Equestrian Escape www.equestrian-escapes.com Reviews

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Equestrian Escape www.equestrian-escapes.com
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Latest Reviews

“TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE ”

★☆☆☆☆

written by Rowan228 on 10/09/2022

Absolutely appalling. AVOID! We chose the Sherwood Forest 3 day package 2 nights B&B in 4 star hotel with spa facilities, double/twin en suite, 1 x lesson, 1 x 3hr and 1 x 1hr hacks out from £475pp. When you sign up they ask you what your riding experience is. We told them that while I had been on several outrides, I'd never received formal training. My girlfriend who has had formal training, hasn't ridden in ten years. It was agreed by the organisers, that based on this, we could do the intermediate ride. So far so good. Once we arrived, however, after a 4 hour drive from London, the riding centre decided that we would not be able to do the intermediate package with the 3hr outride, but instead would have to do the beginner package. Naturally we were disappointed, as the beginner package meant that the outride would be akin to those 5 year olds you see sitting on a horse at a fair accompanied by someone walking beside them at a snail's pace. It would also be 1hr instead of the 3hrs we paid for (a difference of £75 pp). The horse riding centre was willing to credit us the difference with additional rides, but we felt it best to talk to the organisers first. The organiser, somehow managed to give us the worst service experience either of us have ever had. We were met with a smug, condescending tone, and essentially the whole affair was our fault - no apology was ever made. The first time we called, she said she'd call us back before putting down the phone on us. Of course, she never once called back us back, and, over the next week, I tried calling her 6 times to request a refund for the difference. Every time a staff member would tell us that she would call us back, but getting audience with the pope appears easier (apparently organising horse riding tours is terribly demanding stuff - so demanding one cannot even take 5 minutes out of two weeks to call disgruntled customers back). We're still waiting for the call back, as it happens, to find out if we'll actually be credited the £150 difference. I suppose it will remain one of those great mysteries in life. AVOID - book directly through the riding centre instead. They're cheaper, friendlier and much more accommodating. 

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“Very disappointing although accommodation was very...”

★☆☆☆☆

written by on 03/01/2016

A riding holiday was my husband's surprise pressy to me which I really looked forward to. Our children were booked into an adventure holiday so we'd be free for riding for our three days. We splashed out on the expensive hotel as part of the luxury break. When we turned up, our instructor was in shorts sunbathing and exclaimed that she thought we'd cancelled. As we were fully contactable on email, mobile and via the hotel booked through the company, this was a complete surprise. I think the only explanation for the rest of our treatment was that she had other things on and didn't want us there. She gets rave reviews from others, so it must depend on her mood and convenience. Our first ride was short and included one short, slow canter, despite the whole point being the wonderful horses. You don't really get that at a walk. Second day, the 'day ride' turned out to be a 4 hr ride and no pub lunch as advertised - and in the event, it never happened. We turned up early as bad weather was forecast. She seemed to want us out of the way and suggested we go out for the day. We said the forecast was for better weather later, so maybe we could still ride. She then said to ring later, and when we did, she cancelled. By the early afternoon, the sun was out and we took photos of the sunshine and a video of a rider out cantering! We then had to return at a different time to have our ride and had to swop the third ride for our accommodation and children's rides as they were then back with us. Not exactly luxury or pleasant. EE were completely useless and just criticised us for not complaining earlier - but it takes time to change your mindset from wanting to enjoy everything to feeling ripped off. We still complained on the second day of a three day trip. No contact at all afterwards even though we said we were unhappy with the alternative provided - but accepted the best of a bad lot at the time. I feel the need to write the review as this company seems to be very uneven in its provision of holidays, being a mix of 5 or 1 stars. You need therefore to be ready to have a fab time or complain immediately so they can sort things out. They expect immediate phone calls so perhaps this might help some others to get a better time.

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1958Jml's Comment

Written on: 09/11/2016

I've been with EE a couple of times & though the riding was very good, the staff at the agency I've always found disinterested & I felt they gave poor service, eg the website has too few photos; no reminder/'enjoy the week' email close to my hol; and no feedback request.

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“Incompetent, disorganised, unethical”

★☆☆☆☆

written by marywi on 13/11/2014

Equestrian Escapes is a travel company based in Chesire UK . If you don’t want to read my full review, all you really need to know is they are the most disorganised, incompetent and unethical company I have ever dealt with in any field. If you want detail, read on. We booked a package to the 2014 World Equestrian Games, which included tickets to the games, travel from England to Normandy and accommodation. We figured they would be OK, as they were UK’s official ticket and travel partners. We first started to have misgivings when they couldn’t seem to sort out travel details to Normandy. Even though they knew we were coming from Australia to London, they for some obscure reason decided we would like to be picked up in Bristol, which is around 190 km from London. When we sorted out that we actually wanted to be picked up in London, we found that the London pick up point was actually Potters Bar, outside greater London. Then, we got a somewhat paniced email about a week before the games started, asking for our mobile numbers in case they needed to get in touch with us. That might sound reasonable except, (1) shouldn’t they have thought of putting a passenger list together before this – we had booked more than 12 months earlier (2) they already our mobile phone numbers on multiple emails we had sent them (3) they never bothered to ring us, even when they had very good reason to do so, like when they forgot to send a bus to pick us up at the games. We got up early on the day of departure from London, and caught a train to Potters Bar, to be there before the 9am scheduled pick up, which didn’t actually arrive until around 10.30. The driver had started in Bristol around 5am and been to various points along route, and said there was no way in the world he could possibly have got to Potters Bar by 9am.After packing 61 passengers (plus driver) into a bus licensed to carry 60 passengers, we then set off on the very long trip to Port-en-Bessin-Huppain in Normandy. This took much longer than Equestrian Escapes had allowed for – who knew Google maps wasn’t an accurate method of finding out how long a bus takes to drive long distances! – and we eventually arrived at about 8pm (remember, only 1 driver!)., The Equestrian Escapes people at Port-en-Bessin-Huppain were very cross that we were so late – somehow it was the passengers fault that Equestrian Escapes didn’t know how long the drive would take. They told us they had “saved dinner” for us like they had done us a big favour and we had it eat it “immediately” – oh and that’s an extra 17 euros, and no, there’s nothing else to eat. Their management of the buses to and from the games each day was also quite incompetent. They had multiple buses, and allocated people to individual buses each day. However, they could never manage to work out if the right people were on the right bus. They tried reading out passenger names a few times, but always seemed to get bored about half way through and didn’t ever get to the end of the list. After a few days of doing nothing at all to make sure the right people were on the bus, they decided to try counting the number of people on board, but that only workks if the counter is capable of counting. So they went back to doing nothing. And then there was the time at the end of the day when they completely forgot to send a bus, and left us waiting on the side of the road for an hour and a half. That was the same night that after they finally got us a bus, they directed the bus down a steep deepend road, where there wasn’t enough room for the bus to turn around to get back out. The Equestrian Escapes people had no idea what to do, other than to say – “we could ring and find out what they did the other day, when one of our other buses drove down here”!!! In the end, we the passengers had to get out, stop the traffic coming down the road, and direct the driver in backing up the hill – a steep, narrow road for about half a kilometre. So much for the incompetence. Now for the unethical bit. There were 3 of us travelling together, and we had paid for a 4 person cabin in a camping ground at Port-en-Bessin-Huppain. We had been charged on top of all the fees for accommodation, travel and tickets, an additional £UK1200 for upgraded accommodation. However, we were allocated to the lowest price cabin at the campground, which was small and extremely musty – not great when one of your party has asthma!. We raised this with Equestrian Escapes multiple times, but each time they completely ignored the issue. When we complained to their representatives in Normandy, they simply insisted that we did have an upgraded cottage, even though they did not know what cottage we were in. We also emailed Equestrian Escapes head office, and they have just ignored emails. We later established, by talking to the owners of the campsite, that Equestrian Escpaes made a block booking of some of the cabins, and decided that they would nominate a small number of the cheapest cottages as the base level cottages, and would call all other cottages, including a number of the cheapest cottages, an upgrade. This is clearly how they were able to insist we had an upgrade, without knowing what cottage we were in. It’s hard to see how you can call this anything but fraud – they claimed they were proving upgraded accommodation, charged a large premium for doing so, with no intention of providing anything other than the cheapest accommodation available. This is no different from us booking a hire car, paying for an upgrade, being given the cheapest smallest possible car, and being told it is an upgrade because the car hire company has decided to call it an upgrade I could go on, but this is already very long, and if you’ve read this far, you’ll get the gist.

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“Fantastic equestrian experience in Jerez de La Frontera”

★★★★★

written by Zaraf438 on 11/11/2014

My husband and I just came back from our trip to Malaga and Jerez, where we could experience wonderful hacienda hack outs, visit the Royal Riding School and the Horse Museum, take a very informative tour through the Bodega Tio Pepe with wine and tapas tasting. Highly recommended is the Palacio Garvey Hotel, where everyone has been very attentive. We have also enjoyed the breading fields picnic ride with tapas lunch at the hacienda . We had a wonderful time in the south of Spain with lots of sunshine , great rides and tasty wine ! Ah, not to forget the Andalucian horse, so strong and beautiful ! A great experience for horse lovers !!!

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“Terrible experience at the World Equestrian Games”

★☆☆☆☆

written by 188Newton on 23/09/2014

Too many things went wrong to list, feel ripped off. Wrote a letter detailing issues and have just received a very dismissive curt reply. Do NOT USE, terrible customer service

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“WEG 2014”

★☆☆☆☆

written by Annabellef87 on 14/09/2014

This is a poorly organised company. We spent £1800 on trip to world equestrian games in France - I have never been so disappointed - they are not an event management company and should never have tried to run such a high profile event - utter carnage. Never again. Very very poor

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“Bad experience and poor customer service ”

★☆☆☆☆

written by ilanshoshan on 07/09/2014

We've booked 3 days B&B with horse riding in Woolacombe Bay in Devon. The B&B owner was very hospitable but we were allocated a room with no view at the back of the house. When we queried this we were told this room was allocated to us because “you came for the horse riding not for the view“ We found this explanation bewildering given the high cost of this holiday and the fact that the horse riding was only meant to last 1.5 hours each day. However, the main disappointed was with the horse riding. One of the horses was very docile and unresponsive to commands which made the experience frustrating and hard work. After the first ride we asked for a different horse but were given the same horse again the following day. When we asked again for a change of horse the manager got stroppy, refused to change the horse and blamed us for not knowing how to ride it even though one of her own employees struggled in the same way when she was trying to prove there was nothing wrong with that horse. We refused to ride this horse again (or I should say attempt to ride it) and therefore missed out on some rides. Equestrian Escapes did not help resolve the problem and refused to compensate in any way. They did not believe us and gave us the impression that ‘the customer is always wrong’.

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Tinsaul's Response to ilanshoshan's Review

Written on: 15/01/2016

'customer always wrong' - sadly our experience too (see my review). If you do go with this company, be ready to complain immediately or it's your fault. Not quite the mind set you want for a luxury holiday, but heh!

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“Equestrian Escapes Luxury Malaga”

★★★★★

written by FionaHM on 27/02/2014

What an amazing time I had in Spain – my only regret, I didn't stay longer. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful, I was very impressed with the accommodation and food, the staff and the brilliant care taken of the horses and dogs. As I had booked this fairly last minute and have only been hacking out once a week recently, I wasn’t sure that I was ‘riding-fit’ enough for the holiday. However, whilst getting a little ‘hot’ on the lessons, I did manage to keep up and have actually come back without any aches. I rode two of the ‘ponies’, Misty and Flamenca – as they were comfortable, forward going and my back was ok with them, I didn’t take the opportunity to ride the other horses (although as my back was ok and I didn’t have any aches afterwards, in hindsight I think I may have been ok on something bigger). Thank you so much for your recommendation Equestrian Escapes, it really was a dream holiday for me, horses, dogs, swimming and great food, accommodation, staff and company.

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“Never Book a Trip With Equestrian Escapes”

★☆☆☆☆

written by Hippodancer on 12/10/2013

My wife an I just got back from an Equestrian vacation in the Loire Valley, France. We thought we would be horseback riding to Castles and Estates on French Saddlebreds, Lustanos, Throughbreds and Hanovarians. All we got were ponies and rode on roads and nothing else. Do not believe their pictures. Tried to get our money back and all we got was rudness. They acted surprised we were expecting exactly what they advertised. Worst and most expensive trip we were ever on.

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