A group of us (4 females and our kid’s) booked a gold 10 man caravan for the 17th August 2020 for a 4 night break. Obviously with Covid being in the back of everyone’s minds after a first lockdown we couldn’t go on holiday so this was next best option.
We chose those site because it wasn’t too far and was pretty cheap.
After about a 2 hour car journey we arrived at Birchington vale holiday park and my first issue is the lack of parking making it very stressful on arrival as you literally have no where to put your cars prior to being given a caravan. We had to drive round and round and eventually had to ask staff if we could put the car on lines outside the lido. For us particularly this was horrible because we had two young babies with us and children who after a couple of hours in the car wanted out. It just seems a bit crazy baring in mind most people have to drive themselves onto a caravan site and use cars whilst coming and going.
Anyway, it took some time but we got given the keys later that day and checked into the caravan. We noticed straight away the caravan was not to “gold” standard or it didn’t feel like it to us anyway having stayed in less rated vans it didn’t seem any better. Or bigger. We got in and it was absolutely boiling - it was a warm day but it was really really ridiculous we ended up finding a radiator was on full blast and it couldn’t be turned off. We told the reception who called an engineer out. It took a while but he was able to sort it as best he could but it was still roasting after he had gone. We were told was no other appropriate caravan to put us in instead so had to open all windows to let the heat out meaning we couldn’t go out for awhile as the caravan would be insecure so as you can imagine with hungry children wanting to explore this wasn’t ideal.
We went over to the clubhouse which had brilliant service as in the staff themselves but unfortunately we found the actual facilities quite lacking for a site this size and compared to others visited. The arcade and games section is tiny and not as advertised. The older kids were very disappointed. The playground was literally brimming with families and we had to wait to get on things.
On one of the last nights all card machines went down or something along these lines so we couldn’t pay for anything with cards causing us much annoyance as we couldn’t even buy a drink and it was later in the evening. The person at the counters advice was to go to a pay machine (which would need to drive to) but by this point none of us were fit to drive as we had been drinking prior at the caravan. Was just not good as we had hungry kids we all wanted a drink and we couldn’t join in with bingo etc only one of us had cash which the others had to borrow. Was just really not the best as it lasted the entire evening. I believe they should have done an i owe you system or voucher system until we could then maybe pay later with debit or credit cards. Just made things stressful I know it’s one of them things but it was just there was no back up.
Back to issues with the caravan itself which on arrival was also not very clean. Again we were not able to swap caravans which I think is pretty poor service. We had food remains and rubbish in the sofa which was also a pull out bed one of us was having to use as it’s included as a bed in the price. It was very stained which wasn’t very nice and just felt a bit grubby. We had drinks remains in bins meaning ants had been attracted it was just really poorly cleaned for an arrival and it left us wondering as we were made to wait longer for the caravan due to it being cleaned and sanitised during the pandemic. I have little confidence this was done based on the stuff we found. I asked to hire a cot on arrival for my son who was 9 months - this was delivered by the cleaner who came back to re clean the van. When I got it out I was actually pretty shocked the flat base and mattress provided were covered in mould I immediately raised this to the cleaner who began to wipe it down with cleaning wipes but I feel this simply was not good enough. Why was it provided to me in this state ? Surely these things should be checked. I had no other alternative and had to use this cot was only lucky I had brought multiple towels and a couple of blankets so I covered it with those and again sprayed and clean it with cleaning spray.
On night three of the trip my son was very poorly and we ended up having to go to a local hospital after calling 111 and being advised to bring him in. I had not been able to settle him as he had ridiculously high temperature was very red and would not drink anything. It transpired he was both de hydrated and appeared to have a sore throat. I strongly believe he picked up germs from the cot provided which made him sick. Nobody else was sick at all. I know I cannot prove this but just to say this is what I believe. I feel this happened because of the cot mixed also with the issue with the heat and dryness in the caravan because of the faulty radiator which was in the room next to ours.
To be honest these things are all very petty I know but they really made a difference to our stay and we really were disappointed as a group to the point where one of us has sworn would never return there. We have been offered another trip but the discount on offer just wasn’t enough to sway us.
I feel things should have been pre checked and made fit for purpose it’s so simple but just not done causing quite annoying impact to our trip in a number of ways (as explained).
I raised all of this amongst other things with the management on check out who told me to email and send it in writing. Can only say the liaison with the management was pleasant but just feel it was like oh well nothing we can do which is a shame. The best they could offer us another stay at Birchington at discounted rate which really just doesn’t appeal to us when can use another park under other management for pretty much similar price. It’s a shame as we plan to do this yearly with our families and would have liked somewhere to continue returning. I am also considering buying a van but would no way pay the £15000/20000 lowest price tag plus ridiculous ground rent fees for this site. No way!
Hoping the management make improvements after this anyway and we will look forward to a holiday at Haven this year :)
Booked dog friendly lodge for 1 week.on arriving 4pm no where to park.car Park was full & seamed that way all week. lodge was loverly large decked area plenty of room inside hairdryer iron Bluetooth speaker + we had WiFi free.downside TV remotes not the best lampshades need attention but our main detail was no hooks around to hang towels coats, also main bedroom was ensuite but you cannot close doors when using it so if someone is in bed ☹. All caravans looked good condition & park very clean. Road on park only wide enough for 1 car & you have to walk on road. We found a track near golf coarse 2 let dogs have a run could be made nicer into a nature & dog trail.used bar outside nice seating area could be better without sale caravans there. came home day early due to area not for us but would recommend a lodge as it was amazing
My family and I stayed at the park for a week. We stayed in caravan TR085 which is a Gold Plus and has 4 bedrooms.
We were very disappointed with the accommodation. There were stained mattresses. There was linen left on the pillows. The spare pillow and duvet was dirty. There was no curtain on the caravan door and the caravan was not cleaned to a high standard as we found items that should not have been there if it was thoroughly cleamed. The extractor grill in the kichen was full of dust and dirt. This is not what you would expect from a Gold Plus unit.
All of this was reported to the Manager via email and was acted on quite promptly with the exception of the kitchen extractor grill which we discovered later. We included the picture of the grill.
Despite the above we still had a fantastic time. The pool staff are excellent and go above and beyond their duties to make you welcome. In fact all the staff are quite welcoming and helpful.
Easy to find, 7 minutes from Thanet way, lovely greeting by Hayley on reception (suitably dressed for Halloween), directed to lodge, roads quite dark around site, parking beside lodge for two cars, lodge is stunning, platinum 4 bed, perfect home from home. Takeaway food from entertainment complex (very tasty), entertainment building very large and busy (in a good way), food and drink well priced. Small shop, arcade, pottery class building. Had a swim, booked but seemingly no need as not too busy, odd shape pool but nice for a half hour swim, only a metre deep , good temperature, nice little flume, gents changing room stinks (unpleasant), played crazy golf amongst autumns fallen leaves, good fun, won’t be getting 9 hole in ones on this course lol, nice to see a new pitch and putt course is being constructed (must remember my clubs on my next visit). Park has obviously had a lot of money well spent on it and is continuing to have so. Would recommend park for a short break
See you soon xx
We stayed in one of the platinum lodges which were lovely. Plenty of room nice and clean the only draw back was a couple of bits missing in the kitchen like a measuring jug and baking dishes; it may be worth having a check list in the lodge so you know if your meant to have the relevant items ;the site is in good location for visiting Margate , Ramsgate and Westgate ; if you like peace and quiet and relaxing then it’s ideal here but u do need a car to get out and about .