Obviously, there are thousands of places to stay in and around Paris, but if you’re traveling to Paris with a family or a large group and have a few extra days to spare, I 100% highly encourage you to book a stay at Center Parcs Villages Nature Paris.
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Ask my kids about their favorite trip in Europe and all three of them will, without a doubt say, “Staying at Center Parcs.” I know this because I’ve asked them individually and this is what they’ve each said.
See more posts on/about Center Parcs here.
Getting three kids to agree on anything is basically a miracle, so I’d take their recommendation very highly!
I’ll get into all the nitty-gritty details about why we loved Center Parcs Villages Nature Paris in this post. Hopefully, it’ll help you make a decision about where to stay with your family in Paris.
*Note: I’m very sorry for the lack of photos in this post. I usually take more but we visited in the dead of winter and the light wasn’t on my side. That and I was enjoying my vacay with the family and didn’t have my phone with me as often.
**We were not compensated in any way for this stay/review. There are, however, affiliate links within this post. If you book through a link I’ll get a small compensation in return. Thank you in advance. Also, it should go without saying, but all thoughts and opinions are mine.
Overall Thoughts About Center Parcs Villages Nature in Paris
I won’t leave you hanging for the answer. If you’re wondering what we thought of staying at Center Parcs Villages Nature Paris, it’s that we absolutely loved it.
The trip was perfect. And the proximity of Center Parcs to Paris, Versailles, and Disneyland Paris made it a no-brainer for our family.
Oh, and it’s also near a Costco*, so stocking up on food from there was a huge treat.
The cottage we stayed in was wonderful (more on that below), the Aqua Lagon was out of this world, and the playgrounds, restaurants, and stores were just what we needed. And don’t get me started on the location of things.
PRO TIP: If you’re an American living/visiting France and still have your Costco membership you can shop at any Costco around the world. The Paris location does not have day passes, so you’ve gotta have your Costco card on hand. (I did not verify if they can look up your membership. If you check this, please let me know!)
What is Center Parcs?
Okay, let’s talk about this place. In case you’re not familiar, Center Parcs is a family-friendly, holiday oasis in Europe.
Each Center Parcs location has accommodation for couples all the way up to large groups (this one had a cottage for up to 12 people). I love that these aren’t hotel rooms (although there are hotel rooms available, too). These are like mini houses/apartments complete with a kitchen with multiple rooms and bathrooms.
There’s also a ginormous waterpark with big pools, kiddie pools, and slides (included in your stay!); there’s relaxing nature all around you, a few restaurants to pick from, and a grocery store on-site; plus they have activities for everyone, bikes to rent, playgrounds galore, and dozens of locations to choose from in multiple countries.
Seriously, it’s a perfect spot to stay if you’re heading to Paris, Disneyland Paris, or even Épernay or the surrounding area.
NOTE: there’s no free childcare included (like at a kinder hotel), but there are tons of things for kids of all ages to do (some have a fee)….and the awesome free water park, of course!
Quick Tips for Staying at a Center Parcs
- You check in from your car. You read that right: You check in from your vehicle, so make sure you have your stuff (reservation number and/or cottage number, and sometimes a QR code if you get one) handy and ready to go as you pull up! You’ll get a wristband for every member of your party that will allow you to get into your room and into the water park.
- Check the check-in time. If you’re early, they won’t let you go to your cottage unless you’ve paid extra (or have stayed at least once before and opted in for early check-in when you booked your stay). You can, however, go to Aqua Lagon, so pack accordingly and have your swim bag handy.
- Center Parcs is car-free. They let you drive your vehicle to your cottage to drop off luggage, and then you have to park in the parking lot assigned for your stay. When it’s time to go, the gates re-open and you can drive back in to pick up your stuff.
- Personal opinion: It’s worth looking at a map before booking and (possibly) paying a little extra to pick a specific cottage. Speaking from experience, it can be a long walk from the parking lot and/or Aqua Lagon to your cottage, which is only amplified by whiney children. Just saying…
- There is a bus that takes you to/from Center Parcs to/from Disneyland Paris. You can even catch the train there, so you don’t need to have your own car to stay at Villages Nature. I’ll share more about that in the “Getting to Villages Nature” and the Disney section below.
- Make sure you pack extra things like toilet paper and soap. See my full list of all the things to bring with you. There is, however, a grocery store on-site, so if you forget something it’s no biggie.
Where is Center Parcs Villages Nature Paris
This particular Center Parcs in France is located just outside of Paris. It’s a great option if you have extra time for your holiday and if you’re looking for a place to stay in Paris with a family and don’t mind taking a train into the city.
Getting to Villages Nature in Paris
We prefer driving to Center Parcs—no matter the location—simply because we take a lot more than usual with us.
Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base/JFC Brunssum: about 4.5 hrs away
Spangdahlem Air Base: about 4 hours away
Ramstein: about 4 hours away
Brussels: about 1.5 hours away
There is a train station nearby, Marne-la-Vallée Chessy (when you’re on the train it’ll say “Parcs Disneyland,” for that stop, too). Once you get off, take bus 47 to “Villages Nature.”
Pro tip: If you’re putting it into Google Maps to get the time schedule, this is the address for the Villages Nature stop: Rue du Pré des Merlans 77700 Bailly-Romainvilliers
When we visited Villages Nature in Paris
We stayed at Villages Nature Paris for one week between Christmas and New Year 2022. While it was probably one of the busiest times to visit the places surrounding Center Parcs (like Paris and Disneyland Paris), Villages Nature seemed pretty chill during our time there.
If you’re planning a trip to this particular Center Parcs, plan your days out ahead of time and make sure you have room for their Aqua Lagon, especially if you go into the city and make your way over to Disneyland Paris.
Pro tip: I’d plan for at least one full day with no plans so you can swim and enjoy what Center Parcs has to offer on-site. We loved bowling as a family and the kids loved the climbing wall, too.
Personally, if you can plan to visit in the spring or early fall, I think that would be the absolute best time to be there.
Our Cottage at Center Parcs Villages Nature
We had a 6-person Premium Cottage at Villages Nature Paris, which was perfect for our family of five. (Shown in the photo on the top left; the one on the right was the only one I took from the inside.)
Our cottage had two bathrooms (one on the top floor and one on the bottom floor), a full kitchen (minus an oven), a living area, an outside patio, and three bedrooms.
We booked it in July 2022 (so a good five months in advance), and just to give you a cost estimate, for one week (Monday to Monday, over a holiday) it cost €3,400 (around €485 per night, but that did include full access to Aqua Lagon, and we were less than 10 minutes from Disneyland Paris, too.
The Aqua Lagon at Center Parcs Villages Nature
Since we knew it’d be cold in December, the benefit for us staying there was the indoor Aqua Lagon, AKA a giant waterpark, so we purposefully wanted extra days to play.
This Aqua Lagon was off-the-hook fun. The indoor section was gigantic and warm, with tons of slides for all ages. There’s a giant wave pool (the waves happen every half hour or so), whirlpools, a baby splash pad area, and a huge kid water jungle gym.
There’s also an entire outside section that has slides, a lazy river, and another splash pad area.
It was seriously a highlight of our trip.
Good to Know About Aqua Lagon
The first time you do/experience something (especially in a new country) can be a little hard, right? I had no idea what to expect for Aqua Lagon our first time, so hopefully, this will help you.
Your Center Parcs wristband will get you into Aqua Lagon. Once you’re there, you go into a changing room (they have family stalls; you just have to look for them or split your family up if the stall available is too small).
Once in there, take off your street clothes layer and get your swimsuit on. Take your shoes off in the changing stall, too; they’re not allowed in the Aqua Lagon
Carry your things (in a bag or in your hands…you do you), out of the changing stall and find an empty locker. Throw your stuff in there (we keep our swim bag out with towels, goggles, floaties, etc., and just put our shoes and street clothes in the locker).
Then you’ll use your wristband to lock the locker. It’s wristband-sensitive, so whoever is locking it is the only person who can unlock it!
Once your stuff is secure, head into Aqua Lagon and find a table/chair(s) to claim your spot. Honestly, we spend 98% of our time playing and only need the chair at the end as a place to towel off.
You can take floaties, toys (beach balls, etc.), and goggles into the water with you.
Pro tip: If you don’t want to take floaties for your kids, they have them there! They’re not my kids’ favorite (they’re not very comfy), but it’s better than having to pack floaties.
One more thing to note: you can’t take food inside the water area. There was someone checking bags every time we entered. I had a package of peanut butter crackers at the bottom of the bag that I honestly 100% forgot about; he saw them and asked me to take them back.
The Food/Shopping at Villages Nature
There were several restaurants at Villages Nature. Here are the ones where we ate:
This was at Aqua Lagon, and we really liked it. Unlike other Center Parcs eateries, you cannot take your food out of the Lagon Cafe area. However, the food was super simple but delicious. Then again, we worked up an appetite while playing and swimming, so anything would probably taste great.
We ate here for New Year’s Eve and while the food was delicious, it also took FOREVER. the service was great, and the food was tasty, but if we did NYE again we’d probably hang out/eat in our cottage.
Loved this place; their crepes were DELICIOUS, although if you have hungry kids, skip the kid’s portion and just order a big one. We ended up ordering more crepes for the kids.
Vapiano was our favorite; we ate there twice and liked it each time. Fair warning that if you go around the European dinnertime (7 pm+) you’ll most likely have a long wait. We ate around 5:30 pm and walked right in, but on our way out the line was out the door and around the corner.
You can also get pizza to go from here!
Grocery Store on-Site
I love, love, love, LOVE that each Center Parcs has a grocery store on site. You’ll find everything you need from toilet paper and souvenirs to fresh fruits and veggies to local favorites.
Other Things to Do at Center Parcs Villages Nature
Besides the Aqua Lagon, there are tons of other things to do at this Center Parcs. Besides endless trails and lakes around the site—it’s not called Villages Nature for nothing—there’s something for everyone.
You can visit the little farm and even go on a pony ride; rent a boat (paddle, electric, or a canoe) to take out onto the lake, and even take a cooking class! There are quiz nights, entertainment, and even mini-golf!
We bowled as a family one evening, and the kids played at the indoor play place.
I’m seriously not kidding when I say that there’s A LOT to do.
What else to do around Villages Nature
What makes the Center Parcs Villages Nature so great is its proximity to both Paris and Disneyland Paris.
I have a few posts on Paris (you can see them all here); we love that city, and getting to the city via car and train was super simple from Center Parcs.
Have fun at Disneyland Paris
One of the allures of staying at Center Parcs Paris is how close it is to Disneyland Paris and that there’s a bus (#47) that takes you to/from each property for €2.10/person each way, and I believe it’s less than 30 minutes travel time.
If you’re putting it into Google Maps to get the time schedule, this is the address for the Villages Nature stop: Rue du Pré des Merlans 77700 Bailly-Romainvilliers.
In the end, we decided to not use the shuttle and just drive because then we’d be on our own time schedule. If you use the bus I’d love to hear about it.
If you’re driving to Disneyland Paris it’ll take you less than 10 minutes from the time you leave Center Parcs property to when you park.
This spot is convenient for whatever park you’re going to, and it’s right next to Marne-la-Vallée Chessy, the Disneyland Paris train station.
Pro tip: If you’re military you can get a sweet deal on tickets. The two-day ticket is the best deal. Purchase your Disneyland Paris military tickets here. *A military ID will be checked before you enter/use your tickets each morning. I’ve heard that the active duty member does not need to be present, but I can’t confirm that personally.
When Are You Going to Villages Nature?
Okay, spill it. I just shared how amazing this place is, so I’d love to hear when you’re planning on going or if you’ve recently been there!