Me and my partner and our son and his friend stayed at haven reighton sands park this year for a weekend break. We have been before and very much enjoyed our stay.
However, this weekend break was awful. We booked a caravan for the weekend and when we have visited before we have stayed in tents so this was our first caravan experience and will be our last with Haven.
We checked in and everything was fine and located our caravan. The surrounding areas were very nice. We entered the caravan and boom the smell of gas automatically hit you in the face! We opened all the windows and bearing in mind our break was in march which isn't the warmest time of the year but we had to due to the smell and inhalation of the gas. We assumed that as every caravan is checked before a new tenant is allowed to stay that they must of changed the gas bottles so we didn't think we was any risk and just let the fresh air clear out the smell.
Anyway, as the evening came to a draw the caravan was getting cold inside so we had to close the windows and turn on the gas fire - the smell was still lingering and we were getting concerned.
By morning after we cooked breakfast I opened a cupboard door and the smell of gas camping rush to my head! At this point we knew something was not right. We evacuated the caravan and phoned the customer service board and advised we believe there maybe a gas leak within the caravan.
After waiting for half an hour the gas board of Haven came round and testing the caravan and there was an actual gas leak! We had stayed in this overnight and cooked and turned the fire on! We was so lucky nothing more was caused serious to our health! Especially with having 2 children on board!
After the gas board repaired and resolved the gas leak we didn't want to stay there any more and cut our 3 night stay and left on the 2nd.
As we left at checkout we informed them of this and all we got was an apology! Not that I am sorry that your health was at risk or could we offer an alternative replacement for your night to stay and enjoy the remainder of your trip or a refund for the extra night that we had paid for and felt so unsafe to stay again!
I would never want to stay in a caravan again and if myself and my family ever would we would not trust Haven to provide our accommodation.
Having read these latest reviews I felt I had to outline my experience with haven .i have been to various sites from Clacton to seashore Great Yarmouth and on the fifteen occasions I have never had a rubbish holiday .
I have stayed in all types of caravan from standard to prestige and have had very minor problems on occasion that all have been sorted politely and quickly yes if you book basic you might find dog hairs etc thats the chance you take ,you can ask for a no smoking caravan if stale fags aren't your thing ! I have only been slightly dissapointed once a few dodgy stains on seat in living area but as I said it was a standard van I only paid £78 for a weeks hols so covered it over with spare duvet cover and got on with my hols these vans get a lot of traffic over year some people live like pigs and don't care so inevitably things get damaged .
As for remarks about chavs yes you do get a few dregs at these sites fortunately they usually are in the minority and no not all on sun holidays! As these type of holidays are a bit cheaper than hotels those with not a lot to spend will be attracted the odd loudmouth the odd 'chav' some people live like that anyway so can't be helped .
I have never felt pressured to buy a caravan at haven if asked I usually laugh and reply ' if I win the lottery this week' so from the outset they know I'm not in the market .
The entertainment at these places is well known for being cheesy and a bit on the ropey side but I think that adds to the fun ,kids love it and that's really what haven is about .its not like your home with all its comforts and a bit of forward research into what's on in area helps ( less spent in arcades/on site stores etc) to get the most out of your hols if you want dreadful try park holidays Felixstowe beach ,that's a dump! .
Finally don't buy a caravan unless you really love site one visit will not do it,speak to owners ,do your research and that should help you decide if its for you.
3 years ago I bought 2 caravans from Haven at Allhallows in Kent.They were paid for in cash and included one years site fees.
After owning the vans for just over a year I decided that the site was downright filthy.Rubbish bins were left overflowing.Rats and other vermin were a common site.The on site shop is very expensive and the whole place just completely run down
Therefore in the following April I found a new park and said that I wished to remove my caravans.
The site fees were due to be paid by March and so I expected to pay one months fees.NO Haven demanded one years advanced fees plus insurance and disconnection charges.
Thinking this unfair I refused.The next thing I know is that Haven have sold my vans without my permission and said that I had 2 weeks to remove my personal effects.I protested and could get no where with them.
Now my vans have gone along with some of my possessions.I had paid Haven over £28,000 just one year previously and they apparently sold the vans,one of which had central heating,2 toilets,shower and double glazing for £850.According to them I still owe £5000. in fees.!
I have spent 3 years e mailing,telephoning and writing and have just got completely ignored.I cannot afford to take court action as I am an OAP and in poor health.Haven have completely ruined me.Do not let them do it to you.!!!
I have to agree with everything that has been said about Haven Holidays. I have not been on holiday with Haven since 2009 when I went to the Martin Mere Haven Resort in Blackpool. I had a terrible experience at this park and the whole experience left me thinking that Haven had set out their stall to cater for the dregs of society. As other people have commented what I experienced was the very worst of what Britain has to offer and makes me feel upset about the way standards and respect have fallen.
I was also so upset by the way that i was treated by Haven as a company that I said years ago that I would never gone on a Haven holiday again in my life and would not return to Blackpool ever.
I wrote to Haven at the time with my complaints and they know what happened to me but I never got any apology from the company and they did not take responsibility for anything, I have not been back to Haven since but judging by these comments things have not improved.
My experience of Haven was that they had very low standards and did not care about their paying quest's and from my experiences I would not advise anyone to go to the Martin Mere Haven Resort if they are respectable and have decent values.
I feel so strongly about this that I am still compelled to write about this many years later and look to see if anything seems to have improved, although I will never go back myself, due to the resort and the way I was treated by Haven as a company.
I felt the need to review Haven as I read through a few of the negative reviews and was compelled to try and get the balance a little better. I have taken my children to a Haven every year since my oldest daughter was born (2000) and we have mostly loved it.
Dont get me wrong I am not saying all the parks are great but I have stayed in Hafan Y Mor (our favourite), Presthaven Sands (Hmmm), Primrose Valley and Hopton being a few of them. For the purpose of this review I will be concentrating on Hafan Y Mor.
We stayed here this year in March when it opened, in May for a weekend and then again in July (we are actually considering another little break there during the October half term if there is still any availabilty).
The park itself is quite easy to find and our drive from Liverpool is a relaxing and very scenic drive along a coastal road for most of the journey at Chester, we join the A55 and A5. Join A487 to Caernarfon, then A499 to Pwllheli. Then A497 to Pothmadog. The Park is on the right, approximately 3 miles out of Pwllheli. On the way you also drive 'through a mountain' which our girls love.
Hafan Y Mor is located in Pwhelli and is an old Butlins site which I have seen change over the years, and has recently had a complete overhaul which I must say was needed. Our last stay we hired a log cabin through a private website and I cannot compliment this enough, we had a veranda with patio furniture and a BBQ, bunk beds in one of the girls rooms and a triple bed in the other (a double and one single, which my girls pushed together so they could all sleep in a huge bed) and the living room had all the luxuries you would find at home such as a leather reclining couch, dvd player (along with DVDs the owner leaves for guests to use) and a lovely big dining table.
The park itself is lovely and well spaced out and they have several shows on during the day and night so it depends what type of family you are and what you enjoy but there really is something for everyone, our baby loves the character shows and her favourite is Anxious the elephant - this is where it gets expensive. Last time we were there she wanted everything pink and Anxious which cost us an absolute fortune. Another thing worth mentioning is when you are here although it is cheaper to book a week here than Butlins I find we tend to spend a lot more than when we go to Butlins as they put machines, little rides and arcades in the boardwalk where the little ones are so you are constantly being asked 'mum can i have this, mum can i have that'.
The food here is ok as they have a Papa Johns pizza, Burger King and fish and chip shop, they also have the mash and barrel which serves pub type food. We have eaten out here once or twice however I normally go to the local Asda which is about 15 mins away and get our shopping from there - word of warning though, each time I have gone there is trolley wars and car park anger. The Asda car park is tiny and given that most of the tourists tend to go there (possibly to stock up on their alchohol because the Haven bar prices are quite expensive) there is just not enough space. I have been shoved about in that supermarket many a times in fact next time I go I am seriously considering wearing a little personal protective equipment :) but thats another review.
On site the activities available include learn to swim (most ages but separated into groups)
Imagine with Anxious 0-8 yrs
Junior Archery 6-8 yrs
Jump Rope: Family
Aqua Gliders 5-7 yrs
there is so many more activities to mention and it is worth noting that some activities do incur additional charges.
I have always found the local residents to be very nice even given the fact they have car after car driving through their lovely scenic peaceful villages, and if you need any local tips they are always more than willing to advise. The same can be said for the staff back at the site, they always try to involve you in the shows and I did once have to get up on stage (very reluctantly but I had drank a couple of glasses of wine which did help) and 'hula hoop' against the most competitive dad I have ever saw, this man was relentless I thought I could 'hula hoop' until I saw him go - I dont think that sight will ever leave me!!!
Even when walking home at night after the shows, and as I mentioned maybe a few glasses of wine ;), the delight doesnt end because we have spent many a night looking up at the stars, the sky here at night seems to be so clear and you can see hundreds of stars and combined with the fresh air and beautiful scenery, you just want to stay that little bit longer.
All in all Haven will always be one of my fondest memories, and my daughters love this place so much so that once they were doing a news book in school about their favourite holiday and rather than putting somewhere more exotic we have been to such as Mexico or Disneyworld, my 8 year old listed Hafan y mor as her favourite.
What a dump.Do not believe the brochure it bears no relevance at all to reality.
Haven's site is run down,out of date,dirty and noisy.
What's more it is overpriced and the staff on the whole are downright rude.They do not concern themselves with the ordinary holiday maker.All they want to do is sell caravans.
It used to be a good place to stay but since Bourne Leisure has owned the premises ,things have really gone down hill.Their priority is to make money and let the rest "go hang"
We spoke to several owners when we visited in August of this year.(the whole site is predominantly self owners who rent out their vans) Most said that although they owned their own caravan they never stayed there themselves,except out of season when the place became quieter.They also said that they never visited the pub,restaurant or local Spar shop because of the poor value and high prices.
My advice is give it a big thumbs down
Just got back from haven littlesea after a week in a caravan. Been there previously in a tent and loved it, pity its gone down hill this year. Van and park clean and tidy. Management ethos is bug every single customer every day until they buy a caravan. Almost all staff are scruffy, poorly dressed, badly trained and completely unsupervised. The phrase piss up and brewery springs to mind. Entertainment average at best. Food and drinks poor to average and very pricey. Unless you own a van on this site no one will give a damn.
We enjoy caravan holidays and as a family have visited many different sites.Mostly they are clean,relaxing and can be a great break from the stress of everyday life.
Unfortunately in August of 2011 we went to Haven at Allhallows.What a mistake.
The place is dirty,noisy and money grabbing.There really is nothing to do there.The beach is a mess and the staff gormless.
It is just one big rubbish tip.The caravan that we rented was in poor condition and the access poor because so many cars were parked around it.Nearly all the other parks that we visited had designated parking areas but not here.
What entertainment that they have to offer is either too loud ,too expensive or just plain boring.
Never again would I book a Haven holiday.And yes we did complain on our first day but the response was completely negative.It seems that they have got your money so Hard Luck!
This is not the place to holiday.We booked a caravan last year as a last minute break to get away from the hustle and bustle of South East London.
We just wanted a quiet time to relax and wind down.We knew that Allhallows is just a small village on the Thames estuary quite isolated and we thought peaceful.
Allhallows is a region where you could relax,but Haven is not.
It is the most noisy, overcrowded and rubbish ridden place that you could contemplate.We could get more peace in the middle of the M25.
Our caravan was reasonable,clean and roomy.It was ok inside but the vans are so close to each other that you might just as well be in a shanty town in China.There is just no space.
At that time there was a lot of work going on and a building site would have been quieter and more attractive.
Also everything is very expensive and on the whole not very clean.
We did complain to the management but it was pointless nobody wanted to know.The attitude was we've got your money so hard luck.
If you take my advise give it a miss.
As most of us know times are hard at the moment and my wife and two young boys
aged five and seven
decided that the only break that we could afford would be seven days holiday in a caravan.
After searching the web we decided to go to Haven at Allhallows because it was close by and seemed to offer good entertainment for the kiddies.
We went off peak at the end of September 2011.
How sad it was!
Firstly there is nothing at all in Allhallows.Therefore unless you have plenty of money to keep travelling away from the site you are stuck with;dirty muddy,filth strewn stretches of beach.A very expensive wooden hut called a supermarket and a dirty watering hole known as the pub/restaurant.
They do have a slot machine arcade which eats money a football area which is always full of teenagers and a putting course.
Also there is an indoor and outdoor swimming pool which was the only attraction that the children enjoyed.Also there is an indoor entertainments area for both adults and children.However this is quite a small and the noise horrific.
Traffic seems to be uncontrolled and quite dangerous especially for the young.
We found the whole experience distressing and the staff in particular uncaring and unhelpful.
We bought our first ever static caravan last Easter, we had hired ones before and decided to take the plunge. After researching the area we opted for Devon cliffs, I had always loved Devon and went to visit the site. It offers everything we want for entertainment on site and perfect surrounding areas to visit. It's not cheap though, being a flagship site the fees are very expensive and this year we decided to upgrade to a lodge in a quiet part of park with sea view. We were not happy with the amount of money we lost in exchanging and would encourage others to choose more wisely and not rush into buying quite so keenly as we did. Again site fees are expensive but we love it and enjoy our haven.
Should you decide to take a holiday with Haven choose your site carefully and read the reviews.
By this I mean read independent reviews not those posted on Haven's own site.(These are false) I have proved that for myself.
By and large I have found that Haven tend to be very expensive especially in the food and drink areas.Also their on site shops are poor in value.
Inspect your caravan carefully on arrival and report straight away any faults that you find.If you try to complain later or after you have left the site you will come up against a brickwall.
Haven are very difficult to approach either by writing fax or email if you wish to complain.
I have not visited every Haven site and so am no expert.
What I can say however is DO NOT go their park at Allhallows.It really is the pits in my opinion!
If you wonder what`s wrong with this country...go to a Haven Holiday Park and you will soon find out! Parents swearing and shouting at their children from early in the morning until 3am! NO RESPECT... Not a nice place to go...never again. We are going back to `Centre Parcs` were you will find civilized people.
If you are thinking of buying a Caravan at Haven take my advice and dont. They are rip off merchants. My daughter brought a caravan from them, it was 18 months old when she purchased it. She paid £20,995 On checking the price "after" she had brought it, this Caravan was only £18,500 NEW. Total rip off. The sales people lie their heads off to get you to sign. My daughter didn't sign but the sales person forged her signature!! We have had the caravan moved and are in the process of seeing a Solicitor. So please please be warned!!
Wouldn't go again the entertainment is rubbish nothing to do for teenagers,on site facillities are a total waste of money and not big enough to accomodate such a big caravan site,also be aware if hireing a private caravan as the 1 we hired was described as a beautiful gold standard,but when we arrived it was anything but,it had mould growing around the fridge door ,caravan had not been cleaned ,3 of the doors was hanging off including the toilet which you could see into when door was closed,seating area was broken and the gas also ran out which must of been empty when we checked in ,so be very careful,surley haven should have standards for private owners to adhere to,will not use haven again.had to give 1 star rating as this is the minimum allowed other wise would of given 0