Balmaha Lodges:A Review

We stayed at the lodges last week, here is my trip advisor review… please ignore grammatical mistakes etc but I am seething with rage due to how we were treated by the management.

pic courtesy of tripadvisor

We stayed at the lodges last week and had booked back in July as we wanted a nice place to celebrate our young cousin turning 18. 
Upon arrival, we were met by the manager Lillian and another member of staff. They were unable to find our booking at the start but tracked it down a few minutes later. The booking was made with a family members credit card who would be along later, after work. 

We were told that the balance needed to be paid and that they would “just take it as long as you could sign it on their behalf”. I did this and when the other member of staff was processing the booking, she had absolutely no idea on the price and almost charged us double until I corrected her. 

We were told very sternly that the hot tub required vacating by 10pm and that no glasses were to be taken in which was completely understandable. However, being told this by the manager, I felt that I was in school again and felt she was very condescending bearing in mind that the youngest member of our small party was 11, the oldest in her 50’s and the majority were mother and daughter. 

When we got into the lodge, we were impressed by the cleanliness and would have recommended people to stay here.. that was until after we had checked out and the accusations and lies came through with additional charges for supposed damage.

Before I explain what happened and despite us letting one or two things go, I have to say that there were things which couldnt be ignored.. There wasn’t enough cutlery, glasses, plates, the heating made so much noise throughout the night that it kept everyone awake and there was no one to speak with on check out, and there was a broken window handle with no light on the cooker hob which meant when cooking, we had to use the torch from our phone. Some of the dishes were also dirty and there was a lot of dust. On the welcome email on booking, it stated that there was shower gel and shampoo… unfortunately not in the shower!

We still had a lovely night though as a family despite this and we did vacate the hot tub by 9pm. At this time it was noted that the manager was leaving despite saying that she would be on until 10:30pm but if we had an emergency it would need to be a good one as she stayed 30 mins away!

During the night, my 11 year old was unwell and had vomited but it was cleaned, with windows left open over night and when clearing the lodge out. This was going to come back and haunt us apparently…

We had checked out, went home and then came together again on Saturday evening where I received an email saying that they had charged us for cleaning and a broken drawer. We responded with shock as no one broke anything and the vomit was cleaned from the bathroom.

I was told that “The document that was signed by the guest who checked in on your arrival clearly states that any damages occurred during your stay will be deducted from the card”. 

No, this was most certainly not the case. I was not told that this was a disclaimer but I that I was signing for check in. I was signing for another persons card… I asked on many occasions for proof of this drawer being broken and was never provided with it. My picture of that drawer is included. We also asked for the bill of repairs as it was stated the £50 for cleaning the odour of vomit and repair to the drawer.

This was another response to a query in relation to signing on behalf of the card owner, “The reason you signed the check in document was that the original person that made the booking was not present yet. We usually take full payment on arrival before guests can check into there lodge and it was the guest that signed the check in document called the guest that made the original booking and told us to go ahead and take payment so we could check 
you in.” I did not make any call to the card holder as stated, and this can be proven via mobile phone records. 

Another inconsistency is referring to the cost of repairs..”Dear Angeline, The £50 that was deducted from the guests account that booked the lodge does not cover the damage that has been done to the lodge or the extra cleaning that was needed done.” Sorry, what? But you said this: “Due to the damage to the kitchen drawer and also extra cleaning charges for sickness in Lodge 7, we have deducted a further £50.00 charge due to this“, I’m quite confused about this email and her contradiction.

Here is the kitchen drawer in question

Once Lillian decided that I had proof of everything that was lied about, she then decided that she would no longer converse with me. This is pretty poor customer service Lillian. I asked again for proof of damage, the bill and also for info so that we could discuss this with the owner. All of this was ignored. I also note from a previous guest that this isn’t the first time that she has lied, and the proof was recorded via his mobile phone.

A few days later, I called the lodge and I was able to speak with the owners wife who really was lovely. She listened and said that she had heard bits and pieces and that she couldn’t comment until speaking with the manager which I felt was fair, as there are two sides and she hadn’t seen the emails exchanged. She said that she would take my number and have her husband call me that evening. 4 days later, I’m still waiting. 

Whilst we understand that running a business is time consuming, I think 4 days is more than adequate to contact a paying customer.

As no one will return calls or emails, we have decided as a family to take things further. We explained that we would do so and made no attempt to add reviews, and gave them the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately we are too kind and we now have no choice but to warn folk against booking in what is lovely accommodation. 

As an aside, I noticed damage to the hot tub cover from lodge 7 and saw in a previous review that another guest was charged £150 and accused of causing that damage. It’s still broken… so theypaid for nothing..I was told by the owners wife that they decided not to repair the covers anymore due to the hassle. It also states in other reviews from other guests about the poorly stocked kitchen which they haven’t obviously taken note of and when asking Lillian about this in another email, she stated that the kitchens are fully equipped… There aren’t even any tea towels to dry dishes with! 

Anyway, I realise that this is war and peace but I don’t want anyone else being party to such horrible treatment. The money we paid could have had us be elsewhere and hassle free. Thanks for ruining the memories of what should have been a memorable ocassion. It could still be a lovely place if you could employ a manager that doesn’t lie.

No homework for my kids.

I’ve been reading a few blogs, interacting with people on Twitter and the latter half of this year was spent telling my daughters teacher that she would not be doing homework.

I could tell by her facial expression that she either didn’t agree or had an opinion on it but possibly didn’t want to explore that as we are given only 10mins (at max), when doing parent -teacher meetings. That in itself tells you a lot about the school curriculum in Scotland…

I know I’m probably seen as that weird trouble making parent in the playground (and to the head teacher , especially when in the past I may have told her that I’m a recovering Catholic and it’s a catholic school) who rather than fit in with the parents/carers with their matching furniture/wall paper/car etc ,sings the praises of their children almost every week via social media (when actually we know how little Betty and Tommy are just as much the shit disturber as ours can be),would much rather survive each day of parenting… Without having to pull out my hair … but to be honest  I couldn’t give a rats ass about being in the parenting “in” crowd.I haven’t for a while and that in itself is liberating. I like that I don’t have to make small talk now with folk that I really don’t have much in common with and can just pick up my child and get on with my life. Sounds harsh but I just haven’t got the time to get involved with the latest gossip.

Back to the point of this post, I digress, yes! Homework… My child went to nursery and then on to school which means that from the age of 3, she has been in the system. Ok, partly our choice as I had wanted to go back to studying again. However, it is a system that constantly tells our young people that you need to do all of these things like go to university and/or college,in order to feel like you have achieved. To use correct punctuation or people will make fun of you and they will define you as a person if you get it wrong and posts “meme’s” on Facebook so that you and your friends can collectively belittle a person to satisfy your own insecurities and ego. Seen it happen loads of time and I actually pity those who do this regularly.  Yes,I wouldlovefor my children to goto college and univerity to study if they want to and I thoroughly encourage studying as there is so much to learn in life but if they want to do something else or go into work,I won’t push them because the world adds enough pressure to our lives as it is. People define others by the job they do,house they live in,area they live,car they drive etc.. What about morals,respecting others and your own

Why does my child need to do these things in order to feel like someone who matters? Why do we have to expect them to conform? They are little beings and sometimes I feel that we have too much influence on them and we need to let them express themselves, find out who they are and to grow.  Unfortunately in our society when you do that and let them explore their personalities they can some times not be included with their peers and get treated differently by the school.

Why does this happen and why as parents do we not just say “fuck it”,?! as Fleetwood Mac says “you can go your own way”! Or do as the little bumble bee girl in the video for Blind Melon’s “No Rain” and dance in those puddles under the droplets of rain that falls from the sky! Be different, be you… Show your kids that individuality and not being the same as anyone else, is good! Embrace it! Learn from your kids and let them learn from you! I bet it’s liberating:) trying to build their confidence so that they are comfortable in a society that preys on and makes a business out of our insecurities.

This post may not make sense or cover the actual topic but I tend to go off in a tangent and not follow the rules 😉

Pontins  Southport: Health Hazard

My friends experience today…

Booked in here today and it’s absolutely disgusting. 

1. Floor filthy and full of crumbs, dirt and mess on our arrival.

2. Toilet full of faeces and stains. 

3. Shower with pubic hair

4. Pungent smell in room, found to be coming from mouldy fridge. 

5. Windows steamed up and unable to open initially.

6. Dirty underwear under bed.

7. Used condom in cupboard.

8. Swimming pool filthy and smelly 

9. Changing rooms in swimming littered with dirt, used toilet paper & sanitary items.

10. Outside area littered with rubbish, food & general mess.

11. Sofa bed in room disgusting,stained & smelly.

12. Sofa bed collapsed when my daughter sat on it. She sustained a significant head injury when she bumped it on the wall. 
I went to reception twice to complain about the dirty room & the pungent smell from the fridge and both matters were dealt with appropriately.

However, while waiting in the staff arriving, I spent 30 minutes cleaning it and £8 in cleaning materials. 

The collapsed bed was “repaired” immediately, however i waited 30 minutes in the room for a manager who failed to turn up. After seeking him out in reception, he didn’t even have the decency to apologise for not turning up to discuss my issues & was frankly unhelpful, advising that he could not refund me or move our room. He actually seemed to find the whip situation amusing. 

I expect a full refund and monetary compensation for this awful experience.  

Due to concerns for my health of my family I cannot stay here here any longer as i fear my health and the health of my family. 

Incidentally, my daughter has an auto immune disorder which makes her susceptible to infection and this makes this situation even more horrific. 

I look forward to your immediate reply.

The Sun Newspaper,An Open Letter

Dear -Fill in the blank,

One of your journalists approached me a few months back when I was on a 2 day break with my kids and cousins,via email with the subject of “Will you talk to me”. Now, I’m sure I can be forgiven for thinking that this was junk mail and to be honest, I should have deleted it and sent it to the trash where it quite rightly belonged but I didn’t. Instead, I engaged in a lengthly conversation about my experience with Post natal depression – and against my better judgement (as I had a feeling and a “niggle”) telling me not continue or share ,but oh boy, I sure did. See,that’s what some journalists feed on .. a person’s vulnerability and/or the need to want to help people and break down stigma , that they are willing to let you in to their thoughts and feelings, to tell the story of how they nearly god damn died because of what was going on.

I have been blogging and talking about my journey for many years and until recently, I didn’t have it in me for fear of judgement, to talk about and admit to the termination that I had. Due to shame and regret? Possibly and most probably but I was told that it would help other women. You got me hook,line and sinker. Silly ,me I guess.  Now, it is true that I had told this story to an amazing woman in a previous publication(so as your title suggested, it wasn’t an exclusive) a few weeks prior to but the Sun is much closer to home and I know that the chance of people I know reading it was more likely than the other.

When I received an email to tell me that it had been published, I was away at a residential bootcamp and had no coverage apart from wifi at certain times of the day.  Imagine my shock when I opened this.


My stomach sank and I was nearly sick. I have never ever been made to feel the way I felt on day of publication.  I couldn’t read the whole thing due to tears streaming down my face and the bile rising in my throat from my stomach. Over dramatic enough for you? Well unfortunately its all true which is more than I can say for your headline which I was told wasn’t written by the journalist who spoke to me- despite only her name being on the article.

I want to ask one thing… The headline talks about how I “aborted my healthy baby”. How do you know that this baby was healthy or not? How do you think that impacts a mother on the brink of suicide, making such a difficult decision , who thinks that she’s murdering her baby? Because i’ll tell you this, I was at that stage in my life and I fought so fucking hard to get through it all and I did. It was my husband, my daughter, my cousin,uncle and close friends who helped. Your paper hides behind the guise of wanting to help and share these stories but it is YOUR paper that adds to the stigma when you print headlines like that and take advantage of people like me.  You did real good though.. I like to think that I’m intelligent,worldly and educated pretty well….Maybe not.

When I tried contacting the journalist, she wasn’t in the office but her boss was. he didn’t reply until I sent two other emails and her dismissive attitude was a  further kick in the stomach.  I responded to her mail but I haven’t had a reply back so I am reponding to a few points via this open letter  Number 1. Apparently, “Sometimes seeing your story in print can be painful”- ahh , yes especially when it’s sensationalised. which leaves me to point 2.  questioning ethics…”Headlines are meant to grab attention” at the risk of someones mental health? Really, you want to go there? 3.The Scottish Sun has tackled many sensitive subjects without complaint – lies. Ask blogger @TheRealSupermum and the doozy which was done on her.

I vowed after this “story” was published( which some of it appears to have been taken from a certain other publication, tut tut)that I would never share anything again but I looked back at some of the old emails,texts and comments on my blog of support, and thought about why I started writing and share my story in the first palce. The conclusion that I came to was my need to let women (and men) who make difficult decisions every day or go through PND,Prenatal depression or depression as a whole, that they aren’t alone,there is support and no one needs to feel shame. You won’t destroy that because I won’t let you.  Your “rag” of a newspaper is thought less of than I am. The only one who should feel shame, is you.

Regards

Angeline Brunel Dickson

The Bikini Advert & Social Media

I woke up this morning to this on my twitter feed, regarding the Protein World advert. 

 

I challenged it and naively thought that the London based agency would come back with some sort of debate which I enjoy , but instead they came back with the following … 

   
 I do believe that they are riding on the coat tails of previous controversy because I don’t believe for a minute, that one company can be so stupid and ill informed. At least, for their clients sake, I hope not.

The words that they use such as “chubby girls”, just adds to the fat shaming society that we live in and which continues to grow with ads like those and agencies such as this one who all of a sudden no longer have a web site up and running.

Do they really believe what they say or are they trying to do a Katie Hopkins and just ride on the back of bad publicity? I don’t think they they even know as my tweets have gone unanswered. Sigh.
Update: they started a new account to tell me this…  Nice.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...