Flashback to 2014:
The next leg of our 3 1/2 European road trip had us departing Belgium and returning to Holland (Netherlands) to Center Parcs Het Meerdal. After having a wonderful few hours in Bruges, sampling chocolates and waffles. we were once again in the Netherlands. This time we were near the German border, just outside of Venlo.
As we left the highway, we were surrounded by beautiful farmland covered with corn, squash, cows and sheep. It was so green and lush, quite the difference from Southern Spain. Just a couple of miles down the road was our street that would lead us to Center Parcs Het Meerdal. Just prior to the entrance we passed the Wagyu Farm! How cool is that to live next door to the imperial beef for the next 5 nights! With all of the farmland around, this was a pleasant surprise to see the entrance to the holiday park. It was like a huge forest with giant trees shading the way to the check in.
Bring on some wildlife!
Once we were all checked in, we meandered our way through the park to find that we had a lakeside cottage. As we parked the car, right in front to unload, we were greeted by several white deer. We had never seen white deer before, but it was cool that they just let us go about our business. After we checked out the interior of our cottage, we went out back to see our big grassy yard and the lake behind us. Again we were greeted by the white deer. We did see them throughout the week, but this was the only time we noticed them at our cottage. It was as if they were there to greet us.
Family Fun For All
For the next 5 nights, we were drawn into the Center Parcs Het Meerdal holiday park. It is actually like a small self-contained town. You really don’t need to leave for anything, and we didn’t. The plan was to check out the nearby towns and get in some culture, but the Wagoner family had something different in mind. It was unanimous that we needed some “chill” and play time. So that is what we did. We immersed ourselves into full Center Parks mode and just had a vacation! We would like to give you a detailed review of our accommodation. This is number 2 of 3 in our Holiday Park spotlight series. Our first spotlight was at Sunparks De Haan aan zee in Belgium. Now it is time for our accommodation spotlight: Center Parcs Het Meerdal Netherlands
Center Parcs Het Meerdal Netherlands is now in the Spotlight!
As I stated, it is just outside of Venlo, Netherlands. I know that doesn’t mean much to most people who read our blog. If it helps at all, that is about 40 minutes west of Düsseldorf Germany, about 2 hours northeast of Brussels or 3 hours southeast of Amsterdam.
Center Parcs Het Meerdal Accommodation
Our cottage was a single story with front and back yard, for 5 people, and had 3 bedrooms. Two of the bedrooms had 2 twin beds pushed together, an armoire and a big window. The third room was about half the size and had a single twin bed. The kids were beyond excited to have their own rooms. We let them know that most of this year, they will likely be roomies.
Of course we had a beautiful modern bathroom and separate toilet room. We also had a comfy L-shaped couch and TV in the family room and a big dining table for six. The kitchen was galley style and had all of the amenities you would want. They even had a capsule espresso machine, coffee pot, toaster, electric juicer and more.
We had a great time preparing our meals here and didn’t feel cramped on space. Once again, the dishwasher was a dream come true. After 2 years of hand washing, it was nice to just shove it all in the washer and push a button!
There was absolutely no shortage of activities at this park. In fact, in 5 nights we didn’t have time to do it all. There is a kids klub and an activity schedule as well. The even offer free smart phone apps for the weekly activity schedule as well as a park map.
Outdoors – we of course enjoyed our bikes. Every free moment, our daughter was our riding her bike. We loved that it was light until about 10 or 10:30 pm, so that gave us more play time outside. Each evening we would go on a family bike ride and ventured along the many miles of trails the park had to offer. There were playgrounds all over the place, and outdoor aviary, a bmx bike track, soccer fields, mini golf, paddle boats, rock climbing wall and much more.
Indoors – We were beyond amazed with everything that was available indoors. There was a huge dome in the middle of the park and it was a tropical paradise. With waterfalls, koi pond, stone bridge and an aviary. The Market Dome not only housed the reception desk, but also several restaurants and Aqua Mundo. We also had fun at the Caribbean mini golf course, ping-pong, badminton, tennis courts, kids climbing gym, bowling, and expansive game room area and billiards. There was also an indoor night bowling alley, a good-sized grocery store and plenty of souvenir shops too.
Aqua Mundo – This water park was amazing. There were 3 big water slides and we all loved the wild rapids. It was like a lazy river on steroids, with a good down hill slope and an option for 2 different exits off of the river, one final rapid or a short tube water slide. They also had several pool options and of course the big wave pool. Never a dull moment around the water park and the kids were beaming with joy. That’s what we cared about the most.
Of course we also found the Turkish bath, sunbeds and a hydro massage. Let’s not forget the little ones. There was plenty available for the small children and toddlers too. We really had a great time and it was great riding bikes over.
When it comes to food, this place really has everything you need and more. There are several restaurants, coffee shops and snack bars on site. They even offer breakfast or dinner services, delivered to your cottage. We actually loved getting up in the morning and riding our bike the Market Dome to pick up some blueberry muffins from the bakery in the grocery store.
If you like, you can even pre-order groceries and they will be delivered to your cottage upon arrival. There is even entertainment in the evenings while you dine at the terrace or if you prefer pizza or something a little fancier, just meander through the tropical foliage to the midway through the dome.
I could probably go on for days about how much we enjoyed Center Parcs Het Meerdal. It was our own little world for the week and we couldn’t have asked for anything better. I really like that the park is environmentally aware and offers a recycling program for all of your goods too. Everything was well-marked and easy to participate. This is a great place for a family vacation or a reunion as there is something for everyone.
- Be prepared to have a wonderful relaxing time. Yes, even if your days are full of the activities available, it will still be relaxing. Your environment and surroundings help keep you in touch with nature and just naturally give you that relaxing feeling.
- Embrace the wildlife! – No matter where you go, you are bound to see loads of bunnies. We had the best time watching them as well as the white deer.
- Remember to rent bikes! I really can’t stress enough how having bikes just made the entire experience perfect. This is a car free park, so it is the perfect way to get around.
- Don’t stress over bringing everything with you. Really, this place offers most anything you need or want.
- Book early if you can and receive the early bird discount as well as other specials, like extra activities. Check their website for current offers.
- We booked the last-minute deal, just 10 days before travel and feel we received an excellent deal.
Where are their Holiday Parks located?
Sunparks has 4 locations within Belgium and Center Parcs Europe offers over 20 locations in several countries. Some of the locations are sustainable and great nature breaks.
Booking and Contact Info
Center Parcs France – Click here for the best holiday park deals in France
Center Parcs Belgium – Click here for the best holiday park deals in Belgium
Center Parcs Netherlands – Click here to view the latest luxury family holiday Netherlands deals.
Center Parcs Germany – Click here for the best holiday park deals in Germany
Enjoy our full photo gallery:
Disclaimer: We would like to thank The Center Parcs Europe for sponsoring a portion of our stay. All of the reviews, recommendations and opinions are our own.