My brother and I recently stayed at Heulwen Cottage, Barmouth. I am afraid that the standard of the accommodation fell far below our expectations. Listed below are a series of things which we found to be unsatisfactory and, in some cases, downright dangerous.
1. On our arrival we were greeted by a rotting garden gate which was broken and dragging the ground.
2. The patio area at the rear of the property was equipped with garden furniture; unfortunately we were unable to utilise this as it was damaged in several places, the wood was splintered and rotting, the arm of one of the benches was missing in its entirety and an inch-long rusty nail was sticking out of the rotting wood covered by silver insulating tape.
3. When we opened one of the cupboard doors in the kitchen it virtually came off its hinges, so we quickly closed it and did not touch it again for the remainder of our stay.
4. The grill did not work.
5. There was a dead spider in the hallway. The cottage was not particularly clean and smelled of damp.
6. The tiles around the bath and in the shower area were discoloured and black mould has begun to grow in some places.
7. There was evidence of damp and water damage in virtually every room of the cottage, with the wallpaper actually peeling and hanging off in some rooms.
8. There was a dirty sheet balled up and thrown in the bottom of the wardrobe of the second bedroom.
9. There were loose unused cables in the dining room and the main bedroom.
10. The sheet on the bed in the master bedroom was wet around the edges, but had still been put on the bed and tucked in around what passed for the mattress. I had to untuck it and let it hang down to dry during the evening before we went to bed.
11. The mattress on the bed in the master bedroom left a lot to be desired! It was not a proper mattress, simply a three inch piece of foam! This proved to be very uncomfortable indeed, and resulted in disturbed sleep.
12. Most worryingly, when I plugged my phone in one of the sockets in the main bedroom to charge the plug on my charger got very hot. There is obviously a serious problem with that socket.
Due to all of the above we ended up coming home a day early. Instead of returning home relaxed and refreshed after an enjoyable break, we returned fractious and tired through lack of sleep, and with backache to boot! The whole property exudes an air of neglect and decay, which is a shame, as it has the potential to be a wonderful holiday home if renovated to an acceptable standard.
Sykes Cottages did eventually refund me my money in full. However, this cottage is still being advertised on their website and several other holiday lettings websites, all of which are using the same pictures which we saw in October 2013 when we made our original booking.