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Reviewed July 29, 2009

we have just got back from a week in gurnard pines, we stayed in a 3bed bungalow it was great really clean and lots of space for us, 2 adults and 2 children it even had home comforts like a dishwasher. the staff were all very helpfull too.we had a few meals at the brasserie they were really nice well cooked and the service was very good. the children loved the soft play area and enjoyed the in to action activitys too. the swimming pools were very clean. i could go on and on as it was very good, we enjoyed it so much we have booked to go again next year(this is not something we normally do). thank you gurnard pines for a great holiday.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Donna040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurnardPinesManager, Manager at Gurnard Pines, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2009

I was delighted to read that you are coming back with us again next year and thank you for taking your time to post your review. We look forward to seeing you again next year!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2009

Travelled here for a weeks holiday and stayed in a 3 bed pine lodge - check in was very easy and the staff were all helpful and polite. Our lodge was lovely, very clean and comfortable. The children loved the wildlife outside the lodge, which included rabbits, foxes and woodpeckers!! We used the indoor pool only but this was very clean and had the benefit of lifeguards on duty. We loved the peace and quiet, especially in the evenings when the children were worn out after a day on the beach. It is a great place to stay and is well situated for travelling round the island. I would definately return again and would recommend gurnard pines to anyone - we had a great relaxing holiday, the children didnt want to come home !!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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Thank alisonWarwickshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurnardPinesManager, Manager at Gurnard Pines, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2009

Thank you for your review - we are delighted that you enjoyed your time with us as that is our aim for every holiday guest who stays with us.

We hope to welcome you again soon!

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Reviewed July 17, 2009

We read some quite negative reviews and felt we wanted to add a hopefully more balanced review.

We stayed late October and got a very good deal at that time of year. It is an easy place to find and like several reviewers, our accommodation was ready early and we were allowed to check in.

The plus points first: We found our 2-bed holiday home very spacious. It was great to have the option of 2 bathrooms (one en-suite) as we have that at home. The bedrooms are a great size - the bathroom is spacious too. The Kitchen is well kitted out with absolutely everything you need and it was handy having a full-sized fridge and a separate full-sized freezer too (a dishwasher would have rounded things off pefectly). The size of accommodation meant that if someone wanted to read quietly in one room, they could do so without being interrupted - something it's hard to imagine a caravan could offer.

The welcome pack was very welcome with the main things needed to get a brew, etc and we had leaflets included with details of things on offer so I could have gone without all the stuff I had printed off online.

There were things that were not great and the things we felt we lacked were: a telephone to contact reception - some things in the home were not working or were missing, but with the reception being a little distance away and no telephones in the homes it meant we had to use our mobiles to contact reception to get service. We wouldn't expect outgoing/incoming telephone lines, but internal ones would have been useful. However, after that things we needed were put right.

We also felt there should have been bathmats, and have now read the explanation about Health & Safety, but it's possible to get rubber-backed ones from IKEA for about £1.00!

There was a little horrible looking mould around the shower cubicle in the en-suite but we didn't bother to complain about it as it's not something that anyone could have fixed there and then anyway. We also agree that a loo roll for each loo doesn't seem unreasonable to expect.

We can't agree with the complaints about lack of groceries available for purchase on site. These are self-catering homes afterall and it's not rocket science to do a special grocery shop, stick it in your car boot and unpack it on arrival - particularly as it's possible to park so close to your accommodation. Alternatively there is the helpful suggestion on the website to get your groceries delivered by your preferred supermarket direct to your door at no extra cost! So it's not fair to expect Gurnard Pines to have a fully-stocked grocery store.

The range of onsite facilities are acceptable, with an OK selection of things to do. Yes, the prices at the bar/cafe are high street, but the homes have enough cupboard space and good-sized fridges for guests to stock up with whatever's your fancy so, just a little bit of organisation and there really isn't a problem.

Have to say we do agree about the obviously privately-owned homes letting the area down a bit. It was nice being surrounded by nature, but our verandah was directly opposite the front entrance of other homes, so with being only a couple of feet away, it didn't feel private enough to sit out on. We like the idea of hot tubs now being available, but being so close to other people would be off putting.

Glad to see there's now WiFi, which wasn't an option when we visited, but the rates are high (£5/hour to start), considering they've already got the broadband. I could just about understand the rates being to cover costs for providing PCs, etc in reception area, but in the homes we'd be using our own laptops/mobiles to access yet there's no distinction in the rate - but internet access is a good addition.

We are avid recyclers at home, so we also felt there should have been better recycling facilites but have also read the explanation that it's something to do with the council.

Also this year we see that it's possible to book beauty treatments in the homes - last year I had to book it in town - so this is a really good new option.

Overall we have to say we felt we were in a home away from home - the space, decoration and range of mod cons in the home meant we didn't feel we lacked any home comforts and we came pretty well stocked so had no need for shops, etc.

If we'd had better weather it would have been great, but it was October so to be expected.

We're hoping to visit again (and would recommend it) - we know what to expect now that we've been and for a family of four we felt it was good value.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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Thank luvtoflydubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurnardPinesManager, Manager at Gurnard Pines, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2009

Thank you for your review. It's nice to read a balanced review as all of our team work so hard to try deliver the best possible holiday experience to cater for the largest possible market. We'd certainly like to be able to provide the perfect holiday for every guest exvery time which is tailored specifically to their needs, although as guest's expectations and needs vary so massively within even the same family, it is great to get a review like this.

I'm sorry it has taken me a while to get around to answering your review - we have had a very busy summer - but I'd like to just reply to the things which you said we could do a little better to let you know what we are planning to do to improve our product:

PHONE COVERAGE - we do get poor mobile phone signal here due to our location inside the valley. Whilst it does have it's avantages of meaning that we are totally sheilded from any road noise, it does make mobile phones a little harder to use. We are currently looking with one of our communications providers at expanding our WiFi network to cover our holiday homes and this will mean that it can be used as a carrier to boost mobile phone signals. At the moment we are looking at the cost of doing this as it is not something which is particularly cheap to do and whilst it may not go ahead, it is something we are looking into to address this issue. Putting internal phone lines in accommodation is expensive to do initially and even more expensive retrospectively due to having to dig up roads etc. To date, it hasn't really been seen as a problem for self-catering accommodation and we have to balance up the cost, which would have to be passed on in higher rental costs.

BATHMATS - the issue is more to do with customers putting it down themselves and not doing properly (so it is not fully stuck down) and the sliding over and slipping on them. Because the resort has provided them, then the resort is potentally liable for any claims and regrettably these days the risk factor involved is just too high. We do suggest in our pre-arrival letters now that if a customer would like one then they can certainly bring their own but that we are unfortunately unable to provide.

SHOWER CUBICLE - we have carried out our usual winter maintenance programme and we also have a rolling programme of repairs. I would now expect this to have been sorted a long while ago now, but it is an issue we have experienced a couple of times with leaking shower doors in en-suites and we are now hopefully on top of the problem.

WIFI COSTS - the costs involved are more attributed to the provision and installation of the equipment rather than the cost of line rental which is only a small proportion of the total costs. We have to have a commercial installation in order to provide the connectivity and speed that customers expect as well as being able to offer full coverage through the building. The starting rate is £5 for one hour, yet the rates do reduce for longer durations such as £10 for one day or £35 for one week, with various other durations available in between. We are currently looking into the provision of an internet kiosk which will enable shorter time access at a lower cost paid through a coin slot.

RECYCLING - being from the mainland originally myself and being used to "twin bins" it is strange that the IOW does not operate this sort of system. The reason is that with limited resources on the island, the waste processing company Island Waste has built a refuse recovery plant which sorts all of the rubbish collected and then sends parts off for recycling or conversion into floc fuel and burnt to provide power for around 3000 island homes. The plant was built on the basis of the Isle of Wight aiming to be the worlds' first Eco Island and in fact enables total recycling to be achieved with no reliance on the customer putting refuse in separate bins or bags.

I do hope that we can welcome you back again to Gurnard Pines this year and in future years and that you will be able to see how some of your comments have been directly implemented in enhancing our holiday experience.

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Reviewed July 14, 2009

Have just got back from a short break at Gurnard Pines. I ordered one of their brochures ages ago and when looking for somewhere to get away to for a few days, remembered them and dug their brochure out. We booked a few weeks ago and they had a late deal discount for £50 off their bungalows. We was expecting to pay £349 for a bungalow for the 4 nights, so were surprised when I went on the website and they had a bungalow with a hot tub for £349, so £50 off too. We'd never used a hot tub so thought we'd give it a try. There were three adults in my group so this worked out at £29 per person per night with the leisure club included, which we thought was pretty reasonable. Certainly not many hotels offer that price; not decent ones anyway.

The mistake we made was not booking our ferry crossing with gurnard pines. They were doing it for about £55 with Red Funnel and £70 with Wightlink. Being in Fareham it doesn't really matter to us which way we go and thought we could leave it until just before we go and get a lower rate booking it direct with the ferry company. We ended up travelling on a deal with Wightlink which still cost us £75 and Red Funnel was even more.

When we got to the park it seemed quite nice. You get there through quite a narrow country road which is a bit bumpy but at least we felt we were in the country with fields either side and a stables. The park is quite easy to find and you go along a tree lined street with reception being a bit of a way in at the middle of the park.

We arrived early at about 2pm and even though we knew that check-in was 4pm we thought we'd try it anyway. If not, would have just gone for a swim or had coffee. It was a bit grey and threatened to rain, so didn't really want to be outdoors. Anyway we got to reception and the receptionist said our bungalow was ready and that we could check straight in. We had to sign a form with the rules and regulations about using the hot tubs which we thought was fair enough and she did say that they were quite easy to use but if we did need any help just to call and someone would demonstrate how it worked. Check-in was quite fast, didn't seemed rushed and she was a really nice lady. Had a northern accent so obviously moved down from Newcastle or from around there. We were given a map and shown how to get to the bungalow, which was pretty easy to find.

The bungalow itself was really clean, I'd probably say 9 out of 10. We didn't need to clean anything but a couple of the mugs were still alittle bit wet in the cupboard, so they had obviously just finished cleaning. Couldn't really moan though as we did get in 2 hours early and all the other crockery was dry and clean; at least it proved it had been cleaned and not just left in the cupboard from the last guests. There was a double bedroom with an ensuite which was a nice surprise, a twin bedroom and a bathroom with shower. What really surprised us were the bedrooms, they were huge. All the linen was white and really clean and looked rather new. The lounge kitchen and dining area were all in one big open plan room with patio doors onto the balcony. The views from the lounge were nice looking straight into woodland and totally not overlooked with no traffic outside. We had a tv which was a decent size, not a flat screen one but okay for a holiday, with freeview channels and a dvd player. They also left a little brown bag with things like tea, coffee and a toilet roll which was nice because it meant we didn't have to unpack right away (that's how we found out the mugs were still a little damp!). There was a card from the cleaners who cleaning the bungalow welcoming us and a folder with information about what we could do on park and on the isle of wight as well as instructions for everything in the bungalow including the hot tub so we didn't need to call on anyone to help us out.

The hot tub was on the balcony outside so just out the door from the lounge. It was really good fun and used it at various times in the day - breakfast in there was fun! We saw a chap come around and check it on the wednesday, probably to make sure it was all okay. Anyway, for the extra £50 it was well worth it really good fun and made our holiday,

They have an indoor and outdoor pool which are both quite big and nice. The ladies had a really posh changing rooms next to the pool with a tv and a spin dryer for their swimming costumes but the men's was just like a normal leisure centre changing room and looked like it was the only place that hadn't been recently redecorated. There was a second men's changing room upstairs which was really modern with big rainforest showers and all marble but wasn't too good for the pool as meant going up the stairs wet. I did mention it to reception when checking out when returning our swimming bands and they said that the mens changing room was going to be redone after the summer holidays. Didn't spend that much time in the pool because we had our own hot tub, but was had a couple of swims there. All looked pretty clean and seemed to be lots of lifeguards around but not many people in the pool. There was a gym there too which we didn't use but had a bright orange floor so looked pretty modern. There were fitness classes and tennis courts too but we didn't use those but they looked modern and clean too.

There's not a restaurant as such but a sort of cafe bar, a bit like a coffee shop that did cooked meals with a bar in it. for alcoholic and soft drinks. It seemed a decent size for the park and the menu was good enought to get in there a couple of times (pizzas are really good, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and burgers) and there was an outside patio which looked over the outdoor pool. There was a creche on site and a big play area but we didn't use those since we didn't have kids.

The park was really quiet and seemed to be about relaxing. They do activities at the weekends and in the holidays like archery and fencing but they don't run them in the midweeks as it seemed to be mostly other adults or people with really small children that were there.

Gurnard pines is in a good place for going around the isle of wight, so we went to ventnor, the needles (try the boat trip from the beach for a good view of them, we took the cable car but you can walk down too) and to shanklin. Tended to get up late and but found the traffic around newport to be dreadful, guess because most roads on the island lead there.

All in all, a really nice relaxing break, a nice change from staying in a hotel because we could do what we wanted when we wanted. We'd definitely go back if we can get a hot tub again and if we couldn't still might do it for a relaxing break. The last review said they were trying to please too many people, but we thought it was actually suitable for adults or families because they do leave you alone to enjoy yourself but the staff are there and really courteous when you need them. There does seem to be quite a lot of things for kids to do - unless they are couch potatoes who just like sitting around as everything is sports based - and not having late night entertainment was nice because it meant that the place attracted a "more pleasant" type of customer. We didn't notice all the cars driving in and it did seem to be a pretty quiet sort of place. Yes you can see the privately owned bungalows but they look okay, not as modern or as big as the parks ones, but they're in a different area of the park so didn't effect us.

We certainly enjoyed sitting out on the balcony at night with a bottle of wine or two!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Thank peter_fareham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurnardPinesManager, Manager at Gurnard Pines, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2009

Thank you for your review. It was great to read that you enjoyed your stay and that you found the value for money to be excellent.

We do offer the option of booking ferry travel at the time of making your holiday reservation and this can be done whether booking over the phone or on our website (we are one of only two operators on the Isle of Wight to enable customers to specifically book a ferry at the time of booking a holiday). Whilst we cannot guarantee that our rate is always lower than those which can be found booking directly with the operator, they do have the advantage of being fixed so do not experience price flucations and of course we can take all of the work out of booking this part of the holiday for you; ferry travel is essential when coming to the Isle of Wight so we like to be able to offer the total package.

I have passed your comments about the wet mugs to our cleaning manager. Whilst like you say it does prove they had been cleaned, we would prefer that everything be put back in an instantly useable condition. Please accept our apologies for this and this should now be sorted, so thank you for bringing it to our attention.

So overall, I was glad to read that you enjoyed your stay and hopefully we can look forward to welcoming you back again.

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Reviewed July 13, 2009

I will try and be constructive, and not destructive as that would not be fair.

I thought the accomodation was fine, clean ( 8 out of 10 if I had to score) and tidy, although could do with a lick of paint in a few places just to make things look fresh.

The facilities/activity locations available were all of a good to excellent standard and were modern looking and again clean. The staff were well presented and professional.

The location if fine for touring the island and you are in easy reach of Cowes and local shops/post office.

The things that frustrated me, were firstly the website we booked through stated that there was a shop ( new this year ) open on the site, now dont get me wrong I dont expect to do my weekly shop there, however I would expect more than Bread, Milk and Newspapers.

Some of the holiday homes looked to house local residents, this was evident at around 5pm-6pm when people were returning home from local jobs, and there was a impatience from them for us to get out of their way. When your on holiday, you dont want to feel rushed.

The site looks very modern on the websites that sell the holidays, however some of the holidays homes remind me of when they build new houses next to old council estates, it never really feels right.

My final points is around the mixed agenda of the site, clearly you can not run a site just for holiday makers and expect to be profitable, and the site has many facilities used by local people, which I guess is life. However again, I felt in the way, especially when Mrs Volvo 4x4 mum, who is always in a rush was dropping little johnny of for Karate Lessons.

I would not know where to sit the site in terms of where it sits in the market, it is not Haven or Butlins, not a Centre Parcs, and not really a Health Farm/Fitness based holiday. I know they are in the process of moving from a holiday camp to an upmarket based resort, however I would feel that this would be a plan that is going to take a few years and not overnight.

I would probably not go there again, but that is a personal thing, as we do not goto the same place twice.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank dont-talk-to-them
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GurnardPinesManager, Manager at Gurnard Pines, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2009

Thank you for your review. I am glad that you generally enjoyed your stay and are sorry that we will not see you again; however, I personally enjoy visiting different locations each time I go on holiday so can fully empathise with you.

I do note your comments about the site being open to a number of guests other than just holiday guests. Unfortunately, very few holiday parks would be able to operate profitably if other sources of income are not found to generate returns on investment, provide facilities or enable the park to be open for holidays for more than a few months a year.

At Gurnard Pines, like a sizeable number of privately owned independent holiday parks, we do offer our facilities to local residents on a strict membership only basis, which enables us to offer leisure facilities which are totally disportionate in size to what would be expected on a holiday park of our number of rental units. Indeed, our swimming pool is one of the largest on the Isle of Wight, and certainly the largest on a holiday park, as well as being able to offer other leisure facilities which are not found at our competitors.

We do strive to seek the ideal balance in order to be able to offer facilities open all year which are large, modern and open for extended periods throughout the day. We do make it clear on our website that we offer membership to the leisure club - as the same website is used for holiday and leisure club membership sales.

We are in the process of a 5 year plan to redevelop Gurnard Pines and as you rightly said this does take some time to achieve this. Since 2007 when the park changed direction from it's previous "holiday camp" style format like Haven or Butlins we have invested over £1m in the park with the majority being invested in facilities. We will continue this investment this winter which will see improvements principally to the accommodation, which although very good and at the top end of the Isle of Wight accommodation offering, we would like to cement this position, as well as investing in some new leisure activities.

Our aim at Gurnard Pines is to offer holidays mainly targetted at the active leisure family market by offering a range of sports and leisure activities which are delivered to a high standard, whilst still providing a great base to explore the Isle of Wight.

Hopefully, we may prove the exception one day and you may wish to come back and see some of the fantastic new activities we have planned for 2010 and beyond!

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