My wife and I booked Craigwell Cottage in Drumnadrochit, Scotland, for the 22nd of July 2016 for three nights as a surprise gift for my daughter's 30th birthday. Firstly, the check-in time had been changed from 2pm to 4pm via the Sykes Agency email at very short notice. This then was altered again by the owner of the cottage, stating we could have checked-in from 2pm as normal, which caused slight confusion, resulting in us losing another two hours after a seven hour journey. Upon arrival at the cottage, the first thing that we noticed was the metal flashing on the outside door frame was hanging loose, causing an injury.
Entering the cottage, after a look around, the first impressions were positive as the kitchen was clearly newer than the rest of the cottage, then upon investigation further, we noticed cobwebs, dust, dead insects, holes in walls, shabby decor. Furthermore, the mattresses were not fit for a child, never mind an adult. In the downstairs en-suite which my wife and I stayed in, due to my disability, the bed was simply a sofa-bed with a mattress of around an inch in thickness. You can imagine the discomfort we felt after having slept there for four days. The beds upstairs were not much better, as the rest of my family could feel the springs in their old mattresses. The curtains were not fully attached to the curtain poles, and some windows had curtains missing. There were also hooks hanging from walls, which as you can tell would be a safety hazard had we not had noticed them.
Worse was to come when we decided to freshen up in the upstairs bathroom, only to find the main shower would not originally turn on as it had clearly not been used or replaced in a significant length of time. The shower head was also detached from the clasp, resulting in my daughters and sons-in-laws not being able to use the shower to it's full potential without holding it. We botched the job ourselves by attaching plasters to the shower stand, which aided our showering but should have been unnecessary. When we reported this to the cottage owner, he blamed his maintenance man but no resolution was given during our stay. Whilst on the subject of facilities, the en-suite toilet made a horrific noise when flushed and lasted for quite some time as there was no flushing capacity.
Moving to the garden, the barbeque area was non-existent, the table was filthy and chairs unable to be sat on, and clearly had not been used for a long time. Brick work was tatty, unkempt, untidy, and had obviously not been decorated for some years. The shed at the bottom of the garden had a window missing, and was completely unusable as there was no locking system in place. Lastly, the front of the cottage needs a complete refurbish and the patio-area is weed infested and generally unkempt. We viewed some of the other cottages on the opposite rows, which were absolutely stunning and in perfect condition, which made us feel disheartened as we had paid a substantial amount of money for this weekend break.
We are still awaiting a response to our initial complaint despite it being over 6 weeks.
We will not be returning to this cottage which is in a lovely part of Scotland because of this really disappointing experience.