Family's holiday horror over filthy Pontins chalet with blood stained mattress
PUBLISHED: 08:07 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:31 11 September 2019
A family complained their rare holiday together was ruined by a filthy chalet with mouldy floors and blood stained mattress.
Maxine and Matthew Smith, from Bury St Edmunds, had booked a long weekend at Pontins in Pakefield to give their four young children, aged 0-9, a fun few days.
But they were so shocked by their chalet they decided to borrow money to take the children to another holiday park instead.
"It was the worst experience ever," said Mrs Smith, 30. "The place was disgusting and our children were devastated."
Mrs Smith said it was rare to get all of the children together as the eldest were from a previous relationship and lived separately.
They had never stayed at a Pontins before but booked from August 2-5 having been attracted by its claim to cater for children.
Upon arrival however, they were immediately disappointed by the "dated" surroundings. "I thought we had gone back in time," Mrs Smith said. "I couldn't understand how they were still operating."
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Despite finding much of the holiday park "tacky", Mrs Smith said they would have stayed so the kids could enjoy their time together. But the state of their chalet was too much to take.
"When we stepped inside couldn't believe it," she said. "There was dirt all over the walls, brown liquid dripping from the ceiling and mould along the floor We then looked in the bedrooms to find blood on one of the mattresses and more mould. Even the light switches had dirt over them."
After complaining, Mrs Smith said staff offered to replace the mattress but the family decided they could not stay.
"I genuinely feared for our health," she added. "We were so disappointed. My husband and I have little spare money, so we had saved for this trip for our children and to arrive to such disgusting conditions was heartbreaking."
The couple, who had spent around £380 for the chalet had to borrow money to book another break at Kessingland. "It's cost us an absolute fortune," Mrs Smith said. "Pontins had said they'd refund our money but now they're refusing."
The park has received mixed reviews. While some guests said they had an "excellent time" a number of recent online reviews gave just one star. Reviewers described the park as "filthy", "awful" and "fit for nothing".
Pontins, which describes Pakefield as "one of [its] most peaceful resorts" did not respond to a request for comment.