We booked our Saunton Beach Villa having seen them advertised at Crufts as a great dog friendly family holiday accommodation. We booked for November to get away for bonfire night, mostly for our dog as he really doesn’t like fireworks! Booking was simple and staff were great to accommodate a travel cot and high chair for our 9 month old. Most communication was through email with a phone call the week before we were due to arrive to confirm approximate arrival times allowing for the villa to be cleaned and ensure we didn’t forget our bath towels - disappointing they do not provide bath towels for the price we paid, however did not put us off booking.
A couple of months before our arrival we were informed that 'upgrading works' were being carried out on the two bed villa we had booked and we had been 'upgraded' to a 3 bed 6 berth villa at no extra cost. Happy days.
We arrived just after 4pm as the light was fading, check-in being easy, straight forward with friendly staff. Off we went to find our villa! We parked about 25 m from our villa which was OK for unloading and convenience (we stayed in No. 4). We also had use of the beach car park with automatic number plate recognition and our car number plate pre-registered for the week - fantastic. We began unloading the car and unpacking for our week away, popping our little one in her walker inside to keep her occupied (she had just slept for two hours in the car!).
Within minutes we noticed how black her feet were with dirt which prompted us to start looking at our villa a little closer. The floor was disgusting and had obviously not been cleaned properly. The kitchen hob still had grease and stains all over it. The extractor had dirt hanging from the filters. Food remains were still splattered up the kitchen cabinets. Mud up door frames (I hope it was mud). Obvious dust and dirt in the corners of rooms, under the coffee table and behind the toilet and sink. Chunks of flooring missing. Tears in the flooring. Plaster cracked. Paint peeling. Holes in doors. Squatted flies stuck to windows. Mould growing on bedroom net curtains. Bedroom headboards thick with dust. Hair and grass stuck in bathroom plug hole. Old paint stuck to the side of the bath. I could go on... The whole villa reminded me of student accommodation and had obviously not been cleaned properly for a substantial amount of time.
I spent our first evening mopping the floors and cleaning around as best as I could to make it as comfortable as possible for our first night and make the most of it. The misses was getting to the point of getting back in the car and driving home. The mop bucket water finished up black and full of grass and sand.
I popped up to reception to discuss the cleaning issue on the Monday due to the out of season opening hours and our holiday plans. Two staff were there who informed me the villa had actually been cleaned the Monday prior to our arrival and the cleaner had quit that day but had apparently finished cleaning our villa. Not one of the staff had thought to check our villa had been cleaned properly before our arrival on Friday. Simply not good enough. The staff offered to clean our villa again which I refused as I had lost trust in their ability to clean properly and we had already done most of the cleaning ourselves! A free bottle of wine was also offered which was not wanted. To add further insult, the staff offered a discount off our next visit. Sorry I will not be coming back.
These villas are more like wide caravans set on concrete. There is no central heating, only one radiator and a heater fan for the bathroom. Two plug in oil radiators were supplied but one was unstable, missing a wheel. We only had one plug socket in each of the bedrooms already occupied by a bedside light which was quickly unplugged to accommodate the radiators. This was useless as we had to choose between warmth / nightlight / baby monitor for our little one - warmth it was! There were no close by plug sockets in the living area to use as an alternative. Without the extra heaters these villas would be rather cold this time of year!
The WC is separate to the bathroom and if you left the door shut became quite cold... ending in a rather chilly morning poop. A sink should have been provided in the WC for hygiene.
The cold water pressure is exceptional, but almost uncontrollable! Hot water from the sinks and bath was merely a trickle! No idea how anyone runs a bath with it. Electric shower was also over the bath with a shower curtain which had very good pressure making for a pleasant shower.
We had a very old hob (my nan still has one!), an oven, toaster, kettle and microwave. Some of the villas had a washing machine but ours didn’t have one.
We were also supplied with a highchair and travel cot, however the travel cot smelt of baby milk sick with a splattering up the side that needed cleaning. The travel cot base was rock hard so we had to steal the furniture throw to try and soften the cot. I recommend you take your own travel cot, or at very least a mattress!
We had hoped to get away from the bonfire night celebrations in our city however Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights were riddled with fireworks being set off on the beach causing our dog to hyperventilate and shake. Furthermore, Saturday and Sunday nights saw fireworks being set of in the carpark next to our lodge. Not particularly dog friendly but also a serious fire risk. By Tuesday things had calmed down, but the dog was still nervous anticipating fireworks for the rest of the week.
On Tuesday morning an email was sent by reception to guests asking for fireworks not to be set off around the villas or the carpark. Advice was given to take fireworks 'down on to the beach and go several hundred yards along the beach, away from all of the buildings in the shop/restaurant area' if you did want to set them off. FYI Saunton Beach Villas - The law says you must not set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places, including beaches.
By Wednesday we had filled our bin and realised we had forgot extra bin bags. Popped up to reception to see if they had a spare and they wanted 15p for one bag! FYI 50p for a toilet roll.
The location is great, a fantastic area and close to stunning areas such as the amazing Braunton dunes, Croyde, Woolacombe, etc just around the corner. Exploring these areas with children and/or dogs is simply stunning. Local beach shop was lacking in even the basic provisions. The beach side restaurant has great food at a reasonable price just a 2 min walk from our lodge! Beach restaurant is simply stunning, popped in on Sunday night with only one other couple occupying the resultant, ordered surf and turf to share which was delicious and good value for money!
Overall our stay was ok but very disappointed for the price paid compared to places we have stayed previously aroind the same time of year along the north Devon coast and north Cornish coast. Comparable to a holiday park caravan and I would probably rather book a caravan next time for half the price!
In comparison to other places we have stayed, weighing up everything and value for money, this was by far the worst accommodation for the price we paid.
A VERY nice, relaxing stay, well needed. Great weather and views.
Despite my 24 year old male being slightly too big to stay in a single bed, they were very comfortable and good-sized rooms. Nice living space area to relax in the evenings.
Will be coming again to a spectacular area. Mid September was definitely the best time to come. The villas are well located and ideal for surfers/tourists, free parking included.
Another great weekend spent at Saunton beach villas :) you can not beat these villas its like home from home but with the added benefit of the beautiful beach and sand dunes on your door step :) Staff are so helpful and friendly ... we cant wait to go back :)
I've just returned from a 4 night stay at Saunton Beach Villas. Were 2 adults under 30 with 2 dogs and we booked back in January.
We were meant to stay w/c 4th September but we had to change last minute due a last minute work commitment and they accommodated this change well. I can't say the same unfortunately about the option for early check in/check out or arriving a night or 2 earlier. We could see from the website that our particular villa (5 The Dunes) was available the weekend before we arrived and we enquired about coming down 1 night earlier. We told after a discussion with the management that we could arrive on the Sunday at a cost of £235 for that 1 night ! As you can imagine we were shocked as this was over half the price we had paid for the whole break and I wouldn't pay to stay in a hotel in a city centre with food at that cost! The fact nobody was in the villa over the weekend, we assumed, as many places we have said previously, would have the mind set that they could make some money than nothing at all that would offer a reduced price, but based on this we travelled as planned as no sane person would pay this amount for 1 night in a holiday self catering chalet.
Upon arrival, we were early and they advised us they would contact us when the chalet was ready so we walked on the beach and we received a call within 15 minutes and we were in by 15:00.
The chalet itself I would rate was a 7/10. It's advised as modern decor which you can see they upgraded over past few years but there were chunks out the cheap, lumpy vinyl, chunks out of the plaster which had just been painted over and the chalet certainly didnt look much from the outside. The yard area which is a highlight was unfortunately full of weeds and the fencing beween the neighbours was not high, lacked privacy and had rather large gaps between it which means other dogs could put their snouts through. The pressure of water in kitchen was fine for cold water but not for the warm tap, of which had cold water so you had to boil the kettle to wash up!
On the plus side, the yard area had a picnic bench and the sun was on it most of the day. An outdoor shower to wash the dogs, boards and wet suits was good and a washing line to hang everything out to dry. Inside, you had all the utensils needed in the kitchen, large table, comfortable beds, quilts and pillows and enough space for 2 dogs and 2 adults but we did book a 6 bed villa. The little touches like washing up liquid, sponges, tea towel etc. along with throws and blankets for the dogs and bowl and crate for those smaller dogs (too small for ours) was an added bonus. The location was perfect as it was less than a 5 minute walk to the beach which is dog friendly all year around!
Upon departure, I gave the keys back to reception and all I got was a thank you, no "did you enjoy your stay" or "did you have a good time", not the best customer service in my opinion, of which I work in.
Overall, the location was great, this is what you pay for but I wouldn't return due to the high cost. I have stayed in caravans located just as close to dog friendly beaches at half the cost where the decor is just as nice inside.
We stayed in a 3 bed villa, 4 adults, a baby and a dog. The villas are right on the beach, everything was clean and fresh when we arrived. Throws supplied in case dogs went on furniture, a dog cage and a water bowl. Beds were really comfortable with good quality pillows and quilts. Everything we needed was supplied. The beach is perfect for children, dogs and surfers! The only thing that was not comfortable was the travel cot. By coincidence it's exactly the same as had been bought for home use for the baby but has no real padding on the base and we ended up purchasing another one with a thicker mattress after two sleepless nights. Everything else was excellent.
We booked a 3 bedroom villa even though there are only 4 of us because we wanted the extra space. We were quite apprehensive as it was our first holiday with a 15 month old Labrador (and 2 children) but we had nothing to worry about. The villa was lovely with everything you would need and the blanket meant that the dog could have a cuddle on the sofa. The beach was fantastic and luckily the weather was good. We spent most of our time on the beach and really enjoyed long walks of an evening which allowed our Lab time off the lead as it was quiet (and he has minimal recall!). The restaurant allowed dogs outside and we enjoyed a couple of meals there, be prepared it's quite expensive, the steak was amazing! Other nights we ordered from the cafe before it closed and ate in the villa. There is a Tesco not too far away but it was a challenge to find with a satnav the first time! Had the most wonderful break and we are all fed up being home - the dog looks depressed now he hasn't got the run of a beach each night! The staff were really friendly and answered any queries beforehand. Our dog has a crate at home - he tried to squeeze in the one supplied (which was quite funny) but it is a medium sized one so suits a smaller dog. He was brave and slept on the sofa for the week! Would recommend to anyone, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and will definitely be back.
Fantastic holiday dogs loved the beach, sea ,and dunes. Villas are spacious and clean nice. Kitchen 2 bedrooms , nice lounge . Plenty of places to visit we liked Barnstable and in stow.