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“Going downhill”

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Center Parcs Longleat Forest
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 September 2009

It's a while since we went there but I'm new to Trip Advisor and, given that I feel I know Center Parcs Longleat so well, thought I'd start with a review of that first!

Firstly, myself, my wife and subsequently a growing family have been going to this particular Center Parcs for some years now - probably around 9 times in total since 1996, but I doubt we'll return unless there are substantial changes.

We've noticed on about the last three visits the standards of the accommodation are getting lower and lower. On the last visit in September 2008, we paid for an executive woodland lodge. Upon arrival we found dirty toilets, a broken toilet seat and large stains all over the carpet in the lounge area. We also found the bedrooms to be very cramped. On our previous visits we'd always gone for at least an executive villa and once upon a time it really did feel like you were getting your money's worth - stylish, immaculate and very comfortable. These last few times it simply feels like Center Parcs are taking you for mugs - given their sky high prices (particularly in school holiday times!). It wasn't just the issues with the villa, it also took them quite a while to sort them out once reported.

On the plus side, if you've never stayed there before, Center Parcs Longleat is in a lovely tranquil setting and it is a fantastic place to take families. There are things to do for children of all ages and our kids have absolutely loved their stays there....because kids don't notice run-down, dirty and broken chalets/villas of course! The swimming pool complex / plaza is excellent and can keep you entertained all day. The rapids are great fun for adults and children - although be aware, this is the 'hot-spot' for teenage congregation during school holidays. It takes a few runs down the rapids to know where to position yourself to avoid sustaining the odd bruise!

Other plus points are the choice of restaurants and the pricing - good food, good service and 'sensibly' priced considering they pretty much have a captive audience - and the same goes for the on-site supermarket 'Parcmarket'.....again, sensibly priced and if the man in the house is into his proper ale like I am he'll enjoy the selection of local bottled beers as well as the other well-known bitters. The bakery offers an excellent selection of delicious cakes, pastries and buns as well.

If you're into your sport the facilities are excellent. I think I've entered every tournament over the years! If you have some sort of mid-life crisis and dream that you can roll back time to the youth club days and sweep all before you in lifting the table-tennis title then think again - people turn up with their own bats in their own zip-up bags. Oh yeah. Be afraid. Not to mention the football - a team from Birmingham turned up in their own kit and took it deadly seriously. So it was nice to beat them in the final. Cheers lads. Still got the medal in a drawer at home somewhere :-D

In summary - We really were Center Parcs fanatics at one point, but there's only so much you can take until eventually you say 'enough's enough'. They're no longer competitive in pricing, they've taken their customers for granted it seems and they've let their standards slip in our opinion - so pull your socks up CP!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank DJDanny77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7,894 - 7,900 of 8,035 reviews

Reviewed 14 September 2009

we went to longleat center parks for a weekend and it just flew by
first we went to find our way about we arrived at the pool after minuits of searching i think thats good considering the sise of the resort. we got changed found our way to the outdoor pool and then sam started bugging me to take him on the rapids i asked mum to do it instead

then after a dozen goes round the rapids and a quick swimm

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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Thank pizzaperfect
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2009

I went to Centre Parcs for a weekend in September. I had been before ten years ago when it was fairly new but I had stayed as part of a corporate event and didn't get to see much of the forest or activities. I was quite excited to be going again for a 3 day break. I booked the mid range priced accomodation for 2 people- an Executive Villa- it was about £315 in total - they do have reburbished villas but I didn't want to pay the hefty supplement. I arrived after the 3 pm rush and the traffic queue wasn't too bad and we found the villa fairly easily although from the outside it did remind me of a large static caravan. However nothing could have prepared me for the smell when I opened the door to the villa. It was a mix of damp and wet dog wool! And it was really awful. Thankfully after a lot of airing and a lot of febreeze (most of the smell was carpet and soft furnishings related) it was not so bad after the first night, but it's really annoying to be paying approx £100 a night and put up with that. The villa interior was also dated and tired looking. However I suppose you are not really paying for the accomodation alone, you are paying for the location which is lovely. Thankfully we had fantastic weather and there is loads to do and see. The boat lake in particular was brilliant fun. We don't have small children so if you don't really like small kids then this isn't for you as it's very family oreintated. Overall I feel it's overpriced but I would recommend it for the outdoor experience and I agree with a previous posting- book out of season (less kids) , book the new style villas (if you can afford it), take or hire bikes as you have to in order to get around and don't stay for more than 3 days, and of course pray for good weather!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank katharinepompey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2009

I went with my better half and friends and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, the facilities are good and we made very good use of the swimming pools, enjoyed the archery target practice and we missed our appointment for the bowling alley which was refunded without question. There didn't seem enough time to fit it all in.

Only downer of the whole trip was going back to the general car park at the end to find my wing mirror glass had been stolen. They do have CCTV in the car park however it's less than useful as I found out.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank super12v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2009

My family (myself, partner, 4yr old boy, 12 yr old girl) went to Centre Parcs for the Bank Holiday weekend. This was our 2nd visit, having previously gone 10 years ago.
We had a great time doing all the activities including the Tree Trail (similar to Go Ape, although smaller scale), zip wire, adventure golf (both indoors and outdoors), table tennis, and younger activities, and of course the swimming.
The negatives to be aware of - we stayed in an executive villa 2 bed, and it was very grubby, including filthy crockery and cutlery, the previous guests dirty laundry was still in the place the day we left, although we complained on day one, and day two. The accommodation was very tired, the carpets were very worn, the televisions were the originals from 15 years previously, and the shower was covered in mould.
As said complaint was made about this and we were given a £40 meal voucher, although this was appreciated we did point out that what we actually wanted was clean accommodation.
The centre is very tired, the lights failed in the plaza, which led to the indoor play areas being shut and certain restaurant tables being out of action. The restaurants were very expensive, costing us £90 for the four of us, with 2 largers.
The activities were very expensive for what it was (£6 for 30mins hire of table tennis table for example).
The swimming pool was fine, although it was dirty, and the amount of hair that was on the floor in the changing rooms was disgusting.
There was no entertainment in the evenings, no band, no comedian or anything, which was a shame, although we did do the family quiz which was good fun for 1.5hrs so would recommend that.
Summing up, as other reviewers have said other holiday parks are catching up and in some cases overtaking centre parcs for the quality that they offer. This is not a cheap holiday option, and we would go as far to say this is a very expensive holiday option. A long weekend is plenty of time, to do all that is there.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Clasp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2009

We re-booked to come back in March 09. We weren't dissapointed, booked a New Style Woodland Lodge, which although smaller than an Executive we had stayed in last time was miles better with a modern feel. We do have fond memories as last time we came our son took his first steps. Center Parcs is fantastic for parents, where your kids can have their own room and you get a good night's sleep after tiring them out during the day!

I would recommend trying to not arrive at the peak time and park up and go and get some lunch and avoid the rush! Also worth getting up early on the last day to get your car and get it packed and either away for the day or back to the car park - it is well worth it to avoid the chaos. Also although bringing your own food will save you some cash the Parc Market is good and well priced.

We will definitely be back, although we may yet try one of the other Center Parcs.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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Thank Shinfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2009

We stayed for a 5 day midweek break, and it was chaos on arrival. What drives people to sit for over an hour in a queue through the car park with their engines running waiting for the barrier to go up to drive in...... scary! We unpacked our bikes and then returned later for the car as the 3pm barrier rise is mad. The site is very hilly and spread out, so if you have young children and buggies i would imagine its hard work. We got very fed up with the trek from the Jardin de sports and the plaza. The village square is a let down too, as all the shops/market etc in is in the plaza with the pool complex.
The pool is great, as all centre parcs are, shame the changing area is so crowded and cramped. We had an executive villa, which was spacious and well stocked in the kitchen but a bit grubby and tired looking, we wished we had gone for a woodland lodge as they seemed much cleaner and tidier having been re-vamped.
The activities are on the expensive side and we stuck to hiring badminton courts on wet days although be warned you really do need to book before you go. Even getting a restaurant table in the evenings was hard work, as you really should pre-book. There's not alot of room for impulsiveness at centre parcs.
However the site was spotlessly clean, and well maintained. We really enjoyed walking around through the park and some of the cycle paths are lovely, built up onto wooden boardwalks.
Take lots of things to do with the kids if it rains, take lots of food as the supermarket is not open after 8pm and is pricey with not a great selection of food, few snack bars are open after coming out of the swimming pool late at night, and book the newer accomodation.
Still a great holiday though despite the price. Will go back to Sherwood Forest next time as its better laid out.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank julesvee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Center Parcs Longleat Forest

Address: Warminster BA12 7PU, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Wiltshire > Warminster
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Warminster
Hotel Class:5 star — Center Parcs Longleat Forest 5*
Also Known As:
Center Parcs Longleat Forest Village Hotel Warminster
Center Parcs Warminster
Center Parcs Hotel Warminster
Center Parcs Longleat Forest Warminster, UK - Wiltshire

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