Good and bad points
I stayed here as part of a hen party, in total 9 adults. Starting with the good, it is really well kitted out with all the mod cons and everything you could possibly need in terms of kitchen utensils, board games, storage. It is like a home from home in that sense. The owner David was very helpful and friendly. The location, Milwich, really is lovely, and the Green Man pub around the corner did the most amazing food at very reasonable prices. It wasn?t too far from Stone, although if you want a taxi you need to book well in advance as they get booked up.
However, I think this cottage is far more suitable for groups with children. There were lots of toys and the garden is a lovely play area- obviously of no interest to us though. Importantly, most of the accommodation was bunk beds, which for a group of women in their 30s isn?t ideal. There is one king bed, one sofa bed (which effectively made the living area un-usable for the rest of us) and a camp bed in the hallway (?reading area?) which was a bit too exposed for any of us to want to sleep on, as people would be walking up and down the hallway waking you up. I can imagine it would be a lovely retreat for a couple of families as I do think the bunk beds aren?t every adult?s cup of tea. The 'triple' bunk bed in particular didn't seem very stable.
The other big issue is that the cottage appears to be attached to the owners family home. After two very heavy nights, we were woken both mornings at 7am by children next door shouting and playing piano. Very annoying particularly as the owner actively encourages hen parties who evidently aren't going to want to be woken so early. You can see that there is other accommodation attached to the property as in two of the rooms, there are boarded up doors which presumably once connected the two properties.
Finally, the hot tub was a big selling point for us and we were really looking forward to using it. However it was out of action for the first 24 hours, and after that it never really got hot enough to use for more than ten minutes. It was wood-fired and had a really awful, oily smell to it.
So in summary, some good points, some bad, probably wouldn't go back due to the noise next door and the lack of decent beds.
Where do I start..... we booked this as a group of 6 adults and 6 children. When we first arrived it was clear immediately that the barn had t been cleaned very well if at all downstairs. The floors were sticky with marks on the sides. The bbq has not been cleaned from the previous booking including all of the crockery left outside next to it.
The so called ?welcome pack? wasn?t very welcoming out of date cereal and no tea.
On the surface I initially thought we could probably put up with those things just for the week.
It then became apparent that there was a large wasp nest in the beams at head height in the garden along with a dirty hot tub and kids swimming pool that had been coloured blue to ?look pretty? as David told us. David..... well what a very defensive and bare face liar. His solution to the wasp nest was a foam and some expanding foam which not only made them angrier also stating them to come out from inside the barn. We had live, half dead and dead wasps all over the place (see pics). Not only did David pretend that it had only just appeared he didn?t seem at all phased by the fact we had a two year old running around with wasps everywhere and a mound of dead wasps hidden behind some plastic leaves- it?s definatly been there a while.
We made it clear we wasn?t happy and could we have a refund to which he agreed and went on his way home - which by the way is attached to the barn (not in the description when we booked!)
After speaking to Sykes cottages they had found us alternative accommodation and was awaiting confirmation from David for the refund. I was then told that he was not now willing to give us a full refund as we had stayed there overnight, I couldn?t believe it! We then took photos of all of the ?hazards? in the property including:
- nails sticking out the hot tub seat
- exposed wires from the boiler
- sewage smell due to no sink traps
- workshop unlocked and open outside the so called safe play area which was full of dangerous equipment
The list just went on.
I have never written a review before but I was so cross that this man made our holiday so difficult and didn?t seem to have any consideration for his guest and their well-being and safety. We are hoping Sykes will investigate further before someone gets seriously hurt at this accommodation. There are also no other bad reviews anywhere regarding this barn so I feel families should be warned!
We eventually moved to the other property after a very heated face off as he was adamant it was not up to him to agree the refund and Sykes said he was refusing to give it. When we got packed ready to leave we confronted David who was still sticking to his story that he couldn?t agree it as it was the companies decision. When we offered to call them to have a 3 way conversation he got cross and said he was late for the theatre. Fortunately we were parked in front of him so we refused to leave until he had sorted it and he just threatens to call the police.
Sykes were fantastic and completely agreed that the information and photos were unacceptable and not the standard they expect so they agreed to pay the rest of the costs for us to leave.
We had a great holiday from then on just a shame it was ruined by David?s selfish and inconsiderate behaviour.
This is Our 2nd stay @ the barn we really like the homely feel it has everything you would need for a Family holiday we went along with Our Grandchildren + Our children+ followed by Great grandma we especially enjoyed being out in the garden which is fully equipped for Fun not forgetting the Steamy Hot Tub ! that was enjoyed by all. The layout of Squirrel Barn is great fun for children, we found plenty to do even though it was January and very cold the barn was very cosy with family huddled together having fun I would recommend this hide away. Thank you David .........The Staffords
Squirrel Barn is fantastic.
Squirrel Barn is a fantastic beautiful holiday cottage. Ideal for families, parties, children and pets. The facilities are beyond imagination. The garden is full of child and adult games, a wood fired hot tub, fire pit, large BBQ. Darts, basket ball, bowls, boules, badminton, swings, slide, sand pit... The kitchen is full of equipment, even a chocolate fountain, garlic press, pestle and mortar, multiple types of oven...Every bedroom has digital TV, fire stick, blue tooth speaker. Huge family TV downstairs with surround sound system. Extensive outside lights, lit patio, seating, a truly amazing atmosphere. The property manager is always available for any problem, however small, and supplies endless free range eggs from the chickens! We had a wonderful family get together. Would recommend to anyone.
Just home from a week here. Barn is excellent. There is literally everything provided. Its a home from home. Tons of towels, Amazon sticks and tv in every room. Wi-Fi works great. Garden is brilliant the kids really enjoyed all the toys and basketball stand / darts etc. Hot tub and paddling pool were great too as warm water could be fed straight into them. Fresh eggs milk bread orange juice etc on arrival is a nice touch. Owner David is happy to help with anything. We stayed as a family of 6 but can see how barn is usable for hen nights etc as well. Supermarket within a 4 mile drive and we visited alton towers plus water park and cadbury world as days out. The barn is secluded enough for privacy but easy enough to drive to get the other areas. Spacious and comfortable. Thanks for a lovely week :)