Ok, so, there we were deciding which European CentreParcs to visit when the missus spotted the double jacuzzi bath on the pic and Sandur it was! As old hands to the holiday park game, we knew to expect the unexpected, and that's what we got!
People say 'Its not a CentreParcs', and it's not (in the usual sense).. It flies the flag has the sign and the logo appears on the monitors every now and again but that's it. If you treat it as the privateer Parc Sandur it was until 2012 then you'll be in the right area. It's actually a suburb of Emmen, the right-hand side as you drive in is a familiar looking housing estate (bizarrely based upon English new towns like Welwyn and Milton Keynes so it's actually quite odd to see British outline 1970s style chalet bungalows lined up) and the left is the holiday parc. You park up in the tiny car park sign in and drive to your villa... And that is the same all week, parking is outside your villa!
Villas themselves are pretty standard Dutch detached houses all of which back onto water (caution with young kids) and are pleasant, immaculate and well appointed. Notable by their absence are the myriad fir trees leading to a light and airy ambience.
The plaza is again the original 1998 built Parc Sandur centrum which has an extensive supermarket, 4 restaurants, bowling, a small pool (but we lost hours in there, it has an atmosphere that makes you want to stay). The whole thing is staffed by a skeleton crew (it appeared) so the Lord only knows how they'd cope with a rush but they are friendly and helpful.
Soooo, plus-es it's small and compact so easily navigable, immaculate (like 'eat yer dinner off' immaculate) close to Emmen, Groeningen, and the German border, easily reachable and peaceful. If you want serene and relaxing, this does it in spades. Possibly not the place for older kids.
Minus-es? Well, as above.. it's not what you're used to, REALLY quiet, apparently understaffed, no-one seems to use the plaza very much, they have about 30 hire bikes all up (but the electric assisted ones rock!) The villa we had had no fireplace, no idea if they're all like that but that's a major draw for us. We assume they sell logs and lighters for the Chiminea thing on the patio which is a bit pointless when it's minus 4! They really might've said the main restaurant and bowling alley were closed for refurbishment as well.
Oh, and don't forget your Towels, no towels are provided!
But, if you treat it as a guest cottage in a quiet corner of Drenthe you'll be fine, but if you're expecting Elveden... It's not that...
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