This cottage is quaint and set in beautiful snowdonia national park. We were really looking forward to our long weekend away here. After booking, we had to pay a further £100 deposit via PayPal directly to the owners. We spoke to them on the phone and discovered the cottage does not have mains electricity. Electricity is supplied via a petrol generator located in a stone out building attached to the side of the cottage. This was not a problem to me, as I am a car enthusiast and enjoy tinkering around with engines and things like that. We were advised to leave the door propped open with a rock whilst it was running, and to turn it off at night to save petrol.
On arrival, we started the generator, propped the door open and plugged in the extractor fan. The heating in the cottage is via an oil burning stove which was already burning when we arrived. There is an oil burning range cooker which was also on when we arrived. The cottage was supposed to have satellite wifi, but this was not working. We also had no phone signal which we expected anyway. When it got to bedtime, my wife said that she would like the option of being able to put the light on in the night, as the cottage is so remote, when it gets dark, it really gets dark. We were advised to switch the generator off at night to save fuel, but we discussed it and thought for what it would cost, we would just fill it up with some more petrol. At least that way, we would have working electrics. After going to sleep, we were awoken at 1.00am by the carbon monoxide alarm sounding. On the back of the alarm, it said to open windows and doors, turn off any device that may emit carbon monoxide and leave the property until it has been deemed safe by an engineer. The source of carbon monoxide could have been either the generator, oil burning stove, or the range cooker. As the wifi was not working, and we had no phone signal, and there was no land line telephone, our only option was to get in the car and drive 6 miles to the nearest town. We tried to find a carbon monoxide help line to get advice, but they only work 9-5. We had no other option but to call the owners. We explained the situation to them and they diagnosed the problem as the generator. They said turn it off and everything will be fine. After speaking to them, my wife and I discussed our options. We came to the conclusion that it could have been the generator, but without it being checked, we don't know for sure. As carbon monoxide is deadly and cannot be smelt or tasted, we decided we didn't want to take the risk. So we returned to collect our things, and decided to find alternative accommodation.
The next day, we sent a very polite email to the owners, asking if they would consider a refund. Seeing as we had only stayed about 6 hours into a planned 3 night stay. They didn't offer us any refund, and instead tried to make out we were stupid and liars! We contacted Cottages.com as we booked through them. They were very helpful and agreed that we did exactly the right thing in leaving. Cottages.com then issued us a refund, but they couldn't refund us the £100 deposit we paid directly to the owners. Instead of the owners saying you have had a bad experience, here is your deposit back. They continued to be rude to us and flatly refused to give us our deposit back.
So to summarise, it is a beautiful place, but if you have a problem, don't expect any help from the owners or your deposit back!