According to my paperwork, I was supposed to hand one of my vouchers in at the gate, as there was no-one on duty there I just carried on in.
Not being able to check in until 4pm I had delayed my arrival to just before and parking was a nightmare, not because I can't park (I can) but earlier arrivals had just abandoned their cars anywhere within the parking area.
I went to Reception to check in, as per my paperwork, to be greeted by a Bluecoat and told that check-in was now in the Fun Factory, the room formerly known as the Ballroom. I made my way round and it was chaos. But this was down more to the clientele than the staff. In fact, if I hadn't spent the best part of 5 hours in traffic jams I may well have turned round and gone straight home again.
Kids were being allowed to run riot, whole families seemed to feel the need to queue instead of just one person, everyone was more concerned with what was on their phones than what the staff were saying to them.
When I eventually made it to the front of the queue I was dealt with very efficiently and off I went to find my chalet.
I had booked a studio apartment so I knew that I was not going to get a palace but the room was tiny. The location was excellent, away from the main road around the site but still only a couple of minutes walk back to the main facilities, but the apartment really was a disappointment.
The double bed took up pretty much all of the floorspace and this only looked more after I put on the fluorescent 100% polyester bedding, which were at least clean this time.
The bathroom was larger than the kitchen and featured a fantastic shower, another plus point, which nearly blasted me into next door it was so powerful.
I ventured into the Queen Victoria pub, every Pontins has one, on the first night, thanks to the 'who can scream the loudest' competition that was being held I did not visit again, but again this was the clientele rather than the staff.
I attempted to buy some chips from Captain Cod's shop on the second day, after more than 10 minutes of queueing in which only one person was served I gave up. On the last day I attempted to purchase a meal from the restaurant, but the pay up front rule, the state of the tables and the noise put me off, so at least there was no food poisoning this time. I would have tried the Indian/Chinese takeaway in the Queen Vic if, again, it hadn't been for the noise.
Whilst there is not much that can be done about the clients, I do have some suggestions for the apartments for future refurbishments or quick wins now.
- Move the microwave, it needs it own space to allow the draining board to be used.
- Put toasters back in the chalets, I was losing the will to live using the oven to toast my bread.
- There needs to somewhere to sit and eat, a breakfast bar at least.
- Fit a towel rail in the bathroom, I had to hang my towel over the shower rail.
- Bring back the £1 electricity cards, the complimentary £1 card I received ran out Saturday evening, I had to purchase a £5 card for the rest of the weekend of which I spent just over £1.
- Stagger the check ins more, instead of Club at 2pm and everyone else at 4pm, try 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.
- Install cameras above the tills, I witnessed some money being palmed, very inexpertly.
If I ever want a base for a few days in North Wales I would stay here again, but I certainly wouldn't stay here for the amenities. And I would take my own bedding, or at least a sleeping bag.