Monday 22 July 2019

Center Parcs reveals opening date for Irish resort, with prices from €299

Center Parcs' first Irish resort is all set for a mid-summer opening, reports Pól Ó Conghaile

An artist's impression of the 'Subtropical Swimming Paradise' at Center Parcs in Longford
An artist's impression of the 'Subtropical Swimming Paradise' at Center Parcs in Longford
Center Parcs Longford Forest has today announced the official opening date for the forest resort. Pic: Naoise Culhane
Puttingn the final touches to Center Parcs Longford Forest. Pic:Naoise Culhane
One of the four-bed executive lodges at Center Parcs
A family on the edge of the 45-degree drop in Tropical Cyclone in Center Parcs Elveden Forest in the UK
Putting the final touches to Center Parcs Longford Forest. Pic:Naoise Culhane-no fee
Aliya Keogh (8) and Ben Keogh (6) pictured alongside a 55,667 Lego brick model replica of Center Parcs' Subtropical Swimming Paradise. Bookings have opened for the Irish resort.
A CGI view of the pools at Longford Forest
The 'Subtropical Swimming Paradise' under construction in Longford. Photo: Arc Studios
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Center Parcs Longford has taken over 4,000 bookings to date, and its opening date has been revealed: Monday, July 29 of this year.

The much-anticipated date was announced today, with bookings now available online (centerparcs.ie) from €299 for short breaks in a two-bedroom lodge.

Rates skyrocket from there, however - with the same, two-bed Woodland Lodge priced from €759 for three and four day breaks during school holidays.

With less than 50 days to go, the final touches are being put to the €233 million forest resort - one of Ireland's biggest-ever tourism developments.

Once complete, the resort will cater for up to 2,500 guests in some 466 lodges and 30 apartments, providing around 1,000 permanent jobs - many on minimum wage.

Similar to its flagship UK properties, Longford Forest will be anchored by a 3,500m2 'Subtropical Swimming Paradise' heated to 29.5 degrees. The year-round facility is free to guests, and is billed as "Ireland's largest waterpark".

Since construction began in 2016, excitement has been building.

Fans of the UK resorts love their car-free campus vibe, range of activities, slick and comfy lodges, well-trained staff and immaculately maintained layouts.

Critics bemoan relatively high prices, food that many consider bland and generic, and the fact that many of the 100+ activities are expensive extras.

Aerial tree trekking costs from €26 per person, for example, while bike hire is €35/€25.50pp, and indoor roller skating will set you back €9.50pp.

Puttingn the final touches to Center Parcs Longford Forest. Pic:Naoise Culhane
Puttingn the final touches to Center Parcs Longford Forest. Pic:Naoise Culhane
Putting the final touches to Center Parcs Longford Forest. Pic:Naoise Culhane-no fee
An artist's impression of the 'Subtropical Swimming Paradise' at Center Parcs in Longford
Center Parcs Longford Forest has today announced the official opening date for the forest resort. Pic: Naoise Culhane
One of the four-bed executive lodges at Center Parcs
A family on the edge of the 45-degree drop in Tropical Cyclone in Center Parcs Elveden Forest in the UK
Aliya Keogh (8) and Ben Keogh (6) pictured alongside a 55,667 Lego brick model replica of Center Parcs' Subtropical Swimming Paradise. Bookings have opened for the Irish resort.
A CGI view of the pools at Longford Forest
The 'Subtropical Swimming Paradise' under construction in Longford. Photo: Arc Studios

With 21 hot, cold, herbal and meditative experiences, the in-resort Aqua Sana Spa is being touted as "the perfect spa experience", though it too comes at a price.

Three-hour spa sessions start from €37pp, while you'll need to set aside €57 for the luxury of a 25-minute massage.

Woodland, Executive and Exclusive are the three lodge types on offer, with breaks bookable from Friday to Monday, Monday to Friday, or full weeks.

So far, over 4,000 bookings have been taken for the Ballymahon resort - a figure Center Parcs says is "very much" in line with expectations.

Read more:

Center Parcs: A sneak peek inside Ireland's enchanted forest

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