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Presthaven Sands holiday park
Presthaven Sands Holiday Park (Prestatyn, Wales)
Member Name: louisechackett
Presthaven Sands Holiday Park (Prestatyn, Wales)
Advantages: good for children, lots going on, access to the beach
Disadvantages: long distance from entrance to reception, cost of many activities, not a cheap break
We have just returned from a short weekend break at Presthaven Sands and so I feel it is a perfect time to write a review on it whilst everything is till fresh in my mind. Presthaven Sands is situated in Prestatyn, North Wales and is owned by the Haven holiday group.
***Why did I choose Haven?***
My son is five years old and I wanted somewhere that would offer entertainment and activities on site plus somewhere with a beach nearby. Haven holiday parks are great for offering lots of things to do as a rule and Presthaven actually has direct beach access throughout the park.
I was also given a discount code by my friend who didn't need it which made the cost of a Friday to Monday break £300. I realise this is still expensive, especially as I am a single mother but I wanted to be able to treat my son to a holiday. As he is at school now it had to be the summer holidays though in the future I may consider taking him out of school a few days early to get a better deal.
***What did I book?***
As I mentioned earlier I booked a Friday to Monday break at the cost of £300.00. This was for a superior caravan for myself, my son and my sister however when we arrived we learned that the caravan could have slept three more people. I also paid an extra £20.00 to have a 2010 model caravan. I felt that if I did this I would be offered a caravan which was barely used, modern and perhaps closer to the main centre. In hindsight this was wasted money as the caravan I stayed in was no different to any other I have stayed in to be honest.
The caravan was of an average size which was 10ft I believe. In fact, the cheaper "standard plus" caravans are bigger at 12ft which seems a little odd that you get more space for less money in some cases!
It consisted of an open plan lounge and kitchen, bedrooms and a bathroom.
In the lounge was a corner sofa type thing, a table and stools and a tiny television. The television was equipped with free view but that was temperamental most of the time we tried to watch anything! There was also a gas fire in the lounge but we couldn't work out how to get this to light and so left it alone for fear of gassing ourselves!
In the kitchen you are provided with a gas cooker, a kettle, a small fridge/ freezer and your cooking utensils, cutlery, pans etc. We found that the kitchen was usable but could have done with a little more space. Please note that whilst washing up the water that comes out of the hot tap is literally scalding so it is best to run the cold tap as well.
The bathroom in the caravan consisted of a toilet, sink and a shower. It was small but clean and totally functional. Remember to take your own toilet roll when you go!
There were two single rooms with twin beds in them and a double room. For some absurd reason despite paying for all of the holiday I decided to be kind and allow my sister the use of the double room and so I shared a room with my son. We used the spare room to store our cases as there was literally nowhere else we could have stored them. The rooms were literally tiny-you could barely get through the gap between the two beds to get in at night! The beds were tiny and uncomfortable and I have returned home with my already dodgy back feeling a little more dodgy than usual! Pillows and bed linen are provided for you to make your beds when you arrive and these are all sealed so at least you know you are getting fresh ones.
***How easy is it to find Presthaven?***
I would suggest that if you go to Presthaven sands it would be much easier if you drove. None of us drive and as such we had to use National Express coaches which meant long waits and an extended journey time. The coaches did not go directly to Presthaven (despite going directly to the nearby Pontins holiday site!). If you were driving I am sure you could put the post code in to a sat nav and get there quite easily.
We were dropped off at a crossroads which had a sign which pointed towards Presthaven so we set off walking. We had around a ten minute walk with heavy cases and a five year old before we came to the main Haven sign. We were then told by a gentleman there that we would have another fifteen minute walk to go to reception and check in. I felt this was a bit ridiculous and it would be handy if they had those little golf buggies which they use for ferrying potential owners around the site. I guess they don't really cater so well for non-drivers however.
***Check in and Check out***
Check in was from 4pm and in The Showbar. This is through reception and the main arcade. The process was simple and we were given our key and a map of where our caravan was...yep you guessed it...we had another long walk to get there!
Check out is by 10am and you can simply hand in your key at the main reception.
***Things to do on site***
There are lots of things which you can do whilst at Presthaven sands-the majority of the sports type activities and things do incur extra charges though.
*Rent a bike*
You can rent normal bikes or those large funny family bikes. We rented a family bike which has space for two adults and two children. The children sit in the front and enjoy the ride whilst the adults have the hard work pedalling! We rented one for an hour and this cost £10.00 plus a £10.00 deposit which was returned when you brought the bike back. This is a fun way to explore the park, but obviously not cheap. It may be an idea to book in advance as they are often pre booked. My son loved being at the front of this bike as we rode around but my god did my bum kill afterwards! The seats are not comfy!
We didn't actually play this but it did seem to be quite popular. The cost was £3 per child, £4 per adult or £12 for a family consisting of 2 adults and 2 children.
The swimming pool is free in the mornings until 1pm and then other activities start which are aimed at certain ages and carry an additional charge.
We went for a swim and found the pool to be basic but clean and we really enjoyed it. There was a slide which some of the bigger children seemed to be going on. The changing rooms are unisex but with cubicles in there. The lockers cost £1.00 but you do get this back when you return to your locker with your key. The pool is open from 9am-1pm and then from 2pm-6pm. There is also an outdoor pool which is open Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday which I believe is also weather permitting.
This is a large outdoor climbing frame with slides and things. In many ways this was too big for my son to play on properly which is a shame.
You could do things like archery, fencing and climb the climbing wall at certain times of the day for an additional charge. This was usually £5.00 per person so we didn't do any of these things and chose to try and find cheaper alternatives.
As with any holiday park there is an arcade in which you can lose lots of money! In this arcade it was quite popular to collect tickets from the machines to exchange for a prize later. I have to say the prizes were pretty rubbish for the most part and you needed at least 100 tickets to get anything at all. We somehow ended up with 1200 tickets so my son got a couple of things.
There are all the usual things in this arcade such as 2p machines, slots, air hockey and a few rides too.
*Entertainment in The Showbar*
The Showbar was the main area for the children's cabaret entertainment. Most of this was covered by the Funstars who are the equivalent of the Butlin's redcoats! In The Showbar you have the opportunity to have your picture taken with the Haven mascots such as Rory the Tiger and Bradley the Bear. My son loved this and apparently it was one of his favourite parts of the holiday!
You could also watch character shows each night at 6.30pm, followed by family prize bingo and such like. We tended to stay here until 9pm ish before my son would become tired and we would have to go. I would advise getting to The Showbar early if you can so that you can get a table as it goes get very busy.
There is a bar in The Showbar where you can purchase drinks. We bought my son a large drink cup for £3.95 and then that meant that drinks were cheaper for the rest of the holiday so long as we brought the cup with us.
There is also The Carousel bar but we didn't spend any time in here as I think that was more centred towards the adults there.
***Places to shop/eat***
This is your main shop on site for your day to day products that you need for your caravan such as bread, milk and newspapers. Prices aren't cheap but this is the norm for holiday park shops. Also within this shop is a gift shop where you can buy teddies, rock, sweets and t shirts etc. My son cost me a fortune in there despite taking his own spending money too!
This is a small gift shop within The Showbar and sells teddies and toys. A medium teddy will set you back £9.99
Again situated in The Showbar this shop sells sweets and drinks that you can get for watching the shows.
*The Fish and Chip shop*
This is situated around the back of the mini golf course and is easily missed if you don't know where to go. A large chips (which I suspect would be a regular chips to us when we are at home!) costs £2.25. We found the chip shop to be quite handy as a supper to take back to the caravan. They were ok, nothing to rave about but nice enough.
*Papa Johns Pizza*
We didn't sample this but they do actually have a delivery service to your caravan which is a good idea! A XL pizza would set you back around £12.00 but I have no idea how large the actual pizza is! This is situated within the main arcade.
This is also situated in the main arcade. You can expect similar prices to those at any other Burger King but with your welcome pack you do get a few discount vouchers to use here. We used a "buy one adult meal and get a kids meal free" which was handy!
*The Mash and Barrel*
This is situated just as you enter the arcade and offers you traditional pub type foods. We stayed here for a few hours before we had to set off for our coach home and it was pleasant enough with leather style comfy couches around the sides to use.
The hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows here was £2.15 and totally delicious!
We also had a five item breakfast for a reasonable £2.95 which wasn't great, but was a good price.
All in all we did enjoy our little break away from home. My son says he had fun and that is all that really matters to me from a holiday like this.
The park was clean and there were always things going on but if you wanted to you could take a walk through the sand dunes directly from the park to the beach. We did this a couple of times but it wasn't warm enough to stay there for long! The view from the top of the sand dunes was really lovely though.
I am not sure that we will visit this park again but this is purely down to me not driving. A journey that would take two hours if I drove took closer to five hours with having to use coaches and buses! I also feel it would have been nice to visit the neighbouring Rhyl but a taxi there and back would have cost around £25.00 and this was too expensive for us to do. I never noticed any buses coming into the park either but this is not to say there weren't any.
I think I would award Presthaven sands 3 stars having dropped one for the length of walk from the main entrance to the reception and one for the extra cost to many of the activities you could do.
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