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“A tad disappointing, but the food is good.”

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Pontins Pakefield Holiday Park
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A tad disappointing, but the food is good.”
Reviewed 1 June 2013

This review is in bullet points as there’s a lot to get through:
- The site is looking quite old now, there’s a good few apartments which seem to be unused but they seem to be trying to make improvements so have tried not to judge on this.
- Kids play areas; The older of the two main play areas looks slightly more safe. The new one has a lot of breaks on the hinges of the swings, some of the parts of these hinges have actually snapped off. This is an accident waiting to happen but it’s probably more down to the fact they don’t have signs specifying age and irresponsible parents letting bigger kids on. We did mention this to a member of maintenance staff though, so it may be fixed.
- Self-catering isn’t quite what it says, they’re working on having ovens but as it stands you will find a tiny sink, no draining board, microwave, toaster, kettle and some cutlery, cutting board, microwave cooking pots etc. Would recommend going half-board if you’re staying, breakfasts and dinners are great.
- Linen, if you’re lucky enough to have it mentioned on the phone then apparently it’s something like £5 for single and £8 for double. We didn’t have it mentioned on the phone and so had to BUY (not rent) the linen - £10 for single and £20 for double.. it’s not the kind of stuff you’ll use again AND some of ours ripped on the 2nd night. We left it behind.
- Bathroom, although perfectly usable, it’s a bit weird. We had an ashtray next to the toilet roll holder, a push to activate shower (like in swimming pools) with a static shower head, and a funny half bath-half seat which looks like it belongs in a retirement home, there was also an old fashioned extendable washing line over the bath which would be useful if it was a warmer week.
- The “chalet” (as they like to call it) consisted of a double bed as you walk through the front door with a small rickety table, chest of drawers, TV and wardrobe all in one room, the “kitchen” next, branching off to a second room with bunk beds and another single bed or the bathroom.
- The rooms were actually pretty clean and presentable, just a bit of a step back in time, although that’s got its own appeal.
- Interestingly, there was a brand new, still in cellophane, ironing board in our room but no iron! I have seen they have a Hire Centre “Coming Soon” though so that may come from there in the future.
- We had a small, old-style (big back) TV with a fair selection of channels (BBC1-C5, Dave, Sky News, ITV3, Quest etc). Because it’s piped around the park, there’s slight snow on some channels like you used to get with analogue. The slightly amusing part was that although they do also pipe PTV (Pontins TV) to your room, that was the WORST signal of all and was unwatchable.. not that it had much programming but it would pay to make it better signal if it’s your own channel.
- The timetable for entertainments was photocopied (black and white) and didn’t really look very professional.
- The entertainment could have been better thought out, according to the timetable, there was only ONE kids’ show, that was on the Tuesday and at EIGHT THIRTY! (Which they subsequently introduced as coming up at 8.40pm) – This isn’t ideal when you have a 3 and 6 year old but we decided we would stay for it. The kids were allowed to dance while nothing was happening but then the bluecoats got a load of A3 sheets of paper and asked on the microphone if anyone had any colours/pens to draw with(??). Then they finally realised that they should provide pens for the activity and so went to get something like 20 colours from the shop.. which doesn’t go far. They then spent the best part of an hour calling the bingo while CONSTANTLY shh-ing the kids, who let’s face it were as bored as could be. It was very annoying. I know they probably get more bingo players then but it’s not nice for the kids, they weren’t even listening to what they were trying to say, just shh-ing. There IS kids entertainment in the Princes Lounge during the bingo but I don’t think there’d be many there as you’d want to get a decent table for the show.
- When The Sooty Show did start, it was really good and they (and we) enjoyed it but then there was nothing else all week..
- The beach is a very short walk away and it’s a massive beach, which would be amazing in good weather. It’s mostly pebbles but at low tide there’s plenty of castle building or writing in sand available.
- The swimming pool is quite big, there’s a separate small pool with a fountain and the one slide is quite appealing to the kids, although it wasn't open when we visited. The pool’s not as cold as expected from some of the reviews, it’s a bit chilly but nothing compared to some. The changing rooms are lacking in changing space though. There are only a couple of tiny benches to put your stuff on while changing, and they’re right in front of lockers so you have to keep moving for people to put their belongings in. The showers don’t have much pressure so you effectively have to lean against the wall to get any water on you. The gents changing room sounds cleaner and more presentable than the ladies.
- I grabbed a peek at the new development and the rooms they’re working on do look a lot more modern with laminate flooring and I was glad to see space for an oven. I’d imagine these will be in circulation for 2014 holiday season and then the current ones will slowly be taken out of action for rejigging too.
As I’ve seen reviews say before, if you’re used to Parkdean/Haven then you’re in for a shock, as long as you don’t come with any expectations then you should be ok. I constantly had to convince my wife that we didn’t need to go home early and that it was a holiday after all.

Some ideas for Pontins:
- Instead of shh-ing and ignoring the kids for an hour, have their show earlier and then move on to the bingo like so many other places do, it works for them. Hopefully this is just a money spinner to raise funds for the redevelopment and will change once money’s raised.
- Have kids entertainment every night, it doesn’t take much to have a very repetitive programme of shows/activities which the bluecoats (and character costumes) can do for you – they’re already there after all so you’re not paying more.
- Get a colour photocopier at the least to produce some more professional looking timetables for events, maybe put a little pic of a croc next to the events where you can meet the characters (don't forget a key to show what they mean) so it’s more obvious to parents, our kids didn’t see any of them.
- Provide some way of drying swimming things in the room, there was plenty of wall space above the radiator in the living area, could something go there?
- You’re doing really well with the food for breakfast and dinner, it’s a great part of the stay. I wonder if the way in could be a bit narrower to enable better checking of wristbands though as there are no checks once you’re in.
- Could the swimming pool open earlier than 9? As breakfast is from 8.30, could it open at 8?

Room Tip: Possibly don't bother with self-catering and just go for half-board.. at least until ovens are o...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Reviewer987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2013

Just returned from a 4 night midweek stay at Pontins Pakefield and I have had a fantastic time! :)
I don't know how people can moan about it??
Yes the food is pretty basic, but its what you should expect when they are catering for so many people!!
Yes the chalets are basic and a bit small, but very clean!! You dont book a holiday to sit in a room all day, so they have enough space for what you need it for!!
As for all people moaning about no kitchens for self catering.. It quite clearly states on Pontins website that there is no kitchen or lounge area in any rooms!! You would think people would check what facilities they offer before booking!? I would never book a holiday without researching and checking what im booking up!

I took my 5 year old son and there was plenty of activities going on to keep him entertained!
He especially loved the Croc Crew, and had so much fun at the party! :)
He loved it so much that he hasn't stopped crying since hes been home, because he says he wants to go back and live there!! lol.

The entertainment was fantastic!.. Re Take That was amazing! Wrestling was so much fun! Scotty Miller was so funny! lol.

But the BEST part of the holiday was the Bluecoats!
They were all amazing, but especially Calum, Matt and Harry! Give these boys a raise, because they are the BEST Bluecoats EVER!! :) and they kept us entertained the whole holiday! I miss them already! :'( lol. xxxx

All in all we had a fantastic holiday, and are already looking to book up and go back again very soon! :) x

Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Louise K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dudley, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 31 May 2013

We have just come back from a monday to friday break during whitsun week, 2 adults and 1 child aged 6 and were really impressed with the effort that has been put in to update the park. Our chalet was no 49 near the north car park and by the Queen vic bar. On entering it had a new carpet and bedroom furniture with a toaster, kettle and microwave as well as a full size fridge. The camp does state that you can choose to go self-catering but you are limited on the facilities that you can cook with so be advised.
The food in the dining room was of a really good quality at breakfast and at evening meals with a wide range to choose from we were never dissapointed including chicken new yorker, vegetable lasagne,scampi,gammon and a childrens choice as well.
The entertainment was really good to including Re take-that,the Sooty show and Sean fields. But the blucoats including Harry, Matt, Callum and the entertainments manager Robert did a fantastic job at keeping everyone entertained during the evenings especially the bluecoats who were dancing on the dancefloor for the entire evening with all the guests.
We were very dubious at going to Pontins as the last time we were there was christmas 2011 and it was awfull lots of complaints from everyone about everything so when we saw it advertised at £59 each we thought we would give it another try, we are glad that we did as we have been really impressed by all the improvements and the attitude of all the staff so far and have booked to come back for christmas this year.
Keep up all the good work and improvements as so far you are doing a great job and look forward to see all the blucaots again at christmas xx

Room Tip: ask for one of the newly furnished rooms as they are slowly working through to get them all newly fu...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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1 Thank kezzap77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2013

Stayed at Pontins Pakefield 3 years ago and it wasn't great. As it's now billed as 'new' Pontins, I was expecting improvements but how wrong could I be.
This was a booking via the Sun, a £9.50 per person holiday, except as it was Half Board, I ended up with an invoice for another £228 which was a shock.

So we turned up and struggled to park because there isn't enough parking for all the visitors and I was advised once I parked not to move in case I couldn't park when I got back (Where am I supposed to park then)

Queued up for the keys to the chalet and when we got to the chalet, there was a double quilt on the bed but it was soaking wet. No pillows and no bedding for my 2 children in the 2nd room. I had to ask twice before this was sorted.

The food in the restaurant I wouldn't feed my dog. Cold, burnt and of such low quality I was shocked.

We went for a swim the next day hoping for something to redeem the site but another let down. The changing rooms for males has 24 lockers and 2 benches with enough room to sit 4 people which is nowhere near enough space for the amount of people on site. The showers dribbled out so couldn't even wash my hair afterwards. The floor in the changing room was filthy too. The swimming pool isn't one like at a Havens site, child friendly and shallow for a fair amount of the pool but shallow for 2 yards then deep the rest of the pool do my daughter was restricted to 2 yards of the pool. The actual lining of the pool seemed to be made out of sandpaper as my son grazed and bruised his knee on the bottom of the pool and I grazed 2 of my knuckles.

The Blue Coats weren't bad. They didn't seem to be organised and didn't know how to use some of the equipment, such as the Bingo machine. They were energetic and friendly but lots of things seemed Adhoc rather than planned, quite chaotic.

The whole site is stuck in the 1960's. A lick of paint won't resolve things, a bulldozer will. I will not be returning to Pontin's.

Room Tip: Choose Havens instead
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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1 Thank Phil E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Lowestoft hotels

Harlow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2013

This site doesnt look that great when you drive past it,but once in there it was great,you get what you pay for and i wanted a cheap break for the half term.I stayed in a club 2 bedroom apartment which was clean and had a full size fridge and microwave also a toaster.The grounds outside where really clean and tidy nice to see they are sweeping up outside the rooms this year.They are painting and doing up the place all the time.My son age 9 did not stop all day with things to do and all for free,table tennis, rounders,quick cricket,snooker,tennis,crazy golf,bowls, the list could go on.Entertainment was great.
The food was fantastic great choice of salads main course and puddings never had a cold meal in 4 days,great choice also for breakfast ie full english cereal and yoghut.good offers on at the bar 2 small glasses of wine just over £4.
My son made so many friends he didnt want to leave.i have a lot of holidays every year but my son said this was his best holiday ever.Hope to return again soon.

Room Tip: walk to morrisons just outside takes about 10 mins also a big B&M shop.bus stop right outside fo...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Flirty96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2013

Me and my husband booked a last minute 3 night half board holiday...rather cheaply :)
We had been here many years ago and to be fair it has hardly changed...a little run down
Our room was a very basic 1 bedroom with separate bathroom....although there was a damp smell as soon as you entered the room...nothing a little fabreze didn't mask..it was very clean....
as we was 1/2 board I didn't expect a fridge or anything but there was and a microwave and kettle my hubby was very impressed with the food choices although warming the plates would help in keeping food warm as it was often cold by the time you got back to he table....oh and the toaster only does one side when I asked if I could have mine turned over they said no!!
The blue coats were fab!!! Always on the go and always smiling and happy to help....
On the whole we enjoyed our stay...but had I not got the cheap deal I'd of expected more...

Room Tip: Our room was in the pirouette section which was really close to the pool,dining room and entertainme...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Pinkie1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2013

Fab holiday. Hard working staff. Loads to do. Kids had a ball. Bluecoats well just fantastic. Room as expected and for what you pay definately value for money. My favourite blue was Calum who turned 21 and every had a party with him.

  • Stayed May 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dinky1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pontins Pakefield Holiday Park

Property: Pontins Pakefield Holiday Park
Address: London Road Pakefield, Lowestoft NR33 7PF, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Lowestoft
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Lowestoft
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Pontins Pakefield Holiday Park 2*
Number of rooms: 513
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Long established, friendly holiday park with many amenities for both young and young at heart. please note all rooms are non smoking for our guests' comfort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pontins Pakefield Hotel Lowestoft
Pontins Pakefield Holiday Park Lowestoft, Suffolk

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