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“Another great stay at Center Parcs De Kempervennen”

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Center Parcs De Kempervennen
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Westerhoven
Reviewed 9 November 2009

We usually visit this Center Parcs site once a year, normally during school half term. It has a ski slope attached (with real snow) and is a fraction of the cost staying at Center Parcs in the UK at the same time. Tip for UK visitors: if you book through a non-UK site e.g. German, then it’s even cheaper. Visit the centerparcs.com site and say you’re visiting from another country – it’s all legal, CP have separate companies for each country so they can charge different amounts, and as an EU citizen you can buy from any of them. You may need a .com mail address and the site won’t be in English, we saved about 100 Euros doing this.

It’s a classic center parcs resort set in an extensive wooded area with lots of small lakes, bridges and winding roads and paths. There’s the obligatory large central dome with one half being the tropical swimming pool with pools including a wave machine, slide, rapids, kiddies area and tanks of fish you can view under water using snorkels. The other half has various restaurants, well stocked shops, ten-pin bowling and bars all set in a trees with winding paths and ponds containing large fish. This does look quite effective when it’s dark. The life guards here are more relaxed than at UK sites where they constantly whistle at anyone having fun, in fact there’s a more relaxed feel around the whole park.

Bikes are everywhere as cars are only allowed on site to unload/load (apart form a few who think they don’t have to bother – letters are handed out to offenders). One good thing, as it’s Holland the entire site is flat. The villas (or cottages) are also typical Center Parcs, set back off paths and clustered so you don’t really see you neighbours. The basic villas are fairly spacious and comfortable but you need to take your own bedding. You can upgrade including having a private sauna if you want to pay extra – having said that the wife turns the heating so high the drying towels and costumes makes the whole villa a steam room. A new addition is about half a dozen villas on the lake (actually in the lake, not on the shore). I’m going to guess these will be expensive.

There’s a sports centre, high wire activities, possible water activities (always closed as it’s been too cold when we’ve visited), a farm, playgrounds, a land train and as already mentioned – a large indoor real snow ski slope. The cost at the ski centre has risen, but it’s still far cheaper than similar UK slopes, I think it was 65 Euros for a pass to ski all day every day Monday to Friday (you need to hire ski wear if you don’t have our own). There’s the main slope with a few jumps and bars for snow boarders, a nursery slope, a couple of travelators and a ski pull. Attached is a bar/cafe overlooking the slope that serves fantastic hot chocolate with cream.

Despite the strong pound it’s still cheaper to visit here from the UK even after taking into account the crossing and the distance. It’s about 2 ½ to 3 hours motorway drive from Calais, most of it fairly quiet but it can be a little sticky and scary around Antwerp with as many trucks as cars on the road all swapping lanes and jockeying for position. Being abroad gives it a little more interest, unless you step into one of the resort car parks and see every other car is British !

Outside the site you can safely ride into nearby Valkenswaard which is a lively market town or visit Eindhoven by car (or bike if you’re up for the challenge).

Overall, very happy with our visit as usual, only being spoilt by a curt and over zealous UK customs official on our return who suggested we were bringing a 14 year old girl into the country for ‘unsavoury’ reason, including possible illegal organ donation as she had a different surname on her passport (I won’t print the her other suggestion here that she said in front of my children, not really for family viewing). Honestly !

Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
5  Thank julianp-uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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721 - 725 of 1,330 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2009

We stayed in the premium eden accomodation and it certainly lived up to my expectations. This accomodation type is relatively new so it was all modern, clean and very comfortable.
We stayed for 7 nights and decided to hire bikes for the duration - this was a bit costly (over £100 for 4 bikes) but worth it as the site is huge. The bikes weren't fantastic but did the job.
We pretty much chilled out, taking advantage of the lovely setting rather than take part in lots of activities. We did try the cable waterskiing which I might add was brilliant and a must, we also used the swimming pool a few times. Unlike UK centerparcs this one isn't trying to push booking all the activities before you go which is nice.
The farm is lovely, we visited the baby goats every day; they were so cute. There's hens, pigs, a cow, otters, rabbits, ponies and donkeys too; sometimes they escaped and run around all over the park (we found a lost chcken in the car park one day) - nobody seemed to be too bothered about this; the atmosphere was quite laid back (pets are also welcome here).
We went horseriding off-site. This was an experience I will never forget as we paid our money and were pretty much left to our own devices for an hour. As relatively competent riders we were fine with this.
The surrounding area is beautiful and i would recommend cycling off-site as its very safe and there are cycle routes separate from the road everywhere.
The restaurants on site were quite expensive - obviously the state of the euro didn't help, there was a relatively well stocked supermarket where we stocked up on essentials. Off-site restaurants were quite a bit cheaper.
If I went again I would book either a canal boat (they overlook the beach and waterskiing area) or one of the rooms close to the diving school overlooking the lake, both have fantastic views, are close to all the amenties and look really lovely.
Don't be put off by the photo's people have put on here, I was and they don't represent just how lovely this place is. I've been all over the world and this was one of the best and most memorable holidays I have had.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank slicker86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2009

This was our 2nd CP Europe experience (last time De Eemhoff) & it lived up to my expectations.

The journey was great - only 2 hrs 45 mins from Dunkirk (2 hours ferry). We were there by 2.00pm. Check in via E ticket took 30 seconds & we had a look round & bite to eat before going to our villa at 3pm.

We stayed in a VIP villa with our 6 & 4 year old boys. We had stayed in a comfort villa before (which was fine) but felt like treating ourselves this time. It was £100 more but the villa was furnished to a higher quality. We also had a sauna & shower, beds made on arrival, towels & kitchen towels/dishwasher tablets/very nice bathroom smellies provided. Plus fresh buns or croissants & 8 mixed bread rolls delivered every morning & a voucher for E12.50 to spend in the supermarket. This paid for butter/pate/cheese/salad bits which was sufficient to cover our lunches all week, so I feel yu got a lot for the extra money. Plus we were only 10 mins walk/3 mins cycle from the dome.

The Aqua Mundo was great. It never felt overcrowded. There was a larger pool with intermittant waves, 2 water chutes (one dark one with stars & then totally dark), outdoor pool area & whirlpools, There was also the Living Seas section where you can snorkel with tropical fish & small sharks (they are behind glass) and the childrens area which I felt was far better than De Eemhoff - there was a water chute that they loved, 2 small slides & other bits. Finally there was the rapids. Great fun, but shorter than De Eemhoff & 3/4 way down you come to an area where everyone has to go down a short black chute - this could bottleneck the ride with people queuing to go thru.

Huge range of activites. We did the Skiing. We had never skiied before & 68E gave us 3 one hour lessons - by the end of the course we were going down the main slope. Def a good way to test it out before paying for a full ski holiday. Take your own gloves/hats - ski suit 3 euros. We also did the high ropes adventure. 12.50E & takes about 30 mins. It doesn't look that much from the ground but take it from someone who is not scared of heights that it is pretty hairy when you are up there!!

The children did the Wannabee a Painter & Chef sessions - 4E if you book in advance. They are fully kitted out in appropriate gear with hats & thoroughly enjoyed both sessions. They brought home biscuits & canvass paintings done on proper easels!

Every one moans about the cost of food, but I think the prices compare to what we would pay as a family of 4 eating out in a family restaurant in the UK. In fact we spent less when in Pizza Pasta. Kids under 10 eat free at the mo, & you could have unlimited salad bar or soup plus any pizza or pasta for 12.50E. My Salmon lasagne (yummy) was 11.50E so added a salad for only 1E. Meal for 4 with drinks was only 35E. Went there twice. Family grill also good with set menu option for 17.50E.

Overall had a brill midweek break. Would definately go back (here rather that De Eemhoff as skiing option only here & shorter journey). Tempted to try Belgium next though!!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank JanieH70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2009

Not a huge fan of Centre Parks as I always feel they have got you trapped in the Park and then try to take your money off you. This park still tried to take your money away, but did it by providing a number of quality experiences at reasonable prices. I am almost converted!!!

We thought the best value for money experience was a tie between the Waterskiing and the actual skiing. Waterskiing was on one of the lakes using a pulley system. Euros 25 for 1.5 hours. No need to pay extra for an instructor as the guys working the lines were more than happy to point out the major mistakes you were making. Also, most people had only done waterskiing once or twice, so even the beginners were getting up within three or four goes given the amount of free instruction abounding. Amazingly the water was warm, although wetsuits are hired out and I would suggest necessary on any day but the day we were in the lake!!

The skiing was superb. All three of our kids had an hour lesson each for around Euros 60, including suits and gloves. If you fancy it then advisable to bring your own gear, although hiring was negligible cost (Euros 3 for the suits each). The lesson looked to be value for money and our three shy kids really got involved. We found it a great way to confirm the kids would like to go skiing before we paid more to truly go. For Euros 15 a day you get a free run at the slope all day if you can prove competence (not sure how you do that), this seems the value ticket of the whole park. Note, the slope is closed on Monday.

Pedalo on the lake was fun, but was simply a pedalo on the lake, not much to see. Very European stance on safety in so far as the kids could climb around the boat and no life jackets required, I like that. ‘Elf and safety is getting too much in some place nowadays..

The crazy golf is rubbish. At Euros 23 it was a complete rip off. The course is awful, if you don’t trust me go take a look before you play.

We didn’t do anything else, but the high rope walk looked tame and not worth it, as did the climbing wall. Others may differ, perhaps one needs to experience it, but didn’t seem to be value for money.

We brought our own bikes. This worked for us as or two eldest went off to ride the BMX track straight away, not sure you could do that on the Park bikes. The BMX track is little more than a 50m dirt track worn into an area in the corner of the park. Fun, but not really a full track. Still there are plenty of off-road opportunities to keep a 11 and 9 year old happy. Wouldn’t really suit teenagers, or older mountain bike enthusiasts.

We are considering going again, however would probably opt for a week next time so we could fully avail ourselves of all the experiences, and especially the ski slope.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank grifjl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Additional Information about Center Parcs De Kempervennen

Address: Kempervennendreef 8, 5563 VB Westerhoven, The Netherlands
Region: The Netherlands > North Brabant Province > Westerhoven
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Westerhoven
Price Range: $87 - $334 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Center Parcs De Kempervennen 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
De Kempervennen Holiday Park offers a varied, unique and sporty selection of activities for a carefree holiday. In addition to having a wonderful time in the subtropical leisure pool, strolling through the Market Dome - with various restaurants, a grand café and lovely shops – you can try climbing, baby and toddler swimming, archery or go in search of Big Mama. Or as a previous guest commented: “Perfect for our annual group holiday! Everything was within reach for a great week.” The park also has a number of unusual types of accommodation, such as the spacious Eden cottages and luxury houseboats. The countryside as a playground De Kempervennen has two large lakes where you can go diving in search of the giant catfish Big Mama. Or you can go water skiing and wake boarding on the water which you can also whoosh over on the Zip Wire. You can be in the beautiful Malpi nature reserve in minutes by mountain bike, but to be honest, you don’t even need to leave the park for a really great time. Jump into your skis or snowboard the whole year round in the 5500 m2 of real snow in Montana Snowcenter, try paintballing with your friends or gain your PADI diving certificate during one of the multiple-day courses. “Really great for the children” The innovative holiday park offers a huge number of great activities for children of all ages, both indoor and outdoor. Orry and his friends put on various shows while children can play at being a chef, princess, knight or painter. Or how about snorkelling among exotic fish, a DJ workshop or the Aqua Scooter which will pull you along under water? And there is an extensive and highly entertaining programme in the evenings, as witnessed by this enthusiastic guest: “Holland’s got Talent: eat your heart out..!!!” Come and discover for yourself why De Kempervennen, about fifteen kilometres south of Eindhoven, is rightly called the ‘Pearl of Center Parcs’. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Center Parcs De Kempervennen Hotel Westerhoven
Center Parcs De Kempervennen Westerhoven

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