Ahh, wonderful Caister (NOT), AS a child I stayed at this park along with the Haven site at Yarmouth. I have since returned and I can say for a fact, nothing has changed.
Lets be honest here. Admittedly we go abroad every year however this year with a 4 month child, we decided to travel in the UK, nothing to expensive but simple to organise.
We opted for Haven at Caister; we booked Prestige as we wanted comfort, convinience at £400.
How dissapointed we were. The accomadation was supposed to be ready upon our arrival; it was not, although we arrived well after the normal check in time. We were asked to collect our bedding from within the welcome centre upon check in. Our car was crammed with luggage and this simply added to what was going to be a torid time.
Because my wife and I were travelling with our baby son and my Mother (handy baby sitter) we asked for an additional Caravan Key. £10.00 later we got one which we were assured we would get back at the end of the holiday upon check out. Had to convince them upon check out the key was supplied by Haven and although I had my receipt, spent ages for them to find the there copy of the receipt with my £10.00 stapled to it.
Drove through the park to get to the other end of the park where we were located. I was almost horrified to see that nothing had changed except for a new Mash Barrel Restaurant / bar area.
Considering there are approximately 400 caravans on site, the play area including climbing frames etc was considerably small.
We arrived at our Caravan (Dilham 30). First impressions when we stepped in was it's rather impressise size for a Caravan. This was where the impressivness soon wore off.
First night we decided to stay in as we'd travelled for most of the day. We ordered pizza's from the on-site pappa johns restaurant. Over priced is all I will say about this service. Convinient on site delievery service but very slow.
Settled down for the night; we took our sons crib with us so he had some regular comfort thus not to disturb his sleep patterns to much. Also I idn't like the idea of hiring a used one on site for such a young baby. Set up the rear double bedroom but realised there was no room to set up the crib. Floor space is minimal at best.
Wife slept in double bed with little Jack, my mother slept in one of the twin bed rooms.
All the bedding is old, worn & tired. The pillows are flat as pancakes, the duvet's although smelt clean were looking sorry for themselves.
The beds themselves were awful; old, rock hard with a simple "put me up" camping style bed. With a wafer thin mattress, you could vfeel every slat of wood under you in addition to every spring in what was supposed to be a delux mattress.
(The heaters in the Prestige Accomodation) Couldn't locate these on the first nights stay and trust me it was cold at that time of year.
The 2 twin bedrooms are really for children, I tried one of these beds and there really is little turning space. The wardrobes hold enough space for probably 6 jackets. Oh and you will smell gas in the bedroom corridor. I reported this but was told it was completely safe as ventilation in the bottom of the gas boiler exhausted this?? Really??
The spare twin bedroom was used for luggage
After the first night of not a great deal of sleep, we began to thaw out, had breakfast (self catering). The toaster didn't work, the microwave whas filthy and the utensils could have come from a childrens kitchen set. I had to purchase a small tool kit to tighten all the handles.
For a caravan which supposedly sleeps eight people, there was enough room under the grill to perhaps cook enough bacon for 2 sandwiches.
After the first night, thereafter, my wife slept with our son on the pull up bed in the lounge and I slep on the sofa beside them.
The toilet absolutely stank, although appeared clean. Air freshners were high on the list when I went to Asda which is a 10 minute drive from the site.
Oh and with Prestige Accomadation, you get a tv & dvd player. This is a combo system an approximately 15" - 17" screen with no remote control!!! thus could not programme in the tv stations. (I know what your thinking) your on holiday so why the need for a TV/DVD player? read on...
First day out, took a trip around the park, where we were situated (not to far from the beach) the bingo room would open from 2pm - 5pm & 7pm to 9pm. Due to the time of the year we visited, this was not open daily simply as the their were not enough players turning up. Opposite this was an arcade; again this was open only during certain days of the week due to nearing end of season.
Round the back of this arcade is a Chinese (takeaway only) but it is very nice food which I would reccomend.
Beach was lovely and clean, good for walks etc but nothing else available such as activities or watersports.
Walked up to the main centre, went passed the bike hire shop / crazy golf.
Weather permitting the crazy golf is a laugh and at only £2.00 per person, this is good fun.
Bike Hire I thought was a bit steep; £10.00 for 30 minutes.
Went into the on site shop "Everydays", again as you would expect, over priced but you should expect this on a holiday camp site; it stocks a wide range of essentials you would need including small gifts to take home etc.
Pappa Johns Pizza is situated on the back of what appears to be the newly built Mash & Barrel which also ajoins one of the 2 main arcade areas.
The Mash & Barrel staff were misrable and constantly complaining to one another about the minimal breaks they get during the day. Although we all know holiday centres such as this employs students at no more than minimal wage, customer services is not at the forefront of their attention.
We did a curry night in here which was curry and a pint for £7.95, this was I suppose another highlite but one short lived.
There is a fish and chi[p shop... I think it was called the Fish & Fry... or as I liked to call it, home of the nose pickers. Picked noses and then touching the chips to ensure they were cooked properly!!! I walked away during my order and vowed never to set foot in their again during my one weeks stay.
The on site pub looked nice from the outside, again this is adults only and offers a relaxed enviroment.
Took a look around the caravan show home for vans to purchase! £12,995 for a standard van up to £35,000 for a new model. Great, now where would I put it coz I wouldn't come back to this dump again.
Walked up to the main club house in the evening which is situated above the arcade area. Here you'll find a small burger place, sweet counter, very large sitting area in front of the main stage along with a bar. Again the whole place just seems tired and in need of a make over. In the evenings security officers are on the door, sorry, professional door supervisors and if you don't have your Haven fun works pass then you won't get in.... admittedly they couldn't keep me in.
I was aksed to leave the area as I ventured into the arcade whilst getting my 4 month old off to sleep. He was sleeping in his pram so I put £1.00 in the fruit machine and was asked to leave as my son was too young to gamble. I didn't sleep that night have felt I'd influenced my son at such a young age.
No wheel-chair / push chair access via the main entrance into the club house, you'll be asked to walk or wheel around the side fire exit entrance where security will grant you access. We went in their one evening only, it was very loud and somewhat cheesey but the youngsters seems to have a nice time.
Small children will enjoy the on site tiger cliubs and evening entertainment I guess. but I can see it would get repetitive and you would also need deep pockets to keep the youngsters entertained.
The site offers a swimming pool, I took a look at this from the outside and again this seemed comparitively small but good for the kids to splash around.
We popped into Gt Yarmouth for an afternoon, this is one town in major need of some lottery money / investment. Nothing here has changed in all the years I used to visit. It's not even nostalgic, many shops and old bars are boarded up, the town is looking very run down and tired. Regeneration is needed here.
Perhaps I'm being over critical about this whole trip, I was looking to get away for relaxation, have a bit of a laugh and perhaps enjoy some local entertainment. All I got was miserable accomadation, parts of the park closed for business (not advertised through Havenat the time of booking) un-hygienic chip shop and miserable staff. The site IS in need of a paint job and a little thought perhaps into what it could offer as part of a package holiday.
Oh and if you want wi-fi it will cost you £5.00 per hour only accessible from the mash and barrel restaurant. £10.00 gets you one days access.
For me it made the whole week's stay more of an effort rather than an enjoyable break. I hope I've not been too over critical here but I normally say things as I see them.
- Also Known As:
- Caister Holiday Park Hotel Caister-On-Sea
- Caister Holiday Park Hotel
- Caister Holiday Park Caister-On-Sea, Great Yarmouth
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in between the lively resort of Great Yarmouth and the tranquil setting of The Norfolk Broads you’ll find this diamond of a Holiday Park. Right on Caister's long sandy beach for hours of basking in the sun and overloaded with things to do and see on park you’ll have an amazing time at Caister Holiday Park! The park has all the attractions you'd expect, including a heated indoor pool with slide and bubble pool, climbing wall, multi-sports court and a new Live Lounge entertainment venue. The park activities include a full land and water sports program as well as an entertainment program in place right through the season. Kids clubs for all ages, kiddie cars, indoor and outdoor play areas and a fabulous program of day and evening entertainment combine to make for a great stay. As with all Haven Parks there is an array of restaurants and takeaways from pizza to traditional fish 'n' chips plus, the contemporary, Mash & Barrel lounge~cafe~bar with FREE WIFI internet access. If you prefer to cook yourself then you'll find our on park Spar supermarket, bakery and off license stocks all the basic essentials you'll need. There is even a fun area where the family can enjoy a spot of crazy golf, kiddie car rides, bike and cart hire or the thrill of fun slides. For the more adventurous, or if you fancy doing something different on holiday then you can have a go at abseiling, fencing or archery. We are also proud that many children learn to swim by taking our supervised classes whilst with us. If you can swim already then try our Aqua Gliders or Water Walkerz for a real buzz! The range of caravan and chalet self catering accommodation provided includes all the basic needs you may have as a family including cooker, fridge, crockery, cutlery, pots and pans and television. We also have a touring caravan park featuring Euro pitches with modern facilities for tourers and motor homes. Caister Holiday Park looks forward to welcoming you and your family soon! ... more less