About Forest Holidays Cabins:
A forest holiday, whether Cabin or caravan, is about holidaying in a natural environment, whether guests wish to take part in the many things to do on site such as Ranger activities, archery canoeing and exploring forest trails or simply sit and enjoy the views.
"I have to award one star but that’s solely for the staff that tried in vain to resolve our issues.
We booked a weekend in Keldy (Silver Birch, cabin number 21) .
Upon arrival (which was around 7 PM on the Friday ) the first thing we noticed was the lodge was shockingly grubby.
We had driven for three and a half hours to get to this location, and had four very tired children with us.
We concentrated on getting them to bed and proceeded to clean the lodge.
Not something I envisaged doing on the first night of our trip away but it was too bad to just leave, random rolls of sellotape and lumps of balled up discarded sticky tape down behind the sofa cushions , which also had piles of crumbs and lumps of hair, indicating that it hadn’t been cleaned properly for our arrival.
A shelf above the patio door absolutely covered in dead bugs (I get that it's a high shelf/window ledge and a bug or two can’t be helped, but how many are they hoping to accumulate before anyone takes a brush to it?) grotty toilet bowls and shower seals amongst other very neglected looking corners of the lodge made for a rather shabby welcome, however, we were there for my daughters birthday so we decided we would make the best of it (despite the obvious failings.)
By 9 PM it was finally our opportunity to retire for a dip in the hot tub. Less than 10 minutes in, the jets shut off. They didn’t just “time out” as some do , they would not come back on. Half an hour later, they switched on by themselves, then after two mins , shut down again . This time the jets AND the lights switched off and stayed off . As there is no phone signal in the lodge, I tried to call reception using the handset in the lodge, only to find that is out of use.
I had to get dressed and walk up to reception to try find a member of night staff or a manager because this was simply not acceptable.
After traipsing up there in the dark and trying several doors and a buzzer, I realised there was nobody responding.
I noted that a lodge very near to reception had a very loud and boisterous party going on, and as it was now after 10PM I assumed the night staff had gone down there to deal with that so I went back to the cabin to wait . Half an hour later I wandered back down, still not a single staff presence on site .
I could still hear shouting and thumping music coming from that cabin , and realised nobody had gone to see to them at all, so this time I pressed the buzzer and waited . Ten minutes passed and nobody showed up, So I went back to the lodge again and wrote a note and pushed it through reception doors.
I also put a note on top of the hot tub for someone to see should they arrive to maintain it before we wake up .
We gave up and retired to bed, completely deflated.
Following morning I went out to try the hot tub again , but the same thing kept happening, so it was obviously not some glitch the night before .
I had to distract four very disappointed children with board games while my husband went to try find someone to fix the tub. By this point I was willing to write this trip off as a waste of time and money , and wanted to hit the road and go home. A team member assured my husband they’d have someone go up and fix the fault , and offered to refund us the first night of our stay for the disaster it was.
We took a trip into the town, and got a call from what I gather to be a maintenance employee, telling us there’s NOTHING wrong with the hot tub , and began to quote terms and conditions highlighting the rule about not using the hot tub for longer than 20 mins ???
This went from disappointing to infuriating. We hadn’t gotten more than ten mins in that tub since we arrived , and here we were on day two being almost scolded down the phone about the 20 minute use rule, and having terms and conditions quoted at us?!?!
We went back and complained at reception, insisting a team member to come with us so we could show them .
Two men came, one of them was Malc , who upon being told by my husband that I was packing to drive home implored us to give them another opportunity to fix the issue and change a part, assuring us that would be the issue solved. We decided to try salvage our break away and let the kids finally have a turn in the tub.
They got 6 minutes in the tub before the jets failed AGAIN.
I went to complain to reception AGAIN.
Malc came and changed ANOTHER part.
We were given assurances THAT THIS TIME the hot tub was absolutely fixed, and if it wasn’t , they’d move us IMMEDIATELY to another cabin with a working tub.
So we gave it a try .
The jets failed AGAIN .
We were utterly exasperated by this point and asked to be moved to this other cabin, only to then be informed that they DIDN’T actually have another cabin that could accommodate our party size.
That was it for me.
My bag was already packed .
Again, the very helpful team member that tried his best to fix everything asked us to stay put, relax in the cabin, and because he hadn’t been able to fix the tub, nor honour the offer of moving to a different cabin , he would invite us to come back and enjoy a replacement weekend as this one had been anything but a holiday .
Told us the lady dealing with the bookings was due in first thing Sunday morning, if we come to reception she would book us in for a different weekend .
So we retired for the night, with each of us bored, exasperated and seriously regretting the whole trip .
Sunday morning we went to reception to book this replacement weekend they’d offered us, only to be told there’s nobody that can action such a promise , and if we come back when we’re checking out Monday morning, the manager would be there and he would action the replacement weekend?!?!
That was it.
My very understanding reserves had been all but exhausted by this experience.
I checked us out at 9 am on Sunday morning , a full day early , and could not get out of that park fast enough .
The stress was causing a dreadful atmosphere and I couldn’t allow it for another gruelling day .
(Have you any idea how horrible it is to see your daughter cry on her birthday? I felt about an inch tall for dragging her all the way there thanks to this utter circus!)
We completed our three and a half hour drive home and this morning we got a call from Anton, who is apparently the Keldy manager.
Fully expecting a sincere apology and to arrange a date for us to return (at no expense to us !) by way of compensating for our disastrous weekend (as offered by park employees), but this individual only offered to add insult to injury..
He proceeded to completely play down everything that had occurred over the weekend, and far from offering to replace our weekend he told my husband that they “don’t give free weekends away” .
This remark was almost laughable, because first of all, it wouldn’t have been a “free” weekend at all.
We already paid nearly £600 for a weekend that Keldy did not deliver!
So any weekend we would be given would be in lieu of the one we paid for and didn’t receive. Hardly “free”!
Second of all, it wasn’t us “requesting” a
replacement weekend , it was “offered” to us after not being able on several occasions to repair the tub, and then not being able to move us as promised , because there was no cabin available to move us to!
Third of all, accepting the offer of a replacement weekend would be gracious of “us”!
It would involve a 7 hour round trip with 4 kids to somewhere that has let us down several times in the space of one weekend and ruined our daughters birthday in the process, I should hope Keldy would be grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate to us they can actually deliver what we paid for in good faith .
So apart from the utterly filthy cabin, (we left it cleaner upon our departure than it was for our arrival.YOU’RE WELCOME)
The absolute scrap heap of a hot tub,
The out of order phone in the cabin that required me to physically go out hunting for a night staff member or manager in the dark,
The seriousness of the absolute lack of security that night on the park (what if I was ringing that buzzer in an emergency?! Nobody would have come !)
The thumping rowdy party in a near by cabin that was not stopped due to there being NO STAFF available to stop it ,
The visit after visit of maintenance to fix the “unfixable” tub,
The promise of being moved to a cabin with a working tub when there was NO CABIN to move us to,
The promise of a replacement weekend that a very patronising manager called today to act as though WE had asked for it and in doing so were asking too much (?????)
apart from all the above, my daughters 9 th birthday will be remembered as the weekend she spent in a dirty version of a Travelodge, watching men repeatedly try to fix a hot tub and her mum constantly pack and unpack a suitcase .
It’s actually preferable that they haven’t honoured their promise of a replacement weekend, as I now know i could not go back there even if they paid me. It’s a shame because Sherwood Forest and Cropton where we’ve spent many weekends, have been absolutely terrific. Keldy was a serious let down from start to finish . I’ve got photos and a video of all this unfolding. They’re going on TripAdvisor ."
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