We travelled for thirteen hours to this house for a family wedding only to find we were unable to get in despite an email sent to the person (Nicola) taking the booking who turns out to be the daughter of the owner Mrs Ann Hardie. The owner turned up after i phoned the number provided some two hours later after sending the email. Prior to booking it was made clear that we were travelling long distance with three dogs and when we met the owner it became obvious from the start she was anti-dog, as she stated she did not like dogs and was not happy to have my three dogs staying and made it quite clear we were not welcome, but as the booking had been made she would allow us to stay but refused any refund if we wanted to go somewhere else.
The beds had not been made and there was no bed linen to make the beds, we had to wait for the owner to return to her own house which is within five minutes walking distance of the cottage to return with bedding and then proceeded in an attempt at teaching my partner how to make a bed. The bathroom did not have any mats down I had to use one of my own towels for this, the owner did not drop bath mats around until the Friday. There was hand wash in the bathroom which had been watered down, and a quarter of a toilet roll supplied, had to purchase my own. I even had gone and bought my own quilt cover and sheets as the bedding provided was not exactly the cleanest, the double quilt which was provided was heavily stained.
The furniture is not the best, looks like it has come from a second-hand shop, kitchen is dated and tired needs refreshing, kitchen was not exactly clean had to clean down counter tops before using, fridge was not even switched on for our arrival. In the corner of the living room is a pay phone which I have not seen since the eighties, when drinking in the local bars.
After settling down to get some sleep we awoke late afternoon early evening on the Thursday, whilst sitting around the dining table we glanced out the rear window to find the owner wandering around the garden unannounced with a black bag in her hand and wearing black gloves, when asked what she was doing she claimed she was putting out bins which she wanted us to do and bring back in.
Now being a former resident of South Ayrshire and i know how strict the council are about waste bins, these should not be placed out before 0730 on the day of collection and certainly not the night before.
We felt very uncomfortable and uneasy staying in this house, you are watched on three sides from the house opposite, which is a kitchen window looking directly into the cottage and from a rear garden, where a man was to be seen parading up and down the garden opposite and texting on a mobile whilst standing watching the rear of the cottage. There were also people watching on the house which faced onto the garden.
On the Saturday after returning from Girvan beach and visiting family, we decided to relax in the garden. We had barely been sitting outside 5 minutes, when one my dogs started to roll around the grass having a fit and frothing at the mouth, luckily, I knew what I was doing and got her out of the fit and took her back into the house and got her settled and brought back to normal. Later in the evening I let the dogs out prior to retiring for the evening, the same dog started having another fit which was not as bad as the first fit.
Early on the Sunday morning the dogs had gone back into garden and the same dog took another fit in the exact same spot as the previous evening, which was even worse than the previous, after this I refused to have this particular dog in the garden. I had taken all my dogs to the local beaches and parks, without any issues or fits. At the bottom of the garden there is a shed, which has a padlock on it, on the Saturday I noticed before the dog started fitting I noticed the padlock on the shed had been disturbed and mentioned this to our dog sitter whom went and looked at this and found an orange spray bottle marked in pen as roundup, but could have contained any chemical product. Prior to this evening the dog which I have had from eight weeks old has had no health issues and has had none since returning back to our own home. Upon returning from this trip we got Veterinary advice and were told the dog is healthy and what happened in this garden was environmentally related.
On the Sunday evening the owner visited the cottage making demands for cleaning money, which equated to sixty pounds cash in hand, I was informed the reason for this was they did not want to put this through Trip Adviser as they would take a percentage off it. The way this money was asked for was not exactly the best, it then led to a major argument between me and the owner who then ran off to get her Dr husband involved in her affairs.
During conversations with them it transpired the owner had been in the property whilst we had been out and complained that we had left the property with the heating on. Whilst the arguments had been taking place my partner had been washing some towels and linen which the owner snatched out of my partners hands still soaking wet. The owner then disappeared with the washing and the spray bottle which was found in the shed.
When confronted about the issues in the garden with my dog, they tried saying, they don’t use any chemicals in the garden as it is totally organic. The owner’s husband was to later return with a box of weed killer from Wilko, which looked to be a new unopened box and was to state this is what had been used by their gardener.
After staying at this property I would advise all owners of Springer Spaniels to avoid this like the plague, the dog which had the fit in their garden is a Springer Spaniel and we all know they have heightened senses so will smell any chemicals used more easily than other dogs.