Newest Review: ... We got at reception around 2.15 - 2.30pm and was allowed in our lodge. - great stuff. The lodges are quite spaced out which means... more
Romantic lodges in the heart of a forest.
Griffon Forest Holiday Lodges (York)
Member Name: Gemma_C
Griffon Forest Holiday Lodges (York)
Advantages: Lovely woodland, nice lodge and lots of wildlife!
Disadvantages: Some small niggles but otherwise an enjoyable stay.
I have wanted to stay at Griffon Forest Holiday Lodges for a long time now. I like to book through Hoseasons various short breaks to lodges and Griffon Forest has always been one of those ones I would love to book... but it was also very expensive. The reviews on TripAdvisor made it sound amazing, but I was determined not to spend the amounts that they quote.
However not so long ago I was looking at lodges for January and noticed stays at Griffon Forest were cheap during that month, so decided to book up and finally go and see what all the fuss is about!
Griffon Forest Lodges are just on the outskirts of York, only a short 10 minute drive away from Monks Cross. They are set in the heart of 100 acres of woodland, and you can use the lodges as a relaxing break, or a base for venturing into York and the surrounding area.
There are various different types of Lodges to choose from, with lodges sleeping 2, 4 or 5 people. Full details are on the website but we decided to stay in a Poachers Premier which is stated as "The Forest's Finest! Beautifully designed open plan lodge, perfect luxury for a romantic break or honeymoon." It promised a Kingsize four-poster bed and a bathing area with 6ft circular Jacuzzi bath & a walk in shower for two people.
** Getting There & Checking In **
I must warn you now, do not use SatNav to get to Griffon Forest! My boyfriend armed with his iPhone plugged the address on Google maps and before we knew it we were on country lanes in the middle of nowhere, the phone lost signal and when we did get some again and arrived at our 'destination' we were in the middle of nowhere! Luckily a friendly farmer stopped his car when he saw us sat at a junction puzzled and helpfully directed us.
If you do go from the North(A1/A19/A59) then I recommend going all the way down towards York then take the A1237 ring road and follow the signs for A64 Scarborough. Go along the A64 for approximately 5 miles then take the turning left to Flaxton village. Half a mile along this road on your left is the entrance to Griffon Forest.
Turning into Griffon Forest you drive along a drive with speed bumps. This drive feels like it goes on forever, and does take about 5-10 minutes to get along it because of all the speed bumps! On the way we did see some squirrels though and this happened the majority of the time we drove along the drive way.
Check in isn't until 4pm but we got there early around 2pm. I went to reception and said I knew we were early, but I heard there was a big Asda nearby and asked if we could have directions. The man gave us a leaflet explained how to get there and took down our number, saying if our lodge was finished early they would ring to let us know! Whilst we were shopping at about 3pm we got a call to say we could check in if we wanted to, by the time we got back it was just about 3:30pm but it was still nice to get in that bit extra early.
We were given our lodge keys and the swipe card to use at the nearby Tykes Restaurant for 10% discount. You are given 2 maps, one of the lands and one showing the lodges and they explain how to get to your lodge. I was immediately stroke by the number of lodges near reception and the road, as the hot tubs were quite often overlooking the road. I'm always amazed at places such as these as to why they can't put up a bit of bamboo fencing or something to give people some privacy, especially considering the 'cheap' lodges aren't actually cheap at all! The premier lodges are situated off in small cul de sacs and we were pleased with the location of ours. Our hot tub did overlook a lodge in the next cul de sac along and because it was winter and the bushes and trees in-between were bare it didn't provide much privacy, however thankfully the lodge next to us was empty (it appeared it was getting maintenance as we often saw the handyman going in during the week).
** Our Lodge **
Going into our lodge it was nice and warm, and very welcoming. As you go in through the door there is the sitting room area and the kitchen, which lead through to a bathing area and the bedroom. It was a large open plan lodge with big beams over the top and was very homely. It wasn't done out with Ikea furniture like other lodges we have stayed at in the past, and it felt very homely and relaxing!
There was a small box of chocolates on the bed and a bottle of champagne in an empty ice bucket. It wasn't just cava either which made a nice surprise. There were also 4 roses in a jar on the kitchen table, I was expecting a bit more than just 4 slightly wilted roses but not a big deal.
We were in our lodge about 15 minutes when a man turned up to explain how to use the Jacuzzi bath, fire, hot tub and TV. He said 'there should be some instructions for the Jacuzzi bath but... oh there isn't.' Concerning the fire he said 'well it's pretty much self explanatory...' and he actually only showed us how to use the hot tub. This turned out to be slightly annoying as later on we wanted to turn the fire on but couldn't for the life of us figure out how! We gave up in the end and the morning after on the way out for the day we asked reception to check it for us, when we came back it was turned on. We later turned it off and well, we couldn't get it back on again. It would have been nice to have some instructions on how to use the fire, Jacuzzi, hot tub and TV but these were nonexistent.
The TV had free view and the man said 'some sky channels.' To view the Sky channels you had to switch to analogue, but the reception was so poor you couldn't watch them! Again we queried this at reception where they said 'oh because it's in a forest the reception can be pretty bad....' So I don't understand why they have the option if you can't watch them?
The flat screen TV was on a wall in the middle of the lodge which could twist round to face the living area, or the bedroom and bathing area. This meant you could even watch TV in the large Jacuzzi bath, however on an evening if we wanted to snuggle up and watch a DVD, it meant looking up towards the TV. I hate TV's on walls so this was quite annoying, but not too much of a problem.
The 6ft Jacuzzi bath in the corner was just HUGE. I've never seen a bath so big before! Unfortunately this only got used twice by us. The first time we left it to run but didn't realise half way through the hot water had ran out, so it was luke warm and we didn't last long in it. The second time we ran it, then stopped it for 20 minutes to allow the water to heat back up, then carry on filling it. It was nice... but all the effort it took to fill the thing did kind of spoil it and it was much quicker to hop into the hot tub outside!
There is a large walk in shower next to the Jacuzzi bath and a sink with a mirror. This mirror has a light above it which makes for an amusing story. When we first went into the lodge the lights were all on. There seemed to be lights and light switches everywhere! It was very confusing what switch worked what and to be honest it seemed quite badly planned out. Before going to bed my boyfriend and I spent about half an hour looking for a switch for this light above the mirror, its right next to the bed so we simply couldn't sleep with it left switched on. In the end we grabbed a chair to stand on to inspect this light. It turns out the light at some point had a cord to pull it turn it on/off but this cord had snapped. We were clueless as to how we were going to get this light to turn out and in the meantime I popped to the loo, which is in a separate utility room near the front door. It was then I noticed next to the front door another set of switches. After playing around with these it seems one of them was a master switch for all the lights in the lodge, and thankfully it turned out the mirror light! This meant that any visits to the toilet during the night meant stumbling around in the dark as the master switch was out near the front door. Admittedly we did forget to report this light, but they must already know about it was the lights were on in the lodge when we came in!
You are provided with lots of fresh clean towels, which was good for using the hot tub, shower and Jacuzzi bath! You are also given robes which was a nice addition I haven't had at other lodge parks before.
There wasn't a daily maid service which was a big surprise as this is often offered at other lodge parks. The booklet said you could ask for a service and they would tell you the prices, but especially for a premier lodge I'm surprised it's not included.
I had a really nice relaxing break here. The hot tub was really nice and overlooking a forest it was inevitable we could come across wildlife! I put some bread out on the grass area next to the hot tub decking, and sitting there we had pheasants, blue tits, robins and gray squirrels coming over to eat! At night time it's really nice to sit in the hot tub, especially when it's a cold winter night; it's very hard to get out of it!
Griffon Forest Lodges are near Sandburn Golf Hall which has a restaurant called Tykes. We went one night and showed our card for the 10% discount. The restaurant was lovely, the fish menu is made up on the day depending on the fresh fish they have, and it's laid out in an open plan kitchen for you to see. The food was delicious and I would recommend eating there one night.
** Would I go back? **
Overall I had a really nice time at Griffon Forest, however I have also stayed at other lodge parks in the past and, whilst it was a very nice lodge and site, I can't see why people pay the expensive prices it charges! During peak time in the summer it can cost nearly £700 for a Monday to Friday break in the lodge we stayed in. We only paid £300 and this was with a 10% discount offer through work and a special reduced price for January. I can honestly say I wouldn't personally pay nearly £700 for a stay here, as there are other lodge parks all over the country which are just as nice and not nearly as pricey.
Visit GriffonForest.co.uk for more information, or you can book through Hoseasons.co.uk
Summary: Really nice lodge park but probably not worth the prices in high season.
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