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Pontins - Do Not Expect Everything You See on the Adverts!
Member Name: mickr
Advantages: Pontins works with The Sun newspaper for cheaper holidays
Disadvantages: Sites vary from above average to very poor
Pontins (In General)
Over the past few years, we have gone to a few Pontins holiday parks, mainly via The Sun newspaper holiday deals which save us so much money and end up spending a couple of hundred pound for a five day break instead of eight hundred plus! We have stayed in both caravans and chalets and have had mixed experiences.
On the television I often see Pontins adverts full of fun and entertainment. They make it look like a fantastic place to holiday, though they forget to mention that everything shown on the advert is not all at one place, instead strewn across all their parks so in some cases you find perhaps only one fun entertainment feature. For example, we went to a Pontins holiday camp in the South of Kent and it did not have hardly anything there. We did see a mini-golf course though it was always shut and this was in the height of summer! On the other hand, we have spent a holiday in a Pontins over the other side of the country in the South East of England and we found much more here, though again, not nearly as much advertised on the television. Here, there were go-carts, mini-golf, wall climbing and so forth. Each had a price to pay for using them and these are not cheap so we tend not to use them much.
At all the Pontins we have been to there is at least one swimming pool. Many have both an indoor and outdoor pool which is good for Britain's weather! These pools are always free as far as I have experienced.
Night time entertainment varies from park to park. On the whole, the entertainment is above average, though certainly not something to shout out about. The childrens entertainment at most parks is well structured and fun for younger ones, though we have also experienced terrible childrens entertainment where the characters never turn up and the staff never know what they are doing. This happened to be at that same Kent park which had no other entertainment. The adult entertainment is usually pretty good with some small stars coming in later on, quizzes, music and so forth. This can go on well into the early hours of the morning so best not to have your caravan too close to the main centre!
The accommodation has always been very nice, though not without its flaws. The caravans are generally in much better condition and very comfortable, and although the chalets are generally a nice size, both times we have spent time in a chalet in Pontins we have come across problems such as an ant infestation, mould in the bathroom, and broken beds. We had to complain once about a broken bed and we were moved straight away into an empty apartment which was fast work and very pleasing.
Food on the Pontins site also vary. I have been to a separate Pontins where nothing was open in the day even though there were fish and chips, burger bars and a few more which I found annoying. Also in one park, the restaurant was hardly more than a greasy spoon café with terrible service and cold food with hardly anything to choose from. Suffice to say, we only ate there the once. On the other end of the scale, another restaurant in another Pontins was great and completely different with plenty of lovely food to choose from, children's menus, and great service.
Something to remember: Do not expect everything you see on the adverts and do check individual parks before booking, as well as reading some individual reviews as Pontins Parks vary a lot.
We have had some good times in Pontins which have out shone the bad times though I certainly would not give Pontins as a whole 5 stars.
Summary: Check reviews before booking your park!
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