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“Not my thing, but the area is lovely”

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Center Parcs Whinfell Forest
Certificate of Excellence
Barton-upon-Humber, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
“Not my thing, but the area is lovely”
Reviewed 6 November 2006

Never been to a Center Parcs before and was a bit unsure having read such mixed reviews. I didn't book the 4 day break - got it cheap from a collegue at work who couldn't go. I have to say I wouldn't have considered going had I had to pay the full price ( £370) Stayed in an executive 1 bedroom apartment and extra had been paid to be Lake facing which was a bit of a rip off as we could only just see it out of the corner of one window!
Apartment was good, nicely furnished and clean and OK for 2 for 4 nights. Found the whole checking in thing abit mad as everyone seemed to go crazy once the gate opened and everyone rushed to their homes! Unloading the car was a bit of a nightmare as I'd taken everything but the kitchen sink as did not know what to expect in terms of weather and apartment/site facilities. Apartments are in a block and you can't get your car right to your door!
We made the most of the good weather and went out everyday and drove round the area. This did mean a 40 min walk to and from the car park everyday as you have to return your car to the car park after unloading. Saw lots of the Lake District (which was fantastic) and didn't sample any of the activities on offer in the parc. It just wasn't our thing. I'm sure plenty of (rich) people love it but it wasn't for us. We left early after 2 sleepless nights following an appearance in our room by a mouse. We did report it but I couldn't sleep after that and we decided to pack up and go at our leisure rather than with everyone else the next morning

  • Liked — Good kitchen facilities
  • Disliked — The mouse and the test warning siren at 3 in the morning!
  • Tips/Secrets — Take lots of money for the activites
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mauritiusbride
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,203)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Blackpool England
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2006

We have had another great time at Center Parcs over the half term holiday. We have been visiting with another family for many years now and we are still enjoying the experience, My son was only 9 weeks old when he first went and is now 14 does that not say it all. I agree that sometimes there are problems but the staff always deal with the straight away so what more could you ask! The activities can be quite expensive but do parents have to give in to their children when they want to do everything. Our children know they can pick the odd expensive one but also know to choose cheaper activities. The drinks in the bars are dear but what is wrong with taking your own bar as we do. We stayed in a comfort plus and found it excellent. I just wish people would stop moaning and chill out to enjoy their holiday, their children and each other. If the service is sometimes slow what is the rush! you are on holiday!!! We have already booked for next year at Sherwood!

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Tips/Secrets — just enjoy
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Angela T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2006

This pace scared me rigid. The setting is beautiful, and there are many great things to do for families and people interested in outdoor pursuits. However, it consists of row after or row of identical chalets populated by row after row of all but identical families.

I only stayed one night, for a business meeting - I think the usual stay is a week, so I may not be giving the place a fair review, but I had previously considered bringing my family here and I won't now. Due to my employer being a total skinflint, we stayed in the most basic chalets. They were fine for crashing overnight, but I wouldn't feel comfortable there all week. The decor was showing sever signs of age, and it was not fantastically clean. Service was friendly and charming, if not necessarily skilled.

The dome at the centre of the village is where all the night-time action is. There are a small selection of shops and restaurants, which put me in mind of a very *very* pale imitation of Las Vegas, but it's quite endearing in an English, Cumbrian sort of way. The food was edible, but no gourmet experience. I won't mention the drink.

Cars are not alllowed on site, except for delegated loadind and unloading times once a week, so it is safe for kids to roam about, and any kid would love this place - so much room to explore and play and hook up with new friends. Given that accommodation here is pretty expensive (you could easily get a week abroad for far less) I was surprised to find that activities are not included - you have to pay for bike hire, water sports etc etc. Could be an expensive week for parents of persistent children.

So, I was there for a business meeting, followed by a cheeky drink or 17. We had to be out by 10am on the friday, and this is the bit that scared me. Arising bright and early at 9.45, I walked, hungover down to the car park to pick up my car, past half a mile of identical chalets spewing out identical families packing identical cars with identical kit in deathly silence. Cars filed past as if choreographed. Coaches drew up spilling out trios of identically dressed cleaners. It was like aliens had landed and I was filled by an overhwelming desire to yell obsecnities, or streak, or do anything to break the order.

The place is driven by rules - no cars, walk here, don't walk there, do this, don't do that. So if you don't like being told what to do, give it a miss.

  • Liked — Lovely location
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Tips/Secrets — Take your life savings with you
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Linesandlines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, Scotland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2006

First off the kids (two girls one six one ten) loved it they went swimming everyday and enjoyed all the activities they did, which was one of the main reasons we went.

However there is a but and it's a big but, for the money centre parcs charge the standard of accomodation is dreadful! We stayed in a comfort villa and has been stated before it is neither comfortable nor a villa. The decoration is drab, the facilties especially the kitchen equipment is poor and a lot of things in the "villa" were on there last legs. e.g. the door handle to the bathroom had been moved so many times it looked like wood worm had attacked the door. We had to ask for our mattress to be changed as there were springs poking thru in some places however the "best" they could do was to offer as an extra duvet to cover the mattress with. We accepted this but were a bit surprised to find it dumped outside the front door and not put onto the bed.

We payed a little bit extra to select our villa and choose one that was not too far away from the Swimming Complex so the walking was not too bad. We arrived late as I already knew that the queues can be quite bad to get in. The worse problem on arrivals days was the other guest driving the wrong way in order to get back to the carpark quickly.

As for activities there is plenty to do we did a mushroom forage, Owl experience and a PADI try dive. The youngest went into the "creche" for a morning and had a great time. We also did some pottery painting and played Ten Pin Bowling all great but at quite an additional cost for four of us.

We only ate out once at the american restaurant (similar to TGI Fridays) food was pretty standard but portion size was huge so made it quite good value for money.

Overall a great place for kids and plenty to do, but definitely needs to be upgraded to make it worth the money.

Helpful?
11 Thank maryhillgull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 October 2006

We have just returned from a 5 day stay at Whinfell. We stayed in a VIP 3 bedroom lodge. This allowed us to check in at 1pm, no hastles at all checking in, very smooth. The lodge was a refurbished unit. All mod cons, no complaints. It was very clean and spacious for the 4 of us. Fell View is very nice. Handy for all activities. The accommodation there is mainly detached lodges.

The resort itself is very well kept. We ate in all the restaurants except the Indian. All were very good but I did feel the Yang restaurant is overated and we have a much better chinese at home. Staff seemed to lack training in service etc.

The activities were good. Our 13 and 16 year olds were kept busy for the duration of their stay. They took part in quad biking, scuba diving, the basketball tournament, swimming etc. The spa was the highlight of our trip. I had a couple of treatments there. Excellent, although it seems quite expensive it is comparable with most good health spas. Quite alot of guys were having treatments too.

We took most of our groceries with us but we did shop in the well stocked supermarket. The prices are not too bad. It is best to arrive with essentials.

No complaints about the bike hire, take your own if you can though. Cycling around the park was good fun.

The resort suits every age group. I have no hesitation in recommending Whinfell. Make sure you ask for a refurbished unit when you book. We will def be back again

  • Liked — Cleanliness, log fire and space
  • Tips/Secrets — Book at VIP lodge to get early check in etc
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank basketballmamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Longforgan, UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2006

This is the fourth year in a row that wehave spent a 5day break here in the school October holidays (7th time all together we have been here) and the kids (ages 12, 11 adn 9) are already asking to go next year. Very relaxing for parents with kids the same age as ours as the can roam fairly freely with minimal supervision in safety. Previous years had found the lodges a bit rundown but this year we stayed in one that had obviously been refurbished, excellent accomodation with everything we needed. Can get a bit pricey now the kids are older and looking to do all the activities! Restaurant we ate in (Lucianos) was lovely, freshly cooked food, very tasty. Sports Plaza a bit pricey at £3.50 for a piece of chocolate cake for a 9 year old, would want to buy a whole cake for that price! Booking to go back soon to take advantageof the 20% off if you book within 28 days and thinking off the 3 books I managed to get through this year.PS a bit stunned by the last reviewers remarks

  • Liked — Layout, equipment, comfort
  • Disliked — blocked roans
  • Tips/Secrets — book restaurants
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pammiemack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh UK
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2006

This place is a disgrace accommodation, restaurants, bars and pool all dirty and in need of complete refurbishment. When new this place would have been very good.

Went to eat in the rock legends restaurant and left after seeing the state of the menus and cutlery. Menus were filthy covered on food stains, cutlery was not clean.

The sports bar is not air conditioned so gets very hot and stuffy none of the TV screens work properly, long queues for the bar. Do not order jugs of beer, ours came on a jug with eggs written on the side in lipstick or nail varnish and a label stating scrambled eggs and a use by date.

This place has two big problems.

1. Poor management....a run down place can still be OK is it is cleaned properly and if things work.

2. In need of extensive refurbishment

My advice, stay away and the management might get the message.

  • Liked — The trees
  • Disliked — Shabby state and unclean
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't go
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank mjpeng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Center Parcs Whinfell Forest

Property: Center Parcs Whinfell Forest
Address: Whinfell Forest, Penrith CA10 2DW, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Eden District > Penrith
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Penrith
Hotel Class:5 star — Center Parcs Whinfell Forest 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Center Parcs Whinfell Forest Hotel Penrith
Center Parcs Whinfell Forest Penrith, Cumbria

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