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“GREAT HOLIDAY”

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Cresswell Towers Holiday Park - Park Resorts
Certificate of Excellence
Consett
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“GREAT HOLIDAY”
Reviewed 12 November 2011

It has been two weeks since we returned from Cresswell Towers, and work commitments have prevented me from writing this review. However, I thought it important to do so as previously I had read slating reviews on Trip Advisor. Had I believed them or accepted them at face value, I would have missed out on a fantastic family holiday, so here goes. A few basics before I begin: It is the first time we have had this type of holiday, we are 50/50% foreign family who have only recently returned to live in England so are not used to UK type self-catering holidays, and we have absolutely no connection with the resort, staff or this company.
Reception. We booked a week's stay over half-term, in a Bronze standard caravan. We have two Jack Russells so this was the maximum grading we were allowed. To start with, the booking agent was very flexible and allowed me a 50% discount for the dogs as they are small and old. As is customary, and myself working in the service sector, I was polite when I asked the booking agent, and she was very helpful (more on the theme of politeness later). We arrived 3 hours early (the weather was good and I thought I would take the kids to the beach). On our arrival the manager (Mark) was extremely courteous and showed us where the caravan was, explaining a few rules. To my surprise he told me that the cleaners had finished and we could move in straight away.
Caravan. We approached with some trepidation having read some of the previous reviews, but our worries were completely unfounded. I had all manner of pre-rehearsed arguments ready if the caravan was not up to standard, having formed an opinion and pre-judged the situation (to my discredit) from the poor reviews I have seen. The van was actually great, and a credit to the cleaners. The kids (14 years, 5 tears and 1 year old) loved it. Yes, there were signs that it had been in use; yes, there were some scuff marks and the windows could have done with a little clean; yes the TV was the old-fashioned type, etc etc. However, I really think some people live in cloud cuckoo land when it comes to their expectations vs what they have paid. You are not going to a 5* boutique resort, you are not paying 200-300 pounds a night for your accommodation. Yes you should expect cleanliness, serviceability and functionality, but this is a caravan holiday on the Northumberland coast! We try to be a family who recognises and appreciates good work and in common with almost everything at Cresswell, the staff really try hard for you, including the cleaning ladies and the maintenance gentleman who came and explained the gas system to us (within 5 mins of arriving !). In the first hour, we took a cloth and some soapy water and ‘tweaked’ the caravan, to our satisfaction, the same as we would do at home. Caravan = no complaints at all.
Resort. The end of October in Northern England is not going to produce great weather but we were lucky and had 4 sunny days, 2 when it absolutely lashed down and one when it was grey and overcast. On one of the very wet days, a drain in the resort, near to the clubhouse, overflowed with sewage (purely due the amount of rainwater). However, within an hour 2 guys were on the job and it was cleaned. The resort was otherwise clean, dog owners all seemed to ‘poop-scoop’ (we didn’t see one example of lazy dim-wits not picking it up but the beach was a different story – more later), and the kids play area was a good meeting place for our youngsters to get to know others. On the subject of kids, I’ve read people moaning about groups of youths milling around etc. What is wrong with people? Where they never young themselves? Yes there were quite a few teenagers looking slightly bored and just sitting around. What is there to complain about? That’s what teenagers do! If you expect to come on holiday at half-term and not see kids and not be pleased to see your own children running around causing mayhem and having fun then go somewhere else or go at a different time of the year. I really do not understand people’s intolerance to children. Yes, I did see the odd occasions when they were a little bit out of hand (especially in the clubhouse) but I have to say that the security staff were first-rate at dealing with them. I’ve also read comments about these staff being ‘heavy-handed’. What rot! What actually appears to happen is that one or two kids get out of hand, the staff deal with it in a really professional manner (my hat off to them) and then an irate, half-drunk, ‘chavster parent’ takes offence at someone speaking to their offspring and ‘goes off it’. Personally I have no problem with professionals taking charge of a situation with my kids when I am not in attendance (Eg. Teachers, or in this case, the security staff at the resort). The fact that some people take offence at this and by default believe that their kids should be allowed to run amok, unchallenged, spoiling things for those who are just having fun on their holidays, whilst they pour vodka/Red Bull down their necks says more about them than I ever could.
Entertainment/Clubhouse/Swimming Pool. Mentioned the security staff already – good job done. I know some people are not happy that they patrol in the dancehall looking for those who bring their own drinks in, and this does afford a bit of a ‘big-brother’ feel to things when people are constantly looking under your table for illicit bottles of vodka etc. It has to be said that the drinks are expensive (3.20 for a pint). On the other hand, and to be fair, the entertainment provided on Friday & Saturday nights was superb and cannot have been cheap. So these costs have to come from somewhere. Put simply, you get what you pay for. I would think that if they reduced the drinks prices the problem of people sneaking in their own drinks would go away, but then there would not be sufficient revenue to pay for the acts that performed.
In terms of adult entertainment, the ‘krew’ were excellent. OK, so it is not Las Vegas, but they worked hard, sang well and the kids absolutely loved it. I was the ‘Worst Parent’ in the Madness & Mayhem dance 2 nights running which the kids loved, and overall I have to say the staff were super. That also goes for the bar-staff. Again, I’ve read that some people found them to be impolite, surly or aggressive. I come back to the point of politeness and mutual respect. I’m afraid that I saw a number of people just barge in at the bar, shout their orders then proceed in loud, half-cut voices to slag-off the resort, bar, entertainment or whatever was their particular gripe that day. What then did they expect in the way of service? People respond in the manner that they themselves are treated, and by-and-large you get back what you put in in life. For my part, the staff were fine. Over the first couple of days I bought them a drink and took time to get to know their names etc. A little bit of courtesy goes a hell of a long way folks. All I can say is that the people who behaved in a drunken, ignorant manner towards the staff got what they deserved. Mutual respect costs nothing.
The swimming pool was a strange one. Great, warm, clean pool with lots of play things for the kids (and me!): Weird changing arrangements! Double-door cubicles that no matter how I tried, I could not work out. It was like some sort of Brian Rix sketch trying to get the clothes from the miniscule cages provided, into the cubicles, then out to the showers, then back to the cubicles, then out of the other side to put your shoes on, like some sort of poor-man’s magician’s box!!!! Why they do not simply re-design this area I don’t know as it really is a pain trying to get 3 kids showered and changed in the current set-up. Also, the life-guards seem to spend their time listening to not so good, very loud hip-hop and grunge, which I don’t mind, but some found galling. However, sitting there for six hours at a time must be a little boring for them. On the subject of life-guards, the only occasion I felt spoken to in a derogatory manner was by one of them. However, as always, I did not get angry, but simply asked him to consider what he had said and whether he could have done it differently. Actually the lad apologised to me which I thought was testament to the resort’s training program and management. They did a good job though, keeping a close watch on the kids and blowing-up whenever anyone got a little over-exuberant in the pool (including me by the way – well we’re all big kids really aren’t we!) Again, all in all a good job done.
The kids club was just great. An hour’s activities in the morning and then dancing & games after the Bingo. The team worked hard and my kids really appreciated it. To repeat, it is not Las Vegas or some 5* hotel where you can banish your kids for the whole holiday while you ‘relax’, but for what we paid the warmth, variety and fun the kids had and received was great.
Amusement Arcade. Some might find the location of the ‘amusements’ a little irritating (at the entrance to the clubhouse). My kids could not walk past without asking for some money to play them, and as it was their holidays I almost always obliged. They are a huge ‘cash-cow’ for the resort, but my advice would be save up all of your 2ps and take them with you!
Local Area. The area is lovely, with the start of Druridge Bay only a couple of hundred metres away, Amble within easy driving range and many other attractions less than an hour away. On the 2 stormy days we went to Amble and Newbiggin and watched the huge waves crashing over the rocks – spectacular. On the sunny days we walked for miles and played on the beach. I am originally from the North-East so appreciate it anyway. My major gripe is with lazy, inconsiderate dog-owners who just allow their animals to foul the grass land and sands and never bother to scoop. The beach and approach to it near the ice-cream shop was terrible and we had to be really careful with the kids. Sure, it washes away when the tide comes in, but that only then contaminates the water. Over the week, I saw at least 15 people dig a hole in the sand, push the dog-dirt in and then cover it as if this is somehow hygienic. As previously said, we have 2 dogs so feel qualified to speak. Obviously, and without wishing to generalise, the types that do this are also the types that you would feel uncomfortable approaching and offering them a ‘poop-scoop’ bag (which we carry) as normally you are open to a mouthful of abuse (which I don’t want my kids witnessing). All of this is of course outside of Park Resorts control although they may wish to approach the local authority and suggest that some wardens are employed. It really does spoil what is a lovely beach, and we resorted to walking a mile or so along Druridge Bay to avoid the mess, before we let the kids play in the sand.
Asda, Ashington is only 4 miles away so shopping is not a problem. There is a shop on site for the kids ice-creams, papers and milk etc. We had a couple of meals in some local pubs which were really good and not expensive. Actually the food in the clubhouse was not too bad - bought the kids some chips and a burger one day and it was surprisingly good).
Conclusion. Look, I know that some might read this and think we have glossed-over failings or as a family we are prepared to accept second best and are too easy going, or even that I have a vested interest in this resort. None of this is true. I have high standards for my family and have no connection with this company. I do believe that a little humility, courtesy and friendliness goes a long way in life and when I see ignorant people shouting at staff, getting too drunk in front of their kids and mouthing off at anyone who passes or just acting in an inconsiderate manner I wonder why they cannot work out why they are receiving poor service and not enjoying themselves. I’m not condoning staff reciprocating this behaviour but it is simply human nature to respond aggressively if someone is aggressive towards you. I honestly found the whole team to be first rate, the resort to be clean and pleasant and the whole entertainment package to be better than I could have expected given what we paid. I feel sure that had our caravan not been up to standard I could have approached the staff and asked for it to be corrected or in the final analysis, asked for a move. I also feel sure that the team actually really do want you to enjoy your holiday, so providing you treat them with deserved respect, they go out of their way to oblige. I thank them very much on behalf of my wife and three children. We are not sure what to do next year at half term, but we will certainly consider going back to Cresswell Towers at some point. Thanks again to the management and team for giving us a true British holiday to remember.

Room Tip: If you have any issues I suggest you approach the management in a polite manner. They really seem d...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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16 Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
York, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2011

Arrived an hour early, the friendly staff on reception checked and handed us the key to our Bronze caravan (had the dog!). Caravan was very clean and alot better than what we expected reading other reviews. There was a lamp shade missing, the shower was a little rusty and the curtains didn't quite cover the window but none of this spoilt our holiday. On the few occasions we had problems with the fire or bolier the maintenance people were out withn minutes and solved the problem (thankyou). The pool was available every afternoon when we went to use it, could do with some more changing rooms but go in you trunks and get changed at the side! The bouncers were stationed outside the enetrtainment centre but were friendly enough. Absolutely great beach only a short walk away, we were on the beach every day, and even had a paddle!. Was cold on a night, but we were prepared with slankets and hot water bottles, but a caravan with central heating would have had no such problems. Love this part of the country and would consider going back when the weather is a bit warmer. Kids and dog loved it! Used Tesco vouchers so cost us £30 to take the dog!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2011

What sort of park needs formal Doorstep 'bouncers' on the doors of a private children's party?
Having booked for the half term weekend it has been disappointing to find the only real amenities, bar the pool shut for two afternoon days in a row to facilitate 'owners' functions;
Not sure what goes on but on both occasions formal 'bouncers' were employed; curious I discovered the latest to be the owners Xmas party!!
Must say I would not be willing to subject my children to such a greeting. I hope the security was warranted, because the impression of the park generated was negative to say the least!
Next year we'll go with Haven!!

  • Stayed October 2011
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Helpful?
2 Thank Pirrie111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fife
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2011

On arrival staff were very dismissive and uniterested, gave us our key and we were left to it. First impression of the GOLD caravan that we upgraded to was smelly but a nice finish. Carpet in living area was covered in stains (cream coloured carpet-madness!), toilet was filthy-covered in stains which I cleaned, dishes in cupboard were filthy and mugs were covered in tea stains. I decided to wash what dishes and pans etc we would need and just leave it out of the cupboards as the cupboards were so dirty and sticky. I washed cutlery and utensils but had to also wash the cutlery tray as it was so smelly and dirty. Windows were filthy but bedding,mattresses and pillows were clean.
Rooms were freezing even though we paid extra to upgrade to gold which had 'central heating' in the bedrooms- it was only a tiny electric heater and not enough to heat up the rooms- temp in my 2 year old sons room got down to 12 degrees C!! Our main bedroom smelled strongly of damp and there was mould in the large walk in wardrobe. Drainage was poor and after very heavy rain we really struggled to access our car without going through deep puddles.
Swimming pool was fine although the toilets there were nothing short of disgusting.
We decided to eat out at the on-site restaurant one night where we wandered around for 5 mins before any staff appeared, food was ok but drinks expensive and only one draft beer available (told this was due to nearing end of season).
Was a lovely central area, just a shame the resort didn't live up to it.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2011

just came home early from a four night break, first caravan was disgusting. filthy seating and carpets, mould in the bedrooms and bathroom, grease covered cooker. after complaining we were moved by the cleaning staff to a smaller caravan which on first inspection seemed better however after being in it i found filthy glasses and dishes, dirty shower. inside the cupboards were sticky. i complained again and was given £30 of vouchers for the restaurant, which we had already had the misfortune of sampling. only one draft beer available, bangers and mash on menu but you had to take chips with it as they had no mash ( how hard is it to peel a potatoe?). after eating three of us were ill so we packed up and left after having quite enough.
if you go to cresswell make sure you have plenty petrol in your car as the nearest petrol station is 4 miles+ away at ashington. the cash machine on the site charges so travel the mile or so to the next village of ellington for use of a free machine.
if your caravan is dirty etc complain straight away and make sure you fill in a customer report.
the whole site has very old and new caravans mixed.
in october there seems to be little or no entertainment and there is nothing really in the local area.
on the plus side the chip shop at lynemouth is very good and the surrounding beaches are beautiful.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank ScotlandLjh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2011

Stayed from 8th Oct to 10th (2 nights) in a bronze caravan. The caravan was basic but nice and clean, we were given a disabled access so had lots of room which was good. I did read reviews before going but the people must be very picky as we found no dirt etc despite booking the lowest grade caravan. Upon arriving we noticed the fire wasn't working and security came straight away and tried to fix the problem, turns out it needed a new part so we were given electric heaters for the living room (already had one in the double bedroom). We travelled as a couple with a 3 year old and a 10 day old and the caravan was a great choice for us despite having a newborn. The electric went out about 9pm and again security came almost immediately to fix the problem. I did notice there were no oven trays but the kitchen had all other things. The bar was very quiet on the Sunday night but the entertainers still put on the show and we enjoyed it. My son enjoyed the pool very much and my husband said it was really warm. Bar prices are expensive sometimes 8 pound a round (with 1 soft drink and 1 alcholic) so maybe have a drink b4 going out! All in all it was a nice stay despite the rain, we only paid £59 pound for our 2 nights. Would only stay a couple of nights as we live in the north east so have seen the sights quite a few times so would get bored. On arrival home i did notice i had a few bites on mine and my baby's legs which i presumed were from the caravan, bronze caravans allow dogs so maybe there were fleas? We called the park and they said they would flea bomb the caravan so i hope they did! Maybe will book a siver or plus next time as pets arent allowed (you can't trust everyone to de-flea their animals!)

Room Tip: maybe go for above bronze to avoid getting bitten!
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank fionaoroarty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Preston, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2011

My husband and i have just re turnd home after 4 nights at Cresswell Towers. We were given are key and caravan number, when we found our caravan it was in a nice location in the wooded area but we had to walk across a load of mud to get to it, not good for carpets in caravan. When we tried to get into the caravan we found we were given the wronge key. We went back to reception were we given the right key and an appology. I was very disappointed with the caravan, we had booked a GOLD caravan but in my apinion it was more like a bronze. The caravan was very basic, no home comforts like cusions or lamps, not even an iron which i thought would be basic for a GOLD. After being there for 10 mins a man turned up with a key to our caravan and said are you in here, he had been given our caravan number and key. We deceided to make the most of what we had. When we went to bed we could hear a noise, sounded like there was an ice cream van outside with its engine running, that went on all night, did'nt sleep a wink, either of us. We went to reception at 9am and said we wanted to be moved or we were leaving. Within the hour we were in a different caravan, better than the first but still not GOLD standard . There were no pans or grill pan and the television did'nt work properly. We were given pans and grill pan very quickly. The televison we were told it had been reported but it was never fixed. I have to say the staff at cresswell towers are excellant, from the reception, maintenence, cleaners, bar staff ,chef in the restarurant they are all very nice and nothing is too much trouble, its just a shame about the caravans. Cresswell village is lovely. Lovely ice cream shop but cloysses in the winter and a lovely beach. But i don't think we will be giong back to cresswell. By the way the noise was the sewage system.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank jeanette228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cresswell Towers Holiday Park - Park Resorts

Property: Cresswell Towers Holiday Park - Park Resorts
Address: Cresswell Road, Cresswell NE61 5JT, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Northumberland > Cresswell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Cresswell
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Cresswell Towers Holiday Park - Park Resorts 3*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the southern end of a beautiful six-mile stretch of the sweeping sand that is Druridge Bay, Cresswell Towers is perfect for family holidays. Start the day with a dip in the pool or maybe you fancy going for a walk in the Cheviot Hills or the woods nearby. Later on get ready for some great family evening Entertainment. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cresswell Towers Holiday Park - Park Hotel Cresswell
Cresswell Towers Holiday Park - Park Resorts Northumberland

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