Landal Darwin Forest is owned and operated by Pinelodge Holidays in partnership with Landal GreenParks – and is, to my mind, an ideal alternative to Center Parcs. Set in woodland in the stunning Peak District, Landal Darwin Forest is perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer escape. They have a range of accommodation available to sort a variety of budgets and needs – meaning you can find a cosy little hideaway for two, or a spacious lodge for your extended family to share!
Landal Darwin Forest – Glade Exclusive Lodges
The Glade Exclusive Lodges at Landal Darwin Forest are a group eight luxury lodges nestled in their own private glade, set apart from the rest of the park. The lodges are surrounded by mature woodland and have ample space between each lodge to ensure you don’t feel “on top” of your neighbours. Each lodge has space to park two cars outside.
We stayed in a Glade Exclusive 3 Spa lodge (specifically G2) for two nights in mid September. Our booking was for three nights but we had to get home for school / work unfortunately so left at tea time on the Sunday. One of the benefits of a Glade lodge is an early check in at 2pm and late check out at 11am, allowing you to really make the most of your time at Landal Darwin Forest. (It’s worth noting that once you have checked out, you are welcome to make the most of the facilities on site until you head home)
From the outside, the lodge doesn’t look very exciting – but that’s because all the features and beauty are tucked around the back where you can appreciate them privately. The lodge is positioned so that all the main living space is at the back – meaning that the french doors and huge windows allow you to really enjoy the view of the surrounding woodland rather than a neighbouring lodge or you car!
Our luxury Glade Exclusive Lodge was just stunning
I won’t deny having gasped when we first opened the door and walked into the main living space of our Glade lodge – the large open plan living space features a vaulted ceiling, lots of windows and several sets of french doors as well as plenty of lighting giving it a bright, spacious feel. The cosy seating, comfortable dining furniture and well stocked kitchen all add to the sense of luxury.
Although the lodge feels bright and spacious, there is also a real cosiness to it thanks to the darker furniture and heavy curtains. The attention to detail is spot on.
Why not watch our tour of our Glade Exclusive Spa Lodge:
The Glade Exclusive 3 Spa Lodge sleeps six
The Glade Exclusive 3 Spa Lodge has three bedrooms – two twin rooms and a master suite. The twin rooms are pretty much identical each with an en-suite and open dressing room / wardrobe space. The kids were thrilled to find a Smart TV in their rooms as this isn’t something they have at home!
The master suite is very similar to the twin rooms in that it has an open dressing room / wardrobe space with a beautifully lit mirror as well as a comfortable double bed. But the real wow factor comes from the spacious en-suite which features a stunning free-standing bath and separate shower. There is even a TV in the wall to watch whilst you have a soak. We loved the lights in the bathroom floor and the tiling – I think this might be one of the poshest bathrooms I’ve been in!
But what’s the WiFi like?
There is free WiFi available throughout the lodge (not that we told the kids this). As you’d expect, being a shared connection across the park and in a rural area, the speeds are not great – they’re fine for general internet browsing but when I tried to upload a video to IGTV it took forever. In all honesty I don’t mind that though – we haven’t come away to spend the weekend staring screens when we could be out in the fresh air, stomping through the woods in or relaxing in the hot tub together!
Each lodge has it’s own glorious outdoor space to relax
We struck lucky with the weather during our visit and were able to make the most of the private decking area at the back of the lodge with some alfresco dining! We were all very aware that it was probably the last time we’d be eating lunch outside this year! We loved that the panels around the decking were completely transparent – again adding to that feeling of space and of being really in the woodland rather than at the edge of it. This was particularly evident when I stole an hour to lie on the sun lounger and read my book – the feeling of peace and relaxation was amazing – I could have stayed there all day (though I might have needed a blanket when the sun went in!).
And the hot tub . . .
And of course, I can’t write about a Glade Exclusive Spa Lodge and not mention the hot tub . . . Each of the Glade lodges have a hot tub, however there are other types of accommodation at Darwin Forest with hot tubs too – you can search specially for lodges with hot tubs when you book.
When we first arrived I commented to Dave that I thought it was really strange to have the hot tub at the side of the lodge, right near the front – surely that’s not very private? Why on earth wouldn’t you have it at the back? But actually, once we used it, I totally understood the thinking behind it – hot tubs aren’t exactly attractive are they so if it had been at the back of the lodge it would have taken up too much of the decking and spoiled the view of the woodland. Tucking it away at side, meant it was out of view for the most part! And in terms of privacy whilst you’re using the hot tub – it is surrounded by privacy glass so nobody can see you in there and you can’t see out into the Glade either – just the lodge, or the woodland behind. Sitting out in the hot tub of an evening when the air was getting cold felt a real treat – and the kids all complained that we don’t have one at home!
If you’re looking for luxury and relaxation, you won’t go far wrong with a Glade Exclusive Lodge
We all fell in love with our Glade Lodge and nobody wanted to come home – had we felt like it, we could have stayed tucked up in our own little space and not really seen anyone else for the rest of the weekend – the modern, luxurious Glade Lodges really do feel very exclusive so if you’re looking for something a bit special, I would definitely recomend them! (I should mention that pets aren’t allowed in any of the Glade Lodges but you are able to take your dog to other Landal Darwin Forest lodges for an additional charge – do check when you’re booking to make sure!)
You can book your own stay at in a Glade Exclusive Spa at Landal Darwin Forest here: https://www.darwinforest.co.uk/the-glade
(I’ll be writing more about our experience of Landal Darwin Forest itself later so keep your eyes peeled!)
We stayed at Landal Darwin Forest free of charge for the purpose of review.