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 !
- 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