The accommodation is in a great location for exploring the beautiful Northumberland region. It's warm, cosy and is mostly functional. For children, having the playground and beach at the end of the road was ideal. This is the second Sykes Cottage I've booked in Amble in the past 6 months for family reasons - the first was excellent but on the other side of the town to where my Dad's care home is situated so this one seemed more practical for many reasons having an 8 yr old with me this time.
In my enthusiasm for making a booking to coincide with international flights I failed to notice the fact that the flat didn't have a washing machine - not ideal with a 3 week stay! Thankfully, just recently, a fantastic laundrette had opened at the end of the street (no other facilities in Amble, closest was Alnwick - 20 mins drive away), but this became an expensive addition to the trip.
I also didn't read the other reviews of the property in advance. The flat upstairs was indeed noisy. There was no dvd player (as listed). The flat misses some of the practicalities - an extractor fan that works, a bucket for the mop, a broom to sweep the floor (there were 2 sets of dust pan and brushes but not practical for sweeping the living area/hall/bathroom/kitchen space), no vacuum cleaner (both bedrooms are carpeted) and no fire tools for the open fire. The fridge/freezer doors are also annoyingly not compatible to their facade doors with the rest of the units. There is a dishwasher but I would far rather have a washing machine!
The bathroom could be helped with having a shelf for toiletries, a toilet roll holder, a hook on the back of the door and a rack/shelf for toiletries in the compact shower. The window is also not frosted so the blind was down constantly for privacy given that access to the upstairs flat is via the 'courtyard'. The decked courtyard needs some attention as it was a liability with green slime on the boards.
I would suggest the thorough cleaning of the flat between bookings is not great - on searching for a toy down the sofa cushions I found a half used tub of sudocrem, 2 wrapped toffees and a clean sanitary towel! In the second bedroom a used band aid.
The towels 'provided' were found in a carrier bag in a cupboard, not on the beds or even in the bathroom as you would expect.
I've worked in tourism for many years and understand that sometimes things can be forgotten and might be one off 'rushes' to complete a turnaround for bookings, but overall I was disappointed by the lack of attention to detail. This flat has great potential but needs a few tweaks before it can compete with others available in Amble.I understand that most bookings wouldn't be for 3 weeks but having info on rubbish/recycling would be helpful. The allocated bin was already over flowing on arrival and I found out that it is only collected every second week. The 'recycling' the alternate week - but with no instructions as so what can be recycled. The recycling place in Amble does glass and not plastics.