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Holiday Report:: Centerparcs Lac d'Ailette, France

(5 Posts)
SqueakyPop Mon 11-Aug-08 20:06:42

We are just back from a week at the newest Centerparcs. It is 2.5 hours from Calais, and 2 hours from Paris (we had 3 days in Paris first).

It opened in November 2007, so this is the first summer season. The cottages are very pretty from the outside - painted in colours and are two-storey, rather than the standard CP bungalow. The one we had was smaller than the one we had in Kempervennen, NL (same spec). It was sleeps 8 but only room for 5 in the living room.

The kitchen was tiny, but had the usual dishwasher and combo oven. The equipment was very limited.

The bathroom had a whirlpool bath, and very modern fittings. Unfortunately, ours weren't particularly clean (hopefully sanitary, but very stained for only 9 months).

The village facilities are good. The sandy beach is a real hit, and there are hammocks and other toys. The Aquamundo is great, with a superb outside area, although the slides are a bit tame. There is a farm with Shetland ponies (for riding).

The Wannabee activities went up to age 12 and there were more of them than they had in NL. There was a teen afternoon club.

There was free wireless internet in the Bowling bar, although not at all advertised.

One thing that is really striking is the little kids indoor play area - Baluba - it is amazing. I don't think I have ever seen anything like it.

I think it is a fantastic park for people with young children. There is not quite the excitement for teens, although the teen club is helpful.

Prices in the shop and restaurants are high. We prebooked our restaurant meals, children's activities and bike hire - we got them at a discount and lucked-out on the exchange rate.

If you go and plan to do your own cooking, stop at a hypermarket in Soissons or Laon before you arrive. The onsite bakery is fab, though.

Othersideofthechannel Mon 11-Aug-08 21:40:51

We went there in April.
The giant Lego in Baluba was a real hit with 5 yr old DS.
Just missing a Spa. I had my kids-free time alone swinging from tree to tree on the treetop adventure!

Othersideofthechannel Mon 11-Aug-08 21:41:34

We went there in April.
The giant Lego in Baluba was a real hit with 5 yr old DS.
Just missing a Spa. I had my kids-free time alone swinging from tree to tree on the treetop adventure!

robin3 Thu 14-Aug-08 14:48:57

We just got back Squeak...must have been there the same week (1-8th Aug).

Strangely we liked everything except the Baluba. Maybe it was the age of our children, but we just resented going in to an arcade type environment where all the cars and games need continually filling up with cash. My two are only 4 and 2 so completely unaware of the meaning of money. In the end that was the only area we stopped using.

Other than that it was great and the beach was really excellent and exceeded my expectations.

Wordsmith Sun 05-Oct-08 20:45:17

We went there just after you Robin - 8th-14th Aug. Thought it was fab. Almost exactly half the price of the same week at Longleat Center Parcs. Loved the Aqua Mundo, especially the bucket! Sitting by the lake watching the sun set with a long cool drink was fab.
Just a couple of negatives: the pretty cottages were VERY basic, especially the kitchen which was a bit of a problem because we have a 4 yr old coeliac and had to eat in a lot because the dining out options were very limited for him. However we were expecting this to be the case. Unfortunately there is no oven, just a hob and microwave. We took a slow cooker which was a good alternative.
Second the comment about the bakery. Mmmmm... heaven!

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