I gave them one because I cannot give 0. My experience at Tri-topia was awful, I booked 2 weeks and stayed just 5 days.
It is such a shame, considering that I started this experience animated by a huge enthusiasm.
I was a complete beginner in all the three disciplines (swimming, running and cycling) and I made it very clear in my email to Sam (one of the owner). My goal was approaching the three sports in order to diversify my training (exercise that I perform regularly 3/5 times a week in the gym), I was never an athlete and I was not planning any race any time soon. The experience should have consisted in receiving some training in the three sports and, maybe, give the triathlon a go, and all this was really clear from the beginning.
I experienced instead, lack of care for customers, unprofessionalism and an unpleasant attitude all over my stay. Here a short description of what happened: even before booking the holiday, in email conversations, I stated I was a beginner sound and clear, just not to run into issues…Sam reassured me that they would not have any problem, and beginners are always welcome at Tri-Topia……WELL, IT DID NOT SEEMS SO TO ME….There was no program in place for me, but in general for a beginner. They have some activities they repeat every week or two and they try to fit everyone in. The other guests were much more trained than me, they knew already what they were doing, so what tritopia staff should have done, was just elaborating a different plan of training which could include some group activities, but not all (excluding the ones made for experts). Instead, the first day they threw me on a bike, which I stated very clear I was not comfortable with, (it was too big for me and I had to lean forward too much assuming a wrong position) and they made me take a ride of in total 13 km. I did it because I thought:” They are the professionals, they know what they are doing, maybe I just have to get used to it”….WRONG! They are very much improvised, I ended up with a sit bone pain which they doubted even existed, the owner (Lee), said that it was strange because I have a “good bum”….WHAT?? (just to give a touch of reality, I am a size 8, and the sit bone pain is not related anyway with the size of your rear). The pain could have easily avoided choosing the right bike and the right posture. When I complained with Sam (Lee’s wife) for this comment, which I found deeply inappropriate and rude, she said I did not understand his sense of humor…I let readers decide….then, Lee suggested that, because I did not know how to ride a bike (I do know, but I never ride a road bike which is pretty different matter from a mountain bike or an hybrid) that I could go with his 12 years old daughter to have a ride…WHAT??I found it deeply inappropriate, once again, you should never say something like that to a client (also because I paid 1568 euros for two weeks of training and not for random activities, which is what they offered), Sam replied that it is a family business, this is why Lee asked his daughter to accompany me for some rides. The problem is, that I did not pay either for being baby sat nor for having company, I was paying for professional training. You know, I can run random fitness at home, at no cost and more enjoyment.
I finally gave up biking, regardless their insistence in trying again, because wrong biking can do more harm than good, so I tried to concentrate on swimming and running, even if with some uncertainties, due to the fact I did not trust them and their advices anymore (would you?) . Regarding the running, I had 2 sessions of running in 5 days and one run with Sam, which was not a real session but was enjoyable at least. The problem with these two sessions was that, again, they were random, you could not see a plan. I had 2 weeks in front of me, when we started they could and should have done an assessment and set personalised goals for everyone, based on the level of experience. This is the least you can expect, from a place that sells itself as a training camp/holiday. You are even asked to fill a form regarding your skills and level of expertise, but my impression was they did not use that at all (I sent it back late, but still, two days before starting, and I had anticipated my level by mail, far before). For beginners instead, at least, they do not have plans. It is like: if you are not an athlete or someone who is preparing a race, you are not worth it to be trained - this is something I cannot agree with, nor accept. Sport should be associated with well-being and cohesion in the first place, not just times and competition.
They asked me a few times, when I was complaining, if I was frustrated for my low level of training compared with the other guests, and I kept saying to them that I was fully aware of my level, I told them even before I came; however, this does not mean you have to be left on your own, with some bits of unprepared activities, without any structured training plan in order to reach achievable goals (whatever they could be). There is always a beginning for everything. The problem with them is that they do not want to question themselves, if you are unhappy with them you are the problem, not their inconsistency, their approssimative approach, or their rude attitude they tend to consider humor.
The only good part of the training was the swimming coaching, which was ok, one swimming session was planned everyday in the morning, and not just thrown on the table at any time/occasion. Thanks to Leanne for the good coaching style, I found her being the only trainer knowing the real meaning of coaching. Speaking of good, I found the cooks (Bettina and Matt) very nice and friendly, cooking good vegan food (which is not easy to find), being the only real highlight of the holiday (!).
In conclusion, if you are an athlete, or a very experienced triathlon racer, and you are searching for a place to sleep and train on your own, with little or no assistance, but good food, I recommend the place to you. If you are searching instead, for a place to be inspired, guided and trained on three exciting disciplines, enjoy the true meaning of sport and holidays, meet friendly people, you should avoid it, and search for another place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tri-topia has been created as a home away from home triathlon training and cycling HOLIDAY facility and is a truly a triathletes Utopia. You can train like a pro with us lookin after your every need.Our Tri camps accommodate everyone from Beginner triathlete, wanting to find out everything there is to know about their new chosen sport to the elite or more experienced just wanting to use us as a base for their own training. We provide a catered stay for 7 nights. ... more less