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“Better than all Center Parcs I've bee to!”

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Center Parcs Les Bois-Francs
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed October 24, 2008

I stayed in nearly all CP's in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium but this one was the best ever! We stayed in a new VIP-style cottage, in the 700-area. Nice and quiet, lovely atmosphere and a nice sauna all included.

The parc itself is very nice and green as well. We especially loved the forest, chateau and big enough pool to house all the visitors. Definately worth the money!

Stayed: October 2008
1  Thank Moramare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 24, 2008

The new cottages are very nice! Pricey but worth getting the "style" ones. However, don't fall for paying more to be closer to the pool, we did and we were super far. The pool is great! The site can use some renovating but that is probably their charm... Fun place for a short stay with kids!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank couq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2008

We recently returned from a mid-week (Mon-Fri) break at this Centerparcs, and overall we were very pleased with our holiday.

We have visited Centerparcs in within the UK (Elveden or Longleat) and are big fans of this type of holiday. We were planning to visit France, and looked at gites, hotels, etc, but ultimately decided to combine a mid-week visit at Bois-Francs with a visit to Paris. Some friends of ours also enjoy Centerparcs, so we made a group trip out of it, figuring the familiar format might be a good way to cope with any language barriers, and also keep us busy if the weather didn't behave. As it happened, it rained every single day, much like summer in UK, and we were very relieved to have the Centerparcs activities and indoor pool facilities to keep everyone happy!

If you are familiar with the Centerparcs style of hols, then there are will be no surprises at Bois-Francs. For the most part, all the key elements of the UK Centerparcs were found in France as well. The unassuming, single-story, flat-roofed (somewhat ugly) villas are built so they don't compete with the natural setting of the forest. We were a group of 8 (4 adults, 4 children) and shared one 4-bedroom comfort "cottage" as they call them there. We felt the cottage seemed more dated than the UK versions (faded carpet, bathroom smelled of damp), but everything was clean, functioned well, and we had plenty of cutlery/plates/cups for everyone. Curtains and upholstery seemed fairly new. No complaints.

Positives:

1) The "sub-tropical paradise" swimming pool area was a HUGE hit. It has the usual wave pool area with adjoining lazy river area, snack bar, and solarium, and assorted chutes and slides, and rapids. But the added bonus was a fabulous new extension (just opened 2007 I believe) which had a large toddler area, plus a huge adventure-playground style water play area. Beyond this, there were stairs leading to two additional tube slides. Rather than a salt-pool (which I believe the UK parcs have) Bois-Francs has a huge outdoor pool which is very warm (reminded me of a bath in Budapest!) . There is yet another slide outdoors, which is accessed by exiting the outdoor rapids (you have a choice to climb out via some steps about a third of the way down the rapids). Our children were between the ages of 5 and 12, and they all were crazy about the swimming area, particularly the water playground section.

2) Friendly staff. Everyone we spoke to was pleasant and helpful. We spoke French on a few occasions, but mostly the conversations ended up in English and we had no communication problems.

3) Responsive staff. On arrival at our cottage, we noticed that the toilet seat was missing in one loo (broken bolts) and also the towel pack we'd pre-ordered wasn't there. My husband spoke to staff at reception, and within 20 minutes the toilet seat was fixed and towels had arrived.

4) Bicycles for hire are newer and better than the ones at Elveden/Longleat! The whole hire process is easier, too. Just go into the bike lot, choose the bikes you want yourself... test ride them, then get into a queue. The attendant will note the numbers on the bikes, and you pay. Bike locks are already included on the bikes (a wheel lock through the back wheel to immobilise it rather than attaching it to bike rack). BEWARE - helmets are NOT available, so remember to pack your own.


Minuses:

1) We booked two lanes (as there were 8 of us) of ten-pin bowling. Cost about 45 euros for a 55 min time slot, but it turned out to be about 30 minutes of bowling. At the end of your time slot (change-over on the hour), the computerised lane just shuts off. We had about 10 minutes of unplayable time (due to the computer or pins getting themselves in a flap and needing attention from staff), and were late getting onto our lane because people prior to us hadn't left promptly. We spoke to staff, who gave us an additional 5 minutes time (thus making the next people on our lane late for their game). Not like we were trying to be overly competitive, but for that price you expect to be able to get past the 7th frame in a single game of bowling! AVOID BOWLING for this reason. Frustrating and over-priced.

2) Bizarre shop and restaurant hours. They tend to shut between 2pm and 7pm, so time your eating/shopping wisely.


Our hot tips:

1) Make the most of your time by arriving the day before and stay locally. We arrived Sunday and stayed at the Manoir des Perdrix just a few miles away. A lovely B&B with friendly hosts! We were at Centerparcs at 10 am on Monday morning -- even though you can't move into your cottage till 3pm, you can take advantage of all the facilities from 10am.

2) Shop at the Intermarche supermarket which is on the last roundabout you go through before getting to Centerparcs. The supermarket on site at BoisFrancs has the basics, but they regularly run out of fresh milk (see below) and we were relieved to have done a "big shop" for the week at the Intermarche off site. On-site bakery has tasty stuff, though, and is open even when the shop is shut -- but again, the breads do sell out!

3) If you are big milk drinkers like we are, then stock up on "lait frais" (fresh milk). "entier" means whole, "demi-ecreme" for semi-skimmned. At the rather big Intermarche mentioned above, there was only a 2 foot section at the very bottom of the dairy fridge that had fresh milk -- and I took the last two bottles!

4) No electric tea kettles in the cottages, so you'll have to heat water the old fashioned way. Or be creative with the coffeemaker, or bring your own travel kettle.

5) There are FEWER activities available compared to UK Centerparcs, and fewer times slots for those activities, though I think that just fits the relaxed atmosphere there. It was not a problem for us at all, but if you're the type to book everyone into a complicated time table, you'll be hard pressed to fill all the slots. The dads enjoyed a game of squash, we all played some indoor tennis, and the kids' went on a climbing wall in the course of the week. No crafts on offer.

6) If you can, spend some time in the town of Verneuil-sur-Avre itself. It is beautiful -- but again beware of opening hours if you want to eat!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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5  Thank Oscar_Walker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Stayed: February 2018, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs
Thank vianauto40
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Reviewed 2 days ago
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  • Stayed: February 2018, traveled with friends
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Reviewed 2 days ago
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  • Stayed: January 2018, traveled with family
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2  Thank irisdeau
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Reviewed 2 days ago
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  • Stayed: January 2018, traveled with friends
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Additional Information about Center Parcs Les Bois-Francs

Address: Les Barils, 27130, Verneuil-sur-Avre, France
Location: France > Normandy > Haute-Normandie > Eure > Verneuil-sur-Avre
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Verneuil-sur-Avre
Price Range: $68 - $1,307 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Center Parcs Les Bois-Francs 3*
Number of rooms: 21
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Also Known As:
Center Parcs Les Bois-Francs Hotel Verneuil-Sur-Avre
Center Parcs Les Bois-Francs France/Verneuil-Sur-Avre

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