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To feel a bit cynical about Centre Parcs?

(241 Posts)
ilikeyoursleeves Sat 19-May-12 22:05:49

We are just back from a 'five' day break at centre parcs at Whinfell. It was Ok and I am sure that many people enjoy it but it just felt like a bit of a rip off in lots of ways. Our cabin thing was really tatty, lots of wear and tear, the carpet covered in stains and the toilet seat kept falling off. The five day break was really three days as we couldn't check in til 330pm on Monday then had to leave by 10am on Friday. Yes I know we could have stayed and used the facilities on those days but realistically with two very young children and me being pregnant, who can be arsed lugging everything about and having to pay extortionate prices for lunch etc.

The swimming was like human soup with about two inches between each person, the Chinese banquet we got was double the price it would normally be and pretty bleurgh, but the main thing that annoyed me was that there was only TWO infant swings for the entire place and one tiny soft play area next to an expensive bar. I just felt that they were blatantly not putting in free activities so you had to spend more money. We ended up going out to see the lake district most days rather than doing the activities that were there as I thought they were a bit of a rip off too.

Sorry I am moaning so much but just wondered if this is just me or has anything else felt like this after staying there?

Sparklingbrook Sat 19-May-12 22:09:42

I have never been to one, but I am hearing more and more people who have been saying they didn't really think it was 'all that'. sad

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sat 19-May-12 22:09:44

Centre Parcs is crap YANBU.

the villas could really use some tlc.

emsyj Sat 19-May-12 22:11:45

I do think it is very very very expensive. We got a takeaway delivery one night that was eye-wateringly expensive and portions very mean (for a greedy guts like me, anyway).

I think if it cost half what it does, it would be great. But they'll never charge any less because it's enormously popular, so they've no reason to. I think it is quite good if you've got kids and lots of £ to spend, sadly we are too frugal to fully enjoy it and we won't be going again (unless we win the Euromillions).

HexagonalQueenOfTheSummer Sat 19-May-12 22:14:26

I've never been. Never fancied it tbh. We live right near one and I'm surprised at the amount of people locally that go there for a holiday when it's almost on the doorstep

slowlyburningcalories Sat 19-May-12 22:16:01


We heard it was great and a real family experience. So went for the Monday ti Friday and it was a huge disappointment. The chalet was warm in the central room but cold in the bedrooms so DD kept waking up, the swimming pool was so cold DD turned blue and she was in a wetsuit, the food was really naff so we were pleased we had self catered, the extra activities were ok but very expensive and so only did one each.

Kitchen was ok but dirty, lobby smelt damp and windows were full of mould.

Sidge Sat 19-May-12 22:18:46

I do NOT see the appeal of CenterParcs.

Overpriced and overrated.

Squeegle Sat 19-May-12 22:21:34

YANBU. I quite like centre parcs, and the kids adore it, but it is unashamedly money grabbing, the restaurants are truly appalling, and you feel like a target for avaricious marketing people at all times. Mind you the rapids are pretty good. Would be even better without the human soup though. They must make a bomb!

emsyj Sat 19-May-12 22:21:41

I liked the pool, but agree the villas are a bit dated for the price - and the WiFi didn't work in ours the entire week which was irritating for DH who is a bit of a workaholic and was banking on being able to do an hour or two in the evenings. Complaints didn't make any difference, it was never fixed.

Goolash Sat 19-May-12 22:23:24

We went to one years and years ago, it was fine but very expensive. It was low season, mid week, we had one tiny baby.

I often think about taking our kids and check out the current prices. Then go for a Hoseasons lodge at a quietish park with pool, for half the price.

ilikeyoursleeves Sat 19-May-12 22:24:34

we didn't even have wifi but instead we had a cassette player OMG! What year do they think it is?

Nobhead Sat 19-May-12 22:24:49

Centre parks? Did you have to do anal?

ilikeyoursleeves Sat 19-May-12 22:25:55

Should anal have been part of our package?

Tizzylizzy Sat 19-May-12 22:26:03

I feel it's all a bit contrived. Promised myself i'd never go once having DC. Now I have DC I'm tempted - mainly due to every man and his dog saying how heavenly it is/posting cheesy FB pics.

Think it's probably very much a case of The Emperor's New Clothes though.

exexpat Sat 19-May-12 22:26:47

Went once, wouldn't bother again. The children loved the pool, but that had limited opening hours and was very crowded and busy. Other activities we wanted to do were mostly booked out (we booked from overseas, they wouldn't let us book activities without the booking/arrival pack, which took so long to reach us that it was too late for most things) and it is true that there is not very much apart from the pool to do for free.

We were at the one next to Longleat, so spent a lot of the time there. Would probably have got better value staying in a rented cottage or B&B and going on day trips to Longleat and the big pool with slides etc in Swindon.

slowlyburningcalories Sat 19-May-12 22:27:29

Oh and ours had no tv. It wasn't working and wouldn't be all week.

DH loves his tv. We had to actually talk to each other. In-between settling DD.

switchtvoffdosomelessboring Sat 19-May-12 22:29:29

We when to the sher wood forest one two years ago and after that decided I wouldn't be back unless it was very cheap (which is unlikely) . The 'comfort' accommodation -which was not particularly cheap) looked like portacabins. Inside they were ok but the patio area was disgusting - covered in animal poo and chairs and table filthy. Yes it's outside and in a forest but I don't want to have a BBQ whilst having to avoid shit.

And seven quid each so my children can hit each other with foam swords learn fencing. No thanks, they are pretty good at whacking each other for free.

mumto2andnomore Sat 19-May-12 22:31:07

Just to put the other side forward weve been lots of times to sherwood and longleat and absolutely love it ! smile always come home shattered but very relaxed too ! It can be expensive if you do lots of activities but we spend most of the time in the pool, woods , bike rides etc

Adversecamber Sat 19-May-12 22:31:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lockets Sat 19-May-12 22:31:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Llareggub Sat 19-May-12 22:32:44

Bluestone, on the other hand, is fantastic.

sloathy Sat 19-May-12 22:34:13


I went years ago with a group of adults and swore i'd never go back if I had children. Extremely overpriced , shabby and I thought it had a really odd atmosphere. I felt fenced in and claustrophobic as if all the trees and grass ere fake. It felt stepford-like. Makes me shiver to think about it actually...ugh...

Sidge Sat 19-May-12 22:37:57

Adverse exactly.

It's Butlins/Haven for the middle classes wink

joanofarchitrave Sat 19-May-12 22:39:13

The accommodation was a real shock to me the only time I went (adults only, work/teambuilding thing). I thought it was vile - what struck me most, literally, was the 'sofa' or thinly padded board to sit on.

I am a veteran of many types of cheap accommodation, camping, youth hostels etc, and the thing is, they are cheap. Cheap accommodation which costs a bloody fortune is depressing.

Bagofholly Sat 19-May-12 22:40:15

Yabu. Elveden is my Happy Place. The new woodland lodges are lush. I loveit there.

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