Newest Review: ... a mile away. When we got closer (so under a mile) we did see a sign but that was the only one so like I say a surprise! When you turn int... more
Don't Book Online - Or Else!
Center Parcs (England)
Author Name: Catkin
Center Parcs (England)
Advantages: Pretty, good for toddler onwards.
Disadvantages: RIP OFF, Brochure and website say different things so don't rely on just one!
I've been going to the Centre Parcs in Cumbria since it was the independently owned 'Oasis Forest Village'. I even got engaged there in 2003 - so it is a family favourite and obviously, a very special place to my husband and I.
This year we went for our first family holiday with just us and our baby daughter for a 4 night break.
Accommodation was lovely and, without asking for it, they had provided us with a high chair and travel cot - despite the fact that Executive apartments don't come with them as standard. We found this to be very nice and thoughtful.
We had a week of activities (mostly for the baby) booked, but on the Tuesday decided to brave the pool. It turned out that what appeared to be every other family on the site had had the same idea. After our time in the pretty crowded pool, we went to get changed only to find families wandering round like refugees draped in towels looking for somewhere to change. It ended up with us having to use a disabled cubicle, which took us 15 minutes or so to queue for, to change our by then shivering baby.
The pool on the second and last occasion we went was a bit better in terms of crowding and the waiting for a cubicle was slightly shorter. If you don't have children, go as late as possible to the pool.
The activities were wonderful and 'owl babies' was lovely and my baby thoroughly enjoyed it. We also enjoyed the 'Make a Memory' too.
We went to Bella Italia and had a lovely meal and the staff there were very nice indeed.
We tried not to eat out very much because the prices were astronomical and the food wasn't that great or worth it. The price of drinks was absolutely absurd too. As someone wrote in a review I read a few months ago about this place - they have a captive audience and don't they know it.
The takeaway food was a bit yak too, so I won't be getting that again next time we visit.
We booked the spa online, and here is where Centre Parcs let themselves down. We had booked the spa online, and then the Time Out club for our daughter. There is no offer online for the Spa or the Time Out club HOWEVER it is there in the brochure and on the notice boards round the village. As we didn't see the offer, we paid £26 more than we should have done. I wrote an angry e-mail to centre parcs about this on my return, who replied that it was in the brochure so there was no excuse for me not to have seen it.
When I said that most people do everything online, I was told that no, everyone reads the brochure and they all sit round with the family and read it. I said no-one I've ever met does that as we all tend to live in the modern era and you can start booking things BEFORE the brochure arrives. I was then told that the customer feedback was that the brochure was a great help and that using this and phoning up to book was the main way of booking. I was utterly amazed by this - it must just be me and everyone I know that live in modern times and do everything online. The rest of their customers are clearly living in the trees they have come to visit.
So, all I can say, is that - if you want to book something DO NOT DO IT ONLINE as the online facility IS NOT THE SAME AS THE BROCHURE. The offers in the brochure are not all online (which is absolutely REDICULOUS).
I never entertained that they would have the brochure and the website NOT saying the same thing - therefore, that is my fault and not theirs.
I never ever complain about anything but did about this and at the end was made to feel like a whining idiot by the patronising person I got on the phone from customer service who wasn't really interested in my thoughts and more about telling me why I was wrong.
This episode definitely spoilt things for us and left a very sour note at the end of what was a lovely holiday.
Summary: Bad communications, extremely overpriced
More reviews in the field of Destination National
- Wolverhampton: Better than you thought! Probably better than where you live!
- Camber Sands; Beach, Golf and a lot of Wind!
- Hot hot hot!
- Soch it to me.
- SKEGNESS it's just Great !!
- Wakefield - the Turd of the North!
- Nothing is certain in London but expense.
- Getting the 'Finger' from Northampton!
- There's no place like home
- BELIEVE IT OR NOT- BUT IT'S TRUE