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Ruined holidays

(106 Posts)
Celeste21 Wed 28-Aug-19 16:17:21

Some friends are in Spain at the moment but have texted their disappointment with the hotel, but the children are happy so they’re putting up with it. But it got me wondering, have you ever arrived at your holiday accommodation and it’s been utterly intolerable. Home or abroad? What did you do?

Jue1 Tue 03-Sep-19 15:15:42

Yes, we were supposed to be in a ‘luxury mobile home’.. in the South of France.
Dirty shower, cooker not working properly etc etc. I spent the first day cleaning and complaining to various people in charge. None-the-less we had a fabulous, memorable holiday.
On leaving, we met families waiting to move into the grotty caravans (haha). One lady asked “what are they were like?” I proceeded to describe the quality of the mobile home most of us holiday makers had moved into, she commented, “oh we’re ok, we’ve booked a ‘luxury’ mobile home. I wished her good luck. 😊

Elrel Sun 01-Sep-19 15:33:29

Late night on a Spanish campsite we stumbled out to the ladies’ loo and found two members of the Guardia Civil having a crafty nap.
Kent, a sunny weekend. I booked a two bedroom ‘family suite’ for DS, his daughters, 6 and 12, and myself. The hotel was a cluttered museum, fascinating, and the reception friendly. Our suite had a double bedroom dominated by a large high double bed with a dark satin eiderdown. The girls loved it and felt very grand and grown up. DS and I were in a narrow room off, just big enough for two single beds placed end to end. He was horrified to have to share a room with me but we managed the two nights.
The food was fine, the girls loved the huge doityourself toaster and met the chickens who produced the eggs. The flower covered verandah had a view of the best sunsets in Kent and the beach was lovely. However the suite was far from my expectation of two twin bedrooms, I had stressed on booking that the adults were mother and son!
Alex Polizzi later visited as the Hotel Inspector! I would certainly go again.

Magrithea Sun 01-Sep-19 14:55:34

Not a booked holiday but many years ago when we went for a holiday in Malaysia (we were not long married and living in Hong Kong) we checked into a hotel on the east coast. When we were shown the room there was a cockroach on the bed! We pointed this out to the receptionist who'd taken us there and he just whacked it with his flip flop! In the middle of the night I woke to feel something (another cockroach??) crawling in my hair!!! We moved rooms after that!

Summerfly Sun 01-Sep-19 13:30:50

Had one or two nightmare hotels abroad but one year we booked a “luxury” caravan in the Lakes. Ideal location for walking. The children were so excited on the journey and couldn’t wait to reach or holiday destination. On arrival we were met by a woman with dirty blonde hair who was quick to take our payment. We were shown to our caravan and could only look in shock at what we saw. It was filthy outside and covered in overgrown brambles. Inside was worse. We immediately said no thanks and asked for our money back. She looked at us in surprise and said she had slept in there herself the night before! We did get a refund but had to forfeit the deposit.
We looked all over the Lake District but everything was booked up. We ended up in a B‘nB in Morecambe. We can laugh now but at the time!

Mealybug Sun 01-Sep-19 03:51:17

Yes we rented a detached bungalow in Wales for a week when my daughter was small. It was dark when we got there but it looked ok with some land around it. During the night it poured down and the rain came in and soaked my dtrs bed, there was no central heating just a three bar electric fire with two bars taken out. The place was freezing so as we got electricity for free I put the one bar on and the electric oven on full blast, hob and oven just to warm the place up.

BradfordLass72 Sun 01-Sep-19 02:56:37

Witzend brings a whole new meaning to 'Jury's out!' doesn't it?

I hate to denigrate my hometown but my son and I had two rather odd experiences when we visited Bradford in 1997.

We had looked online and the reviews seem okay and at that time, as a result of a legacy, we were able to book 4-Star rather than budget smile
Goodness knows how either of these establishments ever got 1 star, let alone 4.

In the first hotel we were shown up 3 flights of stairs, despite the fact I had specifically asked for one of their ground floor bedroom and had booked almost 3 months in advance.

It was an attic room with a sloping ceiling but the beds were at the high end.
It had been advertised as 'en suite' and when I asked about this, the owner moved a table and slid back a tiny door at the low end, so low, one clearly had to bend almost double to get to it. Inside was a lavatory in the ceiling space.

My son is 6ft 7" and obviously wasn't going to be able to use it. She said we could use the loo on the next floor down.
I asked about the shower.

With a grand gesture, she opened what we had assumed was a built in wardrobe to expose a shower.
There seemed to be no extractor to take out any steam - it would just billow straight into the bedroom and you would have to step out onto the carpet.

My son said later, 'There's no way they got planning permission for that lot.'

The second hotel, on our way back from Scotland had been billed as 'one of Bradford's Premier Hotels'.

The room was all right but my son and I had booked two rooms and this was a twin.

Once again it was only for one night but what a night it was. The owner and what we presumed was his wife, were yelling and screaming at one another at fairly regular intervals from 11pm until I went downstairs at 2am, pounded on their door and shouted, 'For goodness sake, we're trying to sleep!"

I had thought the 'shared room error' was because they were fully booked but in the underground, windowless dining room the next day, we were the only guests.

The breakfast was acceptable, nowt special but there was strong and an all pervading smell of Indian food.

I love Indian food but not when I am groggily trying to enjoy coffee, fruit and croissant at 7am.

Mossfarr Sat 31-Aug-19 14:35:37

We booked two double en-suite rooms, B&B for two nights, in Southampton to attend our sons passing out parade from the Royal Navy.
When we arrived it was an ordinary semi detached house and the 'owner' was a very elderly, very eccentric Russian lady who was very welcoming but spoke little English.
The house was like a very dusty (not very clean) museum with clutter as far as the eye could see.
She showed us to our 'en-suite room' which was a large dusty room with very old furniture (nylon sheets on the bed-yuk). The 'en-suite' comprised of a very leaky shower in a built in wardrobe space and a toilet at the end of the bed, no screens or anything! We couldn't believe it but as we had arrived late after a long journey we had no choice but to stay.
The next morning the lady shoved all the dusty clutter to one side of the table in her poky kitchen and served us breakfast which she had cooked on a disgustingly filthy cooker. There wasn't even seats for us all - not that we wanted to sit and eat it anyway!
Needless to say we didn't stay for the second night. We booked into a lovely hotel just along the road.
We have a really good laugh about it when we reminisce!

Anja Sat 31-Aug-19 14:08:52

It’s easier these days to check up with so many feedback forums.

annodomini Sat 31-Aug-19 13:45:20

Arriving at my hotel in Sydney, feeling a bit travel-weary, I ran a bath. Lovely. However, when I removed the plug, the water all came up through a hole in the floor. I used every towel, except the one I was wearing, to sop it up, without much success. Housekeeping were quick off the mark and the rest of my stay was uneventful. I even got free breakfasts out of them, though I'd booked room only.

Evie64 Sat 31-Aug-19 13:11:56

2 weeks all inclusive in Goa, India. I wept and wanted to go home. It was horrendous. The drive from the airport gave us a taste of what was to come, the "motorway" was lined on both sides with rubbish piles. It was filthy, the immediate area next to the hotel was like a bomb site. The beggars on the road on our way to the beach and back everyday broke my heart. Backing onto the beach was a shanty town where families were living under tarpaulin and constantly tugging at your clothes and asking for money, even when you were laying on the beach trying to pretend your were on holiday. Instead of giving money I ended up buying candles, matches, food, bottled water etc for some of them. I was invited into one of the tarpaulin homes and was horrified by the conditions, no water, no sanitation etc. People just defaecating outside with pigs roaming free which proceeded to eat it! The smells assailed your senses. The hotel food was awful and I became very ill necessitating a doctor to be called out. He said "You have been eating at the food stalls on the beach haven't you?" No, only hot cooked hotel food. Never again. That said, other people have been to Goa and loved it, I think perhaps we were just really unlucky in our choice of hotel. I could go on and on about the horrors but have ranted enough now !

discodiva Sat 31-Aug-19 09:46:50

KatyKay Your post made me love. We didn't have a filthy gite but your post reminded me of a funny memory.
I along with my mum, DH and our children, went out for the day leaving my dad behind who was not in the greatest of health but wanted to have a day on his own.
When we got back 6 hours later we could see him sitting by the front door, paper and a bear on the table, smiling and looking very content. However, as we parked up my daughter asked "what hat is granddad wearing?" We all look at his head and for a moment couldn't work out what it was. Well it transpired that when he'd said goodbye to us that morning, he leant over the table to pick up his glasses and the flypaper above the table caught in his hair. Unfortunately it wrapped itself so tightly, he couldn't get it out and so spent the whole day with bluebottles and whatever else was stuck on his head all day!!!! All of us fell about laughing - even dad, bless him. Suffice it to say he had very short hair after I cut the tape out.

CocoPops Sat 31-Aug-19 05:17:16

Many years ago 4 of us rolled up at a island holiday cottage. Difficult to see what it was like because the light bulbs were very, very dim. Bought new bulbs only to discover the place was poorly furnished and badly equipped for a self-catering cottage. The sheets were thread bare and the legs kept falling of the beds. Nowhere else to stay. Terrible weather. The sea was too rough to get off the island for a week. Found one good restaurant and played masses of board games!

Nergard Fri 30-Aug-19 10:40:33

Stayed recently in house in New York state and the first night there was a party all night long opposite and reeving cars. Complained to owner who said one off. After second night even worse complained again misleading advert for the property and she left us a pack of camomile tea and ear plugs. Kind thought but didn't solve situation. We left and stayed in a hotel for the rest of the visit!!

Witzend Fri 30-Aug-19 07:42:42

Didn't even have a chance to see the rooms at a hotel in Ireland! Four of us were going to a friend's son's wedding, room had been booked months in advance, a big hotel chain.

On the morning of our arrival I phoned expressly to remind them - although I'd already said it - that we would be arriving late, after 10 pm, after flight from London.

On arrival, no rooms, they'd given ours away!

I didn't have to explode with fury - the friends who'd been waiting for us in the bar did that for us even better than I would have!
Luckily there were rooms in a hotel nearby.
But I'd never book with that chain - Jury's - ever again.

BradfordLass72 Fri 30-Aug-19 07:15:04

I won 1st prize in a writing competition - a family weekend in Warwick. I should have known when they said it had to be taken out-of-season that something was amiss.

We arrived to find the very big hotel shut up, despite our pre-booking and confirmation letter.

Finally we found a side door and eventually, in the kitchen, the only staff member on duty.

We were shown to a family room but everywhere else in the hotel was dustsheeted as it was being painted from top to bottom.

My little boy suffered from asthma and paint fumes were the last thing any of us wanted permeating our room.

No 'luxury breakfast' the next morning but a cup of coffee which we had to make in our room.
When my husband complained this was not acceptable, he was told, 'What can you expect for free?'

We enjoyed Warwick but I did wonder why they hadn't told us in advance the hotel was closed for refurbishing, as they were obviously as inconvenienced by us as we were by them.

And one more story, not mine though.

A male friend arrived and having paid in advance, was unimpressed by the damp, filthy room, stinking of smoke (The receptionist said, 'A no smoking room? We don't have them - how do you stop people smoking in their rooms?')
and sheets on the bed which the previous occupant and 'friend' had obviously used.

His complaints met with rudeness and a complete refusal to refund any part of the quite high price.

He went back to the room, pulled back the eiderdown and dingy sheets, urinated copiously all over the mattress, reinstated the bedding - and left.

BradfordLass72 Fri 30-Aug-19 06:48:13

Many backpacking holidays had memorable moments for me.

The one with the bathroom en suite which was actually a huge concrete hole in the floor, with 4 steps down to it and just a shower head hooked up. No door between it and the bedroom.

Another where the ostensibly luxurious room was in the owner's home. The king-sized, beautifully quilted bed was on a sort of platform about 3 feet high and reached by carpeted steps.

Owner went out for the evening and told me to make free with his kitchen and wine rack - very generous.
I had my own food but enjoyed half a bottle of very good wine before settling down to sleep.

Half an hour later I was awoken by a strange droning.
I put on the light and there were thousands of blowflies (bluebottles) buzzing round the room.

I found a killer can under his sink, sadly only a quarter full and went back to spray them.
By the time the owner came back, the bed, floor and every other surface had a thick, black layer of dead or dying Calliphoridae and there were still hundred flying about.

I had decamped to his living room with the rest of the bottle of wine and he was deeply apologetic and, like me, had absolutely no idea where this veritable plague of flies came from.

The only other free room was a tiny space with no window but clean and well furnished and mercifully, no bluebottles.

As I was staying only one night, I left at 6am whilst the bloke was still sleeping. Goodness knows how he got rid of all those flies.

Then I was out on the remote East Coast where the owner showed me to a very comfortable cabin, no fault to find with that but his suggestion that should I "Need anything in the night" <wink wink> he was right next door made me slide all the movable furniture to the door to block it.

One man, having shown me to an empty 6-bed dormitory, looked askance when I pointed out that none of the beds had mattresses or bedding.
"You should have brought your own."
Apparently I should also have brought my own food as well. My request for breakfast was a hollow laugh from the owner.

It's not unusual for backpacker hostels to ask you to bring bedding but this place had advertised "comfortable made-up beds and free breakfast".

When it came to paying, I held out half the demanded dosh because at least I'd been able to sleep on the floor covered with my spare clothing (on one of the coldest nights of that month).

He danced about, red-faced like Rumplestiltskin, threatening to ring the police, "You're stealing from me!" he yelled.
I offered to wait until they turned up at which time I'd show them the advert and the room I'd stayed in.

Finally after giving me a highly-begrudged cup of tea he said he wouldn't ring the cops and was in a bit of a state because his wife had just left him and it was she who usually saw to guests.

moonbeames Fri 30-Aug-19 02:40:43

If something is at a reduced rate, RUN. It always means there is a compromise of some sort. You get what you pay for my dad used to say.
How true is that. I am a great one for checking reviews very well before we go anywhere to stay. I spend days looking when I have the time. Lots of funny stories here!

icanhandthemback Thu 29-Aug-19 23:41:41

Many years ago, my mother and I travelled to Portugal with my two young children. We like a bit of adventure so we booked a hotel for a the first 3 nights intending to find another hotel to stay in. The plane was very delayed so we arrived in a very decrepit taxi very late at night. The taxi driver dropped us and our luggage off at the bottom of some very steep stairs, waved us up them and took off. My very heavy 2 year old was fast asleep so it was quite a struggle to get him, the pushchair, several suitcases up the steps but we were feeling quite pleased with ourselves as we rang the bell. To our horror, when the door opened we were beckoned up 2 flights of stairs to the reception by a very ancient woman. No help there!
To be fair, the place looked clean and tidy so we paid over our money before making our way to our room. It looked dated but clean so we were rather shocked to find that it stank as if several bodies had been buried under the floor boards. The delightfully decrepit receptionist had disappeared so we had to stay in the room. My Mum and I lay in bed with our pyjama tops covering out noses and giggled hysterically much to the disgruntlement of the kids.
The next morning we decided to move on and went to reception to tell them. My very curious daughter peaked into the cupboard under the stairs and screamed very loudly as the little hunch back father of the elderly proprietors sat up in bed looking rather shocked. We couldn't get out fast enough.

TwinLolly Thu 29-Aug-19 21:27:00

My husband and I were at the tail end of our honeymoon in South Africa and booked in a self catering place in a private game reserve on the edge of the Kruger National Park.

It was a lovely place but... there were no mosquito nets over the beds so we were mozzie magnates.confused Also, it was very warm on our first night and there were no ceiling fans or anything to keep us cool. We ended up dipping our towels in water and placing them on ourselves to keep cool.sad

After a sleepless night we packed up early and left without saying anything. We had booked 3 nights there but couldn't stand another hot night. We had paid the bill in full though, online, so they weren't left out of pocket and we didn't want to make a fuss.blush

Willow500 Thu 29-Aug-19 21:22:16

I guess we were luckier than some with the holidays we had with friends when our children (4 boys) were young - we always booked a cottage and had mostly great places although one in Wales had the floor go through in the boys bedroom and another one of rooms had the bed propped up on Yellow Pages.

On our first visit to Florida however back in the 80's husband and I had booked a fly drive the second week after a week in Orlando. The first motel we'd forward booked looked very suspect and the room was dire - dirty, threadbare carpets and a very thin dividing door to the next room which unnerved me. We left straight away and found another much to the owner's annoyance as we didn't pay - they said no one else had complained! The second one had a coin slot at the side of the bed which I was curious about - stuck 10c in it and was shocked when the bed started vibrating - very loudly! We couldn't turn it off and had to wait till it had run through it's program - as it was 11pm we were mortified wondering what the folks in the neighbouring room must have thought! grin

Aepgirl Thu 29-Aug-19 20:16:26

We (my then husband and 10-year old daughter) booked a one-week holiday to Malta as a bit of respite from helping my mother nurse my desperately sick father. We arrived at our hotel in the early hours of the morning, to be told they had not received a reservation from the holiday company, even though we had a letter of confirmation. We were desperately tired and our daughter was distraught. The holiday rep found us a hotel for the night and found us a vacancy in a different resort the following day. This hotel was excellent and the rep went way beyond her duty in making sure we were satisfied and comfortable, and we had a superb holiday.

glammagran Thu 29-Aug-19 17:54:35

In 2004 (after blistering summer previous) year we booked a gite (for the one and only time) in Eymet in the Dordogne. Owners had a young collie who greatly enjoyed “herding” our 8 year old daughter - she didn’t enjoy. Weather was shocking, not once did we go in the pool. Gite was filthy with a truly grim kitchen and a tea towel that must have there for months unwashed. Tobacco stained flat pillows. We had to visit the local town to buy items like a cheese grater. Saving grace was the restaurants around were pretty good as was the wine.
A few years ago we went to a hotel in Sorrento for a wedding with spectacular views across the bay of Mount Vesuvius. The breakfast however was dire, runny scrambled eggs from cartons, boiled rashers of bacon, cheap tinned food and dishwater coffee. Food in Sorrento was pretty mediocre too.

GabriellsG we too stayed in 2015 at the Elcot Park Hotel for another wedding.

GreenGran78 Thu 29-Aug-19 17:44:45

A neighbour had booked a caravan holiday in Wales for herself and her two children. Unfortunately she had an accident, and was unable to go. My husband and I didn’t want them to lose the money they had paid, so decided to buy the holiday from them. An unexpected week in Wales was quite a pleasant thought.
We arrived, to find a very well-equipped caravan on a lovely site. During the night DH woke up feeling very ill, and spent most of the time ‘til morning in the toilet. He felt so bad that, after a visit to the chemist’s for suitable ‘equipment’ I drove him back home again.
Our neighbour was very surprised to see us return after only one day, and felt rather guilty that we had ended up paying for an unused holiday, instead of her.
It was still a better caravan holiday than my friend’s, though. A flash-flood swept through their French caravan site. Only the strength of a neighbour, who grabbed her and hung on as she was swept away, saved her life

pamdixon Thu 29-Aug-19 17:14:13

I visited Moscow about 20 years ago - my son was studying out there. Hotel looked like a prison.............if you touched any walls when you walked down the corridors you got an electric shock. One night the basin in the bathroom fell off the wall!
Breakfast was simply revolting and you got very disapproving looks if you didn''t eat everything you were given (like very rubbery old hard boiled eggs!). You didn't dare complain, or you would have probably ended up in the nearest gulag!!

Badnan Thu 29-Aug-19 17:12:51

We have had a few disasters, o e being a camping holiday, teenage children, their friends, dogs, trailer full of camping equipment, arrived to destination, found perfect site, perfect pitch. Unpacking trailer, got everything out including of course a very large tent only to realise we had forgotten the tent poles. No choice really but to return home 170 miles to pick up said poles, bad tempers and who was to blame on return journey. Then there was the time arrived at the perfect holiday accommodation well we thought so, until we opened the door and there on door in kitchen large notice please donor use tap water it’s contaminated with ecoli, brilliant ran the tap tofu d brownish water coming out, tried to get alternative accommodation but was in successful, all we could do is return home and demand money back. You know what it’s like, you look forward so much for that week break. Another time was in Rhodes that is another story.