You may have noticed a couple of different prices appear when you’re booking a Haven holiday.
Option one is a ‘Haven’ holiday whilst option two is a ‘Haven Hideaway’ holiday. The ‘Haven Hideaway’ holiday is usually £80-£200 cheaper for a week.
So, what’s the difference and is it worth paying the higher price?
In summary, a Haven Hideaway holiday means that you can't use the onsite facilities except for the restaurants, shop, launderette and takeaway.
The official explanation is here, or you can read on for more details of what a Haven Hideaway holiday includes and our opinion of whether it's worth upgrading.
'Haven Stay' is now called 'Haven Hideaway'
Haven has offered two options for its holidays for a while now but they were previously called ‘Haven Stay’ (now called 'Haven Hideaway') or ‘Haven Stay + Play’ (now just called a ‘Haven’ holiday).
In summary, a standard Haven holiday gives you accommodation plus access to all the free onsite facilities (e.g. swimming pool, evening entertainment). You can also choose whether you want to pay for the extra activities (e.g. climbing walls, archery, zip wires etc)
A Haven Hideaway holiday just gives you accommodation, plus access to the restaurants. You can’t use the swimming pool and you can’t sign up for the paid for activities.
Haven Hideaway is aimed at people who want a good value caravan holiday but just want a base for exploring the local area.
My understanding is that Haven introduced these options when Covid-19 led to a boom in staycations. They were getting lots of first time visitors who didn’t want to mingle with everyone else but liked the beachside location and the reliable accommodation offered by Haven.
What you need to know about Haven holidays vs Haven Hideaway holidays
What’s the difference in price between a Haven holiday and a Haven Hideaway holiday?
Roughly speaking, you’ll save about £80-£300 if you don’t use any of the facilities at a Haven holiday during a week’s holiday.
However, the exact amount you save by going for a Haven Hideaway holiday varies depending on a) the time of year b) the number of facilities at the holiday park and c) how long you are staying for.
For example, a family of four staying at Haven Devon Cliffs for a week in August 2024 would pay from £907 for a Haven Hideaway holiday or £1097 for a standard Haven holiday (based on the cheapest accommodation available). That’s a total of £190 to use the facilities, or £6.78 per person, per day.
Meanwhile, a family of four staying at Haven Lydstep Beach for a week in September 2024 would only pay £4.28 per person, per day to use the facilities. That price is based on a Saver caravan costing £818 for a Haven holiday or £698 for a Haven Hideaway holiday.
For a more detailed comparison, we looked at the cost of upgrading from Haven Hideaway to a standard Haven holiday at Hafan y Môr in Wales. It's a huge holiday park with excellent facilities, so you’d expect to pay quite a lot extra for the facilities.
Here’s the cost of upgrading for a family of four in the cheapest accommodation available at Hafan y Môr:
The prices are similar to Haven Devon Cliffs, which is another large and popular resort:
So, the amount you’re paying to upgrade is pretty significant in the summer but is much less in the autumn.
Will you get value for money with a Haven holiday?
One thing to consider is that you will likely spend more money off site if you get a Haven Hideaway holiday. For example, you might decide to visit Crealy Theme Park if you’re staying at Devon Cliffs. A family of four will pay about £80 entry. That’s a fairly big chunk of your £90 saving if you’re visiting Devon Cliffs in October but is less of a big deal if you’ve saved yourself £210 by choosing Haven Hideaway in August.
It also depends on what your family enjoys doing on holiday. A Haven Hideaway means that you can’t watch the entertainment provided at Haven Devon Cliffs, but you might prefer a trip to the cinema in Exmouth (about £25 for a family ticket).
If you want a family swim every day then you’d be better using the facilities at Devon Cliffs. If you just want a basic swim on one day, you’d be better paying £15 for a family swim at the council swimming pool in Exmouth.
It’s worth doing a detailed investigation to figure out what your children are looking forward to doing. If they just want to do an aerial adventure or zip wire then you’d be better visiting a nearby Go Ape (£20-£30) rather than paying £100-£200 for a Haven holiday and then another £12 for the Haven Adrena-Line zip wire.
Conclusion - Haven holidays v Haven Hideaway holidays
If you’re visiting off-peak, I would certainly go for the ‘standard’ Haven holiday even if you mostly plan to spend time offsite. You’ll probably pay less than £100 for a family of four for a week, which is good value compared to local days out.
If you’re visiting a larger Haven resort during the school holidays then it’s a bit of a trickier decision as the difference can be around £200. That will pay for a few days out or meals out, so you’ll need to use the onsite facilities quite a lot to get value for your money.
Also remember that paying for the standard ‘Haven’ holiday doesn’t mean you can do every activity onsite for free. Several things cost extra, although the prices aren't as high as Center Parcs in my experience.
Generally, I think it's worth paying for the full Haven holiday experience. Downgrading to a Haven Hideaway holiday means that your kids won't be able to join in with the entertainment or ride down the flumes - which may be a problem if they make friends with the kids in the caravan next door.
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© COPYRIGHT 2023. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.