More about Haven Devon Cliffs
A wonderful break
Me, the wife & our 2-1/2 year old have just got back from a Monday-Saturday break at Devon Cliffs Park & we all had a great time. The caravan was spotless & the sea view was breath taking. The accomodation was much more than we were expecting & was like home from home.
My daughter spent most of her time in the play areas or the swimming pool & loved every second of it.
On the evening we went to see the early show for the kids entertainment (be there by 6pm at the latest to get a seat) & grabbed a bite to eat at Sonnys Bar at about 8.30. (Last food orders at 9pm) before crashing out exhausted by 10.30 (lightweights!!)
We ventured into Exmouth one day & enjoyed fish & chips on the front (Cooked to order & absolutely delicious, try the pollock!)
I would give them a plug if I could remember the name.
The nearby town of Budleigh Salterton is only a short drive away & again is very pleasant on the eye & we sampled a delightful cream tea whilst our daughter had a 5 minute rest.
All in all a very welcome break at a very reasonable price & within 2.1/2 hours from Wolverhampton.
Would not recommend on the basis of value for money
We stayed for 3 nights from 18.7.08. The party consisted of 2 adults and 2 children. The caravan was tired looking and a bit depressing. My sister and her partner who were staying at the same time had a much bigger caravan despite them having no children. It was also cleaner and generally nicer.
We paid £60 for the accommodation which isn't bad for 4. But also £60 for passes to the entertainment, which largely consists of entry to a huge amusements arcade, with a bar with large screens blaring out sport (they will turn it down if you ask), bingo hall, fast food outlets (expensive) and a kid's entertainment hall. They might as well charge you £120 because you don't get much for your pass, apart from free entry to the pool which is ok, apart from the smell of drains on the last day. Something which was disappointing and petty was the fact that when you put a £ coin in your locker, you don't get it back. The whole orginisation is based on a low cost basis, eg housekeeping. you collect your own bedding from reception, make up your beds and strip them and return the laundry at the end. There is a relaxing terrace overlooking the sea and the putting green, which we enjoyed playing on. There is also a spa, which we didn't try and a basic looking paintball area, a kind of bouncy castle area with guns. The beach is full of seaweed and smells quite bad. There's also a country life museum outside the complex which was quite good, but expensive at £30 fer family. I'd go for centerparcs anyday.
What a disappointment.......
Because we wanted something else then France we looked on the internet to find something our teenage kids would like too. On the website the park seemed alright; enough to do for them. So we booked.
When we arrived the staff kept sending us up and down to see someone else because we were not listed with the right caravan (AG 100). We got fed up with this and they made an new envelope for us. Then we went to the caravan, which looked alright at first but pretty soon we noticed it was dirty; cups, plates, saucepans etc were not washed up, pubic hairs next to your bed, dirty laundry under the beds from previous users, very smelly bedroom (cleaned up vomit??) etc. We booked for 8 persons but there were only 3 chairs to sit on on the veranda... The 2nd day I went right throught the paving slaps till my knee, badly hurting myself. We phoned up the given number, she came to see the hole and would arrange people to something about it. More stones were loose so it was going to be checked. This took 3 days, because Haven could not do anything without permission from the owners. 5 people came to see if there really was a hole!!Anyway a lot of hassle. Because 2 more people fell in the whole security put cones around it....So be aware who you hiring a caravan from. Haven will NOT take a lot of responsibility when it is a private caravan , even when it is on their park and they are responsibel for some things!!! You dont know anyway when you book if it is from Haven or private!
The entertainment is more for little children unless you want your kids to throw lots of money in machines... We did look for the disco, even asked at information,(who did not know??) but there was nothing for 15 year olds. The "pub" was alright sitting outside but inside it was very noisy with running kids and the machines.The cabaret etc is ok if you like this sort of things i suppose. We didn't.
Paintball, spa etc is expensive. The pool was fine, but shallow, according to the children.
And next to the park are the royal navy training..
Anyway, we left earlier and next year will be France again!
Mixed Feelings At Devon Cliffs
When - 2nd Aug 08 - for one week.
Who - 4 adults and 1 child aged 12.
In - 2 Standard Caravans
Arrived early at 11am knowing we couldn't book in but could use facilities. At miday we made our way to one of the Theatres for check in which was a bit manic but as we were early we only waited 10 mins once check in began. We got our keys but were told not to enter caravans until 4pm - yeh okay !!!. 2 caravans, both on Beach Walk, both standards, close to the beach. (very very standard). Both were clean but very tired (ripped upholstery etc) and with minimal kitchen items (no mircowave) , small rooms, tired tv's/remotes etc - they were very basic. Linen was hired at £10 per room ie. double room, single room and we had to collect this from way back up at reception. Other items could be hired but as a warning £15 for a hairdryer - £10 returnable deposit?? All in all with regards to the caravans very disappointed. Our week cost £668 per caravan and although it was the first week in August to hire one of the platinum vans would have been £1500 - now I'm sorry but this was WAY WAY too expensive.
The best place we found on site was the restaurant near the beach. This did not get any way near as busy as in the FunWorks areas. Prices - fairly reasonable but you are in the UK so what do you expect. Service good although clean ups on empty tables seemed slow.
The restaurant in Funworks was okay but very very busy. Took an age to order and arrive. More variety than at the beach restaurant but service generally very slow, did not have separate areas for food orders/drinks orders which caused a little friction with some patrons.
The Clinton Arms
Just off site - and a lovely find. Extensive menus (hubby had kangaroo and ostrich lol) with reasonable prices. It does get very very busy so either book a table or do not visit in the heavy times between 5pm-7pm. We ate here twice - both times good service and would highly recommend.
Just opposite Clinton Arms and a lovely cream tea served.
Further afield on the road towards Exeter (15min drive). A lovely carvery/menu pub which we all enjoyed. Service/prices were excellent and highly recommend.
The Puffin Billy
Signposts for this on main Exeter Road, again about 15 min drive. Just as a warning this place has more of a wine bar feeling and not your county pub as we presumed. LOL.
Entertainment - Capones & Bugsbys
Both held the daily shows which were okay! A bit dated and a bit naff but seemed to grab the younger age groups. All got very busy, very quickly - you need to check the daily programmes and get in very very early to get a table. Gets extremely hot in there and one big complaint was that the toilets would get disgusting - with what all I can presume is wading in urine. They were closed on a couple of occasions mid way through shows which caused mayhem. I would severely recommend that the staff kept more of an eye on these areas as with lots of children it's bound to easily get in horrendous conditions. Tables generally freed up around 10ish when the adult entertainment would begin.
A large games area full of machines. This again got very busy and hot. There are a couple of fast food restaurants eg Burger King, Papa Johns Pizza and a bar area. Lots of machines spat out tickets which were collected and traded in for prizes. BE WARNED everyone was doing this on Friday night (before check out on Saturday morning) and the ques were massive. I would also recommend abit more quality of prizes 3000 tickets for a stuffed bear which we collected over the week hhhmmmm. I know it's for the kids lol.
What surprised me was there was no internet acces on site.
I would imagine this would be a welcome addition maybe.
Outside there is a mini golf course which was always busy. A very small paintball area, archery, climbing wall - all at extra costs.
The swimming pool we only used once. Due to poor weather for the week the indoor areas were always crammed.
There is a spa - but we didn't use it. Prices seemed fairly reasonable though.
The on site supermarket is very expensive. A tip - there is a 24hr Tescos only 10 min drive away. Take a right at the traffice lights on the main road and it's on your left. The on site gift shop is okay - a little expensive though but you can get all your Rory stuff there.
Off Site Visits
Took a visit to the farm which is just before park entry - very expensive and was just about okay. The train ride - extra charge!! - was quite enjoyable you get to feed the deer and llamas. The baby goats were cute - you can walk them at various times during the day.
Torquay - 30 miles away, quite busy getting there though. Nice seaside town. Living Coasts sea life centre there too.
Exmouth - very pleasant small seaside town.
Exeter - another pleasant town.
ALL IN ALL
A tipically expensive week in the UK. Good for families with small children however I have no idea how you would keep a grip on your purse strings.
Standard caravans - awful.
Pound for pound you would be better booking an all inclusive holiday abroad. WOULD I GO BACK - NO.
OK for a short break
We booked very late yet we felt the holiday was still expensive. Everything was spotless, we even had Sky - not that we watched it! The children went in the pool everyday for a couple of hours and loved it, it was busy but ok if you got there at 10 when it opened. We paid for extra activities at the pool for the children, Aqua jets, snorkelling, and boarding. These took place when the pool was closed, the groups were kept small and we felt the activites were good value for money. My son also had a go at Archery one evening.
We ate in Sonnys and Papa Jo's, we did not feel that the food was particulalrly expensive in comparison to other similar restaurants you may visit .
Ok as an extra week to amuse the children in the school hols, but would not recommend it as your main holiday.
We arrived late on the Saturday evening and did not leave until 12 the following Saturday which turned out to be a good move as traffic came to a complete standstill on the site at 10am with so many arrivals and departures.
OK for Young Children - room for improvement
This was our first visit to a Haven Park and our Party of five consisted of my parents, my husband and our 5 year old daughter. We arrived at Devon Cliffs after a nine hour journey - very slow traffic on motorway. Our holiday cost was £1050 of which £900 was paid with Clubcard points - so a cheap holiday for peak season. Our caravan was a superior plus, which linen is provided and beds are made up already. The caravan was perfectly nice with everything we needed. We tried the pool on the second day, very busy, and because people come in from outside pools had quite alot of debris floating in it, including a seagull feather, changing rooms floors were quite dirty, and the lockers will cost you £1 everytime, otherwise quite a nice pool. We went most evenings to the childrens shows and discos in Bugsys, then played family bingo, then went back to caravan as I don't like to keep my daughter up late, even on holiday (I hate to see children asleep on chairs just so the parents can get sloshed!). My daughter really enjoyed the shows but we all found them pretty dull, but then I'm not 5! Make sure you get there by 5.30pm to get a table as it gets really busy. The toilets outside of Bugsys seemed to get smellier as the week went on and the floors were very wet, urine or water???, they really need a permenant cleaner in there at busy times. The weather was quite poor so we only went to the beach twice and once we couldn't get on there because absolutely covered with seaweed (not obviously Havens fault), but worth noting if you like a sandy beach. We spent quite a bit of money in the arcade in order to win tickets for a prize for my daughter - be careful you don't get carried away those pennies soon add up - also don't wait until Friday evening to get your prizes, the queues are massive. I really wasn't expecting gourmet food and the takeaways were perfectly adequate, the beachcomber cafe food was a bit ropey though, and prices were what you would expect to pay at any equivilant cafe. The shop on site is well stocked and reasonably priced, although better to go to Tescos nearby. We al went to Crealy Adventure Park nearby which is an excellent day out for £11 each and you get to return free within 7 days which we did. Also Exmouth is a nice little town for shopping - open top bus from site to town centre. Overall we had a pleasant stay because I make the best of my holidays and won't let minor problems irritate me or spoil my enjoyment, there are things that Haven could improve on ie the cleanliness of public areas, enterainment etc, but I only went on this holiday because it was cheap and I knew that my 5 year old would enjoy it - and she did. Would I go again? maybe not to this site and again only using my clubcard vouchers, I certainly wouldn'y pay full price - I'd rather spend my money at Disneyland Paris which is much cleaner and better value for money.
This is a filthy dirty hell hole and i am disgusted i even booked this place.... The toilets are absolutely vile and are very near to being unusable. The whole place is absolutely littered and by the sites of the back entrances near the restaurants etc i dread to think what the kitcjens are like. I am surprised that rats were not boldly walking around. I shall never return for the rest of my days.
enjoyable family holiday
We are a family of four with two children aged 6 and 3.
Caravan- prestige< cost 649.00(discounted price through internet)
On entering the park, after shopping at the nearby Tesco's we felt quite optimistic, typically 'Haven' but nice looking site. It was very busy though people leaving and arriving at the same time, but to be expected. Check in was being held in the show bar and to be fair there were people around waiting patiently for you to ask for assistance. It wasn't busy and was organised and i was quickly supplied with keys and explained on a map where the caravan was- Rowan Meadow.
I was vey pleased with the caravan situ, with amazing sea views, still happy.
Caravan - a bit scruffy around it, bag of rubbish, old buckets and spades scattered underneath, oh well, lets get inside, but we couldn't the key didn't fit, ok, try, try again, oh, already open, so went inside, lets look around.
Lounge - sofa pulled apart at seams, remote control chewed to bits
kitchen - hardly any utensils, ones we had dirty, egg yolk dried in fridge
toilets - splattered to put it bluntly, cleaner had clearly just tipped disinfectant down, basins filthy
bedrooms - kids fine, our wardrobe door didn't work properly, carpet by door ripped to shreds.
We were devestated we had been doing so well, clearly some one had had a dog which had destroyed the caravan, we should not have been put in here, i could see that once this would have been a great caravan. On a more positive note "haven" staff were great they ran around trying to sort us out ,maintenance men,locksmiths, cleaners, managers they all paid us a visit, we didn't shout and scream we just wanted to begin our holiday. They did move us to a beautiful caravan if only we had this one first, it was spotless! We had early check in but eventually checked in at 6.30pm! We rushed our children to the food hall where we had fish and chips.
Food hall - it was ok , probably best to avoid it though, caotic expensive and of ok quality, what you would expect.
games machine area- i hated it but kids liked it
Swimming pool - kids loved it
showbars- little repetitive, kids loved it and a couple of good shows, Got fed up with adult only bingo in capones, could take your kids in but weren't allowed to talk - yeah right!
beach - full of seaweed, but kids could still build sandcastles, exmouth has a nice beach and only 5 mins in car down the road
I know i have moaned a lot, but my children had a good holiday and if they are happy i'm happy, this isn't a luxury holiday for adults, it's getaway to entertain the kids, it generally is a nice site and we had good weather, they just need to get some of there cleaners sorted out, to report any problems and i think Haven holidays would have much better reputations!
Top tip- visit Babbacombe just outside torquay if you like scenery and cream teas you will be happy!
Good for £9.50 Sun Hol
I stayed here with my Husband and 4 month old son after booking it with the Sun £9.50 hols and stayed for 3 nights.
Check in was really quick the staff had everything under control and we were pleasantly suprised to find we were placed in a superior plus caravan and the beds had already been made up. The caravan was situated in Juniper Close and was very clean with a lovely sea view from the living room. It was a comfortable stay and had everything we needed.
The park itself was very big and had lots to do so we didn't have to leave the complex during out stay. The amusement arcade was quite large with lots of machines, bowling andkids play area. There's so much eating choice too with fish and chips bar, pizza bar, burger king, resturant and starbucks, with a shop on site too for all your cooking essentials to make your own. We ate in Sonny Jims twice although the service was very slow on the second occasion and it wasn't even busy! The pizza from papa johns was worth the money.
We spent the early evenings in Bugsys showbar which had family entertainment that you would expect in a Haven Park and was very good for the kids.
Now for the downsides - Although the park is situated with some beautiful views it is very hilly and it was quite a mission to get the pushchair back up the hill after going to the beach! As I said before the service wasn't too good in the resturant and we also saw alot of rubbish in and around the park, but this was caused by the people staying here!
Overall a nice short stay, not too crowded beautiful views and very happy with the accomodation.
Won't be going back!
Just got back from Devon Cliffs after spending a week with my hubby and 9 month daughter.
We booked through Newman Hols so we knew where we were staying (Rowan Meadow) and to be honest the Caravan cannot be faulted it was really nice except there was no toaster but Newmans got us one 2 days later.
It was about a 10 min walk to the facilities but we found the whole place to be very hilly.
There was always a queue at Reception and no apology for waiting.
Gas in the Caravan finished twice while we were staying there and on average took 1.5 hours for it to be changed. So we were out of heating and hot water.
The pub Sonny Jims the food was horrible and I'm sure it gave me a bad stomach.
The Park was full of Chavs.
Swimming Pool Changing rooms were really dirty and had cobwebs in the corners.
The Spa was nice and so was Starbucks.
Went into Exmouth and that was a dump what a waste of time. So we to Exeter instead which was lovely with plenty of high street stores such as Zara, Warehouse etc.Well worth a visit.
I will definatly not be going back to Devon Cliffs would rather stick to Weymouth were we went in June, Chesil Beach or Waterside Holiday Park.