26 Jul 2017

LIFESTYLE | My First Trip To Center Parcs!

A couple of weekends ago my mum, my sister and I went to Center Parcs in Elveden Forest for my step sister (Kerry's) hen-do. One, I'd never been on a hen-do before and two, I'd never been to Centre Parcs before so you can definitely say it was a weekend full of firsts for all of us! We didn't really know what to expect, what to pack or anything if I'm honest, so we went slightly unprepared as you can imagine!

We stayed for 3 nights and we had 2 executive lodges which were shared between the 12 ladies that went, we share our lodge with Kerry's soon to be husband's family as we had met most of them before. We didn't get there until late on the Friday night, due to travel time, so when we arrived we just unpacked and had a few drinks with everyone before getting an early (ish) night so we could make the most of our time on Saturday. One thing I was really surprised about was that every room in the lodges had their own en-suite which was so handy, especially in this situation when we didn't know everyone that well.

Photo Credit - Center Parcs
On Saturday we had some spare time in the morning before we were booked in at the spa so we had a cycle around the village and then headed to the swimming pool. Before we went a lot of people had been saying how amazing the swimming was at Center Parcs but I just couldn't get my head around a pool in the UK being so great, however I can say I was very impressed! They've recently had a new ride put in called the Cyclone, which is high-speed thrilling water ride and I couldn't go on it enough times. Another of my favourites was the rapids, I'd never experienced anything like it before and its so strang because you just don't have any control over where you are going! We basically tried to experience all that the Subtropical Swimming Paradise had to offer before heading over to the spa. The Aqua Sana is a multi room spa experience with a different country represented in each room, they all have different heat levels and different types of humidity. I've never been a fan of a sauna or steam room because I felt that it didn't help my asthma but this was something else! I have honeslty never felt so relaxed before and I could have stayed there all night. Alongside these rooms they also have a heated outdoor pool, waterbeds, swinging egg chairs and much more so it was extremely hard to fit it all in your 3 hour slot! The only downside for me was the cost, at £44 for just the luxury of being in there it is a bit steep but then again there is a lot to experience. They also had treatment rooms, nail salons where you could have touch ups, a facial or something more!

After the spa we all went back to the lodges to get ready for our meal that we had booked at Bella Italia, whilst we were getting ready we played a few games like never have I ever and bra pong which was hilarious! We then cycled to dinner, after having a few too many drinks, which was interesting to say the least. After our meal we headed upstairs to the disco, yeah you heard me a disco which I have to say was the most hilarious thing I have been to in a long time. A lot of people choose to have a few drinks and then let themselves loose on the dance floor, I can honestly say I saw it all that night!

Sunday was a little different, less chilled out and a lot more exercise! In the morning we decided to head down to the lake and rent out pedalos to take for a spin. I will never underestimate how much effort it takes to get one of those going again, my legs were killing me but the end of it and we were only out on the water for about half an hour! We then went to explore the sensory garden which is clearly intended for children but we got free jelly beans and an amazing collage at the end of it so why not. It was at this point when we decided to get lunch at the sports cafe to refuel after a tiring morning, I had an avocado and halloumi melt which was one of the nicest things I'd eaten all weekend. Just after 3 we were booked into a Bollywood dancing class, although I didn't actually take part as I didn't feel, watching everyone else was probably one of my highlights of the weekend!  We then headed back to the swimming pool to make the most of the facilities whilst we could. However, this didn't last too long as everyone was knackered so we headed back to the lodges to order dine in as we didn't want to go out again! Then on Monday we had to be out of the lodges by 10am and return our bikes before we left so Bryony and I did that and then had a mooch around the shops before heading home on our 3 and a half hour drive!

Overall, I had a really lovely weekend but I would like to go back again so that I could do the activities that I would like to do and not be as rushed. I can 100% see why a lot of people get the Center Parcs 'buzz' because there is so much to do and we didn't even scratch the surface on it. However, with this being said it is definitely on the more expensive side for a holiday and you could probably find a cheap all inclusive holiday for the same price if you looked carefully!

Have you ever been to a Center Parcs, what's your opinion?

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