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Center Parcs Whinfell Forest
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Reviews (9,048)
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Reviewed April 16, 2013

Just returned from another fantastic short break at Whinfell. We have went every year for 12 years and never tire of the place. We were celebrating a special birthday this visit and was pleasantly surprised by the cleaner leaving a bottle of wine and box of chocolates. Lovely touch. Thank you.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank BELDSMITH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

We have now visited Whinfell for the 5th time and 3 other occasions to Nottingham. We enjoy Whinfell as it has become familiar, is better value than the other sites, and we have enjoyed good whether. We have been to Whinfell when our daughter was just 3 days old, and this year with our son who was 5 weeks old. Center Parcs may not be the cheapest of UK venues, however if you plan well, and are open to try things new, there really is something for everyone. The fact that the kids can be left with competent staff in the kids club is a godsend, as we can have a quality break in Café Rouge with WIFI access, a nice coffee and a bite to eat and most importantly relax!!
We are very picky when it comes to cleanliness and quality of accommodation, we have always opted for the new or executive lodge accommodation, and there has never been an issue to the quality of the accommodation.

Room Tip: Choose an executive or new lodge, as they come with WIFI, as your unlikely to get mobile phone reception, its good to have some form of communication.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank bob d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

We enjoyed our time at Center Parcs. The staff we met were excellent, the comfort (cheapest class) of accommodation was clean and serviceable. Particularly good features were the quality bedding and beds, and the location - we were surrounded by wildlife including red squirrels. The pool was good. Nice range of activities etc.

The thing that stopped it being really great was that it all just seemed a bit stingy, and the staff had no ability to work on their own initiative, to meet the needs of their customers. For example, a child with learning difficulties threw all our towels in the footbath near the changing rooms. He didn't intend to and it was just one of those unfortunate things. I was surprised that Center Parcs staff charged us £4 to rent dry towels - to be paid before we were given the towels, rather than just loan us some.

We were in the 'cheap seats' - comfort accommodation. It was fine, and not cheap at £399 for 3 nights. Why not provide bathroom towels and handsoap to all accommodation? It feels stingy.

We had to leave on Sunday so only stayed 2 nights, due to an operation being bumped up the waiting list at the last minute. We tried to arrange to arrive on Friday morning to make up for missing Sunday evening/Monday morn. We (and everyone else) were allowed access to the park but not the pool. When I called up they were intent on selling additional activities and told me I would have to wait 'a few hours' to get in the park - despite having said that I felt I had already spent enough. When I asked if there was any chance of an early check in I was informed I could have a 2pm check in for an additional £100!! I cannot accept that it was beyond their power to allow us early access to the pool when we were leaving a full day early. We can put a man on the moon but Center Parcs told me that for 'Health and Safety' reasons (as some of Fridays departing guests may be in the pool) we could not swim earlier. They could however arrange a wide range of chargeable activities.

The activities we did were good, we did Archery and the kids did Quad biking and Aqua Jetting. The instructors were excellent and seemed to enjoy their work. Again, it felt a bit stingy. The Archery was in a small enclosed area and we used a target that had been used by many other before us, there were 3 targets between 8 people (4 adults 4 kids). A fresh target sheet and a target for each participant would have been far more engaging and enjoyable.

The young staff at the pool were polite and engaged with their work but their was no one monitoring the top of the outdoor slide and some exuberant young adults were throwing themselves down head first with no regard for small children who they may land on. A staff member at the top of the slide would have prevented this situation occurring. I also think that something needs to be done about the number of women going in the pool with indutrial quantities of make up and fake tan on. At one point I found myself in the middle of a hen night group in the outdoor pool and the water had an orange oil slick on the top!

The spa was lovely, but I was given one small thin towel? At spas I have previously visited there have been towels in the changing rooms to dry yourself afterwards. How can you dry yourself if you've used your towel in the sauna? The juice ran out and was not replaced, no lotion for make up removal or body lotion in the changing rooms. No big deal, but it was much more expensive that other spas I have visited that provide these extras. Another customer was complaining that despite purchasing a massage, she had to pay extra to come in the spa - again, I have never heard of this as spa entry is usually complimentary with an expensive treatment.

The kids disco was awful. More of a toddlers disco really. No proper dancefloor/lights etc. Why don't they use the showbar any more? Because it is being used for a panto - chargeable of course. Most of the older kids quickly moved into the games room to spend money - which I am sure is the aim. It seems a shame there is no family evening entertainment included. If Haven can manage it why can't Center Parcs? And why is a J2O more expensive than an alchopop or beer? And when I buy a meal, why do my children get offered a milkshake, leaving me to tell them they can't have it because it costs £4.50? It all seemed a bit opportunistic to me.

All in all we had a great time. We were happy, the kids loved the bikes, activities and pool. The wildlife was beautiful the grounds well maintained and the other guests were all very pleasant company. If the management at Center Parcs could manage their budgets, leaving staff to treat their guests rather than spend their time 'up selling' to them, I would have felt more comfortable and relaxed.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank rtqp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emma F, Guest Services Executive at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2013

Hi there

Thank you for providing us with your detailed post.

I am delighted that, on the whole, you and your family did enjoy your recent stay at Whinfell Forest. It is disappointing that you found some aspects not to your satisfaction and that you felt at times that you were being ‘stung’.

We do not wish for our guests to feel this way so please be assured that I have taken your comments on board and will of course share these with our team.

We hope to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards

Emma Fairhurst
Guest Services Executive

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

The whole experience was fantastic. We have enjoyed the water park very much and you don't need to pay any extra for it. There are fairly mild slides indoors and outdoors plus nice water activites for young children like mini-jetting. We have pampered ourselves in Aqua Sana which was absolutely fab while our kids were having fun at a theme party in the Time Out Club. We will definetely be coming back to try more sport activities and experience it all again. Although it is quite costly but very enjoyable.

Room Tip: We enjoyed staying on Foresters Lane since it was very quiet and surrounded by friendly wild animals like pheasants, rabbits and squirrels.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Marniss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

Centre parcs is a excellent short break holiday to go with your family. We have went there over 7 times. It has a variety of activities to choose from, from outdoor activities to indoor activities. The swimming pool was amazing the kids when on the slides about 100 times and never got sick of it. The activities were very fun the kids enjoyed and so did the adults. Overall the best days of our lives and would defiantly go again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Pandora2811
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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