WELCOME to Center Parcs Longford Forest – the € 220 million resort with ambitious plans to revolutionize the Irish holiday.
With a planned three-month opening, the Irish Sun today received an exclusive preview to check out Ballymahon's exclusive and exclusive luxury shops.
Situated on 400 hectares of the best forest in the center, it is no wonder that there is already a huge interest of tourists wishing to book their getaway here.
However, the exact date that will be opened remains confidential while a construction team of 800 people continues to work on the vast project.
With maximum capacity, it will serve 2,500 people in a variety of accommodation, from apartments with a bed to inns with four beds.
A longtime brand, Center Parcs is often criticized for its high prices for self-catering holidays.
But CEO Martin Dalby estimates that visitors will quickly appreciate the value-for-money offer with double-bed accommodation costing only 299 euros for four nights in the off-season.
He said: "The key is quality and we are offering high quality in a safe environment."
While most families will gravitate toward the Woodland accommodations for their stays, those with deeper pockets may opt for something more luxurious.
Do you like an executive store?
These plush excavations feature four en-suite bedrooms, private sauna, game room with pool table and daily maid service.
For even more opulence, Exclusive Lodges offers rooms with balconies, private terraces with giant whirlpools, and a private sauna and steam room.
In high season, a four night stay here will cost almost € 3,000.
And this is before venturing into any of the ten restaurants or bars for sustenance.
Then again, you could DIY it with your own private BBQ – a feature of all the shops – as long as there is a fully equipped kitchen with all modern comforts.
If your budget does not extend here, do not worry.
Visit midweek in January and Exclusive Stores are available for only € 1,400 for four nights, which amounts to less than € 44 per person per night.
With more than 200 internal and external activities on the site, visitors will find it easy to grow their account.
The facility offers everything from bow and arrow and kayak cycling and recreational construction, with tailor-made offerings for children to teenagers and adults.
So what can you expect to keep the kids entertained?
Bowling costs from € 24 per lane, badminton attracts a fee of € 7 per court and skating costs € 9.50 per person.
TREKKING AIR TREE
A Segway experience will cost at least € 25, with aerial trekking from € 26 and laser combat from € 16.
But the big draw for most visitors is the huge Subtropical Swimming Paradise, which is included.
When completed, it will be Ireland's largest water park, with a huge wave pool, jacuzzis, a lazy river, tropical cyclone, children's pool and children's pool under a 29.5 ° dome.
Dalby added, "We have all the tropical plants ready and waiting in a nursery."
A lake in front of the Paradise of Swimming will be in constant use for canoes (€ 15 per boat), canoes (€ 9.50 per boat) and electric boats, while thrill seekers can practice ziplining at € 28 per pop.
There will also be six on-site outlets along with a supermarket, although guests can bring their own food. And if you forgot the essentials, the town of Ballymahon is 5 km away.
The arrival of Center Parcs in Co Longford was welcome and, when in operation, will add an incredible 1,000 permanent jobs to the area.
Even more impressive, about 40% of them will be occupied by people under 25 years of age. However, it did not go smoothly, with works causing a loss of water pressure for some locals.
The resort also faces a major challenge, as the Center Parcs brand is still relatively unknown in Ireland.
General manager Daragh Feighery believes that this is about to change, insisting: "We will revolutionize the short term stay in Ireland."
As well as in their locations in the UK, Center Parcs offers bookings of three and four night blocks, from Monday to Friday or from Friday to Monday, with longer stays available.
But those with a passing interest can also check out through a day trip to Aqua Sana Spa, another facility that claims to be the largest in Ireland.
The brand has accumulated an impressive level of loyalty in the UK, with 65 percent of guests rebooking within 14 months of a visit.
However, if you've ever been to one of their resorts, do not expect a copy in Longford.
In fact, they made a concerted effort to place an individual label at the Center Parcs Longford Forest.
Feighery explained, "We did things differently here. There are certain Irish idiosyncrasies and we take them into account.
"Halloween, for example, is very important here, so let's organize things around that. We are creating an Irish Center Parcs, not just lifting the existing ones and moving them to Longford. "
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The car-free nature of Center Parcs means it's easy for little ones to ride safely.
Guests arriving on Mondays and Fridays may drive directly to their accommodations to unpack, but must return their vehicles to the parking lot.
Dalby said, "Parents tend to leave their kids off the leash here as there are no cars allowed. When you enter, people remain and it is a very safe environment. "