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Reviewed 19 August 2009

If you don't like hearing Brit voices in the food queue head for this very relaxed Centreparcs in Holland. Very beautiful with chickens all over the place - kids loved it. Poolside is better with the staff having more pride in their job, the family buffet was busy but pleasant with more interesting Dutch / German food on offer. They have a great Waterski addition on the lake - like a drag lift and the parc itself is flat and makes for interesting, safe family cycling. The cottages are more dated in parts, some are refurbed some not... but they are more spacious than UK and the views of the forest / lake etc. are uninterrupted. We got a cheap tunnel crossing and it took 3 hours from Calais (you could do it quicker with fewer stops). We have done Penrith and Sherwood and this parc was by far the best . Try and get a cottage in the forest away from the pool if you can, they have streams and mini lakes. Kids very happy!

Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
2  Thank Nicola W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2009

We have just returned from our 4th visit to De Kempervennen (3 summer trips, 1 New Year weekend). We usually go for 2 weeks but opted for one weeks luxury in VIP villa with sauna (sleeps 6). Villa was tired looking outside but don't be put off as inside they are clean and tidy, (well the site is 45 yrs old now) and the sauna was fantastic - unfortunately villa had a leak which could not be fixed immediately and we were moved to top of range Eden Villa (sleeps 8). Beautiful new modern villa with loads of space, spa bath, showerheads bigger than a dinner plate but no sauna. Glad we had pre-booked our bicylces as we were quite a way from the amenities. I recommend booking-in on-line before you leave as the queues in the reception were huge and we collected all our keys and documents in the car park - so easy. De Kempervennen is popular with families with children of all ages and also we noticed alot of grandparents too. The pool is always a hit with the wave machine, the slides and the rapids are one of our favourites (at New Year we were outside at night whilst it was snowing - fantastic experience). The supermarket is expensive (usually 25-50% more than town) but convenient, however in the local town Valkenswaard which is about 20 mins cycle ride left at main road outside the Parc, there is a Lidl, Jan Linden and a nice shopping centre - Market day is Thursday. Also at Borkel (turn right at main road) is a windmill and a lovely cafe before cycling through parkland which is all accessible with designated cycle paths and very safe. One of the kids favs was the farm shop selling homemade ice cream (schepijs -left outside the Parc), which had a go-cart track & sunken trampolines. We only ate at Pizza/pasta on site as restaurants are quite expensive but for our last night it was ideal (Drinks approx Euro 2-2.50 each - Small Wine Eu3.50, cheaper to drink the beer!). We prefer to bbq, self cater or go out to town. Pancake houses are great too. Not everyone hires bicycles either - there is a free shuttle bus which travels around the parc (not on fri and mon which are changeover days).

There are plenty of extra cost activities to take part in (Ski-ing, water ski-ing, PADI course, etc) but equally there is plenty to do which is free (beach, playgrounds, snorkelling, BMX etc). This is one of the best family holidays we have had outside of Orlando. We did so much together as a family and thankfully the weather was fantastic. The staff are helpful and most speak excellent english. There is a laundry which cost Eu 5.00 for a 5 kilo load (washed, dried and folded in a morning) - worth it with three boys on the BMX track!

We have been to an english centre parcs but would rather go back to De Kempervennen. Loved the easy going way of life, no hassle, no problem, chilled out atmosphere - or maybe that was just us enjoying ourselves!

Also managed a day trip to Amsterdam from Eindhoven by (double-decker) train. Great day out on the canal boats and window shopping like we'd never seen before!! Quite an eye-opener but beautiful city none-the-less.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank Wannanotherholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2009

We are a family of 2 adults and 3 teenagers and this holiday was perfect for us. We are not a particularly sporty family at home and don't do many things together nowadays so this was a great holiday for being together and getting some exercise! We booked via centerparcs website. We booked 4 night midweek break at Easter at an offer price and then added extras. The premium villa(inc towels and sheets), skiing lessons for the children (1 hour each day for 3 days), cycle hire for all of us for the 4 days, 2 x 1hour badminton court, 2 x 1hr bowling lane - total cost £750. A bargain I think. I made a mess of booking of the activity passes and bought 5 because the booking area wasn't clear about what they included. I emailed centerparcs, who were very helpful and offered alternatives, including a full refunded of the passes I'd added. All sorted out efficently.
Main good points :
Use of facilities from morning of arrival til evening of departure.
Aqua mundo - children went in everyday and the 'rapids' were a big hit, in more ways than one! They loved them but came away with several bumps and bruises.
Skiing - my children were in a beginners group of 5 people (other beginner groups we saw were between 5 and 8 people) and they said the instructor was very good. By the end of day 2 they were skiing down the small slope!
Villa - a bit shabby outside but inside was modern and clean. There was a dead duck (we were close to the lake) next to the patio when we arrived. 2 men came to remove it just half an hour after we reported it to reception.
Plenty to do - We were out of the villa most of the time during the day and the activities we'd booked, along with cycling and swimming filled in much of our time. Our teenagers spent a couple of evenings playing pool and got chatting to other teenagers in the games area. We cycled to the nearby town (turn left onto main road about half an hour, slowish speed), which had shops, cafes/bars and a market. Cycle path all the way there so we felt comfortable with our children going on their own the next day. We also visited a wonderful pancake house close to the site and a village with a windmill (turn right onto main road). If we'd been there a week we would have spent more time cycling around the local area as the cycle paths were great.
Several american/english tv channels and films on villa tvs. We watched films a couple of times in the evenings rather than go 'out' onsite.

Not so good points :
We thought food was expensive, eating out and in on-site supermarket. eg. 2 course meals £20. The fast food/burger bar not too bad price wise. Cheap supermarkets in town nearby.
Evening entertainment not great.

Things you might want to know :
Gloves must be worn for skiing. We took our own, ordinary winter gloves. Our children wore their own 'winter day' clothes. Ski suits and gloves can be hired on the day -£5 I think.
The map of the site they gave you on arrival wasn't as detailed as the one you can download on the website. I wish I'd printed one off to take with us.
When you book an activity pass its for a court and a bowling lane. So one pass covered our family.
There was no oven in our villa, just a hob and microwave. Only a problem if you buy oven chips before checking out the villa!
You can check in and get your keys when you arrive (we got there at 10am) and use the facilities but don't have access to your chalet til 3pm, or was it 2pm? We cycled round to our villa at about 1pm and it had all been cleaned so we got in early.

We like to try different places but the whole family want to go back to De Kempervennen as soon as we can. I see there is a tick box to say if you'd be happy to answer questions others have. Don't know how this works yet but I would be happy to answer questions.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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7  Thank wanttogetawaymore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2009

great sized parc underated possibly and overlooked by brits easy to get to in a car from uk

this parc was much stricter about on site parking too as i have been to some centre parcs where they are overwhelmed by weekenders leaving cars everywhere until they leave on sunday night.

visually this parc is a feast with much to see around the 2 lakes one with padi diving courses, and the other with watersking, this park is practically dead flat so it is ideal for everyone it has long stretches of smooth well maintained raod for rollerblading its ideal.

the accomodations are usually centre parcs style but this time we stayed in a new eden vip 6 persons villa........no internet but bigger and more spacious rooms the gardens (more like patio) had litlle privacy though.

the restaurent in the ski centre has good steak meals 15 euro and huge widescreen tv and good staff.

the parc itself is an easy bike ride into Valkenswaard for shopping and market great little place.

things i didnt like were

its a big parc and your cottage can be quite a walk to the centre and the land train does not run on check in days

the entrance to the parc in your cars can be a real pain due to a bend in the road and heavy traffic on check in days arrive v early or v late

cats......there is a huge number of feral cats on this parc.

internet acces...........only in the market dome is there any wifi and main reception 1 workstation....

the tv and electrical goods in the cottages are a little out of date by modern standards

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with family
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Thank trickynicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2009

We love Center Parcs. This is our first time at De Kempervennen. Before we stayed at one of the Center Parcs in France. The only reason I can't give this one a higher rating is because our cottage smelled of cigarette smoke. That really made my stay somewhat unpleasant. I really think that they should have non-smoking cottages and if someone does smoke in them, they should have to pay what it cost to get rid of the cigarette smell. Other than that my family (hubby, teen daughter, and 8 year old son) really enjoyed our stay there.

  • Stayed: April 2009
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Thank CyKeWh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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