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“Does not feel like you are in a forest of a Center Parcs - disappointing.”

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Center Parcs Woburn Forest
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Puny lake with no wildlife, hardly any trees or woodland walks, sports plaza feels like an airport, no sports cafe deals like the others, hardly any visitors, lack of trees and greenery makes you feel like you are in car park rather than a secluded forest. Just doesn't feel like the others even with faultless accommodation and friendly, helpful staff does not redeem the overall experience especially when this park is now by far the most expensive - do yourself a favour and book Elveden instead is the closest in distance to this one and is by far superior. It only they would have let us switch locations but no such luck even on a downgrade. :-(

  • Stayed: June 2014
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4  Thank catgirl1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liz_Center_Parcs, Lead Guest Services Executive at Center Parcs Woburn Forest, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2014

I certainly regret to learn that the environment of our new village, Woburn Forest, did not meet your expectations when compared against our other villages. But am pleased that your found our team friendly and the accommodation faultless.

Thanks for posting.

Kind regards
Liz Davis
Lead Guest Services Executive

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,621 - 5,627 of 5,763 reviews

Reviewed 16 June 2014

We booked only as a spur of the moment trip the week before our arrival. We visited on the 2nd weekend it was open. We chose to stay in a self catering apartment in the hotel, the room was very nicely finished and well equipped, it only needs a more comfortable seating area. The hotel is part of the same complex as the Aquasana, which we made good use of and the Plaza with a number of restaurants. The village center is only 10 minuets walk away. The whole park is very easy to get around and has a very cosy feeling to other Center Parcs. We are already planning return visits.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Rich T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014

Just back from the newly opened Centre Parcs in Woburn. In a nutshell, if you have been to the other parcs, no question, you will be disappointed.

Room - Stayed in the new hotel. Room was a no kitchen double. You know you are in a good room when you wish you could have some of the things and designs in there in your own home. Separate USB ports for charging beside the bed. Really great shower. Safe in the room. Small fridge that worked well. But dont expect to take a lot and put it in. Air con works great. Good tv. Lovely views from the room. Soundproof windows that work...BUT sadly are let down with the thin doors leading out to the corridors that people chatting you can hear clear as day as they walk past. Wristbands to get in and out of rooms worked excellent. But having no kitchen did leave us open to the fact we were trapped into eating at the restaurants....more later.

Staff - Friendly. Make eye contact and you will get a smile, a gentlemanly nod, and a hello. No matter who they are. I was testing out the theory that if one didnt a small red laser dot would appear on them. Sadly, I cannot prove this theory. One girl at one restaurant was an hour and a half over her day because she wanted to stay and help the rest of the staff as they were so swamped. I was impressed by that and hope she gets some form of recognition. The cleaners did a great job and were friendly and not at all surly. Overall the staff were excellent.

The restaurants.
The Dinning Inn pizza - Ok, you know good places that sell pizza, the smell is driving you crazy when you get it, you rush to get them home and they look like they have been made with good quality ingredients, then, you get the ones from the places that the leaflets are a bit photoshopped, look at bit dodgy, but you take a chance for whatever reason, you order from them.....and you know when you open the box you made a mistake....this is what its like if you get a pizza from here. Got a half and half and it was just so....bland and generic. Did not look good. Really poor. For £12 you would expect a little..in fact a lot better. Plus, watch out, if you order to your door with deliveries every half hour..have a look at the menu. Nowhere will it say there is a £2.50 charge. Nowhere. Until you ring and its added just after you finish ordering by the friendly girl on the phone. Heard a few people moaning about that walking around the park. Avoid.

Pancake House.
Not bad but over eight pounds for an Mexican omelette. Also,three pounds for a hot chocolate that wasnt that big or special.

Strada
Staff again, really good and friendly. Chicken Salad which was nearly £13 which was nice but again, outside the park at other locations £10. Pasta was bland and not with much flavour which let it down as its presentation was really good. Drinks all in about £30.

Hucks.
Nice place. Good atmosphere. Food was great. Two mains plus drinks which were a mineral water and a tea £28.50. If anywhere I would say go here for a meal if you are stopping there. Really good food. Could do with more fries on the plate though. You get the feeling someone is watching from the back of the kitchen..."hey..HEY!!! is that three more fries on that plate than you should be putting on! cut it out!"

The thing with all of them was the fact you walked away you started thinking and talking about what you thought of the meal. You come to realise quickly that you have been to far superior places with better food and better prices. It really does put a downer on what you have just eaten and kind of a resentment that you should go and try another one.

Parcmarket
Had a couple of breakfast type muffins one morning. Sausage and egg muffins. Was asked to wait a half hour whilst it was cooked. Was not a problem as I was in the hotel which was a five minute walk. Went back a few seconds later after I forgot something to see the precooked frozen sausages and egg muffins getting ready for cooking. So, not freshly done. Collected a little later and they were dry muffins, sausages were cheap and the egg had no flavour. If you compare them to you know whos breakfast style muffins not even close. Not worth it at all. Rest of the parcmarket...prices were just on par with a motorway cafe/shop. Its a situation were if you forget something you will have to buy it and be mumbling as you walk away.

Pool.
Ok, from the outside the pool looks amazing. The design is just worth seeing alone. The lockers operate using wristbands and work great. A nice touch is if you forget where you left your stuff in the maze of lockers simply touch a lcd device and it will tell you the locker number. The pool when you go in is nice and clean. Lots of lifeguards. BUT....as said..the pool is so small. The actual wave pool area is tiny compared to Sherwood or others. 1.5 meters at the deepest point. For an adult just to go in and have a swim its quite a let down. And I am not talking swimming lengths, just to maybe swim around and chill. When the waves start its not worth being an adult as you dont get to enjoy them at all.
The flumes though are another matter. Tyres are provided and they are some of the best rides I have been on. I will not ruin it for you but the four person tyre ride is amazing. I am not ruining it but make someone go backwards and watch their faces. And if you are at the top listen for the screams.....you will find out when you go down why. They were fantastic and thankfully I dont think the park was at full capacity during the weekend so no queues at all. The outside swimming area has just a river rapids type ride which is fun but if its busy I can see it being annoying bumping in to others. But again, small compared to other parcs. A large castle type area for small children was a highlight for a lot of families. But overall the flumes saved this pool from flopping.

Played a game of tennis. Thats about a tenner an hour and the new courts are really good outside.

The actual parc.
As you walk round you can see nature hasnt had time to grow back yet. You look at the grass in some..actually...a lot of areas and if it was a balding man you would tell him to cut it all off. Patches here and there which are new which havent come through fully. Its a shame but give it a few months and hopefully not many people treading on areas and it will look nice. The trees as well need time to grow and block out lodges so they have a bit more privacy. The lake is so small and wasnt worth getting a boat to paddle round in. Its almost like a centre piece that has been done and not really designed that well.
In the evenings took a walk around the lodges area in a big loop just to see how big it is. Lots of families out enjoying themselves and having barbecues. It will appeal to those that havent had the Centre Parcs experience. Its a new park and with its location I can see it being popular to people from London that want to get away to the country for something quiet. Sadly though, I would recommend Longleat or the others. I am sad as I enjoy going to Centre Parcs to rest and relax but Woburn I wont be back to. The staff are doing an excellent job, its just a shame the product is not equal to their effort.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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10  Thank midnighter2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014

Just returned from the new Centre Parcs at Woburn, love the other parcs and wanted to try out the new one. We were not disappointed. All brand new and sparkling bright, lots of Centre Parcs favourites and a few new experiences. A few teething problems as you would expect from a new parc and some staff training is still required in the restaurants. Personally I would like to have seen a larger outdoor pool, the parc will be even better when the flora and fauna return the encouragement of both are already in evidence.

The New World of Spas is exceptional, the different selection of experiences stimulates the mind and body. Overall another success story for the new Centre parcs, just left with one decision, which one to go back to next?.....

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank RC2902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liz_Center_Parcs, Lead Guest Services Executive at Center Parcs Woburn Forest, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2014

Thanks for your amazing post following your visit to our new village - Woburn Forest.

We look forward to welcoming you back to one of our 5 villages very soon.

Kind regards

Liz Davis
Lead Guest Services Executive

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014

I've been going to Centre Parcs since I was a little lad with my folks, and to be honest visiting Elveden Forest and Longleat with my 4 year old had showed that not much had changed over the years other than the removal of the roof over the village and the addition of chain restaurants and a Starbucks. That's not to do the existing sites down though. Centre Parcs has become my daughter's absolute heaven on earth. Swimming all hours of the day, running around the forest, craft, cycling... all the stuff kids love. But they've become a touch dated. After all, they and their accommodation are in their third decade now.

Woburn has been open 2 weeks, and as such I thought it would probably be experiencing teething problems. I couldn't have been more wrong.

We opted to stay at the hotel for the Friday-Monday booking, in a room with a kitchen. Twin beds. Spacious, comfortable, easy check in... and FINALLY, Centre Parcs has figured out the best way to pay for things is via an electronic wrist band which acts as the key to your room / villa, operates the lockers at the pool, and (once you've gone to one of the special card points dotted around the villages and aligned a credit card to it) can be used to pay for food and drinks etc by the pool. Genius. And a long time coming. The hotel was lovely. The villas look amazing. As you'd expect from somewhere a few weeks old. But it is clear to see they haven't scrimped. The quality of the finish around the park is very, very high.

The pool at Centre Parcs is usually the centre piece and at Woburn it is clearly tuned towards young kids. I was actually a bit disappointing compared to Elveden in terms of the size of the main wave pool (we're talking probably 1/4 of Elveden's size) and at full capacity I fail to see how it will be large enough for the whole site. Really poor utilisation of the space available. But that's looking at it from an adult perspective, I suppose. At the other sites the pools are designed for adults, with kids areas seemingly added as an afterthought. Here it's all about kids. I'd say ages 9/10 and up will get bored in the pool. Under that, you are sorted. My 4 year old was in her element.

One disappointment was with the food at Canopy. The kids fish used to be lovely goujons. A shift in supplier across all Centre Parcs (apparently) has seen the lovely meaty fish replaced by deep fried tubes of grey fishy goo. Awful.

The staff throughout the park were absolutely lovely. They stopped to say hello and ask if everything was OK. Friendly and attentive. Absolutely wonderful. Just couldn't do enough to help.

It was just me and my daughter on a Father's Day weekend away, and especially in the restaurants everyone was so kind. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble.

The hotel was attached to the Plaza and all the sports halls, pottery and craft rooms, and just a five minute walk to the main village. As such, and probably because it was during term time and still very new, the resort had the feeling of being much smaller and more cosy. Maybe that was just me. It just felt more intimate.

I loved every second and will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank WBuxton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014

When I booked this trip I rang Center Parcs to make sure it was suitable for us. I did tell them I struggle on hills due to my arthritis, they assured me it was just undulating. I don't mind undulating as long as I take my time. We got Maple 821 On our drive in, imagine my horror as we started climbing up a 10% hill only to realise our villa was situated at the top and the activities were at the bottom. If Center Parcs had have put an honest warning on their website or told their booking staff, we could have made an informed choice as to whether to go or not. When I had to visit the nurse with a swollen knee, she informed me there was a pick up service every half an hour if you book it, that's great but the idea of a family holiday is to spend it with my daughter and grandchildren, not have to be ferried about on my own. The villas are lovely inside which you would expect as they are new, the ensuite bathroom is really nice. The patio areas are tiny and overlook the neighbour's bedroom window, we were aware of a small child sleeping when we had a bbq one evening and felt uncomfortable trying to keep quiet. The pool is great for our little ones but be warned, most of the changing rooms show a family sign on the door for baby change, this is misleading as only the ones with the blue signs actually have this facility. There were no bins for nappies either which was a pain. There are baby pens available by the pool but no padded mats like there are in other center parcs, so remember to take your own or fold a large towel to lay them on. A couple of afternoons we were trying to take a nap and had a chainsaw being used nearby, hopefully when they have finished building this won't be a problem. We ate in the sports bar as we were put off by other guests saying how dreadful the other restaurants were. The staff were quite polite but not sure how they are going to cope when the park is at full capacity. The park is unlike any other center parcs and if you haven't ever been to one before you will probably enjoy it, we are slightly biased towards Sherwood and Elvedon, much more of a forest experience and more of a sense of privacy with the villas. We really went with an open mind and would have loved to come away having had a good time as the location is great for us, but was very disappointed and felt let down by center parcs for not having been honest about the hills, especially the one fondly known as cardiac hill, I hated that one, we are loyal customers who felt deserved better.

Room Tip: Avoid maple if you are over 55, disabled or unfit.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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7  Thank Janet B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014

We had deliberated about where to go on our honeymoon but due to the other half's dislike of flying we are pretty much isolated to the UK and Eurostar / ferry links which we have done over and over again!! We got engaged in at the Sherwood Forest Park so thought we would give the new one a go even though we had to hold on to 2 weeks before the wedding to book which was nerve-racking. This was by far the best experience we have ever had at a centre parcs. Obviously it was brand new and quite quiet but it was the service levels that we were very impressed with. Firstly the cycle centre staff were enthusiastic and welcoming with great personalities. We then went to the Aqua Sana which was superb. Perhaps a few too many staff hanging about but it was a very quiet time. All the staff in the parc were friendly, engaging and fun to talk to. The stand out service was cafe Rouge. The service was by far the best I have ever experienced. Craig who served us was attentive, friendly and the free bottle of the finest fizz went down treat. They brought out our desserts with just married written on the plate in chocolate and they even sent me a picture as my camera had died. Cafe Rouge made our first night as a married couple amazing and we thank them for that. The manager of the evening was also very very good. Cannot fault the week and I always have something to moan about!!! Thank you centre parcs.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank davidfirth83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Center Parcs Woburn Forest

Address: Woburn Forest | Millbrook, Bedford MK45 2HZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Bedfordshire > Bedford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Bedford
Hotel Class:5 star — Center Parcs Woburn Forest 5*
Also Known As:
Center Parcs Woburn Forest Bedford, Bedfordshire

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