Center Parcs Port Zelande Review

I thought about going to Center Parcs in Whinfell last October half term, but when I priced it up for a four bedroom lodge, it came out at nearly £1,900. £800 per family for four nights away. I don't know what prompted me to see how much it would be in Europe, but I did, and the initial cost came in at 525 euros for the same amount of time, in the same type of accommodation. I checked to see how much the ferry would cost and it was £300. A few days later I was booking our holiday to Port Zelande, near Rotterdam in Holland. 

Port Zelande beach

The ferry crossing was smooth and uneventful. It was an overnight crossing, departing at 7pm and arriving at 8am. We ate our tea on the ferry in the all you can eat buffet. I would recommend booking this in advance as you can save a fair amount of money doing it that way. The cabin was small but it was fine for what we needed. I'm not great at being at sea, so I went to bed with the children and my husband stayed up with our friends.  

I was concerned about the accommodation at Port Zelande, having read many negative reviews online. We had opted for the most basic house. When we arrived I was pleasantly surprised. It was clean and spacious enough for all eight of us. There was one main bathroom and a separate toilet too. The one thing I hadn't expected was that there wouldn't be an oven! There was a hob and a microwave, so we were able to cook, but no oven.

Port Zelande marina center parcs

The beaches both on site and nearby were amazing. They were clean and suitable for the children to play on. Play facilities for the children were good. We ate out on two separate occasions and, aside from a slightly burnt pizza one night, the food was good. Entertainment was in Dutch and German when we were there but it didn't stop our children getting up and joining in. They recognised a lot of the songs.

The activities were cheaper than in the UK. When we booked we received three activities free as well, so we used these to go bowling. I also had a massage and it cost just 25 euros. The activities for children indoors were well priced too and although we only played Crazy Golf, it kept all the children entertained on the day we were leaving.

Bowling center parcs holland

The swimming pools were absolutely fantastic and we went at least once each day. There are different slides, a large pool with waves, a dinghy ride, an outdoor pool, a rapid area and an amazing ride which was so warm and went outside with slides and fast currents. My daughter was the only one who was too short for anything, and that was the dinghy ride!

Port Zelande Center Parcs swimming Pool

We ate out at Nonna's and The Grill when we were there and both were good. Nonna's had slightly slow service, which was disappointing as it was my birthday night. One of the children's pizza's was completely burned around the edges. The rest of the food we got was good though. At the The Grill we wore hard hats and ate burgers, which was good fun!

The Grill Port Zelande

For me, the experience of Center Parcs in Europe is better than the UK simply because you are surrounded by other languages and different cultures. It definitely feels like more of a holiday. If you would like to see my review of Center Parcs Whinfell, look here and here. If you're concerned about the negative reviews on trip advisor, I can safely say that we had an amazing holiday and, in my experience, they were completely unfounded. Below are two videos, one review of all the facilities and our holiday and one which shows the accommodation in more detail.

Disclosure: We paid for the holiday and all activities ourselves. This review is purely because I thought people would be interested in what Center Parcs abroad is like.