Are We Now Caravan Converts?

A few weeks ago we booked a long weekend in the Isle of Wight.  At first Mr ATWWAH was looking at glamping but as we’re off to a festival later this month we decided to leave the camping, glamorous or otherwise, until then.  Instead, we booked a caravan.  We both figured Master ATWWAH would enjoy it and we booked a ‘luxury’ caravan, so how bad could it be?

As the weekend grew closer I started to get a bit more apprehensive.  Maybe there was a reason I’ve never stayed in a caravan before?  We didn’t have a car when I was growing up so a caravanning holiday would have been pretty stationary.  I may be wrong but I’m sure static caravans weren’t as common in the 70’s and 80’s.  I’ve always thought caravans were going to be a bit smelly too and I have a thing about walking to a communal toilet/bathroom in the middle of the night when on holiday, or at any other time for that matter.  Anyway, I double checked and this caravan had its own bathroom so again, how bad could it be?

We had booked at Whitecliff Bay, a holiday park in Bembridge which offers not only static caravans but glamping, camping, chalets and luxury lodges.  However a pre-trip peek on TripAdvisor didn’t abate my worries as many of the reviews were far from complimentary.  My mantra soon became ‘it’s only three nights, it’s only three nights?’ whilst sneakily checking whether the Priory Bay Hotel had any last minute availability.

Mr ATWWAH checked us in while we waited in the car and he was back a couple of minutes later proclaiming it a very smooth process.  How hard he thought getting a caravan key would be I’m not sure but there you go.  We followed the directions on the map going past some very sad looking chalets and arrived at our caravan.  It was certainly big from the outside. 

 

Caravan pic

Our home for the weekend

The living area was spacious with an L shaped sofa, a little table and chairs and a kitchen area.  There were two bedrooms, one a double with just enough room for a double bed and a very small en-suite, but an en-suite all the same.  The other bedroom had two single camp beds which I’m pretty sure an adult would struggle to sleep in but would be perfect for anyone with two kids.  And, there was a bathroom which had just about enough room to swing a cat from the shower.

 

Inside the caravan

Luxury Caravan Interior

 

View out of the window

Check out the chalets

 

For the three of us it felt more than big enough, however the website says the luxury caravans sleep 6.  I wouldn’t have fancied sharing the space with more adults, especially as the other two sleeping berths appeared to be on the L-shaped sofa that didn’t even convert to sofa beds.

We also put one single bed on top of the other in the second bedroom so there was room for Master ATWWAH’s travel cot.  The beds were a bit too high for him to sleep in on his own but there was no other floor space.   

The caravan was certainly more modern than I thought it would be and clean.  Although it had been cleaned there was a knock on the door not long after we arrived with a bin bag full of towels for us, why in a bin bag I’m not sure, and our ‘luxury welcome pack’ including a sachet of washing up liquid – the luxury. 

All the caravans must have had different owners and some had outside areas that were definitely well-tended with balcony type seating and flowerpots etc. 

There were some great views, slightly marred by the roofs of the chalets in front, and Master ATWWAH enjoyed watching the light aircraft land at the airfield from the window.

We managed to get a good nights sleep on each night, and Master ATWWAH even slept through a thunderstorm. 

The actual holiday park was in a nice location with its own little beach which was a big hit with families and dog owners.  There was a kids playground with mini golf right next to the on-site pub, the unfortunately named Nab Bar.  We didn’t eat there or anything but it looked pretty popular.  There were also two swimming pools, the inside one could easily feature in a remake of Hi-De-Hi, if TV channel Gold are ever looking to bring it back. 

There was entertainment for kids throughout the day and into the evening as well as an evening entertainment programme.  We didn’t go to any of it as even the kids entertainment in the evening seemed to start a bit late for toddlers.  There was lots of live music advertised though, including local Isle of Wight bands and tribute acts. 

 

what's on guide

What’s On?

The verdict?  I’d definitely stay in a caravan again, as long as it had its own loo, and as a base to explore the Isle of Wight then Whitecliff Bay was as good a place as any.   The one gripe we had was in our Welcome Pack there was an offer to extend your stay at £40 a night.  We had spent a lot more than £40 a night so it felt a bit like we had been ripped off from the start.

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