these were the refurbished ones. In fairness they weren't too awful, however the cleaners should be sacked as the place was filthy. Opened the grill and it was all mouldy. Floors unclean, dust everywhere. The duvets and mattresses did have blood on them, and this is in the refurbished chalets, so I dread to think what the unfurbished ones were like! Only one of our chalets had a toaster, and the sticker on this clearly showed it had failed its safety test (obvious by the melted power cord) - yet they just left it in the chalet. We requested toasters for all the chalets, but never got them. We weren't suprised, when you saw the list of complaints/issues that the staff had to get through, it would be months before they get to the bottom of the list.

We never ate anything onsite, so cannot comment on the food. We ventured to the evening entertainment one night, and weren't very impressed. The drinks from the bar weren't very nice, entertainment was passable only. We decided to leave, and thankful we did, as a massive fight broke out soon after. I think they just let anyone from outside in to the resort, and they were all getting drunk and fighting.

We normally go to caravan parks, and my daughter - age 5 - usually loves the kids clubs and activities. Here the activities really weren't put on as advertised, and what there was did not appeal to her at all, which is very unusual.

The staff at resort all seem a bit downtrodden, and basically like they've given up. Pontins needs to have a real rethink on where it is headed. The security on the site is worse than pathetic, there are security there, letting people in and out, but its so disjointed and ineffective they might as well not bother.

I feel so sorry for Camber, it has such potential to be a thriving amazing seaside resort as the beach is simply stunning, but I fear that Pontins is dragging the whole area down, and without it either being knocked down and something decent built in its place, the area will never be able to regenerate. Real real shame.

Room Tip: Dont stay here unless you really don't care about cleanliness!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Lyssi_d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Stayed for four nights from Sept 23, Apartment was basic but clean, only paid £45 so it was excellent value, The shop had a good choice of food and was not expensive, The whole camp needs a lick of paint and the main enterance needs to be reopened, but overall good for a short break, will go again.

  • Stayed: September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank chat2stu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2013

I had got a cheap deal to go here via groupon voucher but will never go back here again. 1. Had to buy Electric Tokens which these days is poor. 2. Chalet needed a refurb as it looked tired. 3. Only had 3 forks, knifes and spoons for 5 days 4.General cleaning needs to be looked at by pontins as when we got into our room we found hairs and cigarette ends which someone hadn't been bothererd to clean. 5. Cooker should of been taken away to be Scrapped as IT TOOK 15 MINS TO COOK A PIECE OF TOAST! 6. The place needs renovating as it looks tired. 7. We had to ask for a frying pan and cereal bowls as we didnt have any AT ALL

As the title says its good for kids but adults not very good

Room Tip: If you can pay more to upgrade I would
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Dan_cook312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Camber
4.8 mi away
George Hotel
George Hotel
#1 of 1 in Lydd
39 reviews
2.9 mi away
Rye Lodge Hotel
Rye Lodge Hotel
#5 of 9 in Rye
812 reviews
3.0 mi away
River Haven Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.0 mi away
The Mermaid Inn
0.4 mi away
The Gallivant
The Gallivant
#1 of 1 in Camber
1,409 reviews
0.5 mi away
Camber Sands Holiday Park - Park Resorts
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Pontin's Camber Sands Centre? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Pontin's Camber Sands Centre

Address: New Lydd Road | Camber Sands, near Rye, Camber, Rye TN31 7RL, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Rye > Camber
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Camber
Price Range: $117 - $197 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and Cancelon so you can book your Pontin's Camber Sands Centre reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Pontin`s Camber Sands Centre Hotel Camber
Pontins Camber Sands Centre Rye

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing