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“The best Center Parc we've ever been to!”

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Center Parcs De Kempervennen
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Westerhoven
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“The best Center Parc we've ever been to!”
Reviewed August 28, 2011

This is the 5th Center Parc we've been to, and it's definitely the best out of the lot (especially when comparing against the backdrop of a rather disappointing visit last year to the Domaine de Trois Forets). I'll be assuming the reader may not be familiar with CenterParcs, so if you are, please excuse the excessive amount of details.

De Kempervennen is located in the middle of a pine forest, with a largish (probably artificial) lake in the middle (making the navigation within the park a rather trivial affair - there's one road along the lake, another one along the perimeter, and plenty of radial roads/paths) and all kinds of little rivulets flowing throughout. The park is almost entirely flat, which (considering that cars are banned through most of the week) makes bicycles the ideal means of transportation (you can either bring your own, or rent one at the bicycle center). There is also a bus circling the park every half an hour (but some of the days of our stay it was out of commission). The cottages are of the older sort (as compared to those of Domaine Des Trois Forets), but are well maintained and thoughtfully located. This time we went for the more expensive (VIP) kind, which meant larger living room (nice if you're having people over for a visit), a Jacuzzi tab, a personal sauna, and a prime location - within 2 mins. walk from the Montana Ski center (the real reason for the choice both of the park and of the cottage type). Also, you get bread roll every morning on your door handle (make sure to leave the shopping trolley out in the evening for the delivery service, otherwise they just leave them outside, for the benefit of the birds and the beasts) and 2 vouchers for 12 euros each for the supermarket (it says you can only buy "breakfast food" with them, but in reality you can spend them on anything in the supermarket). Speaking of the supermarket, it's quite expensive (so we usually shop up in the nearest city before checking in into the park), but it's ok to replentish the fresh food stuff.

So, the Ski center. If you're an even slightly experienced skier (feeling comfortable on blue slopes and up), and so are your family, and you don't have a freestyler among you, you may just as well skip it: a single 100 m slope will not be challenging enough to bother getting the ski equipment on. If, on the other hand, you're contemplating taking your loved ones with you for your next Alps vacation, but you're afraid to discover they're not into skiing while on the mountain - by all means, book them a course at the ski center. That's what I did, and I'm really happy about it. The kids just loved it. The instructors are good, the equipment is quite decent, and you can rent skiing suites and gloves for 5 euros per day per person. Do note that the middle of the week course lasts just 3 days (with 1 hour lesson each). There is a restaurant on the second floor, from which you can watch your loved ones learn the basics of the pizza slice slide on the slope below.

Other attractions: there's the water ski and wakeboard (we haven't tried it, but it looks good from the side - make sure to reserve in advance), the roofed sports center (tennis, squash, ping-pong tables, gym, pool table), paddle boats on the lake (the boats are REALLY heavy. Too bad they don't have any rowing boats or electric boats - the lake is very nice, but the boats are quite awful), children farm (very nice - we've spent quite a lot of time there), and pretty much all the other standard attractions. The Aqua Mundo is great (although the 'tropical fish' thing was a bit disappointing: I thought you get to swim with the fish somehow, in reality there are aquariums along the sides of a pool, and you dive in order to look at them). The Dome in general is on the smaller scale (than, say, the one in Domaine des Trois Forets), but it's cosy and nice (with the only exception being the hoards of smokers lining the only exit: placing the ashtrays at the entrance may make sense for the smokers during the rain, but not for the kids and other non-smokers trying to navigate the doors). There are all kinds of shows at the dome, both for kids and adults, unfortunately, they are all in Dutch. There are also Wannabe activities for the kids, but they require prior registration (if you ordered one on the site, and you get an e-mail from them, make sure to answer with the activity you've chosen).

Eating out: the market restaurant (all you can eat buffet) is nice - lots of options for every taste, though rather expensive. We also tried the family grill restaurant, and it was rather disappointing: the menu is not very rich in options.

What I liked in particular is the service. The Aqua Mundo is open till the last moment stated - and then some. Same with the restaurants. Everyone speaks English, and is happy to help.

One more info item, mysteriously absent from the CenterParcs site. There's a laundry service (9-13 on Mo-Thu), and a laundromat (any time any day) near the reception: buy the tokens to operate the washer at the reception, the dryer takes 50 cent coins for every 10 mins of laundry (I found it easiest to drop 3 coins at once and set it to the highest temperature, then pick up the laundry 30 mins later).

As for attractions within a (relatively) short driving distance, Eindhoven is worth a visit, and if you're into cars, make sure to visit the DAF museum there. Duisburg is famous for it's zoo (make sure to visit the dolphin show, but take an upper row), and Efteling theme park is nothing short of amazing.

Room Tip: We really liked the spaciousness of the VIP cottages (but the basic ones are fine too)
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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13 Thank dimrub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rishon Lezion, Israel
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2011

the hotel and facilities were amazing. pity just that on every activity for the kids you have to pay an extra.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Thai0710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hythe, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2011

Firstly, we rented a VIP villa which was far from VIP. The toilet lid was missing, the hallway and adjoining WC were stale-smelling and the two bedrooms were particularly, possibly (though I'm not sure) because a dog may have been staying there beforehand and imprinted its smell in the carpets. Which leads me on to dogs. We were surprised that dogs were allowed on the site at all, but they were in evidence aplenty, even in absentia, their excretia was to be found everywhere - by the lakeside, in the children's play area and in the woods - everywhere, it seems, other than in the dog toilets that are provided.

The e-mail confirmation I received stated that we would receive the VIP service, which included beds made up on arrival, the delivery of fresh rolls to the cottage each morning and a eur 12.50 voucher each day to spend on breakfast. However, needless to say, none of these services were provided. When I asked about it at the Information Desk, I was told that we were on a "limited VIP package", whatever we are supposed to understand by that, and therefore did not qualify. I also phoned the 'problems' number provided but was told they only dealt with defects in the cottages. There was nowhere else to go with the complaint on-site so I had to wait until I came back to e-mail Customer Services in Belgium. The auto reply states that I will receive an answer within 4 weeks so I cannot, I'm afraid give feedback on the response at this stage.

Oh! Almost, last but not least, we must be 'spoiled' in England as passive smoking is not much of a problem nowadays given the laws on smoking in public places. Or perhaps people in England are more considerate. Outside the Dome, people stood inches from the doorway (revolving doors that waft the smoke in nicely) puffing away like addictive beagles in a science lab. Indeed, this was the case almost everywhere on the site, including outside neighbouring cottages and at the children's play area, "Beaches".

One more thing. Beware the KPM wireless rip-off. I paid eur 5.95 for 50 minutes to use with my laptop, but when I logged in a second time, it stated I had only 20 minutes left, when I could swear I'd only used about 5 minutes. When I went to buy a second card I pretended to be German and was told by the receptionist to log out of the KPN site (and not just out of the computer) or it would keep eating the minutes. Unfortunately, I wasn't told that the first time when I was British.

All these factors added together did not exactly enhance our trip. Surely customer service should be the most important factor WHILE you are staying in a place.

There were some good points but it is hard to enjoy them to the full extent with so many negative and irritating aspects.

Room Tip: The VIP cottages (4 people) were just old and in need of updating. If there are are newer ones - req...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank AMCJ6595
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northallerton
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2011

3rd visit, this time stayed in the new Eden lodges. These are significantly nicer than the original ones, being lighter, brighter and more modern.

As always enjoyed combination of swimming complex, activities and indoor skiing.

Look forward to 4th visit later in year.

Room Tip: Edens are much nicer than originals
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank MD68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
454 reviews
110 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 274 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2011

Resort is defenitely applicable to Kempervennen. What used to be a camping and an improvised beach 30 years ago is now a fullfledged holidaypark with all the trimmings. If this is your piece of cake, then go! Great bungalows, well equiped. Good service, great swimmingpool, friendly personnell. If you're a bit more adventurous, vernture somewhere else. Great outing for family and grandparents for some quality-time.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Hansje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exmouth
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2011

This was my second visit to Der kempervennan with a ten year gap between the two and some of the reviews on here worried me before our holiday started. I need not have worried. We had a great time and facilities in the main were truly excellent.
More importantly the cost of the holiday was just over a third of the price for CP in the UK. I would urge anybody that has never looked at CP abroad to seriously consider taking the plunge. I have been to Longleat twice and loved it but the prices beggar belief. £1500 for a week compared to £600 at Der Kempervennan at peak time. We used Tesco Club Card vouchers for Eurotunnel and even taking in to account fuel this is a massive saving. I agree with the last poster about Antwerp. A real bottleneck both ways. Might be worth going via Brussels but I havent investigated this in detail. Der kempervennan has some great activities most other CP cant offer. Skiing obviously but the intro to sub aqua was brilliant and excellent value. The arrangement for wake boarding and water skiing is ingenious and much easier than speed boats. If you have never been skiing the snow dome offers a brilliant introduction with very good value lessons in a learner friendly environment with very friendly English speaking instructors. If you are a good skier you will be bored in minutes. I am only an ok skier and so enjoyed boosting my confidence whilst the family had lessons. We had the cheapest villa but by booking early we got free location choice (Interestingly we booked two months before which by UK standards was late for Easter and we probably wouldnt have got in at Longleat.) we also got two free bikes for a week which was brilliant. Our villa was away from the main facilities by design but with bikes we were only two mins from anything. If we were walking it might have been an issue. The basic villa was more than adequate for us but yes if you want to use the savings over a UK CP stay then a better villa would be even better. The house boats look amazing especially in the Easter Heatwave we had but it might not be worth the increased premium in bad weather. The restaurants are ok but Holland is not the gastronomic capital of the world and with the Euro eating out is expensive. Having said that we thought the market buffet was really good but at £25 for adults and over 12's its not cheap but worth doing at least once. All in all this holiday was perfect for us.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank andwendads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2011

We chose centre parcs Holland due to the fantastic extras you get with your booking, called Toppings, we had 2 bikes, 13 euros for the shop, 3 activities and our cottage had a free bread delivery service each morning which was fantastic.

Supermarket.

Good choice and prices were not excessive, there is a lidl in the town about 3 miles from the parc which is large and has alot of choice. We took most things with us from the UK .

Lodge

OMG we had the most stunning villa Eden 3 beds, NO 135, if your going book this one if you can. It is set on a lake with only 1 villa next door. 3 large bedrooms, 2 had bathrooms and the main had a vey large bathroom , walk in shower, etc just lovely.

Lounge was spacious with large flatscreen TV, Very nice kitchen, no oven you had to used the microwave to grill.

Large decking area with outside sauna and shower.

The most beautiful villa we have stayed in at centre parcs.

Aqua Mundo

Large pool area with the wave pool. rapids. Small outside area with Jacuzzi. Not as large a complex as the one in Les Bois but, still very enjoyable. You need to buy a token for the lockers at the pool and use a pass to get into the complex.

Snowdome

Very expensive in the cafe, we did not use the facilities but looks like people had fun.

Cycle Hire

***** get your bikes as soon as you have a voucher,. the centre ran out of bike by 5pm on our day of arrival *** You can always get them park them and go back later for them when you have taken your car to the car park after unloading.

This centre parcs was fantastic we enjoyed everything about it, it is very flat so easy to walk around, there is a small land train that takes people to villas that are set right back, If you don't have a bike I would opt for a bila close to the dome area.
Houseboats look fun but are quite a walk to the dome as there are no shortcuts through.

Driving from Calais is approx 3 hours, Antwerp is a nightmare so either catch early or as late as possible in the day, we had an hours delay going through, I think it was ring road 1 we had to follow.

Go and enjoy and i hope you like our pics, any questions please email

Room Tip: Memories are made here with children
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank ontour2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Center Parcs De Kempervennen

Property: Center Parcs De Kempervennen
Address: Kempervennendreef 8, 5563 VB Westerhoven, The Netherlands
Location: The Netherlands > North Brabant Province > Westerhoven
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Westerhoven
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Center Parcs De Kempervennen 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
De Kempervennen Holiday Park offers a varied, unique and sporty selection of activities for a carefree holiday. In addition to having a wonderful time in the subtropical leisure pool, strolling through the Market Dome - with various restaurants, a grand café and lovely shops – you can try climbing, baby and toddler swimming, archery or go in search of Big Mama. Or as a previous guest commented: “Perfect for our annual group holiday! Everything was within reach for a great week.” The park also has a number of unusual types of accommodation, such as the spacious Eden cottages and luxury houseboats. The countryside as a playground De Kempervennen has two large lakes where you can go diving in search of the giant catfish Big Mama. Or you can go water skiing and wake boarding on the water which you can also whoosh over on the Zip Wire. You can be in the beautiful Malpi nature reserve in minutes by mountain bike, but to be honest, you don’t even need to leave the park for a really great time. Jump into your skis or snowboard the whole year round in the 5500 m2 of real snow in Montana Snowcenter, try paintballing with your friends or gain your PADI diving certificate during one of the multiple-day courses. “Really great for the children” The innovative holiday park offers a huge number of great activities for children of all ages, both indoor and outdoor. Orry and his friends put on various shows while children can play at being a chef, princess, knight or painter. Or how about snorkelling among exotic fish, a DJ workshop or the Aqua Scooter which will pull you along under water? And there is an extensive and highly entertaining programme in the evenings, as witnessed by this enthusiastic guest: “Holland’s got Talent: eat your heart out..!!!” Come and discover for yourself why De Kempervennen, about fifteen kilometres south of Eindhoven, is rightly called the ‘Pearl of Center Parcs’. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Center Parcs De Kempervennen Hotel Westerhoven
Center Parcs De Kempervennen Westerhoven, The Netherlands, Europe

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