Saturday, 16 April 2011

Bryncarnedd Cottages, Aberystwyth

The view from the 'garden' - that is the 'launderette'

We definitely can't recommend Bryncarnedd Cottages, Aberystwyth.

We paid £380.00 for six nights at the end of March. However we were unhappy with a number of things and complained.

The view if you go for a walk - agricultural rubbish, rubble, decrepit caravans etc. More like a tip than the countryside.

We made the booking in a hurry but in retrospect were overcharged. I had been told that it was £400 for a 7 nights and days, which is c. £57 a day. So for the 6 nights of my booking the charge should have been £347, not £380, i.e. I was overcharged by £33.

I've since been given wildly different prices by other people who have stayed there, and it has been suggested to me that is why no prices appear on the web site - it is impossible to check whether you have been overcharged or not then. Always beware of any site that refuses to show prices upfront.
The scruffy car park

Rubble and rubbish by the car park

There were a number of issues with the accommodation itself, each fairly minor in themselves but they add up and are not generally expected in cottages which are billed on the website as 'luxury'.

The freezer was not on when we arrived, and obviously had not been on because there was a sickening smell when it was opened. There was no obvious way of turning the freezer on, and combined with the awful smell we did not want to use it. This meant things were not convenient in terms of storing food.

The rear door was incredibly stiff and needed the wood shaving. However it was the door that was most convenient for the car so was used all week, putting up with the effort required to open and close it.

The vacuum cleaner was completely clogged up. Since there seemed to be an expectation that guests would use it before leaving we spent quite some time trying to unclog the hose, a messy job that still left the vacuum cleaner with poor suction.

Some of the lights did not work at all, including the large freestanding lamp in the living room.

There was a dock for an mp3 player which was broken.

The surrounding area was not as depicted on the website - there was agricultural rubbish, bits of pipe, piles of bricks etc. See the photographs throughout this page.

Those are the cottages, just past the piles of junk

The accommodation was meant to include wi-fi, but this was not working according to the instructions in the welcome booklet. Of the 6 days of the stay the Internet was unavailable for the first three, and was only set up on Wednesday PM following a number of phone calls. It was one of the features that my family had been looking forward to.

Click to enlarge - complimentary wi-fi

The worst was that the person who visited while I was out, and pointed to a different network connection (not listed in the welcome book) could obviously tell that my mother knew little about computers and he tried to con her. At first he asked for ten pounds as a 'callout fee'. Who ever heard of being charged to 'fix' things that you have already paid for and didn't work? She only had £5, launderette money, so he took that instead. As a result she could not get her clothes washed that day, and had to go into town for more change the next morning. I feel that this was completely out of order.

Bearing in mind the issues above we felt that we should be entitled to a partial refund and gave the owners (who also own a hotel in Aberystwyth, The Marine Hotel) giving them a chance to make reply and make up for the cited issues first. They refused a partial refund so we will warn others about this so-called 'luxury' experience.

Pictures sticking out of frames

Update: In their reply of 16th April, the manager said:
"other than you cannot agreed to this!? So, this is no reply for us to come to an agreement on, but there is no further agreement we can come to now with you having to upload this site, as if we agree on a refund we don’t accept guest to go behind our backs and do such comments on the property. And with regards to the pictures, most of them are misleading to guest as the ones that are shown on the site are ones away from the main complex! Once again, we are very sorry that you are feeling this way against Bryncarnedd Cottages."
No partial refund then! It never ceases to amaze me that companies would rather have bad publicity than give a partial refund when they have failed to live up to what they promised.

1 comment:

elaine said...

Still awful- we came home last night.I booked The Granary for Friday 20 to Monday 23rd March. The booking was changed to The Milking Parlour. We stayed just 2 nights as we were very disappointed with the quality of our accommodation. We were promised an iron and ironing board- none in the property. It was too hot, we kept lowering the thermostat which kept returning to a very high temperature- 26deg. The accommodation was for 6- a double bed and a single in each room. However there was 1 saucepan, not very big and 1 omelette pan for an individual omelette or pancake. I struggled to make a meal for 3. (Pasta, nothing fancy). The lighting was poor with lots of bulbs not working and we couldn't read a newspaper at night. The secure garden was not secure, with broken rails and gates with broken catches. The front and back of the apartment was littered with cigarette ends as was the courtyard area. I saw some people cleaning a property on the Saturday as I was on my way out. On return the courtyard had still not been swept. The rubbish bins and recycling looked like they had not been emptied for some time and were overflowing. The furniture was very poor- the dining chairs sagged so much in the seat that we were very low at the table- more like a high chair. The fabric sofa had a similar soggy base. The brochure inside the cottage said there was Wi-Fi in every property- we could only get a connection by standing in the courtyard with the laptop. The hot tub was out of order. Generally the design lay out and quality of the accommodation was far lower than we expected for the price.