Horrified mother blasts Pontins for 'unbearable' family holiday

Horrified mother blasts Pontins for ‘unbearable’ family holiday after finding ‘nail sticking through sofa bed and pubic hair in the sink’ in ‘disgusting’ chalet

  • Clare Abbott and her family were staying at the holiday park in Camber Sands
  • Clare’s son became unwell during the trip and later tested positive for Covid
  • Family spent more than £1,000 on holiday but restaurant ran out of many items
  • Mum-of-four says family need another holiday just to get over the experience 

A horrified mother says she and her family ended their week-long Pontins holiday a day early after finding a nail sticking through the sofa bed and pubic hairs around the bathroom sink.

Clare Abbott and her family paid more than a thousand pounds to stay at the holiday park in Camber Sands, East Sussex, where they made the gruesome discoveries. 

The holidaymaker said her fiancé Ray Parks found a sharp nail sticking through the sofa bed after complaining about his back hurting on the first night, and her stepdaughter’s mattress had springs coming through it on both sides.

The day before the family was due to check out, Clare said her son became unwell, and has since tested positive for Covid. 

Clare Abbott and her fiancé Ray Parks, from Horley, with two of their combined four children. The family say they were forced to check out of their Pontins holiday, in Camber Sands, a day early due to the issues in their chalet, which included a nail sticking through the sofa bed and pubic hairs around the bathroom sink

The mother-of-four, from Horley, Surrey, said the family spent £1,049 on a half-board holiday with food included, but felt forced to spend more money eating out because the restaurant had run out of many items.

The family reported the incidents to staff at the holiday park, but Clare said their complaints went unanswered. 

She said: ‘We went to maintenance on Saturday and Sunday, and they kept saying they’d send someone up, but no one came.

‘Eventually the maintenance men came up and told us they had no sofa beds, so one of them literally hammered the nail down and just put gaffer tape over it.’

After complaining about his back hurting on the first night, Clare’s fiancé Ray found a sharp nail sticking through the sofa. Eventually staff hammered the nail in and put some gaffer tape over it, according to Clare

Clare said pubic hairs were spotted around the bathroom sink and the family were unable to shower due to the bathroom door not being able to close properly

Clare said the family ‘didn’t get to shower at all’ because the bathroom door was too big for the frame, meaning it was impossible to close, and said they also found pubic hairs around the bathroom sink.

She added: ‘The toilet goes into the kitchen, so anyone in the kitchen could see whoever’s on the toilet.

‘So I went to reception and told them the toilet door doesn’t shut, they said they’d send someone up from maintenance and they never did. So we didn’t get to shower at all.’

After complaining about her daughter’s mattress, Clare said a member of maintenance stuff told her ‘it wasn’t her job and that she doesn’t deal with mattresses’, so the family went out and bought a duvet to put across it.

Fed up with members of staff, including the manager, telling her ‘it’s not my job’, Clare said her persistent calls for a room change were eventually answered and they were swapped, only to find the mattresses in the new room were exactly the same.

In the restaurant, Clare said the family was told they had run out of trays, and were then given cutlery which ‘had mashed potato and gravy on them’.  

She said: ‘Everyone was constantly moaning, shouting, and being aggressive, and the staff got so much grief. I couldn’t deal with the stress anymore, so we spent even more money going out and eating just to feel relaxed. It was just really disgusting and dirty.

‘Even with things like the swimming pool – they advertised it to be a fantastic pool with a slide. But when we got in there we were only allowed to be in half of the pool because of the lack of staff, with about 500 people up in your face.

‘I felt so claustrophobic I had to get out. You couldn’t move in there.’

Staff at the Camber Sands holiday park eventually agreed to swap the family into a new room but Clare said it has much of the same problems

Clare said her son became unwell on the day before they were due to check out and when they got home, they tested him and he was positive for Covid-19.  

‘It’s not surprising because there were so many people,’ added Clare. ‘We were all crammed in, and they had completely empty hand sanitiser bottles around the place.

‘Having dirty cutlery that’s been taken out of a dishwasher that was half finished – no wonder my son was poorly.’

Almost three weeks on from the holiday she said she is still waiting for a response to her complaint and refund request.

‘We just wished we never went on the holiday – it’s just ruined us really. I think we need a holiday to get over it.’

MailOnline approached Pontins for comment. 

Clare’s experience comes after another woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said her holiday lasted just four hours when she found her apartment covered with dead flies and pubic hairs.

She visited the Brean Sands Holiday Park, Burnham-On-Sea, which her mother kindly booked for her as a special birthday treat, and was set to stay there for four nights with her partner and 14-month-old baby.

However, the family say they left after just four short hours as the apartment was allegedly ‘absolutely filthy.’ 

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