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  1. #1
    KAF2 Guest

    Default Pontins Camber Sands

    At a time when campsites are no longer particularly cheap (often charging per person per night) and Butlins have hiked their prices to those of Centerparcs, Pontins is the last option out there for anybody wanting a cheap and cheerful UK family holiday.

    If you can pick up a good special offer, you can’t go wrong at Camber Sands, especially when you consider that car parking alone in this area is 12 a day – which is more than you will end up paying for your Pontins apartment with parking and all the other facilities and entertainment thrown in!

    The apartment was fine. Slighty tatty in places and the windows could do with a good clean, but at least you get a bedroom or two, along with a kitchen area and lounge. Far better than at Butlins where you have to pay extra if you want anything other than bedroom only accommodation. Also, unlike at Butlins, the curtains are properly lined, so you don't wake up with bright light streaming into your room at 5am.

    The camp was fairly well maintained, with no evidence of the litter on-site that you find at some of the other Pontins camps. Lots of large grassy areas throughout the camp too. The Crazy Golf was also well maintained (and free). The pool was perfectly adequate and not overcrowded, with inflatables and slides. There was also a games room (which you no longer get at two of the three Butlins camps) with free darts, table tennis and snooker, open daily until 9pm. Kids had two free films a day (unlike Butlins) in a junior theatre, and a nursery. There was lots of play equipment on site and a sand-pit. During wet weather they had a free indoor bouncy castle as well. There was a nice big arcade, although a surprising amount of the machines were frequently out of order.

    The entertainment was similar or better than what you get at Butlins, although not quite up to the what was on offer at Pontins last year. Not my sort of thing but the usual talent contests, bingo, karaoke, kids shows and X-Factor ‘stars’. The Bluecoats were smart looking, hard working and did a fantastic job of entertaining the kids.

    The half board food was also good. Somewhere between Butlins standard and premium dining in terms of quality and choice. For less than half the price (ie. 6 per person rather than 16)! Oh, and proper pots of tea. Not the Butlins powdered tea from vending machines, a recent move which has made all the drinks in standard dining at Butlins absolutely vile! (at least at Skeggy anyway!)

    Behaviour on camp was also fine. Not too much noise late at night, especially in chalets a few blocks away from the entertainment building, pub and play area. The one or two issues I saw were dealt with by security in a very professional way, completely calming down the situation and not over-reacting and ramping things up.

    There are a few problems. Check-in is chaotic, as usual at Pontins. Mealtimes sometimes involved queues. The TVs had poor reception – if watching TV on holiday is a priority, set your recording boxes going back home! They could also do with a few more parking spaces when the camp is full.

    Apart from the lovely sandy beach here, there were lots of interesting places to visit within half an hour’s drive: Bodrun Castle, Dungeness and the mini-railway, Rye & Hastings.

    An affordable good-value holiday, far FAR better than camping. And unlike Butlins today, you don’t get the feeling that they are money-grabbing at every single opportunity throughout your stay. No B-line passes here! The venues are open-door all day long, with plenty of seating available. The whole place had a relaxed atmosphere that I used to get at Butlins.

    If you are used to Butlins holidays from the 70s to the early 2000s, there is nothing to fault. Just don’t go there looking for problems!

    KAF
    Last edited by KAF2; 02-06-14 at 10:40 PM.

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