Every year since Joe was born we have spent the weekend before Christmas at Center Parcs, Whinfell Forest. The first year we booked it because it was the only time we could fit in a break that year. But we fell in love with the Winter Wonderland vibe, and have visited every year since.
As you can imagine, we have done so many activities in that time, to the point that this year the boys were just not bothered about booking anything. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that we had only booked the 2-day pre-Christmas break this year due to the way Christmas fell. We like to come home just in time for Christmas, so for us the week before would not have felt the same.
We also decided to share a lodge with our wonderful friends Ruth, Darren and Fin. We figured we have been away together for 6 years and not fallen out, and were constantly trekking to the sports plaza so the boys could play pool so decided to book an executive games room lodge together. I must say we all got on so well, this is a great option when traveling with friends. We usually book Woodland Lodges next door to each other; it worked out slightly cheaper to share but with better facilities.
The differences between the woodland and executive lodges are all listed on the Center Parcs website but for me the main difference was that it felt cozier, the colour scheme is a lot calmer than the green and orange of the woodland lodge.
The executive lodge theme is based around red and purple tones with the addition of lamps to make the lodge feel that bit more homely and cozy. The baths are whirlpool baths, and the kitchens have extra luxuries such as a coffee maker and wine fridge. And for the adults there is an infra-red therapy room.
But the best feature of this lodge was the games room; it features a pool table and Xbox 360. The room is a large room with plenty of space to fit the whole family. You must pay a refundable deposit of £100 to hire the Xbox games and the remote controls from the village center.
But the great thing about this is you can swap your games, so we had many hours of fun dancing away to Now Dance one night and the next evening testing our agility on the Family challenge.
I did not think I would enter the games room its just not my thing, but when traveling with friends it is such a great option, and as the weather was so bad that weekend that it was a godsend having a space like this, we were also able to enjoy mulled wine but the open fire whilst all the boys battled at pool.
This lodge is a fantastic option when traveling with friends, especially with kids, and most definitely an option I would consider again.