Our Adapted Experience in CenterParcs, Longford
We are just back from a lovely few days in CenterParcs in Longford. We go every year as the kids love it, and it works well for Kian's needs. We wanted to share our experience with Kian and what you can expect in terms of adapted facilities.
We stayed in the adapted 4-bedroom executive lodge with 3 adults, 1 teenager and 3 kids (including Kian). It was €2,573 from Monday to Friday, plus the cost of activities.
We are not going to get into the price of CenterParcs, the quality of the food, price of the supermarket and all the usual stuff, because for us we have decided it suits many of our needs. Going abroad is not a great option for us.
⦁ All 3 kids love it; they even chose it over Spain! This was a huge relief for us given the effort involved in flying Kian, his formula and equipment to Spain. Not to mention keeping him cool.
⦁ We can drive there which means we can load up the van and bring a lot of Kian’s equipment.
⦁ The adapted lodge has a downstairs electrically adjustable bed with side rails, a hoist (no sling), a large bathroom with wheel-in shower, dedicated parking and a great layout.
⦁ We have never experienced anywhere in CenterParcs where we could not access with a wheelchair / large jogger.
⦁ Kian loves the subtropical swimming pool and there is 1 fantastic fully adapted changing room with a hoist, electrically adjustable bed and room for all the family (See below negative points).
⦁ 4 wheelchair changing cubicles accessible to guests in wheelchairs (not fully adapted).
⦁ We rented the wheelchair accessible "Cabana", which is a private hut near the pool with seating, TV and refreshments. This is ideal when Kian needs a bit of timeout or any care (See below negative points).
⦁ There is a bike available to rent with a wheelchair on the front, so Kian does not need to be left out. We didn’t book it this year, but it has been great for Kian in the past.
⦁ There is lots of open space to go for nice accessible walks with Kian.
⦁ The staff are always very helpful and accommodating.
⦁ There is only 1 wetchair/wheelchair available for the subtropical swimming pool. Which means while Kian is in the pool, there is no wheelchair for anyone else or none for Kian if someone else has it. This would be very disappointing for a family that has to leave the pool due to the lack of facilities. This is not good enough for a destination that advertises itself as "Access for all".
⦁ A new wetchair/wheelchair this year does not have any straps to secure Kian in. We were told the other chair with straps is damaged and would not be available to us. This is one of the reasons we choose CenterParcs every year, and again not good enough for a parc that advertises "Access for all", especially during peak season.
⦁ The price of the accessible Cabana private hut was €123 for 3 hours this year. It was €89 for the accessible Cabana last year, €78 for a standard, £55 and £60 in the UK in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The wheelchair accessible Cabana is not a luxury for us, rather a necessity for Kian’s care and having to pay this sum of money every time we go to the pool is hard to take.
⦁ There is only one adapted toilet with a bed and hoist which is in the subtropical swimming pool. Other than that we had to take Kian back to our lodge every time he to be changed.
Overall, we absolutely love CenterParcs in Longford as a destination for the family, and they do have fantastic inclusive facilities for the most part. This year we did feel that the costs have escalated and the adapted facilities in the pool where not quite where they were previously (i.e. one wetchair, no straps), although they are still very good. I really hope that this will be addressed, in particular during the expansion of the village. We definitely will be returning to Longford again, but we are now also considering more economical alternatives such as CenterParcs in France, where we can get much more bang for our buck. We do understand that there is a premium for somewhere like CenterParcs, but I hope this is not pushed too far.