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Hell hole of a holiday cottage

(104 Posts)
Bella23 Sun 09-Jul-23 13:07:30

2 weeks booked with a reputable firm in a cottage. On Wednesday night, we decided to come home.
Access had briars, weeds, nettles by the picnic table , and grass growing out of it, the window was obscured by a large tree.
Inside curtains in the bedroom hanging from too few hooks. No washer/dryer, washing line or clothes airer. Ironing board no iron. No dishwasher tablet. A cupboard full of scraps of food people had left.No instruction book
The owner of the cottage came with prospective buyers on the first morning. We could have said no but were shell-shocked from the long journey.
On Friday I phoned the company to complain and was told the first line of complaint was with the owner. He refuses to reimburse any money when contacted by them.
I m writing because it could be you.Don't believe what the brochure says or photographs. Have a good look around and read the company's instructions asap. In small print, it said to contact the owner with complaints. Take photo evidence which we were too thick to do.We both feel like such fools.blush

AreWeThereYet Mon 10-Jul-23 18:51:12

albertina Please don't be put off from looking. Despite my complaints our good holidays over the years far outweigh the bad. Read the reviews, descriptions and Ts&Cs carefully. Check the date of the reviews too - a lot can change from year to year. Check the exact location of the cottage - we always use Google to walk around to confirm that there is good access and parking, what's nearby, etc. Hotels can be disappointing too if you're going somewhere new.

Joseann Mon 10-Jul-23 18:55:55

My advice for staying in a holiday home is to pack a sharp knife and scissors. They are always totally blunt!

BettyBoop49 Mon 10-Jul-23 19:31:14

It happened to us too. Under the bed was covered in months of dust. Old pair of underpants also under the bed and hair in the plug hole ( ughhhhh) We struggled to stay for one night - packed up and found a good hotel. It put me off cottages for a long time.
It had 5 stars in the brochure !

Primrose53 Mon 10-Jul-23 19:38:00

Lizbethann55

Primrose53, your properties sound wonderful. Much loved and well cared for. Please tell us where they are!!!

Only one property.
Have messaged you.

Candelle Mon 10-Jul-23 19:38:11

Bella23, would you be prepared to name and shame?

Quokka Mon 10-Jul-23 21:02:21

Good advice to pay by credit card.

mrsgreenfingers56 Mon 10-Jul-23 21:10:44

I did leave a review for the dreadful place we hired in Ireland and surprise surprise it only stayed on for 2 days so felt a total waste of time. The owner said I was trying to ruin her good name, well we had mould in the bathroom, the fringes on the rugs coming off, the floor was lifting, the shower didn't work properly, the settee was literally falling in pieces and the other one had all the inside coming out. The sink was so dirty and hair in the shower tray and just needed a jolly good clean. Dead flies all over and the windows just filthy. Remains of last holiday maker with their casserole contents still stuck on the dish and dirty crockery all over the kitchen. Dear me and you are paying for this! A stable would have been a better option.

A friend of mine said take little notice of good reviews as people are actually paid to put a good review on. Now how true that is I don't know.

Honestly I could carry on and one with this thread as had so many bad experiences, one cottage we hired the litter and rubbish in the garden was awful, fence was falling down, the bedding was covered in dog hairs and I could carry on.

It just spoils the holiday in my opinion and annoys me that the owners think this is acceptable. My sister owns a holiday let in Italy and gets 10 out of 10 on nearly every review for the cleaning.

Mallin Mon 10-Jul-23 21:55:05

Bella23 : As I too hate spiders, I take a can of spray with me. Best is Nippon. Says it’s to kill ants but works well against spiders even though it’s never mentioned on the can.

Sago Mon 10-Jul-23 22:02:06

Joseann

My advice for staying in a holiday home is to pack a sharp knife and scissors. They are always totally blunt!

I hate blunt knives, our holiday let has a self sharpening knife block!
Worth every penny.

Callistemon21 Mon 10-Jul-23 22:48:53

Mallin

Bella23 : As I too hate spiders, I take a can of spray with me. Best is Nippon. Says it’s to kill ants but works well against spiders even though it’s never mentioned on the can.

Don't kill spiders. Please!

Use a spider catcher and put them outside.

Callistemon21 Mon 10-Jul-23 22:56:56

Primrose53
That's awful, I hope you disposed of her charger suitably!!

We booked a caravan when the children were young to teens. It was dreadful, old and not even clean. The furniture smelt sour, I could not have let my children sleep in the beds and when I pulled the greasy kitchen curtain across, it fell to pieces as it was so rotten.

It was on site and DH went to have a quiet word with the manager; they moved us to a lovely brand new caravan and said they would make arrangements for the owner of the other one to get it moved off the site.

MayBee70 Mon 10-Jul-23 23:00:45

Please remember to say something nice if you do think the cottage is nice though and you’ve had a good holiday. It’s very disheartening when you provide everything you think people need and the only comment is ‘there isn’t a salad spinner’….( there is now but I don’t think anyone ever uses it!). But it’s lovely when you get little notes from children thanking you. One note said ‘ it has everything anyone could possibly need for a great holiday, even cows just outside the back garden, perfect for a dairy farmer having a week off…’

PamQS Tue 11-Jul-23 03:28:49

We rented a cottage in France through an agency. Among other issues, we had power cuts which the owner had to come round and sort out when we asked the neighbours for help (no answer from the agency) one toilet cistern didn’t refill properly, very poorly goldfish swimming on its side in its bowl, which upset our son, and one ‘bedroom’ was a utility room with a camp bed in it.

The agency said they were not returning our deposit as WE had broken the cistern, not cleaned up etc. All lies. I emailed back immediately and listed all the problems we’d had, and said they should be giving us a refund. The agency got back to us saying the owner had admitted we hadn’t broken the cistern, and ‘Madame says she is very sorry’. Sheesh!

Imarocker Tue 11-Jul-23 09:00:53

We are in a holiday cottage in Suffolk, just big enough for two. Well equipped kitchen with dishwasher and washing machine. Comfortable bed and everything scrupulously clean.

rocketstop Tue 11-Jul-23 11:16:40

Bella23

2 weeks booked with a reputable firm in a cottage. On Wednesday night, we decided to come home.
Access had briars, weeds, nettles by the picnic table , and grass growing out of it, the window was obscured by a large tree.
Inside curtains in the bedroom hanging from too few hooks. No washer/dryer, washing line or clothes airer. Ironing board no iron. No dishwasher tablet. A cupboard full of scraps of food people had left.No instruction book
The owner of the cottage came with prospective buyers on the first morning. We could have said no but were shell-shocked from the long journey.
On Friday I phoned the company to complain and was told the first line of complaint was with the owner. He refuses to reimburse any money when contacted by them.
I m writing because it could be you.Don't believe what the brochure says or photographs. Have a good look around and read the company's instructions asap. In small print, it said to contact the owner with complaints. Take photo evidence which we were too thick to do.We both feel like such fools.blush

Hi
You must leave a terrible review of this place on Tripadvisor and at least it will let people know not to go there. Not very good for you but at least you will have the satisfaction of saving other people from disappointment.

Glorianny Tue 11-Jul-23 11:22:34

Had some lovely holidays in cottages over the years. One in N.Yorkshire a converted barn with the owners living across the road. DGS used to take their dog for a walk. Last year we were in Scotland, lovely cottage on a poultry farm with our own chickens for the DGCs to look after and fresh eggs every morning (and they really do poach much better!)
On the whole the good have outweighed the bad. But I have had refunds when the cottage was awful.

AreWeThereYet Tue 11-Jul-23 13:18:34

Remains of last holiday maker with their casserole contents still stuck on the dish and dirty crockery all over the kitchen.

My DM used to rent out a chalet and cleaned it from top to bottom after every guest. I was surprised to see her washing every dish in the cupboard and she told me she once found some dirty plates at the bottom of the pile with greasy fried eggs stuck in between. A lady who owns one of the cottages we use regularly told me a similar tale. There truly are some disgusting people out there.

Primrose53 Tue 11-Jul-23 14:00:00

AreWeThereYet

^Remains of last holiday maker with their casserole contents still stuck on the dish and dirty crockery all over the kitchen.^

My DM used to rent out a chalet and cleaned it from top to bottom after every guest. I was surprised to see her washing every dish in the cupboard and she told me she once found some dirty plates at the bottom of the pile with greasy fried eggs stuck in between. A lady who owns one of the cottages we use regularly told me a similar tale. There truly are some disgusting people out there.

I do that too because often cereal bowls have bits of cereal stuck to them. Did a changeover this morning and as usual checked the saucepans. The people who just left must have cooked some rice or pasta and all the outside of the pan was covered in sticky residue and the inside was gunky.

I have a pile of dinner plates and when we first started doing this I looked in the cupboard and saw the pile but couldn’t remember any with red edgings. On inspection it was either hardened on baked beans or tomatoes!

AreWeThereYet Tue 11-Jul-23 14:06:55

Primrose53 I bet you wish there was a site somewhere where you could black list your guests and warn other owners about them 😁

Witzend Tue 11-Jul-23 14:09:51

The only problem anyone in our our family has encountered in a gite was no good sized cups or mugs - teeny-tiny espresso cups only. First foray by Dsis was to SuperU to buy some nice big mugs, which she left for future guests.

Bella23 Tue 11-Jul-23 14:40:36

Please don't let me put anyone else off booking a cottage.
What I wanted to say was if you are dissatisfied take photos. Follow the instructions carefully, I should have contacted the owner however aggressive he was and told him what was wrong. 'I should also have said no to the prospective buyer being shown around while we were there.
I have stayed in some lovely cottages over the years in Northern Wales Scotland, Ireland and Gites in France and Italy.
I would suggest you take the photos the company show and compare them as soon as you feel able and look and contact the person you should.

Norah Tue 11-Jul-23 15:04:58

AreWeThereYet

We read the reviews about the last cottage we booked and were a little concerned but as we didn't have a choice we booked it anyway. Weirdly the things people complained about, like the beds, didn't bother us at all. But no one had mentioned the fact that it smelled so mouldy, which did bother us.

There are some beautiful cottages around, kept by lovely owners who put a lot of effort into keeping them well. Sadly I think those are in the minority now that so many people see it as an easy way of getting a second income and a safe way of investing their money.

AreWeThereYet There are some beautiful cottages around, kept by lovely owners who put a lot of effort into keeping them well. Sadly I think those are in the minority now that so many people see it as an easy way of getting a second income and a safe way of investing their money.

Our holiday home is indeed a safe investment, for us and our family. We love it and can't let it -- because near constant use.

We all keep it in lovely condition, albeit I'm always gardening, painting something or restocking foods and loo rolls. smile

Letting it would be disaster - never know who will wash dishes properly. YUK.

kwest Tue 11-Jul-23 16:09:18

We have stayed in some beautiful cottages. I go prepared with my own sharp knives, lots of tea towels, I even take cotton sheets as I don't like poly-cotton. When we find somewhere we like we go back year on year for many years. We have found wonderful places in Devon, Yorkshire and Norfolk and we visit all three most years.
You find the little things that make your holiday extra special and include them in your packing routine as you become familiar with a house.
We sometimes rent another smaller cottage just yards away so that our children and grandchildren can come for a
lovely long weekend. We have meals at the bigger cottage which holds 6 or 7 people and the smaller cottage holds 4-6 people. We are 10 in total. In these instances I take my big AGA cooking pans as well. I hope that we are building good memories and strong roots for the children for when they go out into the world.

AreWeThereYet Tue 11-Jul-23 16:17:59

Our holiday home is indeed a safe investment, for us and our family. We love it and can't let it -- because near constant use.

Norah I wasn't making a comment on people having second homes as investments, just the people who let them out without putting in the effort to provide a decent service to those who pay to use them.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 11-Jul-23 16:24:30

We stay in cottages at the moment, because our dog is ancient and with too many foibles to leave with anyone.

So far we must have been very lucky as we have been jolly pleased with the standard.

We are away at the moment and staying in a two bedroomed bungalow, which has only been built within the last 18 months, so pristine, modern and very comfortable. All the necessary equipment seems to be here, although I do very little cooking - well very little of anything tbh when on holiday, I don’t even bother to make the bed - just throw it back to air.🤭

We largely use cottages.com and go for 5 stars and 9|10 from the users, plus we pour over the information, google earth etc.

We leave the cottage in the best state we can without going mad - but I strip the bed etc.

Perhaps we’ve been lucky?