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Review: Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Elveden Forest

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Recently we enjoyed a Winter stay in a Centerparcs Waterside Lodge located in Elveden Forest. This is the nearest Centerparcs site to our home, taking just over an hour to reach by car, and we tend to visit it pretty frequently, usually a couple of times per year.

I’m going to share my honest review with you, talking about what I believe can be changed, and what we loved about our Centerparcs Waterside Lodge.

If you’re reading this as you’ll be visiting Centerparcs soon then be sure to check out what to pack for Centerparcs!

A sauna with ice bucket and text overlay that says Aqua Sana at Elveden Forest, Centerparcs

If you read my blog or follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you will know I love a trip to Centerparcs! My family and I visit at least twice a year, often more than this, and we love trying out a new lodge.

The Centerparcs Waterside Lodge

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review

We stayed in the third lodge, on the right. This was number 94 and was named Sloop. All of the lodges have the same facilities and amenities but this one was the least overlooked in our opinion.

When we were in the lodge we couldn’t see anyone, besides through one of the windows. When we were enjoying the deck area we also couldn’t see anyone until we stood near the gas barbeque.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Our lodge was called Sloop

Sloop – #94 – Centerparcs Waterside Lodge

Outside of our Centerparcs Waterside Lodge, we had parking for bikes and there were 2 car parking spaces just a 15-second walk from our lodge. Once we were in for the week the gates were shut (but not locked) reminding other site guests that the access was for waterside lodge guests only.

Having previously stayed in a treehouse I know just how much people enjoy a nosy around the lodges – even if you are inside. Not cool! The gate and the fact the front door has been switched from a glass panel one to a wooden one means people can’t really nosy inside now, and we didn’t have any issues during the week. Unlike our stay in the treehouse! 

Daisy and Thomas outside the Santa's Woodland Workshop with the welcome sign

On the left of the bike stand, you can see the access steps down into the ground floor lodge area. This allows access to the jetty and also access to the hot tub. Maintenance is carried out 3 times a day on the hot tub, but this only takes a couple of minutes and isn’t particularly invasive.

We were never inside the hot tub when the maintenance person arrived and they didn’t make conversation, besides a friendly greeting, unless we did. This gated access is just a sliding bolt, which anyone can open. I was worried about this initially but like I said we didn’t have any issues with people looking around.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - A look at the front of Waterside lodge

This is the front of the Centerparcs Waterside Lodge. As you can see it’s made of timber and is quite nice to look at! The back is a particularly beautiful part of the Centerparcs Waterside Lodge, as this overlooks the lake on site at Centerparcs Elveden Forest.

Step inside…

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - The bootroom area

Once you enter the hallway of the Centerparcs Waterside Lodge there is an area for your coats, boots, and bags, like a mini boot room. This is ideal when you’re in the forest over Winter! We had somewhere we could hang our wet clothing and our boots weren’t making the lodge dirty.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - The upstairs hallway

There were lots of pretty touches to the lodge, even upon entry, adding to the nautical feel of the Centerparcs Waterside Lodge.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - The hallway upstairs

Upstairs, where the entrance is, you have all of the bedrooms. Three in total. Two doubles and one twin. One of the double rooms has a hydrobath, the Starboard Cabin, and one has a shower.

The twin room has a shower also. Each bathroom is ensuite. The Centerparcs Waterside Lodge also has a toilet downstairs too which was surprisingly warm!

Step into your cabin!

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - The bedroom doors

As you can see the two double bedrooms are next to one another. I could hear noise at night from my family. Coughing, talking, etc. This wasn’t much of a problem for us, however, if you’re holidaying with friends you may not appreciate the kind of noises they make so much!

A peek at one of the double bedrooms…

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - A look at a double bedroom

Both of the double rooms come made up with two wardrobes, two bedside tables (with soft close drawers) and lots of pillows. The rooms have a net type curtain you can pull back, for privacy, and then heavier curtains you can shut at night. These cover the balcony door to the shared balcony for the two double bedrooms. Also, there is a blind for the top part of the window.

I didn’t think this would be needed for privacy but it was quite light first thing in the morning without it closed. The blind was electric so you just pressed a fancy remote and it closed, however, you had to press stop or it just kept whirring forever!

Each room in the Centerparcs Waterside Lodge comes with a vanity area for dressing with a large mirror. There is a hairdryer provided in each room and a stool to sit on while doing your hair or makeup.

The wardrobes are a good size, with shelving in, but each wardrobe only had 3 hangers, which isn’t ideal.

I love a hydrobath!

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - One of the bathrooms

This is the hydrobath bathroom, with an overhead shower. As you can see the bathrooms have a backdrop in them, which is really nice. There were heated towel rails in each bathroom, as well as miniature products, towels, a double flush toilet and 2 shelves to house your products.

These lodges have the standard Centerparcs toiletries in, come with daily maid service and they provide you with dishwashing products, fresh towels on Wednesday (for mid-week breaks) and toilet rolls too. I love that the hydrobath is so long and deep. It is perfect for a relaxing soak, even if you don’t want the jets on!

A shared balcony

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Balcony seating area

This is a shared balcony overlooking the lake. If you stand at the edge of the balcony you can also see the guests using the downstairs deck. You can smoke on this deck I assume because there is an ashtray.

This seemed a little off to me as you’re right by the bedrooms, and the roof is fairly enclosed above you, but at least they have a facility there for smokers.

This table and chairs you can see is to be shared between the two double bedrooms. This wasn’t a problem for us, as only 3 people were using the double rooms. If you had the Centerparcs Waterside Lodge full of guests all week (the capacity is 6) then you may wish for more chairs.

A lovely view!

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - The view from the upstairs balcony
Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - View over the water from upstairs
Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - The view

As you can see the view from the shared balcony is lovely. The Centerparcs Waterside Lodges overlook the little island area where the adventure golf is played. While we could hear people on a few occasions it was lovely and peaceful.

The watersports are carried out over the other side of the lake and the only boat that passed was one designed to churn up the ice on the lake to keep it free of ice.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Fixtures

There are lots of little quirky features to this lodge. Globes, vases, oars on the wall and much more. This all adds to the nautical feel and makes this lodge feel really luxurious.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Decorations

These are positioned on the stairs and were a talking point for my little girl on a couple of occasions!

Safety first…

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Safety features

Like all double story lodges at Centerparcs, the Centerparcs Waterside Lodge has stairgates. One at the top, and one at the bottom. These ones were a little more difficult to open for me than ones at other lodges we’ve stayed in. On one of the days the bottom of the holder was moved and our cleaner quickly got a screwdriver and fitted it back in place.

I love that Centerparcs think of these little touches. Also, there is a cupboard on the sleeping floor (upstairs) which has a cot, highchair and more. We no longer need to use these items for Daisy but I had a look and they were all clean and in good condition.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Noticeboard

A few people on my Instastories noticed these knots in a frame and asked me what they were for!

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Tea and coffee

The Centerparcs Waterside Lodge comes with a Tassimo coffee machine. As there is a little freezer box we could even have made Nutribullet iced coffee. We were kept replenished with coffees, tea and milk pots throughout the week. There is also a kettle, toaster and teapot in the lodge.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Breakfast bar

What do you get in the kitchen?

Downstairs in the kitchen area, there is LOTS of storage space. There are multiple cupboards then there is a dishwasher, microwave, hob and oven, fridge with a tiny freezer box, double sink and you have lots of utensils and items.

There are cups, glasses, plastic cups, multiple plates and bowls, glass bowls, a grill tray, several oven dishes and a drawer full of utensils. You get a spatula, slotted spoon, serving spoon, pizza slicer, potato masher, cheese grater, chopping boards and more.

We cooked in our lodge every night, including using the gas barbeque, and were not short of utensils or cookware, although we did have to run the dishwasher twice daily to have access to everything we needed.

Lots of seating for everyone!

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - A look at one of the seating areas

The seating in this lodge did not disappoint. Often I find that the seating is only just ample in Centerparcs lodges, especially if you want to relax with your family. In the Centerparcs Waterside Lodge this wasn’t the case.

There was a huge sofa, window seats in two areas and a dining table with 4 chairs plus a huge bench along the back wall with cushions all the way along. We had lots of space and nobody felt cramped at all.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - a look at the huge television

The television was HUGE but it did seem to randomly go onto this channel, even when we weren’t watching it. I’m not sure why, as we don’t watch a lot of television on holiday, but this was mildly irritating!

There is a fireplace here, and a basketful of wood. However, you can’t actually use the wood on the fire, as it’s the standard firelog fire. The wood was screwed together and this wasn’t very child-friendly.

I know it is meant to be decorative but I just didn’t see the point of this! Either side of the fireplace there were lovely battery powered candles. These look real and add a nice ambience to the lodge.

That one special chair…

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - More seating

As per usual with Centerparcs lodges there was that one extra comfortable chair that everyone wanted to sit on! The cushions looked like they had seen better days to be honest.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Nautical decorations in the lodge

The cute touches continue downstairs and the staging of this lodge is lovely.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Downstairs portholes

The porthole windows are a nice touch and allowed everyone to see who was walking down the stairs. Also, it allowed me to check easily that the bottom stairgate was closed!

Outside on the deck area, you have access to the hot tub, which you can see to the right. Then you have a gas barbeque and dining table and chairs for six. This was the strongest, nicest, sturdiest furniture I’ve ever seen at a lodge in Centerparcs and it felt really good quality. In the summer there are usually sun loungers on this deck, but obviously, there is no use for them at this time of year.

There is a gate downstairs on this level, which is just before the hot tub. This has a sliding bolt to stop little ones from opening it and having access to the jetty. As there is open water here this is really important to keep locked.

Your own little piece of the lake!

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Jetty

There is a jetty, from which you can fish (with a licence). The Centerparcs Waterside Lodge comes with fishing tackle and equipment but we didn’t use this so can’t really comment on it.

The jetty was a great place to stand to feed the fish or just look out over the water. Also, we realised a couple of days into the holiday that if we bounced it slightly we could crack the ice on the lake. This was great fun and meant that the ducks and birds didn’t keep getting stuck when trying to eat the seeds, nuts and other food we shared with them.

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - Signage by the water

You cannot paddle, swim or dive off the jetty. This is because the water is dirty, as it is a well-used lake. However, you can fish from there and you don’t need to paddle when you’ve got your own hot tub!

I liked that there was a life ring here too, should anyone end up in trouble on the water. In theory, you wouldn’t be in the lake but it was good that they were being cautious anyway.

Lots of wildlife, as always!

Centerparcs Waterside Lodge Review - A look at some of the wildlife

The wildlife we saw was on par with the usual wildlife in Centerparcs Elveden Forest. We saw birds, ducks, squirrels, muntjac deer and more. This is one of the features that I love the most about Elveden Forest over Woburn Forest. Because it’s well established there is lots of wonderful wildlife there already just waiting to bed fed, watched and photographed!

Outside archery targets at Centerparcs with text overlay that says target archery at Centerparcs

What did we think overall?

Overall I would say that these lodges are well worth a splurge. I doubt I would spend £3,499-£3,999 to visit during the summer holidays but I would pay to book it in June or September when the kids are back at school.

These are a similar price to the 4 bedroom hot tub lodge with sauna, steam room and hot tub. Personally, I would prefer to book one of those as they have a games room as well as an extra bedroom and bathroom.

We had a wonderful stay. I would love to see dressing gowns in this lodge, like the treehouse lodge. They are handy for the hot tub. Also, I’d love the gates for the deck and hot tub area to be wristband controlled. This would prevent little ones, or strangers, being able to open them.

The only other annoying feature of this lodge was the ventilation system upstairs. This releases cold air into the hallway. There is no obvious way to stop this. A sign explaining the importance of it would have made me less irked! The dressing gowns would really help with the walk through the cold hallway too! 

A money box that was painted in the pottery painting studio at Centerparcs and text overlay that says pottery painting at Centerparcs

What did we pay for our stay?

Our stay in the Centerparcs Waterside Lodge cost £999. We had booked our trip to Centerparcs several months in advance. Then we upgraded from a sauna lodge (£399!) to this lodge at the last minute (5 days before).

The price for the particular week we stayed, in January, would have been £1,600. If you’re looking to try one of these waterside lodges, but don’t have the budget available, then I would advise booking a cheaper lodge and then waiting to see if the price drops. You might just get lucky like we did!

Subtropical swimming paradise in Centerparcs woburn forest with a pond and greenery outside.

Also, if you’ve already been on site at Centerparcs then you can use the come back soon offer. As well as giving you £25 of vouchers to use on site you can also ring up, if the price of a lodge drops after booking it, to get a refund of the difference!

This is unlikely to happen much on lodges like these, where there are only 3 lodges available. I would recommend booking a lodge you’re happy with. Then splurge a little on an upgrade to a lodge like this if the price drops! I shouldn’t need to say this, but I will anyway – we paid for our own stay.

Take a look around the Centerparcs Waterside Lodge with my video tour!

Interested in learning more about Centerparcs now you’ve read my Centerparcs waterside lodge review?

Centerparcs Aqua Sana Elveden Forest review

Target archery at Centerparcs Elveden Forest

Pottery painting at Centerparcs Elveden Forest

What to pack to save money at Centerparcs

Santa’s Woodland Workshop at Centerparcs

If you enjoyed this post I’d love it if you could pin it on Pinterest!

We loved staying in the new waterside lodges at Centerparcs Elveden Forest. Come see what we thought! #centerparcs #staycation #ukholidays #elvedenforest

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Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Thank you x


Monday 11th of February 2019

Really useful and thorough review. The sauna lodge still sounds like the best.


Tuesday 12th of February 2019

I actually love the spa lodges the best, they come with a sauna, steam room AND hot tub!

Kim Carberry

Sunday 10th of February 2019

I saw you posts on social media and it looks like a fab place to stay. It looks like you had a wonderful visit.


Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Thanks so much - we really did have a wonderful time! x

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