Stayed last week - only booked 2 weeks prior. Site currently has 35 cabins, but i was told whilst there that it is being increased to 60. Building works in full swing, and have obviously been at it for a number of weeks/months. Despite this, there was no mention of it on the Forest Holidays website when we booked. However, a week before departure we got an email from Forest Holidays saying that there was ongoing building work that was taking place between 08.00 and 18.00 hours daily and that as a goodwill gesture they were giving us a £50 voucher to spend on site and 10% off our next booking !!. Should definitely have been made aware of building works at time of booking- feel that this is/was very underhand by Forest Holidays who obviously knew this work was going to be taking place weeks/months in advance. While we were there they started on 5 new cabins - by which I mean put in the stilts, and laid the concrete floors. Probably About 10 other cabins in build, either being roofed or fitted out inside. So will be a fair while longer yet.
With only a weeks notice, and no chance of getting anything similar, what choice did we have but to go ? Anyway, got there ok, and 1st thing that hit us, not literally, was the filthy, muddy, puddle filled roads around the site (we weren't expecting block paving, i'ts a forest) ,made terrible by all the diggers/crane working on site. Actual noise from builders working not obtrusive to us, but they were definately working past 6pm most nights when we were there. Also, was very surprised to see a large number of motorhomes, caravans and tents on the site. Again no mention of this on the Forest Holidays website, and, sorry to any campers, but does rather downgrade the 'luxury secluded cabin' experience that is supposed to be on offer.Went to the shop (retreat) to get some bread, to be told that it is cooked fresh in the morning- lovely. Paid for the bread and was told it would be ready at 9am to collect - went at 9.30 bread not ready yet - finally got it at 10.30am - so a late breakfast that day. After the late breakfast we went back to the Retreat to sort out the bikes that we had pre-booked and paid for only to be told that they didn't have enough bikes and could we come back in half an hour ? I said that we were ready to go on a ride (we were, we had packed sandwiches and our rucksack), so no, half an hour wasn't really good enough, especially as bikes had been booked and paid for in advance - 5 minutes later we all had a bike, although to be fair to the member of staff he did lend my son his own bike- but staff shouldn't have to be doing that sort of thing if the thing is run properly - there are only 35 cabins on site, so we're not taking about a Centre Parcs style bike operation here.
TV reception in the cabins is virtually non-existent, if you like ITV, best to record everything at home, because you won't see it here. On the plus side, I did miss the apparently awful performance of England v The Republic Of Ireland. So not all bad. This is actually a minor gripe. We went to go cycling with the kids and to be in the countryside, not to sit about watching TV. But it is still a gripe because this is marketed as luxury accommodation, and I would expect to find a TV with the free channels available almost everywhere, and once the kids have gone to bed it is nice to watch a bit of TV and have a chat over a glass of wine. If you are a mobile phone/ipad geek then prepare to freak out as there is no mobile signal on site (apart from in the Retreat) - which I liked as at least it meant that work couldn't keep annoy me.
Highlight of the stay, by a mile, was the dusk walk, accompanied by a ranger (A.J). There were about 15-20 in our group, and the walk through the forest lasted just over 2 1/4 hours. A.J was informative about the birds and other wildlife, and the forest the area in general, and is clearly someone who enjoys doing the walks and being outside. He had loads of info for both children and parents, and made for a really good couple of hours walking. Lots of talk of birds hunting prey, which kept the children wide-eyed and hanging on his every word. Good stuff.
Accomodation was ok. Spacious living room and kitchen/dining area. Bedrooms ok, ours had a small en-suite which was fine, and the boys shared the bathroom, which was also good.
Major irritation was the tall windows at the front of the cabins - theses are the windows into the double bedroom, and are probably about 12 feet at the highest point Bottom window has a curtain - top window does not - trouble is that at this time of year its light at 5.30 am as I found out when I woke - then couldn't get back to sleep because of all the light in the room - surely they could afford a blind ? Little things that make a big difference to people.
In my opinion this site could be made very nice indeed, but organisation, or lack of, lets it down badly. Should probably focus more on the forest/nature element as the setting is fantastic, rather than pushing the luxury side, which I felt it missed by a considerable margin.
Don't stay until 2014 at the earliest as the digger tracks all over the grass in front of some cabins, and ongoing building works would make this year a write off for me. Will need 12 months for the grass areas/roads to settle down.
- Also Known As:
- Cropton Cabins Hotel Pickering
- Forest Holidays Cropton, North Yorkshire Pickering