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“Ok holiday except for booking problems”

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Darwin Forest Country Park
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Ok holiday except for booking problems. We booked our holiday through the online booking system on the website after emailing Pinelodge and asking for a dog friendly lodge with a hot tub. We went ahead and booked it as everything was looking good. All the paper work had come through the post and we looked through the brochure and it said 'spa' against the lodge we had booked so we thought fantastic. Two days before we were due to travel we found out by complete accident that we didn't actually have a hot tub when I was showing my family on the website. I phoned Pinelodge straight away to check only to be told that there were none available with a hot tub unless we moved lodges part way into the holiday, paid £75 extra and left early. I tried to cancel it and get my money back as this wasn't what I thought i'd booked and I felt very mislead only to be told that we wouldn't be refunded any money at all so basically we had no option but to go.

When we arrived in reception to check in all of the staff were on the phone and didn't even acknowledge us. The lodge had all the basics and was tidy pity about the stain on the carpet that we cleaned off ourself on arrival also there was quite a lot of dust on top of the pictures, kitchen cabinets and light bulbs. The beds were extremely uncomfortable and all of the mattresses were well in need of replacing. The park was lovely and peaceful during the day but not so much at night. Late at night some of the guests were very inconsiderate of those trying to sleep with noise, turning cars around and headlights shining into bedroom windows. The park was good and in a lovely area and our lodge was well positioned not too close to the entrance. The walks are fantastic for dogs and they are well away from the road.

The shop has all of the basics and we got everything we needed from there as well as holiday gifts. Staff in the shops were mixed one of the people we had was most unwelcoming yet others were chatty and lovely. The food at foresters was very good and when we requested something different as they have a very limited menu as a take away, they cooked us a lovely roast chicken with vegetables which was done to perfection. It's just such a shame that it wasn't on the menu for anyone else to enjoy. Also on the take away menu it says to ask which deserts are available and we were told nothing with cream or ice cream which was everything so the only real option was cheese cake or nothing which was very disappointing. I really do hope they add more things to their menu for eating in the restaurant as well as for a take away meal. They have proven they can cook a range of great food but why not add it to the menu.

The park is well catered for dogs with lots of nice walks and plenty of bins to make it easy to clean up after your dog.

Overall it was ok just be very careful when booking to avoid disappointment.

Room Tip: Request a lodge number so you can view on the map where u'll be and double check the lodge has e...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Kat552
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pinelogger, Manager at Darwin Forest Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2013

We remember your booking and your holiday well because we tried hard to resolve the problems that arose over the booking misunderstanding. Our first email response to your online request referred to "offering you alternative accommodation for your holiday as the type of lodge you requested is unavailable". The offered lodge and the price quoted were for a lodge without a spa but unfortunately you didn't notice until too late. It was disappointing for you and for us. We are sorry you found the bed uncomfortable and we have checked it as well as looked back over months of customer questionnaires to see if anybody else made a similar comment. If they had we would have acted. We are pleased that other aspects of your holiday were very good or excellent, including cleanliness, according to your completed questionnaire and we would very much like to welcome you again.

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708 - 714 of 992 reviews

Reviewed October 6, 2013

The lodges are nice, clean and spaced out well, and located in a very quiet park. It was handy to be able to park directly outside the lodge. Considering a lot of guests had young children with them, the lodge could have done with a bit more child friendly equipment. The bathroom sink was too high for our 4 year old to clean her teeth/wash her hands, and there was no child sized cutlery or plastic bowls/plates/cups in the kitchen. A washing machine would have been useful for our 4 person riber skyline lodge to save us going to the laundry. The little monkeys play area is good, albeit a little on the small side and it would have been nice if we'd had one free session thrown in as a guest of the lodges. The kid's food and choice of meals in here is excellent, and the staff are very good (the lady even served us one minute before last orders). The foresters bar and restaurant could do with learning from them as the food there is awful and the staff are very rude and indifferent. I was ignored for 5 minutes whilst they talked among themselves. They said they couldn't fit us in for dinner on either of the nights we stayed even though they were not busy at all which was not surprising after trying a takeout. The choice of dishes on the takeaway menu was poor. The pizza was burnt and it looked as though a mouse had chewed all the burnt bits around the edge. Chicken on top of the pizza was dry and chewy. Batter on the fish was overdone and the fish itself was tasteless. This area isn't as clean as the rest of the park either. Very disappointed with this aspect of our holiday as it meant we had to find somewhere else to eat.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Georgiefan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pinelogger, Manager at Darwin Forest Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2013

We regret that your experience of the Foresters was not to your liking but you will see from other reviews that many people enjoy it a lot. The park has been busy and the Foresters has been taking as many reservations as a fully staffed kitchen can cope with. All your comments are noted though.

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Reviewed September 30, 2013

The whole park is extremely well organized and run. The cabins were emaculate , we enjoyed the swimming, pub , the walks and our grandchildren enjoyed the soft play. If you are looking for a peaceful family friendly park you won't go wrong we can't recommend it enough

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank mark w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Lovely spacious, modern, clean accommodation. Faultless. A lovely weekend. Far better than centre parks and a lot cheaper.
Kids loved the nature trail and hot tub was an added bonus.
The illuminations at Matlock was a lovely night out for the kids and got some fab photos.
All in a all, a lovely weekend.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Emma C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2013

Our family had never spent a holiday around the Derbyshire Dales and so we spent a long weekend in the Elvestan Spa lodge (Number 112). The lodges are well spaced and quite secluded towards the higher numbered properties, which is good as although most of those with hot tubs had them at the rear of the property, ours was to the side and so could be overlooked from the drive up to the neighbouring lodges. This was a shame and would have put us off if the park was not so quiet. The water quality of the hot tubs is checked regularly but the staff but they are polite and not at all intrusive. The weather was unusually warm and we would have spent some time sitting on the decking but the outdoor furniture was covered in bird poo and so we didn't use it.

The facilities within the lodge were great and it was furnished to a high standard. The kitchen had everything you would need for staying on a self catering basis. The bathroom with spa bath and sauna was great, fresh and clean. The only negative was that if you sat on the left side of the two-seater sofa there is a faint smell of vomit.

I'm not sure if it was just because it was a term time holiday but there was never any noise, day or night. We made use of the swimming pool, games room, bar and little monkeys play centre and all were well kept but very quiet.

We used Darwin forest as a base for trips to Matlock, Matlock Bath, Chatsorth House and Bakewell and all were easy to reach as this park is in such a good location. In our long weekend we didn't manage to pack in all the places that we would like and so we will definitely return to the area next year.

I would recommend the lodge and site as a high quality venue. If you are likely to spend a lot of time on site it is worth spending the extra money on your accommodation but as we make a lot of day trips we will probably choose a more standard accommodation at a different site next time we are in the area and save a bit of money. We had not been to a lodge with a hot tub and sauna before and it was a nice luxury for a long weekend but it is not a priority for us to have one again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Gemma W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

This place was are first time there and it was excellent we thoroughly enjoyed it and we shall defentently go back there again and everything was so clean and tidy loved it all and the swimming pool and all facilities were excellent

Room Tip: It is brilliant
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Sarah R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2013

From the little we saw outside of the indoor play centre this looked a wonderful place to have a holiday. The facilities seemed excellent and all the staff we met seemed very friendly and helpful. Special mention to the staff in the leisure complex who were so kind in dealing with an unexpected situation I found myself in. They let me use the phone and even found the phone number I needed.

As for the indoor play centre this was very well organised and our grandkids loved it. There is a 2 hour time limit but you can eat afterwards at an adjoining café if the kids can't be dragged away from the play equipment. The food was above average and freshly prepared. Everywhere was very clean despite this being a busy bank holiday weekend.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank dottytee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Darwin Forest Country Park

Address: Darley Moor, Matlock DE4 5PL, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Derbyshire > Matlock > Darley Moor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Darley Moor
Price Range: $96 - $193 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Darwin Forest Country Park 5*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of the Peak District, Darwin Forest is a 5-star holiday park in a delightful woodland setting. Accommodation is in modern self-catering lodges with everything provided for a great family holiday. Lodges sleep form 2 to 8 people. Facilities include indoor swimming pool, indoor play area, bar/restaurant, tennis, beauty therapy, soft play and woodland walks. Darwin holds the David Bellamy Award for Conservation at Gold standard and a Visit England Award for Excellence. Handy for Chatsworth, Bakewell, Haddon Hall and all the sights of the Peak District. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Darwin Forest Country Park Hotel Two Dales

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