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“Expensive and inflexible - poor value for money”

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Sun Haven Valley Country Holiday Park
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 19, 2013

Just arrived back from a one night stay at this campsite. I rarely post anything negative on Trip Advisor, but really felt my experience represented poor value for money. We were charged £150 for ONE night for a group of four. Being reasonably local, I often stay at static caravan sites during the shoulder season, and the most I have previously been charged was £30 per night in total at this time of year on much better sites. I expected that we would pay a little more as it was polo on the beach at Watergate Bay, but this felt like being ripped off. Especially as it did not include linen. We were told from the start that we wouldn't be able to check in until three, but were surprised to have to persuade the unhelpful woman in reception to allow us to park on site before that time ( we arrived at 1.30 pm).

The caravan itself was clean and in good condition. Only minimally stocked in terms of cutlery/cockery/glasses- only one for each of us. The setting is really pretty, and there is a children's park, but it is quite a way back from Mawgan Porth itself.

The shop was quite limited, and the staff we encountered were initially unfriendly. But it was the state of the public shower and toilet block that really got me. As you can see from the photos, it was dirty- full of leaves, and it looked like someone had been chipping tiling off the walls or something because the toilets and the shower tray were covered in a layer of it. There was an old chair dumped in the sink area- and the water stopped working when you were trying to wash your hands. Wallpaper scraper dumped in the mop bucket by the front door.

While the setting is really pretty, and I am sure other people have enjoyed their stays, my experience was overall negative. I feel ripped off. Considering there is a lot of choice in the area, I would expect better value for money.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Newstigger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SunHavenValley, Owner at Sun Haven Valley Country Holiday Park, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2013

PRICES - We advertise our prices, and customers can either pay them or stay elsewhere - we don' t mind. - The complainant paid for a three night break which is usually our minimum stay , though for £220 they could have had a full week - but they only required one night, were quoted the price and accepted it .

The complainant booked two weeks in advance of the holiday and knew what the rates were - so they had plenty of time to find a local bed and breakfast (which would have been £180/night for two doubles ), or a local hotel, (where their other Trip Advisor reviews suggest they have stayed before ) , at approx £400/night for two double rooms, or a local campsite, which would have been about £30. It is clearly boorish to find the cheapest roofed accommodation you can, accept the price given and then complain about it afterwards.

I would say that it costs more to clean a caravan to our standards, than the reviewer expects to pay for an one-night rate, so we fully understand the level of caravan accommodation that the complainant is used to. We would learn from our 'betters' in the industry and their pricing, but despite the fact that the reviewer "often stays at caravan parks" he/she has not reviewed a single one since August 2011. Perhaps their standards were not high enough to warrant a review ? . We note that there is a compliment on the state of our caravan and it's condition - although by contradiction it is then only given 2 stars ? .

BEDDING - We note that whilst we supply the duvets and pillows as is standard caravan park practice, bed linen is an extra. In the original booking conversation,we agreed to supply an extra double duvet and push beds together for the party (to give two doubles) and they were offered bed linen as an extra, which they declined. The written confirmation sent to them says "own linen" - and again this was all accepted beforehand, only to give bad reviews on the accepted arrangement afterwards

EARLY ARRIVAL But some people never cease to amaze me. We categorically write to guests and say, in writing, - and we have the complainants copy on file - "PLEASE do not arrive before the time stated ( 3pm) - unless you have pre-arranged it - as we have no parking or storage facilities . It is possible to give a limited number early access but there is a half-day charge for this"" So with ultimate bad manners the reviewers party turns up two hours early; without the courtesy of a pre-arranging phone call; in the middle of a major cleaning operation ( some 40 caravans in 6 hours) and demands access to the park.- It's interesting treatment of a small family trying to make their living running a holiday park. We have this several times year and the only analogy I can make is to ask - do these same people turn up two hours early when invited to dinner - perhaps to watch the hostess get dressed and finish laying the table ? When they have paid for a holiday that starts at 3pm, why do they feel the need to add a few more hours in for free - ? when they shop at the supermarket do they "just add in" a few more items into the basket than they have paid for ?

If the complainant had been marginally earlier of course, they could have made breakfast for the people leaving the caravan they were moving into and helped them pack the car. That's the timescales we have to work to.

We have no parking area, we have customers leaving , we have service vehicles and cleaners running around; and early arrivers don;t just want to sit in the middle - they like to "tut" a lot, nag the very hard working cleaners & reception staff , and pass lots of unhelpful sarcastic comments on what is always a very busy day.

LOCATION FROM THE BEACH Yes, we are quite a way back from Mawgan Porth and the beach, and very proud not to be part of the beachside raucous atmosphere. Our location is shown on the map on our website and illustrated by the phrase "10-15 minute woodland walk" from the beach. We have never claimed any differently - did the complainant read the website or if it was important, why not ask us ?

UTENSILS There is a set of crockery, cutlery, glasses, saucepans etc quite sufficient for four people on holiday in a caravan for four - can I ask how many unpaying guests the complainant was expecting to accommodate overnight from the Watergate beach party ? We have never had a problem letting customers have extras - including a long list of loan items from a wok, stew saucepans, irons, supersized frying pans, barbecues, toys, beach body boards and more - and breakages are simply replaced from our store - you just have to ask - though you might have to explain why there are more people in a caravan than was paid for, and more than the limit we place on this particular caravan. This would of course have required the good manners to talk to the staff that was NOT displayed by the early arrival

TOILET BLOCK I don't fully understand why you need the campsite toilets when staying in a caravan with running hot water, shower, wc & heating - but maybe these features are not usual if the reviewer only pays £30 a night for a caravan and maybe they did not recognise that they were there ? . We have two toilet blocks - the large main toilet block is twenty yards from the complainants caravan (though you might not recognise the building as such unless you had asked) . This main toilet block is heated, has free hot water/hot showers, soap, paper towels, baby changing tables etc, it is cleaned daily, annually obtains a five-star-loo award; it has piped radio and is open 24 hours a day to all holidaymakers. - and then there is also secondary toilet block tucked away in the corner of the site, 50 yards from their caravan, and used only in the summer. We did wonder who had forced the lock on the door to get inside. WHY ? The block had neither been spring cleaned nor disinfected when the door was broken open. The water had not been turned on because the pipe repair was very difficult standing on a chair reaching into the loft space - I am personally suprised anyone got any water at all as it wasn't meant to be on - perhaps if the customer had asked where the main toilet block was ????

The staff do clearly remember one woman from this party, though we do not know if she was the reviewer. The staff complained to management of her arrogance and disdain from the time of her bad mannered arrival, and the review written does not appear to contradict their complaints . We are a small family business, if you talk to us we will try and help

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81 - 87 of 95 reviews

Reviewed March 12, 2013 via mobile

My fiancée, 2 little pups and I visited this lovely campsite last year. We were very lucky with the week we chose as the weather was great all week long! We arrived at the campsite and were greeted by friendly and welcoming staff. We camped next to the stream in the lower field which was so tranquil on the evenings. The campsite was very clean well maintained, and catered very well for folk with children. The only criticism we had was that the dryer in the laundry room was quite expensive and seemed to only warm the clothes. This was only a minor issue and we will most definitely be visiting again!!

  • Stayed: June 2012
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2  Thank RnBHarrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Beautiful surroundings , lovely staff and owners and a policy of quiet after 10.30pm which if some idiots can't adhere to , they get asked to leave. This means you don't get morons on the site ruining your holiday and keeping the kids awake etc.

Fantastic facilities , fridges/freezers available - wetsuit washing station , lovely clean showers and toilets.Ducks and Guinea pigs and a brilliant playground for the kids - Fourth time staying here and will return year after year.

Excellent.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank TheGoulds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2012

This was our second visit to Sun Haven Valley and it won't be our last. We're not campers we stay in their static caravans which are excellent value and are located looking over a well kept lawn with the occasional duck,chicken and guinea pig for company.The Caravan we stayed in was perfect for us and our daughter and it was so clean and well cared for despite being one of their cheaper models. All the staff at Sun Haven Valley are so cheerful and welcoming and don't hesitate to answer any questions about the surrounding area.
Sun Haven Valley is in the most perfect location we have ever stayed in and we have stayed in many sites over the years. A 20 minute walk down a tree shaded lane will take you to the beach at Mawgan Porth and if you're feeling more energetic to the bays beyond.

Mawgan Porth is in the perfect location for visits to all the Cornwall attractions if you like exploring I would recommend a visit to the Tin Mines at Geevor and Levant the views are breathtaking.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Mountainview_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

This is our 2nd year to the site, and one of the reasons we came back was what every single review mentions - the silence policy. As previously mentioned there are patrols to ensure the rule is adhered to.... if you can't stand the heat...

Very friendly and helpful staff. We choose to camp on a stream side pitch as the only 'neighbours' close to you are left and right which suits us fine. We have a 9 year old who we feel very comfortable with allowing her off the leash a little more than we are able to at home. The park was used everyday and the guinea pigs were visited and patted (wish I could say the same about the one at home !)
Shower block clean, but at times the foot traffic proved too much, however when this happened I noted that the block was closed for full clean.
There is a small wooden building which houses leaflets, maps, books and magazines - brilliant idea and informative.
The small on-site shop has the essentials and even if they don't have what you want the staff are that accommodating that they offered their own soup from their kitchen cupboards.
The walk is a 20 min pleasant walk, mainly off-road to the beach. The beach shops will cater for all your needs for a full day/evening on the beach.
We had a great holiday and didn't let the weather spoil it, and having spoken to many of the campers, you tend to notice that they are mostly 'returners' and once again it's the noise policy which seemed to be a big pull.

Thanks Helen, Steve and all - had a great time !

Room Tip: Stream side pitches are quieter - unless you can't cope with the constant 'babbling brook...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Tri-Trio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2012

We stayed here in August in our campervan with a six year old and a dog. We had an extra large pitch which was roomy with plenty of space for awning table and chairs, etc. The site is in a valley with no phone signal and about a twenty minute pleasant, flat, off road country walk to Mawgan Porths lovely big surfy beach (dog friendly). O2 has no signal in Mawgan Porth either. The site is pretty with floral beds and free roaming guinea pigs,ducks and chickens, entertaining for the kids. The playpark is quite large and well kept, suitable for toddlers and up to about 12 I would think. The toilet blocks are ok. They werent as spotless as some we've stayed at but they were quite clean straight after cleaning, although deteriorated throught the busy times. The fold out chairs in the showers could do with a good clean. We did have to queue for showers at the busiest times. Other reviews state how strict the owners are about quiet after 10.30, but this suited us and we were glad of it. There are lots of mention of keeping dogs on leads etc, but the owners dog ran loose! There is a small shop in reception which does have a fair bit in it and a farm shop next door with nice sausage. There is no motorhome point, so the owners have to lift a manhole to empty waste water, an inconvenience for them and a bit restrictive in a motorhome as you have to wait for someone to lift it. We did find the owner and staff friendly and pleasant. I would stay here again as overall the positives outweigh the negatives and the owners are moving through a programme of upgrading.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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2  Thank roundabout66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

We have just returned from our fifth holiday here and once again we loved it. The site is perfect for down to earth families with children who understand how to amuse themselves and play in a traditional old fashioned way with all the other children. The large grassy area means that they make friends and come together to play football, frisbee etc whilst the adults enjoy a BBQ

Room Tip: You get what you pay for
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Vanessa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sun Haven Valley Country Holiday Park

Address: Mawgan Porth | Near Padstow, Mawgan Porth TR8 4BQ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > Mawgan Porth
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Mawgan Porth
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Peaceful, relaxing, self-contained, self-catering bungalows (& holiday caravans) on a countryside park just 10 minutes woodland walk from a large sandy beach ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sun Haven Valley Country Holiday Park Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

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