UK staycation roulette has left holidaymakers raving or wild
It’s never ideal when your big family break is in the headlines.
I was making breakfast for my two year old outside our bell tent at Cloud Nine Glamping in Dorset in July – as a friend texted me asking if I had seen the story.
Cloud Nine has two other locations, in Norfolk and the Cotswolds, and holidaymakers have reportedly been furious – offering everything from pint-price food (£ 6.50), to dirty showers and lack of activities .
Some who had paid £ 2,000 for a three-night stay felt they had been misled by the brilliant pictures on the website.
Although my stay was nothing so bad, I felt they were right. Cloud Nine just didn’t live up to the hype.
The ‘family rave’, an extra £ 10, was a small tent with a bubble machine, flashing light and speaker.
One DIY session for making natural wreaths – an additional £ 10 – involved gluing a few feathers onto a cardboard wreath and coloring it with crayons.
We had planned to rent bikes but there was no child seat available.
Perhaps most disappointing of all was the fun fair which required you to buy tickets in advance, but which closed several hours earlier because it was “too quiet”, despite families with tokens in hand who wanted to do so. caroussels.
We made the most of it, exploring the surrounding woods, relaxing by our tent and heading to nearby Bournemouth beach. And the vacation had other benefits as well.
The luxury tents – ours cost £ 850 for four midweek nights – were huge, with comfy beds, good dishes, power outlets, your own gate and a fire pit.
The sit down restaurant was awesome, overlooking the lake – and the campsite setting, in the grounds of St Giles House, Wimborne, was beautiful.
Most of the staff were friendly, and since the negative headlines there have been changes across all Cloud Nine sites – more activities and staff, and better food.
Suzanne Bayliss, Director of Cloud Nine Glamping, said: “During the first two weeks of operation, we encountered some unexpected operational issues which, despite the team’s best efforts, had an impact on the experience of some guests.
“I am so sorry that some did not receive the exceptional experience that we are proud to offer.
“By listening to our customers, we were able to quickly improve our on-site facilities and deliver the family vacation experience we wanted for the rest of the season. “
We left thinking our break could have been better but still managed to have a great time.
And I know we’re not the only ones experiencing this kind of vacation emotion lately – 2021 has been the year of vacation roulette, with vacationers coming home raging or raging.
While many have discovered or rediscovered the love of the countryside or quaint coastal towns, others have felt unwanted, uncomfortable or wronged.
The holidays required optimism because the sun did not play ball. Unless you’ve been lucky enough to leave in one of the roughly three sunny weeks since May, chances are you’ve eaten fish and chips under a cloud – or in the rain.
Some vacations respond to it better than others.
I went to a Haven Park in Norfolk and he threw it out but thanks to all the indoor activities we still had a great time. But it was much harder to stay faster on our RV trip down the Suffolk coast during the endless downpours.
Weather has been only part of the battle this summer, as staff and food shortages at many tourist hot spots have left hotel companies struggling to cope.
The pingemia and the loss of seasonal workers in their home countries due to Covid and Brexit have resulted in reduced staffing.
Many companies have risen to the challenge admirably – from pubs hiring vans to collect beer when the shortage of truck drivers threatened to dry them up, workers sporting brave smiles while maintaining campsites in torrential rain and others. putting in incredibly long hours to cover absent colleagues.
Some have used the red tape associated with pop-up campsites to start successful businesses, doing all they can to impress guests.
But there are many who have given the impression that they are doing customers a favor by taking their hard-earned money.
Residents of some holiday towns have expressed dislike of visitors, with anti-tourist graffiti even popping up in Cornwall.
And all this for visitors by paying astronomical prices for accommodation.
This summer, record demand has led holiday parks to charge over £ 3,000 for a week in a caravan, and holiday home prices have been even higher.
The British coastline, national parks, culture and history are all huge draws and many have enjoyed them this year.
This summer I had the chance to swim in nature every morning on a relaxing week in Cornwall despite the rain, drink pints of local beer in lovely pubs, eat hot pies on deserted beaches and strolling through the peaceful English countryside we rarely saw another person.
But there are others who will have felt skinned by their stay and who will look forward to a fortnight in Spain next year.