My Honest Review of Pontins Prestatyn Sands

My Honest Review of Pontins Prestatyn Sands


So we were looking forward to our planned vacation to sunny salubrious Jamaica for the Summer. It’s something we do every two or three years. This time, we were not willing to wait that long so we decided to have somewhat of a break and do a mini vacation in the UK.

The kids were looking forward to this break. They love travelling and having a break away from home. I don’t mind at all. They are good kids, they work hard, they are polite and they deserve to be treated.  They also love joining in the search for suitable vacation spots. The guidelines were:

  1. It should not be too expensive (after all we were saving for our Jamaican escape).
  2. We had to have self-catering facilities.
  3. There must be entertainment for kids.
  4. The duration of the holiday should be up to a week.
  5. It had to include a long coach trip or train travel.


Pretty easy right? We weren’t asking too much, were we?

Well, we all began searching and the kids really made some good choices but for one reason or another, their suggestions did not meet all the criteria we had come up with. Some were too expensive, others didn’t allow us to do our own catering and so on.


On a visit to our local high street, I saw a well known holiday booking company so I went in and was talked into visiting Pontins Prestatyn Sands. The lovely agent said she had been before when her kids were younger so she sold it to me. According to her, the place met all five criteria which I did share with her.


I was sold! The kids weren’t when they were informed. They looked at the images available online and they had their reservations. I began to have a sinking feeling that they may be right so I got praying. I prayed that they would be wrong and that the place would be amazing and we would have an amazing time.

I was hoping in vain! The place was terrible, honestly. I was so disappointed that we had wasted our hard earned money and we were in for a horrible time. We tried to make the most of it but there were more negatives than positives.


The Negatives

  1. Not enough check-in staff.
  2. Unbelievably dirty complex, including broken bottles and days’ worth of litter still visible
  3. Untidy living accommodation with leftover rubbish from previous holiday renters
  4. Ancient, big back televisions with no operating instructions
  5. Nonchalant staff who did not come to check on any of our concerns.
  6. No attendant for most of the day in the shop of the arcade which meant that those who had ‘won’ tickets could not claim a prize and may have to leave for home without their prize.
  7. There are pedal bikes available for rent which is somewhat of a plus, however, there was not a designated zone within which to ride it so we witnessed quite a few near misses (accidents!)
  8. A very grimy games arcade.
  9. No internet access (Big no with teenagers!)
  10. Long queues for the swimming pool meant we were not able to use it as we would be spending too much time just queuing.
  11. The bedding provided is of the slippery type so it was difficult to keep them on the beds!
  12. Apartments next to ours were used to store non-functioning fridges and cookers. The look was quite distasteful.
  13. At check out time, there is no opportunity to give any feedback to staff. There is a bucket placed at reception which you are required to drop your keys in. Any unscrupulous person could take a key, rummage and steal from an apartment and then Pontins would hold liable, those families who were in the apartments.



The plus side

  1. There is a big grassy area suitable for children to play ball.
  2. There is a games arcade where those who dare can play arcade games.
  3. There were some pedal bikes which could be rented.
  4. There is a small supermarket on site which is quite handy.
  5. There is a swimming pool.
  6. Pontins might just be concerned about the environment and energy saving to boot! Each apartment is set up with prepayment meters to give the occupants an opportunity to keep a check on their energy use.
  7. The accommodations come with bedding!


So whilst we had a bad experience and would not encourage anyone to go there in its current state, we don’t think that all hope is lost. So we have a few recommendations:

  1. Train and retain competent cleaning staff and set up a system of accountability. Offer incentive schemes for staff who go above and beyond to improve the experience of vacationers.
  2. Implement a system of logging complaints/concerns so these can be followed up and dealt with appropriately.
  3. Keep the ‘prize shop’ open during the opening hours for the arcade.
  4. Consider moving reception area nearer to the entrance to the property and drastically improve the look of the place.
  5. Set designated zones where the pedal bikes could be ridden out of the path of pedestrians.
  6. Modernize the decor of the apartments

From our point of view, Pontins Prestatyn Sands should get a rating of 1 out of 5 Stars.

There are more natural beauty spots in the UK to hang out in.

Have you been there before? What are your views?

See also my review of Buffet Island in Birmingham

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