On Monday we drove up North to Cayton Bay in North Yorkshire, near Scarborough. The reason we came so far from home was my sister wanted to visit where our Grandparents lived. A place we remember for good and bad times. Upsettingly my sister let us down and hasn’t come – I won’t say much on that in case she reads this but I am disappointed. We wouldn’t have gone on a 4 hour drive except she suggested we go somewhere together.
Now on to Park Resorts….. When we booked this months back we paid the deposit then a few weeks later got a very stroppy letter saying words similar to “you haven’t paid the full balance yet so your booking is cancelled and deposits lost”. We phoned the number on the letter and the phone system was a nightmare, I think on the third attempt we got through to a human, and she was less than helpful. They said they’d never sent such a letter, and of course it wasn’t cancelled and “why would we do that?” despite the fact we were quoting from that letter. She stopped just short of calling us liars – both Blokey and I had tried talking to her, but I had to leave the room, I was getting angry at the whatever attitude emanating from her. We were apparently in the wrong for thinking a stropy, threatening letter deserved an apology, especially as it was a hollow threat just intended to stress customers into paying faster. Um ok. So after wasting about an hour of time, and this wasn’t
a free call, we find out that the threat letter was just to “scare you into paying faster”. This is a phonecall I wish I could have recorded. Strong words were exchanged about the attitude and the tone of voice used by the lady, we asked for someone higher, surprise surprise she said was just her available.
We thought all that was sorted and done as we paid the balance immediately although we were not impressed by the letter, or lady on the phone. We wanted the holiday, that date and that location – if not I would have said take a hike, not go and give me my money back.
Ok, done. Said it, moving on! When we arrived to the caravan we were allocated we found a few faults – and I don’t mean cosmetic things like a stain or twelve on the carpets and sofas. I can ignore that sort of thing, its to be expected it won’t be perfect but I do expect safe. Call me fussy if you like, but I’m not snobby.
The cooker. Major safety issue, the grill lights then goes out a minute later. This could have poisoned us, or exploded if we were using one of the hobs. The oven was unsafe also, the door didn’t shut properly, and was wonky. We shut it the best we could but it swung open during use. And the only shelf in the oven appears to fit, until it gets hot, then the metal shrinks and it fell of the side rails, and it hits the flame as it’s not got a gap at the back. We only wanted to cook a pizza, yet this ended with a caravan full of smoke, the door falling open and burns on Blokey’s arm as he tried to re-balance the fallen shelf, and the back half of the pizza charred and solid with the rest squidgey and limp. Dangerous, Blokey said when he worked in schools this would have been condemned, and removed ASAP.
To add to the cooking fun, the saucepans were not in a great way either.
Next the light in D’s room didn’t work so if he needed a pee in the night that could have been fun. There were street lights outside the caravans, but they were out too. In fairness a man on a mini jcb digger tried to dig out the wires to repair the outside lighting though.
The shower is a joke. It is a very low pressured dribble, and has had a very visible bodge-job repair on it. It’s not fixed mind. I love showers, but I managed under two minutes, and most of that was stood to one side as I waited out burning hot or freezing cold water. We’ve been having splash washes at the sink and I feel dirty. The boys don’t care, they think it’s a treat not to shower. Ewwwwww! (Thankfully I’ve been getting them to wash hands and faces and letting me drown them in body spray.)
The TV is up the creek. Not a problem you might think. Remember I’ve got two kids. They want the telly, the idiot box, the unpaid babysitter. The thing kids want. It appears ok, but the digital aerial lead isn’t connected right – any movement in the caravan, any wind, anyone touches the TV and it gets huge square pixels on the picture and the sound sounds jumpy and jittery. Unwatchable on the weaker channels such as Dave. Do you remember trying to watch videos on dial-up internet? Good’ol 56k modems via a dodgy phone line a decade ago. Bufffffffering.
We reported the cooker as a serious and dangerous fault, also light in D’s room, and the telly aerial. The man we were talking to on the desk didn’t appreciate the real danger here, he scribbled things down. Later when we were out someone came in and had a go at repairs. D’s bedroom light seemed fixed when we checked it, but at bedtime it was flashing like a strobe disco light.
The telly is a little better, and I can see plier marks on the aerial wire near the connector but it’s not fully working. It glitches less often now. It’ll do, its something to watch when kids are asleep or for them to watch whilst their dinner or lunch is cooking.
The cooker. We weren’t sure they had done anything. The grill flame still goes out, with gas still flowing, and the oven door is still Knackered, and still has the ill-fitting shelf that falls out. In fact the glass from the oven door fell out when Blokey turned on the oven, and he’s put it back better than Park Resorts staff did.
When I report a dangerous fault I expect it fixed not bodged or I expect to be moved to an alternative caravan. We could have been poisoned by gas for all they cared. I wasn’t looking for an upgrade, I just want to be somewhere safe and not get nasty letters in the post. Was I asking too much?
The main complex is a big building containing a restaurant, pub/entertainment stage, soft play, a swimming pool and a coin operated arcade.
The onsite entertainment. Dull as dirty dishwater, sorry. The entertainment was bingo, then Park Resorts staff would do some kiddie dancing things, then would be a “game show” or a live singer/comedian. This sounds ok, but after 2 or 3 nights of similar routines it was boring. On occasion when laughs and audience participation were low they suggested “you should have gone to Butlins if you wanted better entertainment” and “I bet you lot are Sun readers and paid a tenner each. You can’t expect a good holiday for that” other comments whilst on stage were below the belt. Whilst staff were looking for
volunteers victims to take part in these game shows they would say things like “kids, grab your grown-ups. If they won’t go on stage to win you prizes they DON’T LOVE YOU!” – stay classy Park Resorts. The prizes were mainly plastic medals or paper certificates they quickly scribble your name on. For one game show my eldest son D said I should do it, the prize had been stated as free breakfasts for the winning teams families. This quickly became TWO single breakfasts with a price cap to exclude a full English. Then the rules were changed again after I went up on stage – now the prize was for someone in the side of the audience side who screamed the loudest. I wanted to walk off the stage but I figured I would appear stroppy, however it is out of order to change rules in this way – we were lied to, to trick/force us on stage.
Another issue I had in the bar/entertainment area was they refused to serve me a cuppa. There was a deal advertised on every table, 4 drinks, and 4 snacks as family thing to nibble whilst watching the shows. I was told I wasn’t allowed hot drinks, despite the price being lower. I said I am allergic to alcohol and the bar staff said words to the effect of “who goes to a pub to drink tea? That is weird.” I was kindly offered J2O which I dislike and the feeling I got was it’s that or nothing. I walk away feeling embarrassed and pathetic, then I thought to myself no, this isn’t right and found a manager. The deal went through a till then I had my receipt confiscated and I was sent with a hand written note to take to the restaurant and exchange for a cuppa. This meant I had to explain my uncommon allergy again. Seriously, don’t write Any Drink on an advert if you are excluding things.
The swimming pool, being a normal chlorinated pool required a treatment room. This was directly between the soft play room and the restaurant. We went to soft play only once, my boy like soft play, but the fumes from the chlorine treatment room were filling this room. Such potentially harmful gases need to be properly vented outside, not just allowed to fill a play space with invisible gas.
My lads played for about ten minutes before I started to feel unwell, really unwell. Dizzy an wanting to be sick, I was unable to climb up and escort my boys off. I sat there unwillingly, waiting for my boys to come down so they might hear me over the noise. Luckily Blokey returned – he had received a business call he apparently Had to answer. He got our lads off and outside, much to their disgust. Outside in fresh air I truly thought I was going to pass out. Staff were informed by my eldest son the smell of bleach or bleach gas had made me ill, no one checked I was okay. This was reported in our complaints to site staff, again no urgency to fix it on their part.
We went in the pool as there was nothing else to do, but Blokey and I stayed in one small area in the higher section of the pool. We weren’t being lazy, we were freezing and this was the only hot water inlet we found.
One thing’s for sure, I am not planning on coming back. My complaints seem to have been ignored in person, so I am writing it on here, not such a push over now am I Park Resorts?
This is not a sponsored review, we paid for this. All words and opinions are that of myself and my family. I still love Yorkshire, and know this place does not reflect the rest of the area.