Written on: 25/08/2012 by Frankiethedog (1 review written)
We booked a week at a cottage at The Holt farm near Stibb Cross in Newton Saint Petrock in July and paid over £400 for a week's stay. I was 23 weeks preganat at the time, and both myself and my partner had been looking forward to a relaxing break with our dog.
On arrival, the cottage seemed absolutely fine. The surroundings were lovely. The kitchen was adequately equipped, and the power shower was great, although there was only hot water in the mornings, which was a shame. Unfortunately, the good news ends here;
After a couple of nights at the property, I noticed that I was being bitten in the night. I thought it might be mosquitos as it was a very hot week, and we had the windows open, but by the fourth night of very little sleep, we realised it was in fact bedbugs. All the 'signs' of bedbugs (blood spots on the sheets, and faeces spotting) were there. We discovered this at 7am, and did not want an early-morning confrontation with the owners who lived next door, so we drove to the head office of Farm and Holiday Cottages, with the photos of what we had found, expecting to be refunded and accommodated elsewhere for the remaining nights of our holiday.
We were met by a very nice and polite manager who explained that they couldn't refund us as it was between us and the owner, and we should have spoken to them about the problem. We were really shocked by this as clearly the agency is only there to drum up business for the cottage owners and there is no support for unhappy customers. She agreed to speak to the cottage owners and ask if they would refund our money, but came back to us with the 'joyful news' that they were happy to replace the mattress 'as a precaution' and we could return to the cottage for the next two nights, but they would not be refunding us. As an accommodation agency and cottage owners, not one of them had any basic knowledge on bedbugs and how removing a mattress WILL NOT remove the problem. Additionally, they said that 'there had been no complaints about the cleanliness before'. Bedbugs are a result of a high turnover of guests, it has nothing to do with cleanliness. Owners need to make regular checks to look for the signs, and as an agency, they should be checking the cottages regularly to avoid the misery that we had to incur.
Four weeks later, we have received no compensation from the owners or the agency, we had to pay for our own accommodation for the remaining nights of the holiday (not easy to find on a boiling hot day with a dog in the middle of July) and are completely unsatisfied with the lack of support.
We probably won't get another holiday for a long time, as our baby is due in November.
These people should not be allowed to rent their cottage and the agency should be warning customers before they book that if anything goes wrong, they will be offered no support and no compensation.
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