Family lay in bed ‘waiting for ants to crawl over us’ on holiday hell | UK | News

Family lay in bed ‘waiting for ants to crawl over us’ on holiday hell | UK | News

Emergency services at Perranporth beach after woman died

A family say their caravan park holiday in Cornwall was ruined by an infestation of ants, a dirty caravan, a broken bannister and their bank account being emptied.

Kayleah Michaelson says the break for her 12-strong party of family members was ruined by the experience as they lay in bed “waiting for ants to crawl over us”.

Kayleah and her fiancée Daniel Jarvis booked a week at Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth, for their two children Teddy, two, and Poppy, seven-months-old, as part of a family holiday with her siblings and their children and her grandparents.

Kayleah said she and her brothers and sisters had always gone on holidays at Havens-owed caravan parks around the UK when they were young, an experience she wanted to share with her own children.

The choice of Cornwall was a surprise for her grandparents who had always wanted to visit the county but never managed to.

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Kayleah and Daniel with their children in Cornwall (Image: Kayleah Michaelson/Cornwall Live)

The family of 12 took two caravans at the site earlier this month for a week. Kayleah said that while it rained pretty much every day – something that was out of anyone’s control – it was not long before they noticed things that were quite right.

“We love Havens holiday park,” Kayleah told Cornwall Live. “We’ve wanted to come to Cornwall for a long time.

“My nan and grandad always loved the idea so this was their Christmas present from all of us.

“We got there and chucked our bags in the caravans and went out again to look around the park. But when we came back that’s when we noticed the broken banister.

“One of the vertical wooden bars was on the floor with the nails up and the gap was big enough for me to fit through, let alone a seven-month-old who’s still crawling around.


The broken bannister was only propped up, says Kayleah (Image: Kayleah Michaelson/Cornwall Live)

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“We also noticed ants everywhere. There’s no vacuum cleaner provided in the caravans so I swept them up in a dust pan but they kept coming back. The next day we lifted the cushion of the sitting areas and there were lots there.

“It was really dirty. There were lots of food bits. It looked like it hadn’t been cleaned for quite some time.

“When we complained at the reception they said there was nothing they could do and we should put some Fairy Liquid down as apparently ants don’t like it.

“They didn’t give us the Fairy Liquid, mind, so we had to buy it from their overpriced shop on site.

“It didn’t work. So it wasn’t that pleasant an experience sleeping there knowing you’d be crawled over by ants.”


Boris Johnson visited the park in 2021 when he was Prime Minister (Image: Getty Images)

The 25-year-old hospitality worker and 31-year-old Daniel, who is manager of Stoke-on-Trent’s Primark store, said that when they asked for the banister to the outside area to be fixed, the only thing the staff did was to prop the broken banister up, only for it to fall again in the wind.

They said it took the park staff several days to properly repair the caravan but the ants issue was never sorted.  To make matters worse, the family was also victim of theft – something they say Havens has not dealt with very well.

“We were at a petrol station halfway up the M5 when I started receiving notifications for eBay purchases,” Kayleah told Cornwall Live.  “We have a joint account so Dan was asking me what I was spending money on when we’d just had a holiday.

“That’s when we realised someone else was using our bank card which was in my purse and we’d left it behind in a bag.”

Whoever had access to her bag and purse made two £108 purchases on eBay and another for £78. Her Air Pods were also stolen.

 “I couldn’t even pay for a flapjak at the petrol station,” Kayleah said.

The angry mum said she cancelled her bank card and called Perran Sands Holiday Park, who confirmed her bag had been handed in to reception and checked her bag and told her that the Air Pods and bank card were gone.

When they got home the family contacted their local police force who told them to contact Devon and Cornwall Police. Their bank refunded them the money stolen from their account.


Perranporth is a hotspot for surfing (Image: Getty Images)

Kayleah said she was angry at the way Haven handled the situation.  “They told us they investigated by speaking to whoever may have had access to the caravan after we left and handed back the keys but when these people said it was not them and they hadn’t taken anything that was that,” she said.

“They said they could send our bag to our house but we’d have to pay for it. Dan was so angry he went full Karen on them and they agreed to pay for sending our bag to us.

“We thought the service was really poor and no-one said sorry for anything. We had another holiday booked with Havens later this year in Wales but we’ve cancelled it now. We’ll never go there again.”

In a letter to Kayleah, Nikki Thomas, from the owner and guest experience team at Perran Sands Holiday Park, said the park had identified the members of its contractor cleaning team who had serviced Kayleah’s caravan but when asked if they had taken her bank card and other items, they said no.

A spokesperson for Havens Holidays said: “We would like to apologise to Kayleah and Daniel for their experience.

“We have conducted an investigation with our external cleaning company and will assist the local authorities with any additional support if required.

“As the accommodation fell short of our usual high cleanliness standards, we are liaising directly with the guests to arrange a full refund.”

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Author: Shirley