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“Great time had”

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Hollybush Inn & Campsite
Cardiff
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great time had”
Reviewed 13 June 2014 via mobile

We stayed here for my wife's birthday and loved the place!
From the moment we arrived and were greeted by chickens that roam free (who's eggs you can buy) to the peacocks strutting their tail feathers,we knew it was going to be a truly awesome,back to nature experience !
The help and friendliness of all the staff along with the laid back atmosphere of the place added to a great few days camping!
We highly recommend canoeing down the river where you are free (after an initial safety talk) to absorb, relax and enjoy up to 8 miles on the river,with the unique view you get from the canoe.
There are a couple of stops along the way ,where you can sample some great real ales!
We had the Nepalese banquet at the pub and it was outstanding , the staff were all friendly and you have the pleasure of being served by a real Gurkha , a true gentleman !
I wouldn't let the negative reviews on here put you off,what is a wonderful back to nature experience !
We will go back for sure !!

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Rooo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
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English first
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014

I thought the guy at the desk was plain rude when I first arrived, but as the weekend went on, I realised he was just drunk, like the rest of the staff.
Room was dirty, staff rude and unhelpful. Emailing ahead to ask if there's a gluten free menu option means you won't get fed. And you'll get an earful off the owner. Thanks Barbara, wish I'd read about you on here before I'd booked.
Room hadn't been cleaned for weeks. Counted 30 big spiders living in the corners and window sills (and that's not counting the baby ones), cobwebs everywhere, previous guests litter on the floor. Booked a canoe trip with a lift back. They only provided a lift back for me and another guest and we had to drive out and back again so the rest of the guests weren't stranded 8 miles away (this was the first time I'd met them, and it involved going down a toll road). This place makes Fawlty Towers look idyllic. The only person who didn't seem insane was the guy doing the canoe instructing. I hope he manages to escape this nuthouse before they turn him into another drunk with contempt for the customers. Even as a groupon it was a rip off, don't even think of paying full price.
In general I'm quite happy to slum it, but Hollybush Inn pretends to be something it's not. Surely there's something in the trade descriptions act about slapping the words luxury & friendly all over your website when you're peddling something like this?
On the plus side the area is nice, and so is canoeing on the Wye, but there are plenty of other places that will take your money for this that aren't full of mould and spite.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank kaiserSousse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Hay-on-Wye hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014

We arrived at Hollybush on Sunday 8th June greeted by a very smiley and warm Barbara who introduced herself and her home to us. I was slightly startled but warmed by her approach to us as I'd read so many awful reviews of her character that I was pleasantly surprised!

I was also surprised by clean loos and showers (I could smell bleach!) hay to soak up the muddy ground and a generally together place to stay. I can only assume that other viewers had different expectation about what Hollybush would be, which is NOT A GLAMP SITE. If you are expecting pristine, all white 'festival' tipi's with hardwood floors and beds you're not going to get it. Frankly, what do you expect for £20 per person per night?! (£9 via the Groupon deal) They are weathered but waterproof tipis. There's no rot, but there is green mildew, this is what I would expect from canvas structures in a forest, they've taken on their surroundings! Inside the tipi there is staining from smoke - but that's what you get with a chiminea, the tipi's are wonderfully cosy and a brilliant adventurous experience. There is mud, there is rain but this is the UK so I'd advise quite strongly to get over it!

As another reviewer has stated, the staff here aren't easy to define from the holiday makers, the reason for this is this is a community of people that live on site. Barbara's intensions was to create a community, Daniel has lived and worked there on and off for 10 years hence the reason he or the other people who work there are dressed like red coats, it's not a holiday camp, Hollybush is there home and what a lovely one too!

So to conclude. I loved the place, as did my husband and 17 month old daughter, I am booking my return as soon as I finish writing my review. Barbara was helpful, pleasant and even drew a map so we could walk to the village. Daniel, was charming and helpful (not drunk or high!) but real and enthusiastic about Hollybush and living in such beautiful surroundings.

Go to Hollybush and embrace it. If you love it review it! Thank you Barbara and Co for a wonderful time! xx

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank yasminhood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Evesham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Where to start... We booked a Tipi for 10 people to celebrate my 40th birthday. On arrival, the "gentleman" manning the desk questioned me as to the number of people arriving. After a debate as to my mental arithmatic skills and the ability to add up to 10, he allowed us into the... Well, they call it a camp site, it looks more like a fly tipping point. We asked which Tipi was ours. He did not know. Apparently "Barbara knows all that, she'll be back later"
45 minutes later, we were given the Tipi. Fortunately, they were kind enough to give us the "New One" - I can only shudder to imagine the sate of the old ones if the one we were in was new!
Now, I would like to state categorically that this review is for the CAMPSITE ONLY - NOT THE RESTAURANT/ PUB WHICH WAS HEAVENLY!!!!
We retreated to the bar and had a few beers and a wonderful Napalese banquet, utterly sublime!!!
On returning to the Tipi, we lit a fire - which is allowed and in fact encouraged with the sale of logs and firelighters.
At around 10pm, Barbara appeared. A veritable bohemoth of a woman who seems to think that shouting at people is the way to deal with customers. "Stop your noise or I'll put your fire out" - No prioir warning, no discussion, no polite request, just a threat. 5 minutes later, she reappeared and threw a bucket of water over our lovely camp fire, soaking me in filthy water and wrecking my mobile phone I hasten to add! She then threatened to get the police and/ or her husband and shotgun!
Now I am no shrinking violet, but this woman is a bully! More interested in the Hippy lifestyle os swimming naked in the river (not a pretty site) and gathering mushrooms than actually attending to the people who pay £200 for a night in a muddy dump occupied with filthy Tipis with broken floors.
An absolute disgrace to the camping world. If I am really generous, I could say the location is great as you are in the forest next to the river. With some work, it could be utterly fantastic, it is so far from that now, it is unreal!
Just one more mention of the restaurant, if you are staying anywhere near, go for the food (and the real ale!) - it is without doubt the best Nepalese/ Thai food I have ever eaten! :)
Oh, and if you do go, take your wellies, own toilet roll and for the love of all that is holy, don't use the showers!!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
8 Thank Stu_Dapples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014

I stayed here on 31/5/2014 - for my brothers 40th. We'd booked clay pigeon shooting and a meal at the amazing Nepalese and Thai restaurant, housed in the pub. 10 of us arrived at around 1130,to be confronted by the "caretaker". Obviously drunk, or high - the latter seemed more likely, he had no knowledge of our booking - even arguing the point! Finally, when proof was given, we were told the Tepee wasn't ready, and would be roughly an hour. Having booked our clay pigeon shoot for 1230, we said that'd be fine, as we had to leave. A great afternoon with Laurence, who arranged and supervised the shooting, and back to the site. The caretaker, with a beer in his hand - and even more belligerent than our first meeting. Told us he wasn't sure which tepee we were in! Eventually, we were given our reservation. On walking down the half collapsing bank, without rails and through the bog that surrounded the tents, we saw the state of our "home" for the night. Pallets made the floor base, covered in old carpet - sodden and covered in mud! There were used teabags in the entrance, and very little evidence of any preparation for our stay. The Ladies took our stuff in and the Lads went for a beer, we were celebrating my brother's 40th after all. We had a lot of fun and then had one of the nicest banquets I have ever tasted! At only £14.00 per head, expertly cooked, delicious and service to second to none. If you are around Hay on Wye, and like authentic Nepalese or Thai cuisine - it's a no brainer, get in there. After the meal and some more real ale, we headed back to the site. The caretaker seemed even worse for wear, god knows what he was on?? We got a fire going, had some shots, played music and had a birthday party. Met other tepee dwellers and generally had a good nite. This was brought to an abrupt end, after a 30 minute warning at 0130 telling us we had to reduce our enjoyment - or else! Carrying on, and almost 30 minutes on the button - Barbara, who issued the warning, arrived through the darkness, there are no lights on the collapsing bank, (make sure you have a lot of torches if you have to go!!) And emptied a bucket of water onto the fire, threatening us with the police, her husband and the use of a shotgun - if we didn't shut up! We did carry on - inside the tepee and we had a fab laugh! I decided, due to the state of the tepee, that I would and did sleep in my car! If you run a campsite, aimed at birthdays, stags/hens etc - then expect people to party. I wouldn't recommend the tepees, or the site - the "amenities" were truly disgusting, to anyone. The sites location is stunning, the Nepalese Restaurant is amazing and you should try it, if your in the area. The campsite, on the other hand, is truly shocking, dangerous, poorly run and without any care for it's clientele. It could do with knocking down and starting over, DONT STAY THERE!

Room Tip: I dont know about the rooms in the pub, if they are run by the Nepalese folks, I'd say they woul...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Timbo7964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

I have just returned home after spending a night at this most awful camp site in the world.
The location of the site is the only positive point I can make. The staff are hard to tell from other campers, when you do find one they don't care much about service, very rude and carefree.
The entire camp site is muddy ( far beyond acceptable, even for Wales) the area we used down by the river, was only accessible by steps which are muddy and slippery and damn right dangerous.
The toilets are however by far the most awful. Having stayed in my fair share of camp sites,this wins the award for the most terrifying and disgusting. This view was shared by the staff member who cleaned the toilets wearing a full on HazMat suit.

The owner is rude and also a rip off. This place charges by person rather than by tent which is unusual and a huge rip off considering what you get.

Please don't stay here, there are other options in the area.

Room Tip: Do not stay here.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank bulletmc52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We arrived at Hollybush Inn Hay-on-Wye yesterday 28.05.14 and first impression was filthy, dirty trailer trash yard.The yard was an open chicken and peacock pen!
I received a phone call earlier from Barbra who demanded another £50.00 from me as I had booked my £49.00 voucher during the Hay book festival - I paid as thought we'd have a great time. Barbra told me it was the busiest week and shed be packed. She said my teenage daughters our dog and I would have a fantastic time, with lots of activities and walks.
We arrived at 2.30pm. Barbra reminded us it was 3pm booking in time. She questioned the dog and said, she hoped I was a responsible dog ownerI I wasn't to let the dog of the lead at any time. Barbra was intimidating, my daughters were wary of her. We were introduced to a man who told us our tipi was wet and he needed to throw some straw down, I couldn't believe what I was hearing! Then the money grabbing blood thirst hound Barbra charged us more money for kindling, wood and fire lighters, disputing the advertised free bag of wood id seen advertised. (bear in mi d i paid the £49.00 deal plus an additional £50.00 for the privilege of the festival) £100.00 in total. I told Barbra my phone needed chafing - she advices me to look elsewhere to re charge it. (Excuse me! What had I paid £109.00 for?)
I'd like this complaint to be made public.
I have photographs of the tipi, Barbra may wish to update her website advert for a more authentic one?The tipi was the filthiest most disgusting thing I have ever seen. I was bitten as soon as I walked in, from the damp dirty flooring. We had to bring all our own bedding which was gathering mud.
Incidentally I haven't always stayed in 5* hotels, I've lived in India for a year and lived in a squat in Peckham & Amsterdam! - but this campsite and tipi is on the top of most vile filthiest places to stay.
The door of the tipi wouldn't shut and the man said this is how it was, he offered no assistance.
Barbra is obnoxious, rude and money orientated.
The bathroom stank of urine and hasn't been cleaned, no toilet paper etc.
We decided not to eat in yak de yak restaurant as it had peacock poo at the entrance and the chief constantly smoking by the bins. It looked a disgrace!
Had the camping been £6.00 per night then I would not complain, bear in mind it's £50.00 per night!!!!!
Basically the sight is uninhabitable, we stayed itching in the tipi for an hour and decided to leave.
From Barbra's website I was lead to believe we'd be experiencing "glamping" not 3rd world anthropology.
An investigation re hygiene standard into Hollybush Inn is urgently needed . I shall be sending photographs they're on my daughters phone, mine ran out of charge. I think Barbra needs to replace her Tipis and put down wood chipping as the sight is a mud & chicken poo fest!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank EeeeeeeeeW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hollybush Inn & Campsite

Property: Hollybush Inn & Campsite
Address: Old Brecon Road, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5PS, Wales
Region: United Kingdom > Wales > Powys > Hay-on-Wye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Hay-on-Wye
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Whether Its a pampered break or an action packed weekend. The Hollybush can can cater for all your needs. Located just a short distance from the famous book town "Hay on Wye" and surrounded by some of Wale's finest beauty spots. Treat yourself to a Luxury room in our B+B and experience the fantastic Cuisine! Set up your tent, Then relax around your Campfire! Experience a Day's canoeing along the Wye or take one of our guided Wild life tours! Camp in style and Hire a Tipi! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hollybush Inn & Campsite Hotel Hay-On-Wye
Hollybush Inn And Campsite
Hollybush Inn & Campsite Hay-On-Wye, Wales

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