Written on: 08/08/2005 by barbarasmitty (4 reviews written)
Lots of activities for the under 8's Staff helpful and friendly Good choice of outdoor sport activities for the 8-13's Restaurants and on site Londis not too expensive Take away food outlets served very nice food-good sized portions Decent sized sofa bed in chalet
Chalet not very clean! Drinks from the bars very pricey Food in the main restaurant cold and often undercooked Nothing for adults and older teens to do in the evening
I booked a week's holiday at Pontins Prestatyn at the end of July for myself, my husband, my mother and our three children aged 5, 6 and nine. We chose Club class accommodation as I remember the budget chalets being very run down and dirty when I last went 14 years ago. On arrival, I noticed that although our chalet looked clean on the surface, there was a lot of hidden dirt and rubbish. For example, we found crisp packets and sweet wrappers under the sofa bed and as I unstacked our plastic dining chairs, I noticed that there were noodles all over one chair and cornflakes on another...not nice!! Also, the bedding for the sofa bed was dusty (fortunately I bought my own just in case!). Oh, and the bath was TINY but it did have easy access for disabled or elderly guests.
On our first evening at the camp, we ate at the main restaurant which is a canteen style affair. Not only was most of the menu unavailable (as it continued to be for the rest of our stay) but the food was stone cold and the rice was undercooked (tried the rice again later in the week-still undercooked!). Also, it wasn't great for kids as the choice was very limited and everything came with chips. We did have better luck with the breakfasts though-they were average in quality and price and the Sunday dinner was very nice indeed. The food from the takeaway outlets was on the whole far nicer and much cheaper. Captain Cod (the fish and chip shop) sold very nice food as did Casey's Whistle Stop, the fast food place (huge portions).
The daytime entertainment was spot on for the under 8's.From about 8am everyday there were Bluecoat lead games and activities and shows such as sooty (excellent, recommended)and Barney (avoid!). There is also an upstairs play area with a ball pit, play stations, under 4's area and comfy sofas for the adults! This was very well run by the staff and they tried to get kids involved in activities such as card making etc. Also, there is an outdoor play area with electric cars for the under 8's, dodgems, crazy golf (£5 deposit but you get it back), swings, slides and an adventure play area where you can do abseiling and zip wire (for the older kids). These facilities were good but free activities were cleverly mixed in with expensive ones so it's difficult to avoid paying for some of them. For older children (8-13ish) there are numerous activities such as archery, quad bikes, fencing etc. You have to pre reserve places in most of these. And they are not strictly free as it states in the brochure-you get FIVE sessions for free and after that they start charging. The activities were fun though and the instructors very professional. My only criticism is that if your older child is not particularly sporty then there is not much else to do.
The evening entertainment was what we expected it to be-good cheesy fun! This is nearly all aimed at kids and although the children's entertainment was meant to end at 10pm, there were still many kids around at midnight and even later in some cases and the general tone of the entertainment was very family orientated. There were even kids in the Queen Vic (pub) until the wee hours! So when my husband and I managed to get a couple of evenings on our own, there was NOWHERE to go that wasn't full of kids...and the cheesy disco music grates on your nerves after the first night(they play the same 20 or so songs over and over again!). Also, there was a distinct lack of the good old holiday camp competitions! I used to enjoy these as a child but they've obviously phased out them as they are not very PC anymore (anyone remember the glamorous granny competition???!). Oh and the drinks are HIDEOUSLY expensive at the bar! Do what we did-buy drinks in the Londis and sneak them in!!
There are decent swimming facilities on site but beware!! On certain days the chlorine in the water is so strong it feels like neat acid on your skin! Otherwise good though and the changing rooms are well kept.
To conclude, I would recommend this holiday for families with young children. Just be prepared to give your chalet a good clean when you get there and be cautious when choosing where to eat as the quality of food varies from place to place. And be prepared for the cost of the drinks!!
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