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“Not the greatest place!”

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Golden Sands Holiday Park - Park Holidays UK
Ranked #13 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Dawlish
Reviewed August 27, 2012

We booked this holiday last minute for £500 for a week in a bronze chalet. After reading some of the reviews I was very worried and wished I hadnt. However it was not quite as bad as some of the reviews had indicated.

The chalet when we arrived I must say was spotless. However the sofa in the chalet had seen much better days was very grubby and had holes in it, I sat in the deck chair I had brought but the wife and girls seemed happy enough on it and said it was comfy, I would however ask the owners if they ever read these to replace the sofas ASAP. Also the sink in the "bathroom" is smaller than most bird baths I have seen.

In the evening of the 1st night at approx 11pm I noticed that where there should have been an extractor fan in the kitchen window we had a lovely big hole!!! Seeing as it was dry we decided we would report this the next morning which I did, the staff member said they would sort it out in the day while we were out. On our return we did indeed notice the problem had been sorted out.....with cardboard and gaffa tape! See photos.

The kids (2 girls 12 & 9) used the pool daily and enjoyed that and we went to the club twice while there and while it is not Butlins it was fine. All the staff I came in to contact with were friendly and polite and the camp on the whole seemed clean. I would say that the Chalet Block did seem a little like a prison camp though, but we basically used the place as a base to travel around Devon from and for this it was ideal, we were lucky with the weather and we have transport, if you were stuck on the camp for 7 days I can imagine it could become very boring quickly.

All in all not too bad but we would not return to this camp and would probably not use Park Holidays again.

Room Tip: Dont use a Bronze Chalet.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Welshexile1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,110 - 1,116 of 1,345 reviews

Reviewed August 24, 2012

we booked this holiday late 3 days before departure we had a 4 day break. The overall site itself is showing its age a bit in places but our chalet was clean and warm we did not need to use the kitchen much as we booked half board which was good value for money full english and evening meals. The entertainment complex was clean and very pleasant staff at bars, the pool was ok but a bit crowded the best part of the holiday was the evening entertainment the shows were very good and well rehearsed. It is easy enough to find and within walking distance to dawlish sands beach, i have read some of the reviews and yes some of the remarks are correct e.g table and chairs in chalet were worn and decor dated but it was clean and fresh and its only somewhere to sleep and set of from everone i met there seemed to be enjoying themselves we had a nice break at a low cost.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank john999o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

Just got back from "Golden sands" first day of arrival,went into our stinking caravan..It stunk of mildew and had a broken window,and the bed was damp rusty and the carpet needed to be thrown out..Reported to reception and also said that the we were missing pillows,the 2 they supplied were filthy "I have thrown better out".. Explained about the caravan and the smell broken window,dirt..ect..She said she would get someone round to take a look...They came with 2 more pillows,nothing else was done...
There was 6 of us in our party and we decided to have the meal plan (breakfast and dinner) 3 children 3 adults, £315 for the adults and i cant remember what it was for the children...But it wasn't cheap! Anyway as i have said in the heading,the staff were fantastic and completely worked off their feet,apart from one miserable staff member,who couldn't raise a smile for anyone,i think he is the manager,a crap one at that.(he was there when we first reported the state of the caravan,playing on his computer or something)The food is very basic,if you like chips or jacket potato with everything! I asked for a "summer salad that was advertised on the back of the menu,and was told they don't have salad!!!.In August,no salad???? I also asked for it again the next evening,still no salad..The food is ok,but i would save your money and go to Dawlish warren or town centre where the food in the restaurants is much much better and quite reasonable too..The night time entertainment is ok,but there is only so much singing i can take from the fun stars,it all seemed to be the same every night apart from 1 when they had a male vocalist. I would like to say that the girls in the restaurant were fantastic and need a pay rise/medal as they seem to be running the whole joint with not much help from anyone els..The pool is very small and quite dirty,my son gashed his foot open on the bottom inside pool and was given a plaster. woop :( However we are home now and i have to say i wont be going back,even if it was free!..Oh before i forget the toilets smell like a cow shed and the toilet seats are all broken,it really is filthy dirty..Avoid!!!

Room Tip: Go else where,there is some lovely parks around Dawlish..
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Samantha C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

Stayed in these apartments and omg these arent even fit for the homeless,where do i begin,horrible beds found an earwig in my quilt,beds stink of pee,couch is for 2(small people)and very much stained,table and 3 chairs were wonky,cutlery in the kitchen still had food engraved into it(not expensive to update).shower is tiny i mean tiny u stand in it n ur touching the curtain,from the minute we got in it i itched.THESE ARE SERIOUSTLY NEEDING KNOCKED DOWN,I NEVER MOAN BUT I BET THE BOSSES OF THE HOLIDAY PARK WOULD NOT STAY IN THEM!!!???AM I RIGHT.After a disasterous 1st day we got moved parks thankfully,to waterside holiday park in paignton and it was out of this world,the place was beautiful,coudl not have been tahnkful enough to the lady who moved us,cannot remember her name but she had moved from waterside holiday park,and she deserves a medal.they really need to look at these problems,its not a lick of paint these apartments are needing its a bulldozer,the mould was growing off the roof!!!!!!!enough said.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank frances m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ParkHolidaysUK, General Manager at Golden Sands Holiday Park - Park Holidays UK, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2012

Thank you for the review. I am sorry that you had issues with the apartment. As previously stated we are refurbishing these and this is an ongoing programme. I am pleased that we were able to resolve the problem and we always try to move our guests to other accommodation within the Park or to one of our other Parks in the area if they are unhappy. We realise it is your holiday and your hard earned money paying for it so we do want you to enjoy it. Some of our staff do stay in these apartments as do staff visiting from other Parks.
I am pleased that you enjoyed Waterside with its stunning views.

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Reviewed August 20, 2012

Just got back from one week hols. Family of 3 with 5 year old daughter. Read the reviews before we went, so wasn't expecting too much. We had ordered a chalet, but when we got there we were told that it was being refurbished so they gave us a free upgrade to silver caravan. A couple of issues (broken fence by door with protruding nails, and gas seeming not to work) we reported, and were fixed straight away. By the way, the reception staff are efficient and very polite and friendly.

The caravan was clean, in a good state of repair, comfortable, and well away from the noise. Was quite near Peppermint park, and just to point out that the park is on a hill so isn't ideal if you have mobiltiy issues. I didn't spend my whole holiday looking for faults, yes it is clear that some of the window frames on the chalets need sorting out, but if this sort of thing spoils your holiday, then maybe you should pay twice as much money. Remember this is for those with a limited budget. It is clear that they are listening, as they are sorting a lot of these out - hence our upgrade.

I think the locatioin is pretty good. There is a supermarket about 5 mins walk away, and if you go through Peppermint Park you get to the beach and the nature reserve. The beach has lots of stones but is quite a nice beach. It is about 20 mins walk to the beach and again has a couple of steep hills along the way. There are lots of rabbits around the park, and at one point I counted 7 within a couple of feet of the caravan!

We didn't benefit from the entertainment as not really our cup of tea, and the prices of the drinks are pub prices so nights in with a bottle of wine in a cosy caravan was fine, although our daughter did like the Loopy and Cyril shows that were going on around dinner time, and the children's play area was a bonus (this is for kids 5 and under)

The food was nice and plentiful, and we took the half board option. I do have a couple of points for feedback on this, as the food part is the reason I didn't give 5. Firstly, Park Holidays should rethink it's breakfast options. Cereal or fruit juice? Maybe I want orange juice, cornflakes and toast, rather than orange juice, cooked breakfast and toast, but you can't have cereal and fruit juice together? - all adult meals get tea or coffee, so regardless you always get a drink, but your child only gets a drink if they don't have a cereal. To be fair, they are quite flexible if you ask, but why should flexi-dine be on paper so restricted. More vegetarian options would be better too, as my wife who is vegetarian doesn't like to eat two eggs a day, there are alternatives. As I said, ask the staff, who will try to accommodate your needs, so regardless of the restrictions, they will go out the way to meet your needs.

The service, for the best part was great. Some staff tried really hard to give the best service with a smile and succeeded, some did as well as they could, but one or two probably wanted another job. There was an incident at breakfast where our drinks were not brought to us - and when we went to the food service counter there was no apology, just an explanation, and initially my wife felt like she was being told it was her fault. When things go wrong, a simple apology would go a long way.

A couple of times in the evening our desserts were not brought until we went to the counter to ask for them, but on another occasion, one of the service staff was especially nice to our daughter and got her some strawberry sauce on her ice cream after asking her if she wanted this - she was very happy!

My daughter liked the pool, most of the time it was warm, there are changing areas, and it is open until 6, so plenty of time. There is a rule that you can't take photos in the pool area, probably to protect those who innocently take photos of their children having fun from the Sun Newspaper readers who think that this type of activity is abnormal and warrants a punch in the face!

I could write more - but all I can say is that there are things that need improving if I were to give a 5, but considering we usually go abroad on all inculsives, this was a refreshing change, a lovely place where generally, you can enjoy a week out the rat race. If all you want to do is find dog-ends on the pavement and a bit of fluff in the air vent and rant about this for a week, then maybe you should try the Hilton!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Martin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ParkHolidaysUK, General Manager at Golden Sands Holiday Park - Park Holidays UK, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2012

Thank you for your review. it is great to get such constructive comments. I am pleased the staff were able to rectify the couple of problems you had quickly and the Receptionists liked your comment about them as so often they get the raw deal on here. It was good to read that our catering staff are flexible and I do apologise if sometimes their attitude seemed lacking and I am sure this has been noted by the Catering Manager when she read this review. It is I am afraid a sign of the times that we cannot allow people to take photos in the pool as other children may appear in your photos. Once again thanks for this review

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Reviewed August 20, 2012

We stayed at Golden Sands during the first week of August. We booked bronze accommodation because we took our dog - we did the same last year. Last year the chalet was ok - tired but ok - but this year we had a few issues. Firstly the sofa bed in the lounge took a great deal of effort to pull out, my husband is an ex-rugby player and still pretty fit but he struggled, then when it was folded up again had a sharpish bit of metal sticking out of the side! The bathroom wasn't terribly clean - it could have done with a bit of bleach and water round the loo area TBH. The windows were also very dirty - surely they could have been cleaned regularly? We used the place as a base only as we were out all day, otherwise we'd have complained on site.......

The breakfasts were good though, and the staff in the food area polite and helpful.

To be honest the whole place looks tired and the public areas such as bar and restaurant could do with a good clean, and the chalets either need a good update or scrapping. I know this is a budget holiday but even so.............

We loved Dawlish Warren itself, the area is lovely and the beach and facilities down there are great for families, and being able to bring our dog was a bonus, but unless the park upgrades the accomodation we won't be back. In fact we were due to leave on Friday morning but left late on Thursday instead so we could sleep in our own beds................

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Kazjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

We have recently returned from Golden Sands. All in all, it was a lovely holiday. We booked a bronze caravan which was clean and presentable. Couple of downsides, check in was 4.00, which I think is a bit late. Our caravan was next to the club, but the noise from it wasn't so loud for us to complain. The bed was springy, which could do with updating. The staff were friendly and there was plenty of entertainment at the club, although it's not everybody's cup of tea. It is about a 15 minute walk to the beach which has a small fair to keep the kids amused. If, like us, you would rather be out and about on your holiday ( using the caravan as a base to eat and sleep ), there is plenty to see and do. We took the train to Torquay for the day and visited Exmouth by boat, which we all enjoyed. The surrounding area is beautiful and I highly recommend a trip to Gays bakery, very tasty and value for money.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Georgina N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Golden Sands Holiday Park - Park Holidays UK

Address: Week Lane, Dawlish EX7 0LZ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Dawlish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Dawlish
Price Range: $21 - $49 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Golden Sands has all the facilities you would expect from a top quality holiday park and the atmosphere is also very friendly. We have a reputation for providing some of the best holiday park entertainment around - and you can enjoy top class shows on most nights - all in the price! In fact that's one of the main reasons so many people come back year after year! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Golden Sands Holiday Park Hotel Dawlish
Golden Sands Holiday Park - Park Holidays UK Dawlish, Devon

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