Are you sitting comfortably????
After a long and lengthy Journey down to 'Ruan Minor' in Cornwall we (being myself, my partner and 5 month old puppy) finally arrived at the Sea Acres Holiday Park mid to late afternoon. Our first impressions weren't actually too bad, the park looked bright and welcoming with flowers and what appeared to be a fantastic sea view, with a bar, 'restaurant', shop and other typical holiday park facilities.
We made our way to reception, and from there everything was downhill, at reception we were greeted by 2 ladies who quite honestly looked like they most definitely had somewhere more important to be, probably at home or out with friends sunbathing. We checked in, were handed an information pack and the key to the caravan. Van number 72 - just a warning to anyone who may be booking with Sea Acres, if you are placed in any caravan from 70 to I believe 115 (ish) be prepared to be seriously disappointed.
We pulled up outside the van which was no further than 70 yards from the reception area up an extremely steep slope to notice a car already parked in the area designated space for our accommodation. We later discovered that it was a staff vehicle and when we kindly requested it be moved, was given a response somewhere along the lines of 'What exactly is the problem with it being there?'
As we have our puppy we ensured that we had booked a 'Dog Friendly' caravan, in short dog friendly accommodation at Sea Acres actually means laminate flooring in an age old 90's style run down caravan and a 'gate' on your ridiculously sized, decrepit, shabby and quite frankly, DANGEROUS decking area. I certainly would not recommend the accommodation be suitable for children as the gaps and potential trip and slip hazards are endless, particularly if it has rained. Admittedly they do have warning signs about the slippery conditions when wet, however nothing is mentioned about the loose wooden step into the caravan, the sharp splinters and rusty nails and screws, nor do they mention the 12 - 15 inch gaps between the side rails of the decking. The decking area and gate is designed as a safe enclosed space for your pets or perhaps children to have some outdoor area to 'play'. Firstly the problem with that is the 'gate' I previously mentioned wouldn't actually close or lock as the decking has been so poorly maintained that is is rusty, warped and twisted and no longer in line with the gate entrance. Secondly, the gaps I also previously mentioned are so large with a good 4 or 5ft drop to the ground below I wasn't comfortable letting my puppy outside unattended in case she fell - let alone a child!
At the far end of the decking area which is probably a sum total of about 16 square feet, Park Dean have kindly provided you with an OVERSIZED wooden picnic bench. I have a feeling this was provided when the caravans were first built in the early 90's and has not been maintained in any form since then. The picnic bench would easily seat 10 people, which is ironic when the caravan advertised as a 6 berth was only set to cater for 4 people at best! I mentioned the bench was oversized - I would say 70% if not more of the decking area was taken up by this hazardous seating arrangement. After realising it wasn't physically possible to manoeuvre around the table to actually sit at it, we decided it would need to be moved slightly to allow us to actually get around the table to sit down - my other half lifted one side as I took hold of the other - the whole table top came away, exposing yet more rusty nails the bench itself was extremely unstable and required almost a perfect even weight either side to remain standing. Don't get me wrong I appreciate the sentiment of the park providing a bench from good will, however we had no other space around the caravan to place our own picnic chairs instead of taking the risk. We would have happily reported the issue with the decking and the seating if there was anyone available at a convenient time to report things to. Reception do apparently have set opening and closing times something along the lines of standard 9am – 5pm hours, which for the sightseers looking to explore the area during the day is a bit useless. However it would appear that the staff would come and go as they please, happily closing reception a few hours early if they feel the urge.
Our Sea view that was so long awaited and promised to us from the park booking... well, if I was to be brave enough to go out on the decking and climb on top of the rickety old bench and creak my neck a little, I might get to see the very edge of the sea on the horizon. In my opinion, that is not a sea view, although I will admit, our view was preferred to that of the caravan situated directly infront of us, as all they could see was 10ft of conifer tree from end to end! Don’t get me wrong there are lots of fabulous caravans on this site and they have fantastic sea views and brilliant access to the coastal path, but I am assuming you need to pay a lot extra in bribery fees to obtain one of these!
So anyway, keen to have a look inside we unlocked the door to the van where I immediately had to open every window and door in the place to help disperse some of the heat and the overpowering scent from the cheap plug in air freshener that I presume the cleaners are advised to use. Again, like with the bench I appreciate the gesture but a little common sense would tell you that a caravan with all the windows closed in 28degree heat mixed with a plug in air freshener would probably not be a great combination! On the plus side, the windows are large and let in a great breeze.
The caravan inside is acceptable, not ok, just acceptable. Holidays are meant to be a place to relax and enjoy your break, if that is what you are looking for then I would suggest a cottage holiday and not Sea Acres Park. I will start in the kitchen....
The cooker was a reasonable size and as you would expect a gas supply, when opening the oven door we discovered only 1 shelf when there should be 3, the grill was only just large enough to house 2 rashers of bacon and I have a feeling the regulators need some adjustment as it would take more than 25 minutes to actually cook the bacon to a medium state using the grill – that was assuming of course that you could actually get it to stay alight!
Initially, there appeared to be all of the utensils you could need to a self catering holiday... I was deceived: No tongues, no large spoons, cheap metal frying pans and 2 saucepans both exceptionally large, a plastic colander with holes too large to strain anything other than full size potatoes, cutlery that bent at the sign of butter, no sharp knife to prepare food, 5 cups/mugs, 4 saucers, 5 plates, 6 bowls, and 3 glasses the size of thimbles.... I think you get the gist!
Moving down the caravan, the fridge was rusty and I felt the need to clean it before I stored anything in there. The bottom of the cupboard units were falling apart and the vinyl was peeling away, there were marks and dents along all of the walls. In the seated dining area the table wobbled so badly I didn’t feel safe leaving a thimble size cup on it for long, the seats themselves were ripped and filthy, the buttons that are used for detail on the seat cushions had the coatings removed, exposing sharp metal round razor like hazards, that if you tried to sit down – gosh you knew about it!
I had to clean the entire van and check everything before we started to unpack.
Unpacking – ahhh yes, to the bedrooms... I actually have very little to say about these, they would reasonably ok. There was sufficient storage and still a fair amount of room around the beds to move. I will say that the plastic coated mattresses are not exactly luxurious and the sheets repeatedly slide off the beds but other than reasonably comfortable.
The bathroom is to be expected, it was cleanish and small, the shower doesn’t really allow much room for movement and I had to leave and washing aids, such as Shampoos, Conditioners, Shower Gels etc on the floor outside the shower door as there was no shelf and no hope for anyone to bend over and pick something up off the floor – but like I said... standard caravan procedures really. It did however take me 3 days to start to remove the fragrant odour of cigarette smoke from in the bathroom.
That I would say is the caravan covered... now to the park and surrounding areas!
The park is actually lovely, it is perfect for walking a dog in the early hours, the people on the park were friendly – the visitors that is, as I didn’t see a single member of staff from the moment we checked in.
One MAJOR downfall is the location. The park is literally 20 minutes minimum in a car from ANYTHING. And don’t think you can walk anywhere either, the closest pub (other than the Potters Bar which should not be called a bar of any sort). Is the Cadgwith Cove arms, which is actually very delightful, but it is an hours walk across the SW Coastal path – which is a little bit tricky in places so take care if you do decide to venture out.
The park was advertised as being 500m from Kennack Sands a ‘Dog Friendly’ Beach. To start with, this is probably the longest 500m I have ever seen, more like a mile maybe further on a VERY steep downhill narrow lane. You need walking boots to get up and down to the beach and to be honest I would keep them on whilst on the beach too as it is actually clay rather than sand in the wet areas. Also, it is not Dog Friendly – it is a seasonal dog friendly beach and the east section is actually dog friendly, but this requires another walking boot trek of half a mile or more over the cliff down the sand dunes to the other cove.
I wish I could begin to close on my experience at Sea Acres, and the area, however I think I might be here a while. All in all you will make up your own mind and you may have a completely different experience, however this was ours. We spent our entirely holiday in the car travelling elsewhere. Oh and one more tip... do not bother with the Cornish Seal Sanctuary at Gweek. Waste of Money!
Terrible Park Dean Site... go to RUDA in Croyde Bay instead - MUCH MUCH BETTER!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sea life differently...Wake up every morning to stunning sea views. Spend the day on the golden Kennack Sands. Dine out on freshly caught fish at a quaint harbour village. Or dip into rock-pools dotted along the rugged Lizard Peninsula. When you stay at Sea Acres you'll see life differently - and it's a life you won't want to leave.* Set in a stunning cliff top location * Short stroll to Kennack Sands beach * Park access to the South West Coastal Path * 5-Star PADI Scuba Diving centre on park * Lots of green space with adventure play ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Sea Acres Holiday Park Hotel The Lizard
- Parkdean - Sea Acres Holiday Park The Lizard, Cornwall