Those who are familiar with the Center Parcs concept will know what to expect. Nice surroundings, different zones with cottages (some old, some new) and a central area with the restaurants, shops and of course, the Dome with the water park.
This is the 2nd time we have stayed at Les Bois Francs.
The forest park is very pretty, calm, quiet and well maintained. No cars allowed on the site, although hundreds of bikes whizzing around means you have to keep you eye on small ones.
We were also taken with the Style ('Eden' on the UK site) cottages. Modern cottages with wood exterior. The cottages are all quite small (we received a 6-person cottage instead of 4-person which made a difference) but well laid out. Each cottage is surrounded by trees, bushes and raised earth on each side. Just enough to give you the impression of privacy and you own 'area'. This time, we took a VIP cottage - complete with sauna - which was very nice.
Plenty to do as well. Great water park (or at least, great for kids. Adults might find the sheer number of people off putting).
These cottages are getting run down! This is mentioned in most other reviews and I would agree completely. Bits broken off furniture, dust everywhere, scratches and stains on the walls, broken bulbs, broken lamp. We had 3 days without heating...
These places get a lot of a use, and we were arriving late in the season. But this is not an excuse. Center Parcs need to pay more attention to keeping these places clean and in good shape for the price they are charging. We met other couples that had worse experiences and were not happy at all.
The activities are a little pricey, and the pool gets very busy after lunch (our recommendation - take an early lunch and go to the pool earlier - it is much quieter). Restaurants only open after 7pm which might not suit younger children.
We did the pony riding last time and kids still talk about it now. This time round, they have changed the circuit so you just to laps of a small square area instead of going through the woods. Not very inspiring. The 1hr queue to get on a pony didn't help either (they didn't mention that when we handed over the money...:). The kids still enjoyed it, but think about coming at a quieter time - perhaps early in the morning.
Overall...we like the concept for Center Parcs a lot. The Eden cottages are well designed, the park is very pretty and the water centre is a dream for the kids. But the cottages are just not looked after enough. We don't mind the crowds or even having to pay for all the activities, but a run-down cottage is not where you want to spend a week away. This is the only reason we will probably not be coming back to this resort again. If we go with Center Parcs again, it will probably be with one of the newer resorts instead.
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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