A new ranking of British holiday parks has placed mainstay Pontins last out of 19 competitors, and big names struggled while Norfork-based Potters Resorts claimed the crown.
The table, compiled by Which?, was created by surveying 1,355 members on how they rated their stays at holiday parks throughout the UK. Categories of cleanliness, quality of accommodation, customer service, facilities, entertainment, food and drink and value for money were rated on a scale from one to five.
Which? travel editor Guy Hobbs said the survey “saw smaller, family-run resorts triumph over the biggest names, so there is no need to go for the most expensive option to have a great experience.”
Potters – which has two locations in Hopton-on-Sea, Norfolk, and Maldon, Essex, and offers free food and drink as part of its £72-per- night price – scored perfectly in all seven areas. Earning a customer score of 88%, it narrowly beat Waterside Holiday Group by a single point, which likewise completed a clean sweep of the categories, despite having the most expensive price at £80 per night.
Pontins, meanwhile, scored an ego-bruising 59%, with its quality of accommodation receiving the only two stars in the category and its entertainment and value for money getting the same rating. The former family holiday heavyweight’s poor standing isn’t a new experience for its owner Britannia Hotels – Which? has rated it Britain’s worst hotel chain for nine consecutive years.
At £49 per night, Pontins is only a pound cheaper than Bluestone National Park Resort, which ranked in fourth place. The Welsh holiday park finished behind Potters, Waterside and Away Resorts, with all four parks receiving the Which? Recommended Providers stamp.
Director of commercial at Bluestone, Yvonne Buckingham, pledged to build on the resort’s success, stating “our continued investment is ensuring our guests can expect the best possible short break as the Which? survey demonstrates,”
Other big names in the holiday park business, Center Parcs and Butlin’s, failed to crack the top 10, scoring 72% and 71% respectively. Haven Holiday Parks and Parkdean Resorts finished joint second bottom with 68%.
Parkdean has contested the results, with a spokesperson saying: “We don’t recognise these findings, which are from a tiny sample size compared to the 3.5 million holidaymakers we welcome every year.” The spokesperson also claimed that they did not feel that the results published by Which? “represent the feedback Parkdean gets from its customers, as review scores are the best they’ve ever been”.