People will never forget how you made them feel
Isn’t it funny how things change? If you had told me two years ago that in 2018, my favourite campsite in the UK would be an all-singing all-dancing landlocked caravan park that was immensely popular with families, I would never, ever have believed you. For me, Utopia has always been found in quiet, out-of-the-way little sites with minimal facilities. Holiday parks that were popular with families tended to be noisy, often brash places, where amusement arcade machines and wide screen TVs would make a constant din. My idea of Hell on Earth.
Joyless, dull, perfunctory, utilitarian facility blocks are a means to an end, but offer an inferior experience to using the ensuite facilities in the caravan. However, what if the campsite could offer a ‘Boutique-style’ facility block that actually felt lavish and luxurious, was a joy to use, and offered a superior experience to the on-board washroom?
As for the site staff, wouldn’t it be wonderful if every single member of staff you came across was friendly and cheerful, and you didn’t have to massage any fragile egos or tiptoe through the minefield of potentially upsetting a grumpy site manager if you said or did the wrong thing?
Of course, the icing on the cake would be a site where every pitch would be a service pitch so there would be no daily chores to worry about; a site where dogs are positively encouraged rather than tolerated, and a site that offered affordable and enjoyable activities that suited people like me, not just the teenager or the retired.
Then I discovered Love2Stay.
There is no Clubhouse. There are no fruit machines, video games, or sports bars serving cheap lager. There is, however, a delightful bistro serving coffee and cake during the day, and stone-baked hand made pizza you can enjoy with a glass of wine during the evening. When the weather allows, you can sit outside and enjoy the view of the natural swimming pool nestling in a beautifully designed landscape garden. If you’d rather Cook it Yourself, there are purpose-built barbecue huts dotted around the garden area, together with a smart fire pit for those who simply cannot entertain the thought of camping without the whole ‘toasted marshmallow’ experience.
These areas are all separated from the pitches and the upmarket glamping lodges for one very good reason, and that is to maintain peace and quiet for those wishing to quietly sleep or relax in the privacy of their own space. You can tell that an incredible amount of thought, consideration, and design skill has gone into the realisation of this amazing holiday site.
Activities are laid on at weekends and during school holidays, from campfire cookery to yoga. During my second stay here, I tried my hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding (upon which I became immediately hooked) and challenged my fear of heights on the assault course. A fitness suite, a natural (unheated) swimming pool, and free-to-use hot tubs add to the glowing feeling of ‘wellness’ you can acheive here.
Some people compare Love2Stay with another popular ‘premium’ holiday Center with sites throughout Europe. Last year I stayed with my family at one of these Parcs and felt utterly dismayed by their inflated prices and persistent upselling. That feeling of being ‘ripped off’ spoiled the entire experience. No such issue at Love2Stay. While the rip-off holiday parc charges £27 for an hour of Stand Up Paddleboarding, my hour at Love2Stay cost a mere £6. That’s right, £6 for an hour’s tuition and the hire of all the equipment including board, paddle, and bouyancy aid. It was so reasonable (and I enjoyed it so much) that I did it again two days later. And I treated myself to a yummy pizza afterwards.
But the best thing of all about Love2Stay?
It’s the people who work there. Everyone, and I mean everyone, from the lady who mops the floor to the man who attends to the ground work to the dude who leads the sports activities to the jovial team in the bistro to the lovely and helpful lasses behind reception… absolutely everyone I encountered was chatty, friendly, smiley, and happy.
Yes, there are a few niggles with the park. The design of the showers leaves you drying off while standing in a puddle, and the dog walk is quite a trek from the pitches. However, as a sensitive soul living a transient life on the road, I’m only really interested in how a place makes me feel.
How do I feel at Love2Stay? I feel wonderfully relaxed, incredibly happy, delightfully invigorated, and pleasingly recharged. But above all, thanks to the wonderful people who work there creating the most amazingly friendly vibe, I feel incredibly welcome.