We stayed at Plas Talgarth via an exchanged with Interval International. Prior to arriving, I telephoned and requested a refurbished room as there were some bad reviews posted on TripAdvisor. I was told that a note would be entered on my booking for a refurbished unit. We arrived earlier than the official check-in time, and were allocated Lapwing 5, it was not ready but that was not a problem.
I asked if it had been refurbished and was told no, but the unit was of an ‘acceptable standard’. We happily went off for a drink and a meal in the on-site restaurant/pub (Y Garn).
On our return, we collected the keys and this is when we realised we had drawn the ‘short straw’. The block of apartments/rooms/ whatever you want to call them were housed in a grey block that looked like a run down council facility.
We did have an allocated parking bay. On opening the front door, via a nasty vestibule type of place, you were immediately aware of a musty, damp smell.
The small bedroom to the right had two single beds and old-fashioned pine furniture.
No plug near the dressing table – there was one on the adjacent wall and behind the dressing table! Two basic bedside tables and a small wardrobe. Dark and uninviting.
A very good en-suite however that had been updated at some time. The cylinder cupboard was nearby and this was noisy.
Outside into the hall – no natural light at all and into another inner hall – still no natural light, although a movement light came on in the smaller of the two.
All doors in the unit were Fire Doors and therefore heavy and slammed shut all the time. We had to contravene the fire regs and wedged them open so not to disturb the neighbours.
The large lounge had lovely patio doors out onto a verandah with patio chairs and table.
The outlook was over lawns to trees. The small kitchen was adequate and was stocked with everything you needed with a good supply of dishes, cookware, cutlery and glassware. The oven was ancient and must have been the original from when the unit was built.
There was a dishwasher, but no washing machine (laundry room close to reception (£5 per wash). Joy of joys there was a new wide screen TV with plenty of channels and Wi/Fi (£12 charge per week) for non-MacDonald members.
The furnishings/lighting/carpets in here were very old fashioned and looked as if they were the original, although the two sofas looked as if they had been renewed at some time.
Really revolting smell of cooking that I could not get rid of even though I sprayed and sprayed with air freshener. We only had boiled eggs and toast or a sandwich as we eat out.
Upstairs via a staircase, again with no natural lighting and in my mind dangerous – (a movement light should be fitted), was the double bedroom. This too, was cold and smelt musty. The en-suite was very good and had been refurbished.
The electric wall heater in the bedroom did not work and although maintenance came and fixed it, it soon broke down again. Did not bother to call them again as what is the point – the heater was too old.
Very hard mattresses and after the first night, called reception for mattress toppers, they did not materialise and we used the duvets as toppers, but this didn’t make a lot of difference.
Eventually, after ringing direct to Housekeeping, they arrived quickly. Very efficient housekeeping staff. Luckily there was a plug by the dressing table in this room and a hairdryer supplied. Lighting was dim and outdated. Large wardrobes in another inner hallway with sliding doors, plenty of hangers.
Plenty of drawer space in the two bedside cabinets and dressing table. The good points: Fluffy white towels in both bathrooms and another small shower room with toilet and wash basin in the downstairs hallway.
We had a friendly little field mouse that used to visit us via the cupboard underneath the sink from time to time.
I know this because of the black mouse droppings – must have been after food in the waste bin!
At the entrance to Plas Talgarth there is a large sign advising of Luxury Self Catering Lodges for rent and nothing to declare that some are luxury but others are definitely not.
You can see from the good reviews on here that it is mainly the Lapwing units that get the bad reviews. MacDonald should be ashamed to rent out accommodation of this calibre, regardless of whether you are an owner, timeshare exchange or if booking direct.
The other two MacDonald Resorts
, we have stayed in were far superior (Aviemore and The Trossachs). We did not use the spa, swimming pool or gym so cannot comment on these. Grounds kept in good condition, although the walk through the woods is closed still closed.
High winds caused a lot of damage and many trees were brought down and had to be made safe.
This was not recent however, and is now an unsightly area in what would have been a lovely setting. Replanting will take place eventually. On leaving we were advised that, although I had asked for a refurbished unit, nothing was available and that some of the Lapwing accommodation was being upgraded in 2016. Not good enough to make me want to come back.
The cost of our electricity bill for a week was £34.81 – very expensive and the most we have ever paid at a resort. We were hardly ever in, so why it was so high is a mystery.
The Y Garn restaurant – on site, but run independently, was excellent and can highly recommend. Also the Riverside/Glan Yr Afon in Pennal. There is no on-site shop and a small village shop that shuts at 12pm in the village.
Plenty of sightseeing, walking, beaches in the area to choose from. All staff we encountered on our visit were friendly and pleasant.
The resort was a mis-match of different types of rental property from lovely looking white painted detached cottages to what looked like something from the old Soviet Block era.
I am glad we did not take any guests with us as we would have been embarrassed with the sub-standard accommodation provided in this unit by MacDonald Resorts.