Recently returned from our second trip to this center parcs, and it was just as good second time round. We choose this one again due to the Jungle Dome which is a great feature for youngish children to go climbing around inside (though no good for babies). I would say that it is probably okay for 3 years and upwards. Our children are 3 and 6 years.
We got the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam overnight, and then drove here after spending a couple of nights in Amsterdam. It is about 2 hours drive on really easy motorways from Amsterdam so no hassle at all.
We went for 2 adjacent Eden VIP 2 bedroom villas as we were travelling with another family of four. The week before, a representative from center parcs rang and asked if we would like the dividing wall removed between the 2 villas. I didn't know this was an option, but it turned out to be great - effectively making a really large 4 bedroom villa with 2 living areas . The standard of accommodation for the VIP villas is very good (though no oven!) We enjoyed the jacuzzi bath and sauna, and they are located close by to the jungle dome and lake (some with views over the lake).
The aqua dome is exactly like the Nottingham one, as others have said, but it has a really scary (for me) white water rapid ride. My 6 year old loved it, but I was a bit scared of all the people going down at once and bashing into each other. I had a few bruises!
Also, take goggles or snorkel because there is a hidden away area (I don't think many people knew it was there) where you can see fishes under the water, though behind tanks.
We only ate out one evening as the food court/restaurant area is a bit like eating in a mall, so instead we went to the Pancake restaurant which is outside the main area by the smaller lake and it was great. We had some wonderful savoury pancakes, and the kids loved it.
The two 6 year olds did a couple of the children's activities and they really enjoyed them. I was a bit worried that it would all be in Dutch but there was a good mix of Dutch, German, English and some French children. The childcare assistants could speak all of the languages fluently (amazing), put them in groups, and there seemed no problem at all. Our two loved doing the circus performance - 2 hours practice in the creche, and then we got to watch them do a performance in the main market area. Really fantastic.
We got 5 vouchers per family free with our booking and these could be exchanged for activities, such as a children's sessions or bike hire, so we didn't pay any extra for things when we were there. I think that you get these vouchers ("toppings") if you book more than a few months in advance. You can only book the activities using these once you are on site.
Overall, this was a great value trip - cheaper than going to a UK center parc, even when factoring in the ferry crossing, and the kids thought that was a wonderful adventure too. Overall - highly recommended.
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- Also Known As:
- Center Parc Het Heijderbos Hotel Venlo
- Center Parc Het Heijderbos Venlo