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“Great family getaway”

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Center Parcs Longleat Forest
Certificate of Excellence
Heidelberg, Germany
Level Contributor
39 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Great family getaway”
Reviewed January 22, 2009

We spent Xmas here with my partner's family (6 adults and 2 kids under 2).
We had a fantastic time there and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the parc. Longeat offers activities for everybody and we were not bored one minute. The villa was clean and tidy and better equipped than we expected.
The two items which did not work were replaced/repaired the same day.
Bring extra towels for the pool and maybe some cooking equipment (obviously they do not want anything to go missing so that part is rather basic).
Facilities were great, we did various kinds of sports. Equipment can be hired at fair prices (1hr of tennis for 4 people including rackets and balls for 10GBP).
Really nice family outing.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank snowfence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
149 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2009

We have visited Center Parcs in the UK and in Holland a number of times before and we had previously visited this parc (Longleat) about 8 years ago.

The villa was really comfortable and warm; temperatures were sub-zero day and night while we were there - even the main lake was frozen over - and it snowed . The villa had good central heating and really good duvets! We had none of the problems with damp or lack of cleanliness reported by some previous reviewers. Our villa backed onto a (frozen) lake and we had plenty of wildlife visiting us.

However, the parc itself is nowhere near as good as when we last visited 8 years ago. A lot of new accommodations have been built, but the main public areas, sports facilities or car parking have not been expanded. As a result, it is really crowded and hectic everywhere and the only place to get away from crowds is in the villa. Trying to eat at one of the restaurants would not have been enjoyable (they were manic). The public areas like the plaza were so busy that I felt stressed just going into them, day or night. We spent the nights in the villa rather than battling the crowds.

We tried to book a court for badminton, squash or anything we could have some fun doing as a family for an hour, but nothing was available for the whole of our stay apart from extremely early or late times. It is now possible to book activities online up to 15 weeks before you go, so you stand no chance if you want to do something on impulse when you get there, and we would have had to get in quickly when we booked the trip 3 months in advance. We booked our son on a mountain bike trek before we went, but we thought we could book some sports when we got there and saw how we felt & what the weather was doing. Planning every game of badminton, table tennis etc weeks in advance isn't my idea of a relaxing holiday.

We remembered some woods we walked and cycled in during our previous visit, amongst some giant redwood trees. Many of them have now been cut down (is that allowed?) and a small estate of what look like cheap starter homes has been built in their place. We couldn't find any area on the parc that was away from buildings - it's now little more than an expensive holiday camp. We remembered swimming outdoors at night with the redwoods towering over us during our previous visit, which was something special, especially on a frosty evening. But they too have been cut down to make way for flats.

The car park cannot now hold enough cars, so people who had villas with a bit of space kept their cars on-site for the duration of their stay. So the idea of a car-free parc is starting to be compromised.

The swimming pool was really crowded, even in the evening. The main problem is the lack of changing facilities. Some people gave up trying to get cubicles and put their clothes on over their wet swimming trunks - not nice when temperatures outside are sub-zero!

It is all such a shame, because they have ruined something special just for greed.

On the positive side, the villa was superb and we enjoyed doing very little for a few days & resting. There was just enough for our 15 year-old son to do, but largely because he was happy spending a lot of time in the villa reading or listening to music.

We will be unlikely to return to a Center Parcs in the UK, although we may try more of the continental ones which seem less crowded and truer to the original idea of Center Parcs.

  • Liked — Comfort of the villa
  • Disliked — Public areas and sporting facilities not adequate for the greatly-increased levels of accomodation.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Farnborough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2008

As a family with a young toddler we are fans of Centre Parcs and what they can offer us in terms of a family stay.

What they did well...

* Great location - highly recommend popping out to Longleat Safari
* Good layout to the park - but hilly in places
* Good indoor play centre for toddlers
* Choice of activities excellent if expensive
* Tapas restaurant served good food - would recommend eating here
* The La Strada restaurant was also good

What they could improve on...

* We stayed in the older style apartments which they are clearly no longer investing in, we would recommend staying in the newer apartments
* Food in the sports bar is poor

  • Liked — The layout and composition of the forest
  • Disliked — Old style apartments - give them a miss
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Frequent_Flyer_No1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2008

We are used to staying in modern hotels (basic Travelodge type and up). We were therefore quite taken aback by our experience of Center Parcs. There was extremely poor mobile phone coverage on all networks, which led to difficulties communicating within our group and phoning home. We complained to the management but they said it was not their problem. However we know that such issues can be overcome if they cared to liaise with the phone companies.

The signage was generally poor, especially in the car park at night. One exit sign led us to a padlocked gate which told you to contact security in order to exit the site but gave no indication of how this could be done or that there was another unrestricted exit nearby. A member of staff did little more than shrug his shoulders at our and others' exasperation. This seemed to be a common response to queries, complaints and requests for assistance unless we happened, by chance, to find the exact person responsible.

We can't remember the last time we stayed anywhere in any country without mobile coverage or easy access to our parked car and the outside world!

Apart from the interior of the villa, the site was very tired and in need of a revamp.

We noted that the combi boiler in the villa should have failed its annual check for two visual faults, one serious (not CO) and one minor, and should have been out of service. By this time we were about to leave and could not stand another long walk to "Guest Services".

  • Liked — The interior of the villa
  • Disliked — poor communication and staff attitude
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank LinseyB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
berkshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 9, 2008

We have been going to Centre Parcs since the year they opened!
We go twice a year and love every minute of it.
Weather: Does it matter what the weather when there are so many indoor activities if your afraid of a bit of rain.
The pool is excellent fun.
Restaurants are okay some better than others.
We don't go n holiday to compare prices we go to enjoy ourselves.
Elveden and Sherwood are the best if your wanting to enjoy the bike riding, Longleat we find is a waste of time hiring bikes as its extremely hilly, but were not a fit family!
All the reviews I have read have said no to, disabled and old, well i'm disabled and mum is 74 and we have a superb time.
We range from 4 months to 74, some swim some fear the water but each and every one of us has a fab time...
Go to have a great time and you'll enjoy every minute of it, go to find fault and i'm sure you'll go home disappointed!

  • Liked — warmth
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank louady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mynyddislwyn, Wales
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2008

Just got back from a four night mid week break at Center Parcs Longleat. We paid over £1200 for three adults and one child (7 years old) in a 2 bed 'executive villa'. I'm not sure what the 'executive' title stands for as the accommodation was shabby and the cleaning staff were non-existent. Our villa (which looked like an old shed from the outside) was unclean when we arrived and despite paying extra for the daily maid service, was not adequately cleaned throughout the duration of our stay. You may now be wondering why I have given the holiday a four star rating!.....well this is the fourth time we have stayed at Center Parcs..twice in Longleat and twice in Sherwood and yes, it is expensive and yes, the lack of cleanliness is disappointing, but the Plaza, the Aqua Sana, Jardin de Sports and all the other activities are fantastic. We ate at the Rajinda Pradesh, and the food was excellent. We also used their 'DinINg' service (take away food delivered to our accommodation). We chose the Chinese option and paid nearly £50 for take away food which was bland, tepid and portions were under sized. We went to a Halloween Party on our last evening and found that the buffet style food was very good with a great choice of dishes and the entertainment was superb. The pool area was excellent. I'm still aching from going down the rapids! Longleat is much steeper than Sherwood and riding your bike can be hard work, however, one of our party was disabled and therefore we made use of a mobility vehicle which is operated by the security staff. This system works exactly like a taxi and it worked like a dream. The security staff were obliging and really friendly. All said and done, we have booked to go again next year, but this time we have not opted for the daily maid service as it's just not worth it. Center Parcs is great, but for the money, it should be a lot better in some areas.

  • Liked — Great outdoor fun
  • Disliked — Lack of Cleanliness
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank GewJayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herts, UK
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2008

We stayed in a 3-bed woodland lodge at Center Parcs Longleat, had a good discount and spent the weekend there out of season for just over £400, not bad for 3 adults, 3 teenagers and a baby. Luckily, I booked one of the updated 'new style' lodges, and I have to say we were all impressed, very comfy beds, gorgeous warm floor in the bathroom thanks to the underfloor heating, TV sound in the bathroom, flat screen TV in the double bedroom, and a clean, modern kitchen with everything we needed. The teens amongst us loved the huge blackboard in the kitchen.

I had ordered the welcome pack, but with hindsight I wouldn't do so again as they already provided some tea/coffee/cream sachets as you'd find in a hotel room, and while all of the products were branded good quality, they were miniature sizes! We never needed the toilet roll as there was already some provided in each bathroom. The supermarket is excellent, good choice, and has everything you'd need, mostly reasonable prices but some things are overpriced as you'd expect. We bought some pasties from their bakery on the morning that we left and found them to be big, delicious and piping hot - and cheap!

Quick check-in (didn't have to get out the car) and the place seems very well organised. I agree with the reviewer who mentioned the importance of the information pack, we also booked last minute and didn't receive it. We found out at the end of the holiday that there were quite a few things there that we hadn't even known about and hence we didn't have time to find them. Maybe Center Parcs could rectify that by leaving the information ready and waiting in the lodge that would've normally been posted. If booking late again, I would call them and ask for this. I needed to call them to make a change to the party details the day before and it was a quick and easy phone call.

GETTING AROUND: We hired bikes on arrival, not realising that in a place of this size (the complex is HUGE) they would be essential or we may have taken our own. But that was the whole fun of the break for us - loads of safe, relaxing space to cycle, even for someone totally unfit and with no sense of balance like myself. We hired a toddler trailer as well, so our 19 month old son was happy in the back with all the bags. Oh, and yes it is very hilly, but then I just hopped off and walked up the bits I couldn't manage, so no slower than if I'd walked anyway. There were times (such as evenings when everyone was going back to their lodges after meals) when the land train was full, and it would be another 15 minute wait for the next one. We were lucky and got on, but I'd imagine in the rain, at peak season, this could be a real pain. All the more reason to use a bike and take a raincoat.

I'll say it again, the complex is HUGE. It's worth saying twice. I had seen the plan before going, but the true scale hadn't hit home until we got there and I was wishing I'd paid the extra £25 for a more 'central' lodge. (Although when I checked out the lodge numbers on the map, the more expensive ones weren't all that much closer.) But then, half the fun is travelling around on the bikes or the land train, so it didn't spoil the holiday in any way, it's just useful to know if you're not so mobile.

POOL; It's brilliant, and one of the few free things to do, but we spent hours in there and went every day. My only criticisms which I put down on my feedback to them was the poor lighting and lack of signs. It's a big old place and it took us ages to find the toddler pools. Again, this is only a small point and certainly no reason not to go again. They just need to put some signs up since the pool is open until 10pm (yey!) and in darkness by then. The outdoor pool is lovely and warm, and the toddler pools have cute little slides, although the stone is a bit rough and hard for little ones in my opinion but it didn't seem to bother our son one bit.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: Walking down to the pool area in the evening and seeing the pretty white light trees along the rapids, and then lying in the outdoor pool looking up at the stars (in October)!

FOOD: We had a decent takeaway delivered, no more epxensive than we'd pay at home, very mixed service at the Sports Cafe (overpriced and a long wait on one day) and a gorgeous meal at the Italian Strada restaurant, we'd definitely eat there again. Would've liked to try the Pancake House as the menu looked nice (I'm vegetarian) but there wasn't enough time.

BABIES: I can't comment on the Time Out place, as we didn't use it. There was a good, clean highchair with a tray attached in the lodge, child seats/trailers for the bikes, CBeebies on the TV. We were happy! Our little boy was thrilled with the friendly squirrel looking at him from the other side of the glass patio door.

ACTIVITIES: We didn't have much money (or time) so we spent most of our time in the pool. The bowling is great, we didn't book in advance and it was reasonable compared to everything else. My sister and I had a lovely facial in the Spa. Due to a mix up and delay, they refunded half the money, and gave us both free entry to the Spa facilities, we spent a very happy couple of hours in there and felt pampered by the time we left.


Things to know:
* Take a torch! The lighting in the evening is kept to a minimum to conform with planning regulations.
* Take your own food basics or buy from the shop. Asda is a short drive away. Don't bother with the Welcome Pack, spend the money in the Italian.
* Take your own bikes if you have them.
* Take your swimming costume!
* There's no mobile phone signal on the park, only in the carpark, and we had a few different mobile providers between us. But for me this was BLISS! Could be a problem for some though, but there are payphones all over the park. It was only difficult when our party got split up and then we couldn't find each other again and had no way to make contact. We'd consider taking walkie talkies next time if they'd work?

All in all, it was so lovely to be somewhere restful, secluded, beautiful and yet with good facilities and so much to do. We felt very safe there (even at night), cocooned away from the stresses of life, so it really was a 'break' in every sense. We will definitely be going back. Given the previous review, I'd recommend that it's probably best to book the newer style accomodation, as we couldn't fault our lodge. We normally do holidays where we spend very little time in the resort as we go off exploring in the car/ hire car. I was worried that we might feel penned in, but it was the opposite feeling, so much space to explore, and much nicer than sitting in a car all day. I never realised that spending a holiday all on one site could be so enjoyable, but I am converted!

  • Liked — Modern, clean, comfy in beautiful setting.
  • Disliked — The price in peak season! I did a price check for just 2 weeks later (half term) and it was ridiculously inflated
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank minniecat
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

Property: Center Parcs Longleat Forest
Address: Warminster BA12 7PU, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Wiltshire > Warminster
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty 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, Wiltshire

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