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Reviewed 22 June 2018 via mobile

This was our first time to any CP resort so can’t compare it to the other sites but we did our homework before we arrived so we knew roughly what to expect.

We stayed in a two bed woodland lodge in the Birch zone with our 2 year old daughter. We actually booked the trip to celebrate her birthday and we stayed Monday-Friday having just returned home today.

All in all we had a fabulous time at Center Parcs and really enjoyed our holiday. When reviewing anywhere I always try to be as honest but fair as possible, I struggled on whether to give 3 or 4 stars for the rating but I settled on 4 all things considered.

Check in - we were greeted by an enthusiastic chap who was friendly and welcoming. He did ask if it was our first time which we said it was, he gave us a brief run down of where to park, which lodge was ours etc. He was really pleasant my only gripe is the explanation of the wristbands led us to believe we could link it to our debit card and use it around the parc - as it transpired after an awkward moment in the parc market - you can only use it at the spa and pool to pay for things, nowhere else. The other thing that was a draw back was we were supposed to be given our breakfast passes which we purchased in advance at check in. We weren’t. When they weren’t in the lodge we rang customer services who apologised and said we needed to come and pick them up from the centre. When we were passing later on we went in to pick them up, and got told they were still at the check in desks and they’d actually be delivered to our lodge. Our starter food/supplies package we purchased in advance also wasn’t at the lodge when we arrived (we paid for early check in) so we had to chase that up as well. It was no big deal and the staff were helpful it just felt a bit like the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing, and we were left to figure it out. Could have been smoother.

Lodges - our lodge was a good size, plenty of room for myself, my husband and our toddler. She even had her own separate room which was lovely. There’s a little play area out the back with bbq stand and table with 4 chairs. We didn’t use it too often but it was great for drying clothes outdoors. Others commented on the cleanliness of their lodges not being great but to be fair ours was clean and tidy, only small thing was there was a horrible smell coming from the sink in the kitchen when there was water running. We didn’t eat in much at all so didn’t overly use it but it needs attention and again I can’t believe someone cleaning the lodge didn’t notice when running water to clean the sink, more likely it was ignored. When leaving hubby left them a note on the chalk board to inform them they need to look at it.

Sub tropical swimming centre- this is a gem in the park. Our daughter loved the toddler pool and wave pool. It was great fun, and hubby tried a few of the slides. It seems clean and well maintained, providing hours of entertainment and fun. Only comment is that it’s absolutely crying out for a decent swimming pool - there is nowhere for adults to have a swim.

Aqua Sana spa - this is absolutely incredible and much the reason I went to 4 stars not 3. Hubby booked me in for a package where I got an Elemis facial, hot stone massage plus 3 hours in the spa to use the facilities which cost £85. My treatments were with Joanna who was extremely professional and friendly, her techniques were great and I’m a convert to hot stones, the relaxation was amazing. I chilled out afterwards in the ‘candlelight room’ which was very zen. My only comment is that a water cooler as opposed to a tap for water in there would be a bit classier. Afterwards I went to use the spa and wondered around using the various saunas, foots spas etc, but again I had to find all this myself and I was a bit frustrated when I overheard other ladies saying they’d been given instructions on which sections to use in which order etc- I wasn’t even told where to go. That would have enhanced my experience as I did make it clear it was my first time. The actual facilities were great though.

Las iguanas - Went here for dinner on our first evening. Food was generally good , atmosphere relaxed, and prices reasonable. However the service was poor and to be honest that’s where a lot of my niggles about this trip lie - customer service. The guy who was serving us was pleasant enough but in the kindest possible way, he hadn’t an ounce of intuition or awareness. The service was slow and disjointed, we were asked if wanted to see a dessert menu, we said yes and we waited 15 minutes on a menu to arrive. Then we waited another 15 minutes to actually by able to order. I should mention the restaurant was not remotely busy or I wouldn’t even mention this point. I don’t mind waiting when there’s a reason. Then when he brought our daughters dessert over which was brownie and ice cream he brought no spoon so we asked for one and he looked bewildered and wondered off. There was a lady nearby cleaning a table who overheard this (she may have been a manager) and she gave him minute to see where he was going and when we went over to the till and started faffing with bills and other things first she went over and got us the spoon - I felt sorry for her she just looked exasperated like this is not the first time he’s been so obtuse. Safe to say it was our only trip to las iguanas during our drip.

Hucks - we booked dinner here on my daughters birthday. We were served by Sharon who was delightful and I feel deserves a special mention because she has the exemplary customer service skills you should be looking for in all your staff. She got the team to sing happy birthday to our little girl which made her night, and gave us balloons too. The food was nice on this occasion. We returned last night after a game of bowling next door but to be honest it was like a different restaurant. Maybe because it was 8.30 so it was winding down and everyone wanted to go home. The kids buffet was sweaty, soggy and in dire need of attention. Our food last night was ok but the restaurant were out of a lot of what we asked for. It just goes to show the difference service can make to your impression though because the lady who served us last night seemed apathetic like she just wanted to go home, and on the way out another member of staff folded her arms and rolled her eyes because she had to wait a minute for us to pass by her before she could walk down the restaurant. On the first evening we tipped Sharon because she was attentive and that was when the restaurant was busier, last night we didn’t tip the other lady because the service was so inconsistent. Something to think about Center Parcs.

Cafe Rouge- ate breakfast here two mornings. It was delicious both days and the service was quick and attentive. Great coffee. The food was superior to the sports bar where we had breakfast on the other two days.

Sports Bar - the staff here are lovely and friendly. Magdalena in particular was so pleasant to chat to. The food was ok but sadly surpassed by cafe rouge. The sausages in the sports cafe let the meal down, they were just horrendous quality. Other than that it was lovely. The breakfast vouchers are definitely good value for money.

Pancake house - terribly slow and unintuitive service. Upon arrival we were told it was a 15 minute wait for food and we said that was fine. We were seated quickly and placed a drinks order. I kid you not it was almost 25 mins before the waitress took our order for food. Our daughter was screaming the place down with hunger and the girl serving us just pottered about resetting a few tables (it was by no means rammed and no one was waiting for a table). On her third pass by us she caught our eye and said are you ok my husband replied yes but we need to order now please and she said ok I’ll be back in a minute - continued to set another table before coming back to us! Who trains these people? Task prioritisation needs a revisit... Anyways the food was alright, savoury pancakes were ok and sweet were gorgeous. Unfortunately it took so long we had to box up our daughters lunch as she’d worked herself up so badly we needed to leave. At the same time we overheard another table cancelling their food because it took so long that half their party were almost done and they had wanted to eat together. Again the pancake house was a classic good food bad service scenario.

Dine in service- you can have food delivered to your lodge if you don’t wish to go out. There is a menu in the room and you just call to place an order and pay over the phone. My hubby had a pizza and I had a Thai curry, both were absolutely delicious and the curry in particular was impressively fresh and authentic. Reasonably priced and the delivery lady was lovely.

Bowling Alley- we had a fab time in the bowling alley with our daughter. Reasonably priced and well maintained it’s definitely worth a visit for any competitive folks.

The lake/boat rides- the lake is very pretty with beautiful birds and ducks. We hired an electric boat for 30 minutes. My husband had a good time driving the boat but to be honest got bored pretty quick because the lake is tiny. The other concern we had was whether the lake is big enough to accommodate wildlife and boats. We saw one poor dead duck floating and we can’t be sure it was injured by a boat but it’s the most likely scenario. We went back earlier than we had to as we didn’t feel comfortable.

Bike hire - we had two bikes and a trailer for the week. It was fun and quick to get about but to be fair it’s definitely not necessary. The site is small enough to walk easily from part to part. It is very hilly though and the most irritating thing is people not watching where they are going and stepping out when you’re trying to cycle up hill. If you want to ride a lot you might be disappointed at this site.

There are play parks dotted all about plus soft play areas in all the restaurants. These are clean and well maintained.

Check out is a bit of a slalom trying to weave in and out of all the cars. I’d recommend getting up early!

Few suggestions to Center Parcs on possible improvements- invest in some customer service training for all your staff, install some water fountains along the pathways for drinking water, consider some form of maid service in the woodland lodges - even a towel change and quick freshen up mid stay would improve a guests opinion.

We did have a great week away and I’m definitely not put off Center Parcs in the future, I’d maybe just try a different site as we definitely seen all this one had to offer.

Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
2  Thank Dawn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2018 via mobile

We will never go back to Sherwood after visiting here. It is presented beautifully and the staff are so warm and welcoming. It was the perfect break with 2 young children. We could not fault. We will definitely be back again soon!

Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank MerylJ19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2018 via mobile

We recently visited Centre Parcs in Woburn with a baby and a toddler. We stayed in one of the exclusive lodges with hot tub. The lodge was clean and the extra facilities (hot tub, games room etc) were great. There were two stair gates at the bottom and the top of the stairs. Unfortunately we didn’t feel our two year old was always safe, especially at bed time. All rooms had access to a balcony and the doors were easy to open and didn’t lock. The furniture on the balcony also meant a child could easily climb up and over. This meant we had to stay with our little one until he fell asleep incase he went walk about. We asked for a stair gate for the door to stop him wondering into another room but were told to put the spare cot in front as they had no stair gates to give us.

The running of the restaurants at the park is very poor and it is essential that you book in advance as they refuse walk ins, even if the restaurant is empty.On the second night, we went to Strada for dinner. At 6.30 the host said they didn’t have a table for 8 until past 8oclock even though the place was empty. We went on our app and were able to book a table 6.45!!!!! Even though there were no tables!! We sat next to 2 empty tables of 8 in a 3/4 empty restaurant for our entire meal and watched them turn family after family away because they were ‘fully booked’. This was also the same at Hucks which we tried before going to Strada. We very quickly snapped up the last tables for the next two nights at las Iguanas and Hucks and each night we saw families turned away when all the restaurants were half full.
The food at Strada and Las Iguanas was good but the food at Hucks wasn’t to a good standard and had been left under the heat for so long that all the sauces had started to crust over. The service was very slow and it took us over two hours to have a two course meal.
The pancake house was probably our best meal although the staff were very confused about making a soya milkshake. In the end, we abandoned the request as we didn’t want risk the guest with the intolerance having a reaction. They need to do a bit more to reassure guests with allergies intolerances that they will be taken care of.

The staff at Centre Parcs were often friendly and helpful although there were a few occasions where the information given to us was wrong/inconsistent.
When trying to return a rental bike the day before we left, we arrived at 7ish to find the cycle centre closed when the leaflet said it was open until 8. We received lots of different information about when we could collect the car.

We tried some activities and in particular the teddy bear’s picnic was an excellent activity for a two year old. As part of the price, the child gets a centre parcs teddy and lunch. The women running the session were brilliant.

The pool and sports facilities were good.

Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
3  Thank Rachel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2018

Just returned from here which was our first (and last) visit to Woburn Center Parcs.

The accomodation was fantastic (4 bed executive) which had a games room (pool table, xbox), there was a separate sauna too and all rooms had en-suite.

The car park, unlike Sherwood Center Parcs, had plenty of spaces which was good.

The park itself is fairly small with two main areas (The Village and The Plaza) and a smaller area by the lake.

Prices were at a premium which was to be expected, however the average/poor quality of the food was a real let down. The pancake house service was very slow and then the food came out cold, chewy and nothing like previous pancake house experience.

There are signs showing a "Dexters" (takeaway burgers etc) however it is not there, it's being replaced by somewhere called "Leon's" but it's not open yet. There is not mention of Dexters being closed so we walked up to Hucks and found out there was over an hours wait.

We did use the "dining in" service on the last night and rang through with our order at 7:20pm to be told we would have to wait until the 21:30-22:00 delivery slot which we accepted. The food arrived at 22:05 and were smaller than average portions, the chips were "skin on" which was not advertised.

The staff were all friendly and I couldn't fault the customer service.

Considering the cost for here I don't think I'd return and would recommend people look at other UK breaks or consider trying one of the European Center Parcs as it would likely give a better experience.

Room Tip: Lodges between 670-690 are very well placed (right in middle of both areas and a few minute walk)
  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2018 via mobile

Fabulous weekend, staff friendly, professional and helpful - we received a warm welcome at every venue. Woburn centre parcs great place to enjoy a fun filled weekend for all the family whatever their age

Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank Joanhogan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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