Overall a lovely short break
We first visited the Orchards back in 1984, and were regular visitors first with the children and then on our own, for many years, so it was natural that it was our first choice for a recent 4 night short break. We discovered that the park had changed hands after booking, but were not concerned about this as they were extremely helpful when we needed to change our ferry crossing just a couple of days before sailing.
Our good impression was confirmed by the friendliness of the reception staff, on our arrival, and thought the introduction of a complimentary welcome pack containing sachets of tea, coffee, milk and sugar was a very nice touch. The layout of the park did not appear to have changed from the last time we visited, although I had the impression that the units were closer together than previously. A trick of an increasingly elderly memory I suspect! The shop has changed in that there are now displays of island themed goods taking up most of the available space. Being the end of the season, food stocks were naturally low, but adequate for our needs. The Prosecco went down very well! We didn't make use of the lovely indoor pool etc.
We had booked one of the 'New for 2021' Sundance mobiles. These are beautifully situated at the bottom of the park, with views over the north of the island and the channel, to the mainland beyond. These units have a lovely veranda, furnished with table and chairs, but unfortunately, ours did not get the afternoon sun, due to it's north facing aspect. However, this was October, so I suspect it may be different during the summer months.
We found the unit itself to be very comfortable - for two people. Although it is a 3 bedroom mobile and is equipped for 6, there are only 4 chairs at the table in the small dining area (2 others were in a cupboard) and the seating area would have been a quash to seat 6 (there were 2 block stools under the coffee table). However, the main bedroom was certainly more spacious than others we have had, with a good amount of space at the bottom of the bed. I found the bed extremely comfortable, and having the beds made up ready for arrival was another nice touch. Note - only 1 pillow per person is supplied. Overall there is a good amount of storage space. It was nice to have an en-suite toilet and washbasin. The main bathroom has a sensible sized shower, with first rate water pressure
Now the areas we found lacking..... For the first time ever in our experiences of mobiles - no shaver sockets anywhere! So nowhere to charge the electric toothbrush or OHs razor. Very odd. The lighting: no bedside lighting at all, only the main ceiling light. Only overhead lighting in the living area. No lights over bathroom sinks, or the vanity mirror in the main bedroom. Note - this is positioned so low that it can only be used sitting down if you are anything over about 5'! No hooks in either bathroom, so nowhere to hang a bathrobe or large towel. (There are 4 hooks in the narrow corridor, outside the bathroom.) Not even a towel rail in the main bathroom! The cleaning: this has been outsourced to a firm, and quite honestly is not up to the standard it was previously. Our mobile was new this year, so how on earth has brown, rust type staining been allowed to build up in the shower? I was tempted to deal with it myself, but given we were only there for 4 nights, didn't want to waste our holiday on cleaning. The floor wasn't particularly clean, and clearly the sofa cushions had not been removed for cleaning as there was popcorn down the sides. No, we didn't report these issues, because we were there to make the most of our time away. Clearly a manager needs to be checking things more carefully.
These niggles aside - we had a lovely, relaxing time. Would we go back? Probably.