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Centerparcs - anyone been recently?

45 replies

fairy · 15/03/2002 23:59


Just looking for some advice/recommendations on Centerparcs.

We are thinking about going late September early October with PIL and our two ds, one will be almost four and the other almost one.

Really what I'm looking from all of you (!) is;
which one is best?
what type of villa to get?
what are the best activities to book?

So please let me know, as I'm trying to be organised and be booking soon.

Thanks in advance

OP posts:
Joe1 · 16/03/2002 07:50

Fairy, my dh work collegue went last week to Elveden (sp?) when he gets back to work on Monday Ill ask him to get details. I went quite a few years ago to Nottingham I loved it and keep trying to get back for a break but never get round to it, must try harder.

Ems · 16/03/2002 09:25

fairy, we've been to Longleat and Elveden. Loved both. As dd is nearly four and probably pedalling around (?) Longleat is rather hilly, Elveden is much flatter for the cycling. There is a big boardwalk at Longleat that goes bottom to top, which is OK, but one of us was pushing big pram and the other sorting out moany 5 yr old!

We've done a straightforward villa and an executive villa. (you get cleaner in exec). This time we are going exec again, its a treat to have the cleaner (I think you can add it on to basic anyway). Bedrooms are a good size, fitted a cot next to our bed, didnt fall over it too much!

They have great playgrounds, our eldest (when he was 4 & 5) got SO into crazy golf! Crazy was the word.

It is all great really, book the activities when you get there, they do go pretty quick. Babysitters are very good, local, police checked etc. I think Rhiannon has used CenterParcs and babysitters lots too and gives them full marks.

We did a food shop before we entered CenterParc (me on an economy drive and not knowing how big or expensive the shop was) it's not too bad. But if you have your favourites take them with you.

Cant think what else really, just go for it, and then you can decide what worked best for you, for your next booking! CenterParcs doesnt tend to be a one-off!

smokey · 16/03/2002 12:27

Have been to a centerparc (Het Heijderbos) in the Netherlands, but not to a centerparc in the UK.

We all loved it. Were very confused about what we should book before we got there so didn't. In the end, the only things we would book in advance for next time are the bikes and the Action Company activities.

We had the equivalent of an executive villa which was very spacious and equipped with everything we could possibly need.

We're planning to go to another centerparc probably in France or Belgium in the autumn. If anyone has been to any of these, I would love to hear comments.

Rhiannon · 16/03/2002 16:21

Oh my favourite subject! I'm going with 2 girlfriends and their children on 5th April to Elveden. We've booked a 4 bed villa so we get 2 bathrooms. Would recommend booking a villa quite near to the centre (you pay £14 for this per booking).

My advice is to pre-book everything you want to do (a booklet will arrive a couple of weeks before you go,fill this in and post back). Everything gets incredibly busy and so booked up.

Take loo roll, washing up liquid (they supplied a new cloth and sponge). They give you a welcome tea and coffee but not much.

Take towels all toiletries. I agree supermarket is a bit more expensive not terrible though. We go shopping before we get there and just unload the car otherwise you've then got to get it all back to the villa from the shop (I think they do a carry back service but it's not immediate).

The Sapiniere (Sp) has just been recommended by a friend. The fondue was lovely as was the Italian restaurant and the tapas bar!

Huckleberry's has an indoor play are and so has the Country Club if the weather is bad.

Try to get an evening without the kids to go on the rapids in the pool, it's great fun.

You can take disposable barbecues which are nice to do.

Also take some nuts and old bread to food the menagerie of animals that appear outside your back door everyday. Squirrels, swans, ducks etc.

Hope this is useful. R

Ems · 16/03/2002 17:05

R, you've just reminded me of Elveden and the animals appearing at the door! Didnt get that at Longleat. It was brilliant for the children.

I got my pre-booking activities form today, I cant believe how much more stuff they are doing compared to when we last went.

Fairy, take a bathmat for inside the bath, they didnt do these a few years ago, anyone noticed them since?

maryz · 16/03/2002 19:12

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pluto · 16/03/2002 20:40

We went to DeVossemerren which is in Belgium, just inside the Dutch border in February. DS is two and we had a fantastic time with him. Booked a children's villa which is the same standard as an executive but the kiddies bedroom had lots of extras, all clean and fresh. There are other lovely extras for kiddies in this kind of villa - which I think must have had a recent spruce up as it was immaculate. From speaking to friends it also works out cheaper if you go to Europe, although this might depend on your distance from Dover. I would thoroughly recommend it.

Rhiannon · 17/03/2002 11:11

Ems, you're right, neither did they have anything to stand on when getting out of the bath, so take an old towel to leave on the floor. R

Crunchie · 17/03/2002 21:05

Elveden gets my vote. It is the only one with a creche for the little baby (useful time out for you) the others only have creches from 3

JennyB · 18/03/2002 14:01

Hi Fairy, yes you had better book soon if you want a good chalet in time for Autumn. We've only been to Longleat and Elveden. We prefer Longleat only because it's newer but it's quite hilly and the spa, swimming pool etc is spread out so you'd need bikes to get around. Elveden is a very close second with us though - it's facilities are in one central place, bar the country club and spa. We're off to Elveden for a w/e in April and they have new activities and creches for babies now so will be great for our 1 year old. Your 4 year old will absolutely love it! Food is great in both places but make sure you get a chalet close to the centre and the exec villas have extras like maid servide, towels and jacuzzi! Have fun.

Rhiannon · 04/04/2002 19:09

Well sadly Elveden burnt down today, and guess who was going for a long weekend tomorrow! They phoned and cancelled it and I thought it was a wind up until I saw the news. Don't know what will happen now, the fire has devastated the whole of The Plaza area, at least they managed to evacuate everyone. Will wait for development and signs of compensation. R

jodee · 04/04/2002 19:18

Rhiannon, I heard it on the news, what bad timing. So sorry.

fairy · 04/04/2002 22:32

Total nightmare for you Rhiannon, maybe they will offer you the chance to go to one of the others?

Now I'm worried about booking for September and if they will be any space left! better make up my mind!!

OP posts:
Rhiannon · 04/04/2002 22:39

Thanks for the sympathy, I'll be impressed if it's back in 5 months latest TV looks awful. Feeling really depressed, I feel a shopping trip coming on. R

Ems · 05/04/2002 08:19

Rhiannon, poor you, had worked out you were off this weekend, we were due to go on Monday, so am looking all over internet now for somewhere last minute.

Pain about the holiday, but I feel so sorry for somewhere like CenterParcs having a huge fire.

They were supposedly being sold and completing on the deal this week, so thats now out of the equation.

Rhiannon · 05/04/2002 19:05

Ems, have you heard from CP? Don't know whether I should be trying to book Sherwood Forest asap, if it's going to go mad with everyone transferring their bookings? There's not mention of the fire on the website. Will try and ring them and report back. R

Ems · 05/04/2002 21:20

Hi Rhiannon, nope have heard nothing. there is a small bit on the site, click on it from HOME page, it just says about the fire and bear with them really.

I'm presuming they are just mega busy and stressed out, and we are unlikely to hear from them before Monday.

Hubby tried calling twice today with no luck.

sis · 09/04/2002 14:40

Rhiannon and Ems, have you heard anything yet? we were supposed to go in June and were wondering what the options being offered are and whether we ought to try and sort ourselves out elsewhere.

Rhiannon · 09/04/2002 20:12

Hi guys, got through after 30 minute wait on phone. They are giving refunds to those that want them and giving out vouchers to be used on new bookings. No idea of how much though, the girl on the phone didn't know. Not awfully well organised for a multi million pound company. R

sis · 10/04/2002 10:20

I phoned yesterday and was offered the same dates at Sherwood Forest - it is a bigger chalet than the one we had originally booked but they waived the price difference. I was told over the phone that I would get £150 of vouchers when we arrived - not sure whether the value of vouchers depends on the length of stay, we booked for a full week.

Never been to Sherwood Forest before, so if there is anything that I should be aware of, please let me know. I'm back on track to looking forward to the holiday again

Kia · 10/04/2002 12:21

We've been to all of them and rate Sherwood the highest for customer service and sheer friendliness of the staff. Apparently they had unemployment much worse than alot of UK areas and so people tend to try to keep a good job, if you know what I mean.

sis · 10/04/2002 13:46

Thanks Kia - reassuring to know, also, thanks Rhiannon for letting me know what happened.


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Mooma · 10/04/2002 15:24

Wanted to tell Mumsnetters about a recent discovery of a group of centerparcs-style holiday villages in Holland and Germany, called Grandorado. We've just returned from a week in Zandvoort, near Amsterdam, Haarlem, and the bulbfields. It was a wonderful break, and of course the glorious weather didn't hurt!
A friend told us about the group, and we were very impressed. With the ferry, it cost just over half what we were quoted to stay at center parcs over Easter.
You can book direct on the website here but your paperwork will be in Dutch.
We used Bridge Travel (0870 727 5973) so that we didn't have to mess about finding a compatible ferry, and our booking details were in English.
We went Dover-Ostend, so were able to have lunch in Bruges on the way home.
We were very impressed by the friendly service and everyone spoke English.

Rhiannon · 10/04/2002 18:42

sis, when were you meant to be going? R

sis · 11/04/2002 11:30

Rhiannon, we were meant to go(and still are going, except it is at Sherwood Forest instead od Elvedon)for a week from 14th June.

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