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Centerparcs hideous holiday price hikes on Watchdog!

(29 Posts)
LatinDAISYcal Thu 15-Oct-09 20:53:48

a 320 odd percent hike for the October half term week!

CP are trying to justify it and failing!

RubyBooBerry Thu 15-Oct-09 20:59:41

Because people will pay it, because they feel they have to get away at half term.

And unless they vote with their feet Centre Parcs (and the major Tour Ops) will get away with it.

nannynick Fri 16-Oct-09 20:48:13

They have done this for many years. They have a high occupancy rate, as the guy on Watchdog said... so their repeat visitors don't seem to mind.

Strangely though, I was just looking at Executive villa pricing for Weekends and it seems to vary by (£30-£60 - so £10-£20 a night) between weekends at the beginning/end of half-term and during term time. But that is weekends and Center Parcs does seem to charge quite a bit for weekends.

If people stopped booking, they would drop their prices. People haven't stopped going... in fact it seems to be to be more busy if anything.

preciouslillywhite Fri 16-Oct-09 21:01:41

Last weekend, I booked a last minute half term Sunparks (Dutch cp) holiday- cost about 500 euros for the whole week. Just out of nosiness, thought I'd have a looky and see how much the same would cost at Elvedon...over two grand!!

And it was for one of their bobbins villas!shock

cat64 Fri 16-Oct-09 21:14:34

Message withdrawn

flowerybeanbag Fri 16-Oct-09 21:16:03

What cat64 said. It's a commercial decision, and if they can fill all or most of their places at ridiculously high prices it would be daft of them to reduce them.

spudmasher Fri 16-Oct-09 21:18:15

I have juust got 2 nights at Elveden- £250 for the four of us. During school holidays. Thought that was very reasonable.

LynetteScavo Fri 16-Oct-09 21:25:22

I don't get what the issue is!

If people are willing to pay, they're not going to drop thier prices. They are in the buisness of making money; they're not a charity.

I don't go to center parcs because I don't want to pay the prices, but obviously lots of people are willing to fork out their hard earned cash to spend half term there.

We used to go stay in a lovely cottage in cornwall. Every year the prices have gone up, untill we are just not willing to pay what they are now asking. Other folks abviously are, as they are booked up for some weeks a year in advance.

We don't live in Comunist Russia y'know!

preciouslillywhite Fri 16-Oct-09 21:45:38

ahhhh, Communist Russia...

<thinks of all the happy days on the Baltic Coast in November, fighting over whose turn it was to break the ice in the Collective Toilet>

[dreamy siiiigh emoticon]

nannynick Fri 16-Oct-09 21:49:33

preciouslillywhite - out of interest, how much does it cost to get to/from Sunparks and how long does it take? Takes me around 2 hours to get to Center Parcs Longleat... which means I can go straight from work on a Friday early evening. I doubt that would be practical if I was to go to Holland... wouldn't get to Holland in 2 hours from West Surrey/Berkshire border!

spudmasher - impressed that you have managed to get 2 nights. Didn't know they did that - though it doesn't surprise me... as people staying on Spa Breaks can stay for one night.
A weekend (Halloween weekend) is costing me £359 for accommodation... 3 nights. Booked with under a month to go to the date... is in top of range accommodation (Exec New Style Villa) - so not that bad I feel. A local upmarket hotel room in the village next to mine would have cost more.

I seem to recall that I posted something about Butlins v Center Parcs pricing back in the Summer. As I ended up going to Center Parcs for a weekend in late July... so quite peak season... and accommodation (Exec Villa) for me was cheaper than going to Butlins (in their Sliver category accommodation.

Center Parcs are a business they can do what they like. If their customers don't like it, they will soon adapt it. But you won't see them appealing to the mass market holiday maker... that just isn't who they are targeting.

nannynick Fri 16-Oct-09 22:06:35

Just looked at my local hotel prices... for the same dates. Cheapest Junior Suite is £1050, Guest Room is £750. Cheapest Executive Suite is £3000. At those prices you get breakfast each day, plus Spa usage on all days.

So a 3 hour spa session at Center Parcs costs me £26-£32 depending on the time of day. Typically on a 3 night stay at Center Parcs I would spend £84 on Spa access. So villa plus spa lets say £450 total... so compared with the hotel, still leaves me £300 to spend on 3x Breakfast!

Am I comparing like with like... I've never stayed at the hotel, so probably not. But I do wonder what wins out of a Guest Room at a hotel (it's the lowest grade room the hotel does) vs an Executive Villa at Center Parcs.

preciouslillywhite Fri 16-Oct-09 22:45:49

nannynick we're in London, so...2 hours to Dover, about an hour and a half to Calais, and about four the other end!

...mind you, we're going because me and dp love the Netherlands, and the kids love Center Parcs, so hopefully should be a smart compromise smile

preciouslillywhite Fri 16-Oct-09 22:47:05

...oh, sorry, missed a bit- costs about 80 quid on SeaFrance

nannynick Sat 17-Oct-09 09:11:39

thanks Preciouslillywhite. So about a 10 hour journey, perhaps a little less (depends on the M25 traffic) for me to get there. Not sure how I would cope with driving on the other side of the road. Sunparks looks quite good... looks similar to CenterParcs. Hope it meets your expectations - do report back on how your trip goes.

sour Sat 17-Oct-09 18:05:00

Just booked a 4 night stay elvedon forest easter 2011 april 25 kids are still off only 289.00 pounds bargin

preciouslillywhite Mon 19-Oct-09 10:21:11

I'll let you know when we get back nanny! expecting less sports facilities than uk CenterParcs-but we generally only do pool/bikes and children's playgrounds anyway, and Sunparks looks like it has all of those. Also we want to get off the site- I've been to Zandvoort before-only briefly- and its main advantage seemed to be proximity to Amsterdam and Haarlem, iykwim!

deaddei Mon 19-Oct-09 15:14:11

CP is my idea of hell- on a par with Disneyland and Chessington.

ProfessorLaytonIsMyZombieSlave Mon 19-Oct-09 15:18:22

It's easy to justify, if they are full or nearly full: CP is a business and this is how the free market works.

sour Mon 19-Oct-09 18:29:55

Centre Parcs is the best thing since sliced bread!

WartoScreamo Mon 19-Oct-09 18:49:26

The nearest Sunparks at Oost Duinkirke is about 30 mins from Calais. I can recommend it!

thedollshouse Mon 19-Oct-09 18:54:34

I went off Centerparcs when a group of mum friends tried to book a break there. There were about 20 of us with young babies and we wanted to book 3 bedroom lodges with a mum and baby in each bedroom, they said that we could only stay there if we had 2 mums and babies per lodge. They were pissed off because we were going out of season and it would have cost us £100 each, and they obviously wanted us to fork out more cash. hmm

Centerparcs is like staying at a motorway service station, there is no way I would be prepared to pay their prices. For the same price as booking a luxury lodge over the Christmas period you could jet off to Australia. I know where I would rather go.

preciouslillywhite Mon 19-Oct-09 19:57:02

deaddei- yeah me too, I swore I'd never go, plus there's no way we could afford it tbh- till a generous friend insisted on us going, with her helping us pay for it smile- now of course all the kids think it's the best holiday ever. Hence the Sunparks compromise- they get to slosh around in a tepid pool for a couple of hours, we get to go to Amsterdam, and it costs about a fifth of what we'd be paying at Centerparcs.

selby Wed 21-Oct-09 20:08:59

The only people who think that they are getting a bargain are those that go off-peak. I like my holidays and I like my luxury but I have to admit to voting with my feet after pricing up a CP break with other options. I don't feel that it merited a Watchdog episode cos let's face it - there obviously is plenty of people who do pay peak holiday prices (I personally know quite a few who do it rather begrudgingly and feel ripped off as a result but it's their choice at the end of the day). It's supply and demand - I simply chose a cheaper alternative which included flights abroad, car hire and a villa with pool for a week rather than 3/4 nights in a wooden chalet and communal/ overpopulated pool. Off-peak experience is pleasant but a CP peak time break is vastly over-rated imo.

BonjourIvresse Wed 21-Oct-09 20:31:17

I struggle to understand why anyone wants to go to centreparcs. I can't beleive that the activiities aren't included and that the restaurants aren't even nice.

liath Wed 21-Oct-09 20:37:59

Because it's an unbelievably easy holiday if you have small children. Yes, you feel like you're in The Trueman Show but it is about as stress free as it gets with preschoolers (as long as they like swimming). I've always found the restaurents perfectly OK. Would never pay peak prices, though.

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