Center Parcs UK


Center Parcs UK

Center Parcs is a UK based company which runs holiday villages in Britain and a sister enterprise that operates in numerous locations in Europe.

Background

The first Center Parcs holiday village in the United Kingdom opened in 1987 in Sherwood Forest near Rufford, in Nottinghamshire. In 1989, Center Parcs opened its second village in Elveden Forest near Brandon, in Suffolk which was closed in 2002 and reopened in 2003 after a devastating fire destroyed the central plaza of the holiday village. In 1994 Center Parcs opened its third village in Longleat Forest, near Warminster in Wiltshire. In 2002, Center Parcs took over a similar set up holiday park near Penrith at Whinfell Forest .

The set up at Whinfell Forest is different three main ways. Firstly the style of villas at the Whinfell Forest is different from those in the other villages, with Scandinavian style lodges being implemented. The Whinfell Forest also lacks a country club which is prominent in other villages. Additionally, the main center of the village is undercover, differing from the open-air plazas situated at the other three villages.

Facilities

* Subtropical Swimming Paradise - this features an outdoor pool, wild water rapids (except Whinfell), a "slow river" (except Longleat), slides and flumes, a children's pool area, as well as a poolside food venue.
* Village Square - Usually contains hub of restaurants and facilities such as a launderette.
* Village Centre/ Plaza/ Piazza - Covered hub contains restaurants and shops
**Sherwood Forest features just a village square
**Whinfell Forest features just a covered village centre
**Elveden Forest feature a Piazza that adjoins the village square
**Longleat Forest feature a separate village square and plaza
* Jardin Des Sports / Sports Plaza - Typically includes squash courts, badminton courts, pool and snooker tables, a Sports Cafe / themed restaurant, gymnasium, table football, golf simulator, aerobics studio, outside and covered tennis courts and a space for 5-a-side football.
* Lakeside - for all water-based activities such as canoeing, fishing or pedalos.
* Aqua Sana - for pampering, relaxation, massage and therapy. Spa area includes various rooms such as "Indian Blossom Room", "Greek Herbal Room", "Tyrolean Sauna", "Zen Garden" - as well as a central pool with jacuzzi-style area at one end.
* Time Out Clubhouse - dedicated crèche and activity centres for children.
* House of games - Coin operated arcade video games

Restaurants and bars

Typical facilities are:
*Rajinda Pradesh - Indian cuisine
*Luciano's - Italian:*Replaced by Bella Italia at Elveden and Whinfell, replaced by Strada at Sherwood and Longleat
*Hugo's - English Dining:*Replaced by Forester's Inn at Sherwood and Elveden Forest
*Huck's- American (formerly Huckleberry's and Rock Legends)
*Made(and Lagoon Bar in Subtropical Swimming Paradise) - Fast food
** replaces Café Refresh at Elveden & Whinfell Villages
*Starbucks - Hot Drinks and Cakes
*La Sapinière - Fine dining (replaced by Dining In at Sherwood, the new take-away and delivery service))
*The Grand Café - French (Longleat Forest only)
*Pancake House - Sweet and Savoury Pancakes
*Sports' Cafe - Pub lunches and breakfasts (located within Jardin Des Sports)
*Lakeside Inn - (only at Whinfell Forest) Pub Meals and Hand Drawn ales
*Chez Pierre - French:*Replaced by Cafe Rouge at all villages
*Yang - Chinese cuisine

There is a new take away unit on each village which provides an early evening delivery service, with Indian and Chinese take-aways or pizzas delivered to villas.

Activities

Falconry, Archery, Pool and Snooker Tournaments,Rollerblading, Aerobics, Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, Badminton, Tennis, Table Tennis, Diving, Paintball, Laser Clay Shooting, Sports Quiz, Art Class, Creative Writing, Woodland Walks, Paint Pots for your Patio, Cycling, Ten-pin bowling, Lawn Bowls and Boules, GoKarting, Climbing, Flu-Flu Golf and a variety of activities such as abseiling and high rope assault course, plus many more depending on Parc.

UK ownership

In 2001 during a move to concentrate on their core brewing business, Scottish and Newcastle sold the UK side of "Center Parcs" to venture capitalists. It was announced on 4 December 2003 that the then owners, Mid Ocean, would sell the UK resorts to Arbor for £285 million. Arbor was a company set up specifically to purchase "Center Parcs", and float it on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market.

In May 2006 Center Parcs UK Group Plc was sold to The Blackstone Group, an American private investment company. Subsequently Center Parcs was delisted as a plc and re-registered as a private company, a subsidiary of the Blackstone Group.

During the sale, future growth of "Center Parcs" was hinted at by the Chief Executive, Martin Dalby. He said that the company might add a fifth village at some time in the future, but was also looking towards organic growth through investment in new facilities at the existing villages. Late in 2004 it was announced that the fifth village would be built near Woburn in Bedfordshire. Following the sale to The Blackstone Group, focus was shifted from growth, to investment in the existing villages and plans for the future village were put on hold.

] =European ownership=

All resorts on the European main land are owned by a Dutch company called CenterParcs Europe, which is owned by a French company called Pierre et Vacances [http://www.pierre-et-vacances.co.uk/] . Centerparcs Europe [http://www.centerparcs.com] and Centerparcs UK only share history, name and logo.

New UK site

In December 2004, Center Parcs announced that it had identified a location for a fifth UK site, at Warren Wood near Woburn, Bedfordshire. It would be seeking planning permission and had already completed the signing of a lease on the land from its owner, the Duke of Bedford. The project was expected to cost approximately £160 million, including the construction of accommodation, indoor and outdoor facilities, sub-tropical swimming complex, restaurants and a spa. It is anticipated that, given planning permission, the project would take between three and four years to complete.

Planning permission for this build has now been accepted. After it first being refused. The local government overturned the refusal after Center Parcs appealed the decision. The building of the 5th site has now been further delayed and building isn't likely to start until 2010.

All resorts

CenterParcs consists of the following 4 resorts:

"* Whinfell Forest was built as Oasis forest holiday village and was not built as a Center Parcs holiday village."

External links

* [http://www.centerparcs.com/ Center Parcs website]
* [http://www.aquasana.co.uk/ Aqua Sana, the self-contained spa at Center Parcs]


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