When I saw a Bentley dropping guests at the gates, I knew something had changed at Center Parcs.
Much as I love the classic formula – bikes, forest lodges and all-weather attractions - in the past I’ve found the Center Parts accommodation a touch spartan for the price tag. This has improved steadily over the six holidays we’ve had with the company over the past 15 years, but at the newly built £250million Woburn site in Bedfordshire they’ve finally got it spot on.
The new villas are spacious, stylish and luxurious – each a peaceful retreat – with the higher spec ones boasting the sort of upmarket home comforts you probably won’t even have at home (hot tubs, whirlpool baths, games rooms, en suites etc).
The highlight was the Aqua Sana Spa – by far the best I’ve ever been to, with six themed spas and 25 experience rooms under one roof.
I loved sweating it out in the Volcano Lava Sauna and then escaping to the Snow and Ice room next door, as well as chilling out in the outdoor infinity pool with its massage jets and gorgeous forest views.
Center Parc’s Woburn village has had more than 90 percent occupancy since it opened in June and it’s easy to see why. Mix together luxury villas, a peaceful, 365 acre, car-free forest setting, all the high-tech conveniences of modern life (takeaways, restaurants, and on site supermarket), an outstanding spa, plus more than 200 different types of activity and you’ve got the recipe for the perfect break.