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“It's not THAT bad!!”

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Pontins Southport Holiday Park
Ranked #18 of 23 Hotels in Southport
Reviewed 26 August 2014

I'll start off by agreeing that there is quite a queue to get checked in, and for the half board food. However, if you're expecting that then the rest is actress is actually a pleasant stay.

We arrived on 25th august and, like others, we went to the main reception at 4pm, to be told that we had to wait for check in in the entertainment area, where check in would start around 5.

The entertainment area had a huge amount of disgruntled people waiting for the keys to their chalets. The delay was that the cleaning was still being done. Can't fault them for that... After all, I'm sure people would rather have a short wait than a dirty apartment! Communication could have been a little better though.

There was nothing wrong with the apartment at all. It was clean, well presented and had everything we needed.

Entertainment was good too, our little man has autism and, the hall was a little noisy for him but, there is a gaming hall with lots of xboxes in the next room so, he was entertained happily. This does cost extra and, if your little ones plan on spending 2 hours a day in there or more, I would recommend the extra wrist band for it.

There was a considerable queue for food, but this is quite understandable with the amount of people that were dining. There was a good selection of food on the buffet, and our family of 4 were all happy with the food there.

Southport itself has a lot to offer with bowling alleys, fair ground and cinemas.

We're still in the middle of our trip but, happy here and looking forward to the rest of the week.

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank HairyMinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,413 - 2,419 of 4,254 reviews

Reviewed 25 August 2014 via mobile

We are currently staying here in a classic 2 bedroomed chalet, which may as well be a shed. I certainly wasn't expecting the Ritz but jeez this place is the pits.
Check in was put back from 4 til gone 5pm, the staff couldn't organise a p#%s up in a brewary. After being told to queue in 3 difference queues and a very long wait, finally got our keys from a staff member who openly admitted to never doing this part of the job. Wasn't going to give us any bedding and couldn't answer any of our questions. It was like waiting in a cattle market. Totally ridiculous, tempers were getting frayed, staff members were making sarcastic comments over the microphone. Totally unprofessional for an organisation like Pontins.
Got to the chalet just before 6 which was our allotted half board meal time, so no time to un pack the car. Off for food which was very dry. Nothing special, not much choice especially for smaller children.
The chalet itself....well where to start.... The front door has a hole in it. The plastic seal around the frame is hanging off, the windows don't shut properly, they are dirty. The seal around the bath is non existant. The curtains fell off their runners when we tried to shut them. The beds are so uncomfy it's like laying on concrete. I think maybe the mattresses have fleas as feel like we've been eaten alive. Our eyes are itching due to dust.
Inside the wardrobe smells mouldy.
There are kids running up and down outside shouting and screaming.
The time is 11.30pm and we are seriously considering going home. Don't think we could stand this hell hole for another night.
The amenities on site for kids are plentiful, but most things cost, eg £2 for a 10 minute trampoline bounce.
I chose to ignore other people reviews thinking maybe they were exaggerating, trust me they weren't.
The place is seriously run down. It's supposed to have been done up in 2011 when Britannia hotels bought it, it's horrible. It needs knocking down and starting again, how they can charge for families to stay here is beyond me, they certainly don't offer value for money. Total rip off......as my title says, avoid like the plague!!!

Stayed: August 2014
4  Thank Clbb39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Just had a 3 night half board break with the grandchildren, put it this way, if the break wasn't for the kids, I would of been gone after 1st day.
This was our first visit to a pontine holiday, so not sure what procedure was. When we arrived went to reception, said were early to check in, but what's the procedure while were waiting, he looked at my checking in time said, oh yes you are too early, I know that, where can we go, you can use the park. That was it, no explanations has to where to come back to to check in, it was just by chance we over here someone else say where to go to check in.
1st drink we went to order they had sold out of, asked the question if they are likely to be getting any more over the weekend, I got a shrug of the shoulders, this was all within 1st hour of being on site.
When we did get our key to apartment, I asked if the electric token was in the pack, got yes all in there, asked which direction we go to apartment, just got told its on back of your pack. Turned out I didn't have electric card, went to reception to find out why, reception was full of people complaining, rooms not cleaned was main complaint.
Waitresses were rude, just pointed at plates for you to pass them to clear your table, we over hered another lady ask if she could have her table cleaned and the waitress just passed her a clothe to clean her own table.
Signs on restaurant door clearly saying no scooters, kids were riding round the restaurant on scooters staff just ignored them.
Shelves were empty in gift shop and boxes all over the floor,
Running out of snacks and drinks behind the bar at early part of evening, considering it was august bank holiday, not stocked up or prepared for how busy it was at all.
We queued for breakfast for 45 mins.
Half of the machines didn't work in arcade. And water world wasn't running, inflatables were only set up once all weekend, £2 each to go on it for 20 mins with an attendee that did not attend it, he sat talking to young ladies while big kids run riots run up the slides and trample all over little kids waiting to slide down.
On a plus side, blue coats were lovely, evening entertainment was brill, and if weather is good, great park on site for kids to play.
If you can ignore the service, the entertainment could make up for it.
Not a place I will be rushing back for.

Room Tip: They were in blocks of 2 floor chelates, if you have small children in pushchairs you want ground fl...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank pam494
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

stayed august 2014 for 4 nights chalet was disgusting took over 30 mins for the chalet to be cleaned as sticky and bits on the floor also got bitten by fleas the kettle leaked no shelves in the fridge but did report this and it was not rectified while we stayed there staff were very rude as i'm disabled and got told to hurry up as i cannot walk very far there was no available disabled car parking space as everyone that wasn't disabled parked where they liked also they parked on the grass verges there was only 2 security people on site for the whole of the camp there was also trood in crisps and plastic bottles in the arcade part had to wait ages to get keys and the food i purchased which is not worth the money at all so don't buy it take your own. we had to move the microwave in the room as there was only one socket that was in the kitchen part so this had to placed on the cooker for the plug socket guest were coming back from the venues where shouting and very noisy by shouting at the top of their voices at gone 1am...also they false advertising as it says pontins southport was born in 2011 in fact it was born in 1969 but only had a lick of paint and new windows in 2011. i wished i had not gone there and saved myself £230 and stayed at home we will never return there again but please think again before booking and going.....the place needs shutting down as they did in blackpool as it was only 5 years older

Room Tip: don't go it's like a open prison camp !!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
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4  Thank Carla W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

I booked Pontins for a short break as it was always a well known 'brand'. How wrong I was. I looked at the reviews after I had made the booking and my heart sank and in fact we were in two minds whether to set off at all, but in the end gave it a chance because the kids were excited about going.

We arrived Friday afternoon about 4pm and there was a reasonably short queue of cars just outside the gates of Pontins waiting to get in, but this cleared quickly and in we went. We tried to park up outside the reception area so I could fetch the keys but no such luck. In the end I left hubby and kids in the car looking for a parking spot and went in alone. It was chaotic. Signage was non-existent and I queued for keys in one spot only to be told I needed to be elsewhere. When I did eventually get the keys and a miniature map we went and found our 'apartment'. We were lucky in that we did get parked just outside but these spots are at a premium - having said that there is additional parking around the back of the blocks but again these weren't signposted and we found these purely by chance one evening when returning from a day out.

Our apartment was a one bed 'Popular' on an upper floor. At first I was disappointed that we were upstairs but this turned out to be a blessing as we had a LITTLE more privacy. There was no privacy with any of the downstairs apartments at all. After reading the reviews I had come armed with gallons of bleach, anti bac wipes and other cleaning essentials but in fairness didn't need them all as the apartment was clean and just needed a quick wipe round to make sure!!
It was however very, very dated and tatty - the TV was similar to something I threw in the skip about 10 years ago, and the chairs were old stacking chairs I'd last seen in school halls. The one bedroom has two single beds and a wardrobe ( no doors) and the main kitchen /lounge area had a double bed settee and a wardrobe ( no doors). We took our own bedding, quilts and pillows and I'd suggest this is the best option if you can manage it. You can buy bedding in the site shop - this was £20 for a double bed set and £10 for a single and they were paper thin too.

We took half board and like previous reviewers have said you get an allotted 30 minutes to take your meals after which you are refused entry to the restaurant. These are buffet style meals and the budget per head isn't high so don't get your hopes up, but they filled a hole.

We didn't use many of the facilities on site, so can't really comment on the shows or bars but I saw enough to feel sorry for anyone who doesn't have transport to get off site for a while during their stay. The on site shop was extortionate but they know they have a captive audience and probably make the most of this. A bottle of wine was £8.75 and a packet of chocolate fingers biscuits was £2.65 - needless to say they stayed on the shelves. If you are staying self catering I'd suggest you go into Ainsdale village as there are a couple of supermarkets there which will work out much cheaper. It's not far so you could walk (about 15 minutes) or I'm sure even getting a taxi there and back would be worthwhile if you don't have transport.

We used the flat as a base to explore the surrounding area and Southport is really lovely and has some fantastic sites and things to do so make the most of these rather just staying on site all the time. We also spent some time in Pleasure land which the kids loved. It just seemed a shame to have to return to our accommodation each night.

As I said we didn't use the bars but many did and one of the things that was a real negative at Pontins was the fact that guests returning home between 11pm and 2am didn't have the common courtesy to keep the noise down for those who were trying to sleep. Some young children were allowed to run around screaming at 1:30am.

All in all we enjoyed our weekend in Southport but it would have been even better had the accommodation been comfortable which it wasn't. That said the weather was lovely and I'm sure if it had been raining then we'd have come home earlier.

We actually came home a night earlier than we expected to as my husband and I were sleep deprived and yearned for some of our home comforts. While we made the most of the weekend and didn't entirely right off the whole thing we won't be returning - ever.

Britannia group really need to spend some considerable money on upgrading the facilities at the campsite instead of milking the Pontins brand for all it's worth and taking advantage of people who have saved their hard earned cash for a few days away. Many, many people were disappointed with their accommodation. We found the staff on site to be nice and generally helpful, although I witnessed them being sworn at from many disgruntled families. The camp is not a happy one and as my husband said feels like 'holiday on the buses' without the shine.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else if you can.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
5  Thank rosiebud59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

arrived to find room filthy, beds stiil got previous bedding on, dirty nappies on bed, floor dirty, cups plates dirty left on table, food still on plates. complained someone came to clean in half an hour. but I blame previous guest only dirty b******s would leave the room in this state,you wouldn't leave your home in this state so why leave it in this state on holiday,pontins should bill ppl who leave the rooms a mess...overhall we had a good wk end away, girls loved it, staff worked wonders even though they were understaffed. its not 5* so go pay 5* prices somewhere else,,..

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank karen k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

This place is awful. Its dirty, the chalets are scruffy, the food is bad. I am no snob but really have nothing nice to say about this place. I happened to be the one to sleep on the sofa bed which when I opened it out was full of dust and old food crumbs, filthy.
Its horrible, don't go.

Room Tip: A good tip - don't go.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank ashleyj56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pontins Southport Holiday Park

Address: Shore Road | Ainsdale Beach, Southport PR8 2PZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Merseyside > Southport
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Southport
Price Range: £37 - £98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Pontins Southport Holiday Park 2*
Number of rooms: 769
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pontins Southport was Re-born in 2011 following the purchase by Britannia Hotels. All our Managers & Staff are proud to work here at Pontins Southport & proud of our recent & ongoing improvements. Our Pontins is situated on the edge of the Sand dunes & only three minutes’ walk away from one of the longest & most beautiful stretches of beach/coastline in the EU. We have a lovely village just up the road at Ainsdale. And also boast Southport on our doorstep. Not forgetting the Home of the Beatles! Just a 20 minutes train journey from Ainsdale to the amazing City of Liverpool. Or just stay here and let us entertain you. We have our World Famous Bluecoats, the Croc Crew & We also book the very best cabarets around. Including finalists from the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. Let us entertain you & our thousands of other returning guests this season. We have a variety of different room types available for you to choose from. We have Club rooms, Classic rooms & Popular room types for you to pick from. Or why don’t you see if out little home from home The Bungalow is available? We feel that we offer comfortable accommodation at great prices. We also offer excellent facilities and have greatly increased the number of activities on Park and this has been noticed by a great number of our guests. And our food and drink is very good value indeed, especially our eat all you want breakfast for £4.95 & our three course evening meals for £7. We have recently received a Five Star Award for Food Hygiene from the Foods Standards Agency, so you know you are receiving excellent service and also fantastic value for money. These great prices are complemented by our happy hours at the bar! So come on over to see us at Pontins Southport the party for the kids and the whole family! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pontins Southport Holiday Park Hotel Southport
Pontins Hotel Southport
Pontins Resort Southport

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