2022 Update: Haven Stay vs Haven Stay + Play has been renamed. You now choose between Haven Hideaway holidays or standard Haven holidays. Read our Haven Hideaway blog post for the full comparison.
In December 2020, Haven made a pretty big change to the way that you book a holiday with them.
You can now pick from 'Haven Stay' or 'Haven Stay + Play' and there's quite a big difference between the type of holiday they offer.
The idea is that you can either book a holiday with lots of family friendly activities available (Haven Stay + Play) or you save yourself some money and just book the accommodation (Haven Stay). It's not really accurate to say that a Haven Stay + Play holiday is 'all inclusive' as you still pay for some activities, but it means you have the option of signing up for things.
From what I can tell, Haven are trying to appeal to holidaymakers who want Haven's prime seaside locations and the self-contained accommodation but aren't really interested in archery or sliding down a flume. It seems that Covid-19 has prompted a big change in the ages of people booking into Haven resorts for staycations, with more couples and older families wanting a simple seaside holiday.
From what I can tell (after looking at a few price comparisons) Haven haven't really increased the price of a 'normal' Haven holiday with this new scheme. Instead, they've lowered the price for someone who feels they won't use the facilities and just wants a base for days out.
Before you decide whether to book a Haven Stay or Haven Stay + Play holiday, here a few things to keep in mind:
What's the difference in price between a Haven Stay holiday and a Haven Stay + Play holiday?
Right, let's get to the interesting bit. How much extra does it cost to opt for a Haven Stay + Play holiday compared to a Haven Stay holiday? Is it worth paying the extra on the off-chance that you might decide you'd like to have a swim or watch a show in the entertainment venue?
We searched in December 2020 for a week's holiday for a family of four at five of the best Haven holiday parks. We searched for a holiday in August 2021 (peak time) and a holiday in early October 2021 (off peak).
So, the difference in price between a Haven Stay + Play holiday and a Haven Stay holiday for a week for a family of four varied by between £36 and £277. Per person, per night that means it would cost you anywhere between £1ish (off peak) and about £10ish (on peak) to use the facilities.
Unsurprisingly, you save a lot more with a Haven Stay holiday by opting out of activities and facilities at the best equipped resorts.
Personally, I would always pay for Haven Play + Stay for an off peak holiday. The saving is not really enough to take away the option of going for a swim if the weather is awful.
The exception would be if you are a couple or a group of friends holidaying without children who just want a self contained lodge or caravan for beach trips and walks. You're unlikely to want to visit a noisy swimming pool and you can still use the onsite restaurants with a Haven Stay holiday.
During the summer months and peak holiday times I would say it is worth taking a look at local attractions if you're sitting on the fence. You might save yourself £100-£200 but will you end up going out more and paying for days out?
As far as I can tell, you can't turn up and then decide that you want to buy a Play Pass after seeing everyone else having more fun than you... The official website says 'Play Passes are only available to those who have booked a Stay+Play break'.
See our guide to 10 of the best Haven holiday parks for ideas of where to stay.
Holiday Park Guru Blog
Occasional thoughts on holidays in England, Wales, Scotland and further afield, including the latest deals, discounts and last minute offers.
While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose.
© COPYRIGHT 2023. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
© COPYRIGHT 2023. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.