Hof van Zeeland... why is it still my favorite family holiday destination
To start with, I would like to say that planning a family holiday (with children) is not at all the same as planning a holiday for a couple, or nonetheless for yourself.
Kids are amazing, the greatest joy in life, family is the best thing that will ever happen to you... still, with all this, when you want to plan a holiday with your kids, you are to have in mind certain things that are destined to avoid boredom... this is pretty much the only way you'll also be on holiday and able to relax.
All in all, to get to the point, when I stumbled upon the Hof van Zeeland holiday park in the Netherlands I was looking for a vacation destination together with my wife and our two little ones: 4 and 6 years old. We' re from Germany, and we knew we wanted to visit Zeeland, as we've heard it was a great place for a family holiday. You can get to the beach pretty fast, and besides: it's not too far from us either, but just enough to get the feel of a trip away from home.
See... when you travel with two kids, by car, you need to keep in mind that a long trip is not quite your best friend... on the contrary.
As I said thus, we stumbled upon the Hof van Zeeland holiday park online , it had great reviews, the pictures of it looked really good and the area seemed to offer plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation alike... for us all. So, after careful consideration and long debates, we took a chance and booked a bungalow here, it was called a type Iris Wellness accommodation , for four people.
We arrived on a Friday in July. The weather was really great, sunny and warm. The park has many bungalows, I don't know about the others, but ours looked so much prettier than we had hoped for. Ok, before we get to that though, I would like to mention the staff at the Reception (that was our first stop upon arrival) that was really nice and helpful. We told the lady there that it was our first time at the park and she explained to us pretty much everything you need to know about it. She gave us tips for all sorts of excursions in the area, a few hints on where to take the kids as well... unexpectedly nice indeed.
Our bungalow at Hof van Zeeland had a living room downstairs, with an LCD TV, with big windows and sliding doors to a sunny terrace, perfect for our morning coffee. Everything was clean and tidy, and the place even had an infrared sauna upstairs. All in all, more than worth its money, even at first sight. The beds were comfortable, everything looked new and very well maintained.
After unpacking a few things, we decided to take a little walk in the park and see what else is there (plus, we wanted to get the little ones really tired so we can put them down for a nap... for those of you out here that have kids, you know what I mean).
So, in short, this is what we "discovered":
- the park has a heated outdoor aquatic area with great pools... needless to say, our two little trouble-makers were already in heaven
- they have an outdoor bowling alley (which I must say was perfect for me, I had a bet with my wife that I am better than her at bowling... but that's another story)
- you can fish in the park at the Stelleplas freshwater lake
- they even have a restaurant with a terrace on the lake shore, called the Brasserie Stelleplas
- the pool area of the park has a 40-meter-long slide and a separate paddling pool (our little ones are not quite professional swimmers just yet, so this was a great help)
- they have Jeu de boules, a cable car, trampolines to keep your kids busy and entertained... and believe me, when you spend a week on holiday with your children, you need all the "help" you can get in matters of keeping them entertained.
To this effect, one of the things I really loved about this place was the fact that they had an entertaining team for the kids as well. Now that is something you won't find anywhere and besides, the young people that were part of the team were so nice and so attentive... they remembered our children's names from the second day, which you can imagine... when you're 4-6 years old is like such and "honor". It was indeed really sweet of them, they made all the efforts to make the kids happy.
The pool in Goes, which as guests of the Hof van Zeeland holiday park we had free access to, is simply amazing. If you decide to take a trip here, please don't miss it, you will be a very sad individual if you do so.
Close to the park you'll find also tennis courts and a golf course if you wish... we cannot say we visited those as we aren't really that great of players... well, in fact, we're more towards clueless at these.
What we did do was take a trip at the Reptile Zoo Iguana in Vlissingen nearby one day, which was actually really cool. While in Goes we took the little ones to the Petting Zoo here as well, and of course we went to the swimming paradise... I must say it again, it lives up to its name.
Besides this, a week went by so fast that we barely realized. The horseback riding trip we took one afternoon was fantastic (I took my 4 years old on the saddle with me, wow... was she excited!). The food was excellent, we barbecued one evening with the family that occupied another bungalow at the park next to us and had a daughter of their own, seven years old. The kids played around and we spent a few great hours discussing politics/fashion... and yes, they go hand in hand when you're married... but again, another topic for another time.
All in all I think it's safe to say that the Hof van Zeeland holiday park is one of the best things we stumbled upon and we're definitely looking forward to our next vacation here. This place has made our family holiday in the Netherlands a time of relaxation and entertainment alike, with no efforts at all. It's a fantastic value for the money you get here. We wouldn't have imagined it.