Friends Christmas get together
Upon arrival in the pitch black we made our way down the stairs to the door, went in and put some lights on and found lights for pathway for the others.
First impression was ok, yes the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs need some updating and painting but as a social space was all good.
Plenty of cutlery and crockery but a decent welcome pack would have been good as you are nowhere near any shops!!! BE PREPARED me personally I would have had the basics waiting for you as we?ve had in other rentals.
Some logs and kindling was left for us but we had to go out following day for more as theirs was damp and didn?t create a good fire.
Views over and down the lake were fab, balcony needs the algae cleaned off as was very slippy and the outside spaces definately needed clearing as seemed it was a dumping ground for old boats etc.
We did enjoy our stay and if these minor changes were done this could be a fabulous place and I?d go back.
Recommend for friendly gatherings
I'm glad I didn't read the below reviews before I stayed here. Although the house may be a little dated it is an amazing place to stay. We had a reunion with friends from all over the UK and it was exactly what we were looking for.
The house was clean upon arrival and yes there may have been rubbish awaiting collection, but this was at the top of the stairs well away from the house. It's not the owners fault the rubbish isn't collected every day. The two bathrooms and cloakroom were clean and no leaks or toilet problems and there was no funny smell throughout the house, or any damp. The log fire kept the living room warm and the central heating kept the rest of the house toasty.
There are two huge double bedrooms, one which is large enough and yes there is one double where there isn't much room and you have to get in the bed from the bottom but it's a little petty to fuss over that when the bed is for sleeping and not for everyone to sit round and have a chat! The living room is plenty big enough for a group of people to gather.
The kitchen was big enough for all 8 of us to get involved with the cooking and the dishwasher meant we had more time to relax. We had no problems with the cleanliness of the oven.
The only slight problem was some of the plugs had no covering so watch your rings don't go down the drain!
The games room was a nice addition as well.
Plus to top it off we seen some amazing fireworks from the balcony set off from the middle of the lake which was a lovely unexpected suprise for bonfire weekend.
Not a place for people who expect everything to be perfect as it's a lived in property which adds to its charm, but it was clean and cheap compared to other houses that sleeps 8 people around the country.
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.