Having just returned from our 13th trip to Center Parcs, I wanted to share parts of our holiday that work really well for us. One of those is hiring a Cabana, which are located in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise. We have hired a Cabana at Whinfell for the past 3 years, and it has really enhanced the time we have spent in the swimming complex.

Centerparcs Cabana

We booked our Cabana via the online booking system. There are different times available and generally the use of the Cabana is for 3 hours. The price depends on whether you book the Cabana for four, six or eight people, and is more expensive during the day. We have always booked the Cabana in the evening, typically in the 5.45pm to 8.45pm slot. This is probably the time you don’t actually need a Cabana, as there is plenty of free seating in the evening. However we have always booked the Cabana as a birthday treat for my daughter, who has celebrated her birthday at Center Parcs for the past 3 years.

One flaw in the booking process is you don’t actually get told where to book in for your Cabana on the day. Your booking confirmation just tells you the Cabana is in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise. At Whinfell you need to enter the pool area, turn left and you will see steps heading up to where they sell the inflatables. This is the lifeguard station and the place you need to book in. I imagine it’s very similar at the other Center Parcs locations.

At Whinfell there are 2 or 3 Cabanas that are in a nice private area overlooking the main pool. There is a further Cabana which is more public, which I imagine would have a steady stream of people walking past, as its near to many of the slides and the outdoor pool. If you don’t fancy this, I would try and speak with a lifeguard and request a more private Cabana. The Cabanas at Woburn are all in a private area, so this won’t be a problem if you are visiting there.

Once inside the Cabana, which is a wooden hut, you will find comfy seats, foot stools, a safe, a fridge with soft drinks and water, towels, magazines and a large TV on the wall. There is also a large rubber ring and a beach ball for use whilst you have booked the Cabana. The kids have usually grabbed these and are off in the nearest pool, before we even have chance to get settled.

 

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Centerparcs Cabana

View from Cabana

And that’s why the Cabana works so well for us as a family. We use it as a base as the kids are getting older, and occasionally they will go off by themselves to the nearest pool, which is literally steps away from the Cabanas. Luckily there is also a hot tub there, so you can imagine where I spend my time. After a few hours of sliding and playing volleyball, the kids (and husband as he is the biggest kid when it comes to slides), reappear and we just chill for half an hour watching the TV.

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One tip is to tell the lifeguards or the swimming complex manager if you have booked the Cabana for a special occasion. Two out of three years we have had the Cabana decorated with banners and a balloon which is a wonderful touch. One year they unfortunately forgot to decorate it, but they certainly made up for it by delivering ice creams, a card, wine, chocolates and a personalised inflatable to say sorry. Now that is great service from Center Parcs.

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After recently visiting The Sandcastle in Blackpool and hiring their Cabana for the day, I really think that Center Parcs could enhance their Cabana experience. Maybe offer a dining package, included in the price, and increase the sessions as I must admit the 3 hours flew by.

We paid £50 for 3 hours use on a Sunday evening. The Cabana has worked really well for us over the past 3 years, and I am sure we will be hiring it again on our next visit.

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8 Thoughts on “Booking a Cabana at Center Parcs

  1. Thank you for sharing, that’s really interesting! I’ve often wondered exactly what was included. I can see that it would work really well with older children that can go off by themselves.
    Jennifer recently posted…Jigsaw review – The Inventor’s CupboardMy Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 28, 2016 at 7:30 pm said:

      Thank you Jennifer, glad it was of interest to you. It certainly worked well for us having older children and I think would also work equally well with having little ones. A nice base for them to chill out amongst all the swimming and sliding x

  2. Ah this is really interesting Tracey, every time we have been to center parcs we have wondered about whether to do this and then have always decided against it because it is quite expensive. I do love the idea of it though so might have to consider it for next time we go, especially if you say it is worth it. x

    • Tracey Williams on January 28, 2016 at 7:32 pm said:

      Thanks Katie. As you can guess we love booking a Cabana, especially as it has always been Katie’s birthday too. But I think we would still book one if we were not celebrating. Plus I think the kids would demand one now lol x

  3. We have never done this Tracey, but it is a great idea. Although I like to go in the pool do an hour and get out, so 3 hours may be to long for me, but the boys would love it x
    Sarah Christie recently posted…The Wizarding World of Harry Potter In Pictures, My Captured MomentMy Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 29, 2016 at 11:20 am said:

      You could chill out in the Cabana with a magazine Sarah. I was really impressed they had all the latest ones when we went. I spent a lovely half an hour by myself reading through the celebrity gossip and home magazines x

  4. Jacky Richardson on October 6, 2016 at 4:11 pm said:

    Hi Tracey
    Thank you for the tip, we are going tomorrow 7/10/2016 and have booked the cabana for sat 10am We are celebrating a birthday at the same time. How or when rather should I contact the pool manager to let him know its a special occasion

    • Tracey Williams on October 6, 2016 at 8:58 pm said:

      If you have chance I would pop into the swimming complex tomorrow evening and let them know. Hopefully they will be able to decorate the cabana for you. They have always been fantastic to us when I have let them know about my daughter’s birthday. Have an amazing weekend x

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