A fascinating comparison of Woodland Lodges, Executive Lodges, Exclusive Lodges and Treehouses at Center Parcs UK
There are four main types of lodge at Center Parcs in the UK - Woodland (£), Executive (££), Exclusive (£££) and Treehouses (££££). We'll use £ symbols throughout this guide to help you get your head round the options.
You can also choose whether you want to upgrade to 'newer' versions of each lodge and there are some other options (which we'll discuss later).
A big factor in helping you decide is the size of your group.
If you are a family of three or four then you are really only choosing between Woodland (£) and Executive (££) - unless you've recently had a lottery win. This is because the Exclusive (£££) and Treehouse lodges (££££) have four bedrooms, so you'll be paying a huge amount per head if you only use a couple of the bedrooms.
Let's start with a rather massive table of what you get with each type of Center Parcs lodge and then I'll move on to a summary of the main differences.
*The ideal group size means that you'll get best value for money if you have this number of people. Of course, a family of four could hire a treehouse but they all have four bedrooms so you'll be paying a huge amount per person.
Key differences between the four main types of lodge at Center Parcs
1. Center Parcs Woodland Lodge (£)
Woodland Lodges are the cheapest accommodation at Center Parcs. You get kitchen facilities, a lounge with a TV, bedrooms, a patio area, a log burner and towels provided. You don't get any frills or fancy features but it's still in a nice woodland setting.
The best thing about them is that they are available in loads of different sizes - including Woodland Lodges for two people or for a party of 12.
2. Center Parcs Executive Lodges (££)
Executive Lodges are only a modest upgrade from Woodland Lodges but you don't tend to pay a huge amount more. You get the same facilities as a Woodland Lodge but you also get ensuite bathrooms including a whirlpool bath/jacuzzi/hydrobath. That's certainly not quite as fancy as a hot tub, but it's still a nice addition. You also get TVs in the bedrooms, a coffee machine and a wine cooler.
Some of the the bigger Executive Lodges have games rooms and hot tubs, but you don't get that with the standard sized ones with two bedrooms.
So, the differences are not mind blowing but when we checked for a week at Whinfell Forest in August 2024, it was only £50 to upgrade from a New Style Woodland Lodge to New Style Executive Lodge. I'd say that is good value and is probably worth it.
3. Center Parcs Exclusive Lodges (£££)
There's a big jump up in price to a Center Parcs Exclusive Lodge. You can expect to pay about 50% extra per person per night, or perhaps even twice the price (based on the price comparisons we did below).
Exclusive Lodges have four bedrooms, so they are prohibitively expensive per person unless there are seven or eight of you to spread the price out.
The most significant upgrades are that you get a games room, a sauna, a steam room and a hot tub. That makes a big difference if you plan to spend a lot of time socialising with your own party rather than doing non-stop activities.
My opinion is that if it's a family reunion then it may be worth paying the extra. If you plan to swim every day, go for a bike ride, slide down a zip wire and then eat out for most meals then it's probably not worth the money.
You also get allocated parking in the car park, which is a small bonus in my opinion. The outside space you get is slightly better as well.
4. Center Parcs Treehouses (££££)
Finally, there's the option of upgrading to a Center Parcs Treehouse.
You mostly get the same things as you get with an Exclusive Lodge, but you also get a host, a balcony, more space and a somewhat cooler building. You get a hot tub and sauna, but you don't get a steam room. You also get a maid service, which will appeal to some people.
Honestly, I think it's hard to justify a Treehouse for the facilities alone. However, the design is pretty cool so it's no surprise that they often sell out first. If you are flushed and want a more memorable holiday then I would be tempted.
Take a look at our guide to the 6 Best Holiday Parks With Treehouses or some cheaper alternatives.
Is it worth upgrading accommodation at Center Parcs?
The short answer is that:
a) upgrading at Center Parcs is cheaper off peak than on peak
b) upgrading from a Woodland Lodge (£) to an Executive Lodge (££) is quite cheap and is probably worth it. However, upgrading to an Exclusive Lodge or Treehouse is very expensive so is only really worth considering if you plan to spend a lot of time in the lodge.
How much will upgrading accommodation at Center Parcs cost me?
For a rough price comparison, we looked at the scenario of two families of four people wanting to visit Center Parcs Sherwood Forest together for a week in August 2024. Let's call them the Smiths and the Jones.
Now let's see what the Smiths and Jones would pay for a similar holiday at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest in mid September 2024, during term time.
So, upgrading from a Woodland Lodge to a Treehouse during peak times costs about £1200 more than it does off peak. However, upgrading from a Woodland Lodge to a New Style Executive Lodge is only £5 per person, per night off peak - I'd say that's money well spent.
What other types of accommodation are at Center Parcs?
The two other types of Center Parcs accommodation to choose from are:
1. Center Parcs Hotels and Apartments
These are one bedroom 'Executive Apartments' which are aimed at couples or a parent with one child. You can stay in an apartment at any of the UK Center Parcs, but the hotel is only at Center Parcs Woburn Forest.
With an Executive Apartment you get a small kitchen, en-suite facilities and a balcony or terrace.
The main upgrade available is a 'Penthouse Apartment', which has a larger kitchen and more spacious living area. You also get an infrared sauna.
To give you a rough idea, we looked at the price of an Executive Apartment at Woburn Forest for a couple in mid September 2022 and found it cost £688 or £49 per person, per night. The upgrade to an Executive Penthouse was about twice the price at £1208 or £86 per person, per night.
The Center Parcs Hotel Rooms are currently only available at Woburn Forest. You don't get food provided, but you are near to the Plaza where they are places to eat. Bear in mind that eating out at Center Parcs isn't especially cheap!
2. Center Parcs Waterside Lodges
Finally, a brief mention for the Waterside Lodges. There are only three of them, which are at Elveden Forest so we've not included them in our comparisons. They sleep six people.
*This 'half price' claim is based on our Center Parcs Europe price comparisons for August 2024. We found a week at Center Parcs Les Ardennes in Belgium from £1072 for a family of four when booked through CenterParcs.fr. The cheapest price for the same week at a Center Parcs UK resort was £2128. My advice is to pay a little extra and stay at highly rated Center Parcs Het Meerdal in the Netherlands, which was £1140 for the same dates.
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