We visited Villages Nature Paris over the Christmas period. After looking online for a while at finding the “perfect” accommodation and package. I stumbled across Villages Nature Paris on the Disneyland Paris website. VNP is listed as one of the Disney Nature resort hotels. I read very mixed reviews and in all honesty found little information, reviews or blog videos online clearly detailing the facilities or showing off the grounds or children’s facilities but took the chance based on limited availability across the resort over Christmas and the need to book something so last minute. But I’m so glad I did!
I can honestly say hand on heart this hotel is so under rated, and such amazing value for money. I have never visited such a clean, fun and well facilitated hotel since becoming a parent and shocked there isn’t more photos online. In a nutshell if you’re looking to visit Disney but also want the best of both worlds and are familiar with Center Parcs UK, this is what you can expect but better as you’ll have Mickey as your neighbour.
It’s not “camping” as some reviews suggest it’s Center Parcs French Location with Disney on your door step so if you’ve visited a UK site before you’ll know what to expect. We stayed in a lovely VIP cocoon apartment with absolutely breath taking views and a whirlpool bath to die for over looking the lake. I paid up to pick a specific room as I wanted to be close to the swimming pool and restaurants. But the whole site is really easy to get around if you’re up for getting your walk on and exploring. I would say it’s fairly flat and not too hilly.. but plenty of outdoors activities, trails and play areas for those outdoors / back to nature explorers.
I cannot wait to visit in the summer and make the most of the beach area, sun loungers, French weather, and outdoor Aqualagoon. 90% of the pool is open all year round and heated to 30°C all year. But there was a small section closed off and toddler slides off-limits due to the freezing weather temperatures and the health and safety of the kids being out the water and being too cold. These open in the summer months and look so amazing Ralphie was so desperate to get on them but there was plenty to do for him inside the dome.
The Aqualagon consists of
giant waterslides, water rock climbing, children’s big, small and baby water play area inc slides, a wave pool, jacuzzis which all connect to a 2500m2 open-air outdoor lazy river, pools, slides and water activities. The changing rooms are easy to navigate and you have a family changing room option too, to all go in together. Lockers are free of charge and you can safely lock all of your clothes and belongings away whilst enjoying the wet facilities by using your wristband. There’s a lagoon cafe for snacks and drinks and during our stay the Aqualagoon was open until around 8:30pm which was fab after a shorter day at the parks.
I didn’t get a chance to visit but there’s also an adult spa if you’re not too busy with all of the above big-kid exploring you’ll have to do.
Brentwood Essex- to Villages Nature Paris door to door took us around 5 and a half hours INCLUDING the 35 minute Folkestone- Calais Euro Tunnel crossing. We couldn’t believe how quick the crossing was and also how easy the drive was and straight forward. There’s plenty of familiar petrol stations on the route BP, TOTAL and SHELL so the roads weren’t too alien or daunting when we needed to stop for petrol or bathroom. The toll en-route was around 22€ and we paid via debit card so don’t stress if you have no cash onboard.
We just found the whole journey so relaxing, no airport stress, rushing around or getting to a train station and having to worry about taxis or shuttles etc just totally chilled in the comfort of our own car. Ralphie had plenty of toys, snacks and the iPad to keep him occupied and Adam and I just took in the French country side.
When booking with Villages Nature there was an option to select baby friendly rooms and also a baby room pack which included a cot, highchair and all fresh bedding for Ralphie. Everything was brand new and we even had to take the mattress for his bed out of the plastic wrapping.
I get the impression the advertising/ marketing of this hotel has failed them in the sense that families just cannot see online how amazing the facilities are and are put off by the “off Disney site” location. Thinking its miles away or going to be inconvenient. Obviously the downside is you can’t just walk into the parks but I genuinely believe we drove there, parked and walked into the park quicker than if we walked from the likes of the furthest Disney Hotels Santa Fe or Cheyenne.
Although the hotel isn’t “on site” VNP is only situated 5-6km from Disneyland Paris. And literally one straight road in and out. We had three day park tickets so when driving to the parks each day we used the Indigo multi story parking at Disney village- which is actually a closer walk to the park entrances and cheaper € for all day parking rate (Disney charge you 30€ per day to park..) Ignore the road signs for Disney parking and head towards Disney Village. Sadly free parking isn’t included for the Disney parks so hope this little tip helps. (The hotel does offer a Disney shuttle subject to availability and additional cost if you didn’t want to drive.)
Free allocated hotel parking was situated right behind your block and you’re given a space on arrival with the shortest walk. (Airport style luggage trolleys we’re available in the parking areas and every block had a lift to all treehouse style apartment floors which was a god send with the pushchair)
Check in was a breeze and if you check in online beforehand you literally pull up to security flash your print out barcode, get your wrists-bands and drive through. The whole resort is gated and security is hot! When driving in and out you have to scan your wristband and number plate recognition let’s you through the barrier. Check in was 3pm and check out was 10am. However you can use facilities the whole day on both arrival and departure (just pop your bags in the car and keep your essentials on person).
We had self catering accommodation but only cooked in once as was too busy exploring. We took a cool bag in the car with essentials like blue milk and on our first night we cooked up a little pasta dish and ate this all cosy in our apartment next to the log fire! Our kitchen was fully kitted out with cutlery; crockery etc and had a microwave, tall fridge freezer, dishwasher, hob and Nespresso coffee machine which daddy loved!
There’s a safe for passports, hairdryer, free Wifi (which was remarkably quick) and bathroom towels are provided along with robes and slippers which was such a lovely additional touch! We took our own towels for the pool along with our “Slipfree” poolside socks to keep you safe from poolside nasties and/ or wet floor falls or slipping over. These were a god send as you have to remove your shoes before entering the changing rooms by the barriers so we slipped these on to walk through the changing room too.
The hotels boasts an onsite farm, vegetable garden, pony club, honey and bread making classes and 800m2 indoor play area imaged against farming. All crate and milk themed, I have never seen such immaculate and creative play equipment ever! Among the trails and paths you’ll find an outdoor play area designed around the legends of the forest, with rope bridges, treehouses, tree top obstacle courses and secret pathways.
At the heart of the Village, the Lakeside Promenade offers gift shops, various restaurants, supermarket, bowling alley, bars, fun escape room, children’s indoor wall climbing/ arcade and Disney baby crèche.
There was a beautiful bakery below us which sold fresh bread, pizza, crepes, cakes and snacks. Unfortunately we didn’t get round to visiting the smoothie and juice bar but the Italian Vapiano’s was gorgeous- we also got a takeaway pizza here on our last night which was delivered to our room. The onsite supermarket had pretty much everything you could think of but I’d suggest taking as much with you as you can just to save on the £££ as it’s not cheap the only downside I would say about the trip as a whole the restaurants and shops are so over priced for what you get.
I just can’t justify spending that much money for burgers, chips, pasta and pizza. But it’s theme park/ resort food where they’re catering for families but if that’s your favourite food choice then you’ll be in your element. We were well and truly craving a homemade curry after few days as that’s what we eat most of at home.
Even in minus temperatures this hotel was ideal for a five day break. The outdoors Center Parcs style resort walking, driving to parks or off-site location was not a problem and we loved having the best of both worlds and such immaculate, modern facilities. It was home from home comfort and apartment housekeeping meant no chores for mummy. We really managed to switch off and disconnect to reconnect over our Xmas break. We cannot wait to return to this resort in the warmer months to explore the summery outdoor facilities. And we would highly recommend the Disney Nature Hotel- Villages Nature Paris as an alternative to the “themed” onsite older, less modern, novelty and more expensive choices.