DAMP, DIRTY AND DISAPPOINTING
I wish I had read the reviews about Horton Lodge Boathouse before booking but I usually don?t and like to form my own opinion as everyone?s expectations of a place can be different.
First the good points, the boathouse is in a lovely position on Rudyard Lake, has lots of history, lovely walks right on the doorstep, the area is very quiet, has private parking and the rhododendrons in the garden were all in full bloom during our stay so it was very picturesque. Note that the piece of land next door is a dumping ground for old boats, old bikes, broken outside furniture, broken garden pots etc so is a bit of an eyesore.
Now for the not so good points, Horton Lodge Boathouse needs a thorough clean and a repaint to bring it up to standard. I did complain to the owners after our visit and made some recommendations so that future guests have a better experience than ours. The owner?s comments when I pointed out all the marked/dirty paintwork which is in every room not just the hallway - ?There are some paint scratches on the landing as it is quite narrow and people unfortunately scratch the walls while carrying their luggage up and down to the bedrooms. We do paint the walls twice a year and the woodwork once a year?. I would question that the woodwork is refreshed every year as it certainly doesn?t look like it.
LOUNGE - The settees are very scratched and dirty. The leather chesterfield in particular is in a very disgusting state, it?s dirty, cracked leather and has holes in the cushions. In response to my complaint to the owners they replied ?The sofas are a little scratched as we do allow so many dogs but we have always been told are very comfortable. If they were to be replaced with brand new we certainly wouldn't allow so many dogs at the property.? So basically, because we had dogs with us the owner is saying it is acceptable to have scratched, dirty, sofas in his property. The photo on the website shows throws over them, this was not the case. Some of the loose scatter cushions were also dirty and in need of the covers washing. The radiator cover in the lounge has a hole where it has been damaged (see photo), the curtains are dirty, some of the curtain rails are broken. The houseplants needed some TLC, many were dead or dying.
Don?t expect to find an information pack. The owner?s response to my comments about it were ?The information pack is concise, we don't like it ourselves when on holiday there's too much to read and we make it clear that we are available for any questions guests may have. I agree its certainly concise all there is are just a few tatty pieces of A4 paper with very little information. It took us almost a week to find the outside light switches and then only found them by accident when we went into a broom cupboard in the hall ? bingo there are the outside light switches. There are lots of notes around the house advising about charges for overuse of electricity etc and where the downstairs light switches are. I?ve suggested to the owners all of these are included in the information pack.
BALCONY ? a lovely area to sit out overlooking the lake but some of the furniture was so dirty with green algae it couldn?t be used (see photo). The railings are rusty and desperately need repainting.
KITCHEN - The oven was so dirty that every time we used it the smoke alarm went off. I actually wrote ?Clean me? in the grease on the cooker hood. The kitchen floor was dirty and when wiped with a piece of kitchen roll was black and dirty (see photo). The toaster is broken, kitchen knives are blunt and don?t cut. We bought one from the supermarket to use while we were there.
BEDROOMS - In my opinion this is not a four bedroomed property as one ?double bedroom? is so small you have to climb into the bed from the bottom as there is no room to walk around the bed. Note, the large double bedroom with ensuite upstairs is the only nice bedroom. The downstairs bedroom is very damp as it is above the water. The duvet on the bed was wet with damp and not pleasant to use. We couldn?t leave our clothes in this room as they got damp. The owner leaves a dehumidifier running in the bar/games room next door 24 hours but this does not stop the dampness although we didn?t experience the room smelling. There were other people?s clothes that had been left hanging in the wardrobe and the chest of drawers. We had to use this bedroom as the only decent bedroom/ensuite upstairs had to be used by my daughter as she couldn?t get down the steep steps to the bedroom over the water. Note that the other two bedrooms are very small.
BATHROOMS ? Broken plugs need replacing, the shower curtain pops off its railing when used. The bath towels were very thin and need replacing so I?d recommend you take your own.
BAR/GAMES ROOM - is untidy, the washing machine is in there but only works on programme 12 (we had to ring the owners to find this out). There is exposed pipework beside the bar and there are also some kind of weird electrical wires near this (see photo). I don?t know whether they are live or not.
GARDEN ? The rotary washing line is broken, the outside sweeping brush is broken. The rhododendrons were very pretty but there were pots everywhere and unfortunately the majority of the plants were dead and many of the pots were broken. There were also lots of pieces of broken wooden garden furniture discarded in the shrubbery, pathways etc.
We had to clean out the rowing boat before we could use it as it was dirty. The two kayaks were in good order and fun to use.
If anyone, wants to see photos that I took, please let me know.
Although we made the most of our stay, mainly because the weather was glorious, had it been wet then our stay would have been a different story. I feel very annoyed that the owners can get away with such poor, dirty, substandard accommodation that they charge a very high price for and wouldn?t want other renters to have the same experience as us. As mentioned I did raise the issues with the owners and a very small amount of compensation has been paid back to us.
Horton Lodge Boathouse could be so much nicer and I would not book it again unless the owners have made improvements which I suggested to them after our stay. There is a much better, nice dog friendly rental further down the road and it was ?400 cheaper than Horton Lodge Boathouse so I wish I had booked that one.
Amazing Property, Location and Holiday
The property is an Victorian Boathouse it is located on an amazing scenic lake. Every Window from the property has a view of the lake. The boathouse itself is in very good condition, the kitchen is well equipped with a large electric oven and hob, dishwasher and a great island which helps especially when catering for 6 adults and 2 children. Everything you would need to prepare meals is there and there is a great butcher in Leek town centre and Sainsbury's is a 5 minute drive).
The bedrooms (4 bedrooms) are very well maintained, very clean as well as the bedding. Games room although does not have windows is very well lit with a pool table and dartboard provided. Living room is very well equipped with seating and even Sky TV, as well as excellent free Wi-Fi that can be picked up all around the property.
We loved sitting on balcony in the mornings drinking tea and just enjoying the view. There are lovely maintained gardens that give you privacy from the road but unobstructed view of the lake.
The view from the lake is even better and the owner even leaves two Kayaks a rowing boat and enough life jackets for the Titanic for your use. The whole family had fun on these including the grandparents.
Needed to contact the owner a few times (silly little things where were the spare light bulbs and what direction was the pub that you could walk too), His communication was excellent replied promptly and answered our silly little questions, for me this gives me great peace of mind when the owner is only a phone call away.
We will definitely be booking for next year.
House looked great online. But it's mucky and tired. Bins overflowing with bags of rubbish when we arrived. Dirty clothes in drawers in the bedrooms. no lock on bathroom door. Row boat let water in! There's also signs saying that you'll be charged if you use too much heating. It's a house on a lake and we're in Britain. You're going to need the heating on. The place is very pricey compared to others on the lake that are so much better. This place could be amazing but it was very disappointing.
Unique house, dirty kitchen
The positives - good location, some lovely unique features, cosy lounge with fab outlook, shabby yet comfy sofas, nice big fireplace (shame about the layer of dust), clean bedding
The negatives - desperately needs a thorough clean especially in the kitchen. There was a large bin that was filthy inside and out that we moved to an unused room along with the flies that were in it. Some of the crockery and cutlery needed a good wash, all the work surfaces were sticky, the drawers had crumbs in them, the fridge froze everything initially and when temperature was altered kept it lukewarm at best, the freezer drawers were frozen stuck, the windows were filthy, the list is pretty much endless. There were cobwebs in most rooms. The carpet had holes in places. Dusty surfaces throughout the downstairs. The only shower is over the only bath and the head would only face the wall so relieved there wasn't a full house of us staying for a week as had to resort to washing in the bathroom sink.
We wanted dog friendly so didn't expect it to be brand new and spotless but for the price we paid I don't think clean is an unreasonable expectation.
Horton Lodge Boathouse is a fantastic looking building in a glorious location. It was great to be able to get straight onto the lake from the garden, and to be able to sit and look at the lake from almost all the rooms.