walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Efteling Bosrijk

Vacation bungalows seem quite common in the Netherlands (maybe Europe in general). I had noticed some advertised on the web some years ago when I was first thinking of going to Efteling some day. During my many years delay, Efteling built their own, Efteling Bosrijk. There are two larg-ish buildings with apartments (suites) and a bunch of scattered cottages and townhomes with larger suites. We stayed in a 3 bedroom, but there are larger ones as well.

While you can park in the lane (and occasionally in a dedicated parking spot, if you are at an accessible cottage) to load and unload, Efteling Bosrijk has a parking lot where you are to leave your car when not actively loading/unloading. This has the nice effect of drastically reducing car traffic throughout Bosrijk, and making it possible to shrink the overall footprint of Bosrijk thus increasing its walkability in general. A variety of small playgrounds are included, intended to look natural. So a slide is still metal (there are limits), but built onto a hummock rather than elevated with a ladder. They even have an archimedes screw to lift water up in the play area next to the gate house. You can easily walk to the park entrance from anywhere in Bosrijk, but your kids will get tired, so around opening and closing times they run a little tram around every 15 minutes to save you at least park of the trek.

The gatehouse includes apartments but also the swimming pool. The swimming pool is pretty incredible! There are two wading pools and a bunch of toys (both under a foot deep). Children who do not have a swimming diploma (like mine) must wear water wings (they will sell you Jokie and Jetti ones for E3, so you get a souvenir out of the deal). There is a jacuzzi, built on a platform above the pool, accessible by stairs over a little bridge. The portion of the pool which goes around that tower is like a canal and the jets are aligned to create a strong current. Fun! The bucket-dumper is themed beautifully and you can operate it from levers by one of the wading pools.

No shoes allowed in the locker/changing rooms (lockers E.50, you need the single coin, obvs, but you can run over to reception to get change). The entrance to the pool deck from the locker/changing area is a shallow pool that will clean your feet. Very smart! We should do that here; it keeps keep things clean.

Lots of little changing booths so you don't have to change in public; the locker/changing area is unisex.

When you enter a 3 bedroom cottage, there is a mudroom/entry area with hooks! Fabulous! Also a lavatory. Then a full door to entry the cottage proper. It is all themed beautifully inside and out. Once in, open plan for the main floor, u-shaped kitchen with no oven (well, microwave with grill feature so you can cook a pizza in there, I think). This is one of the rare places in the Netherlands where the burners are _not_ gas. Toaster is in the cabinet, coffee machine is senseo, and they provide an electric water kettle for tea. There's a dishwasher and detergent pellets in the "Proper Settje" provided, along with sponge, microfiber towels, senseo packets, teabags, salt, pepper, sugar, creamer. You can have bread and pastries delivered in the morning and pizza in the evening (for a fee); we did neither. You can also buy a few groceries (cereal, bread, milk, etc.) in the shop in reception.

TV, no DVD. There is wired internet but I FORGOT MY HOTSPOT. The one time I could ever have used it and I failed to bring it. *sigh* No wifi in the cottages.

Upstairs are a toilet (another seat plus cold water tiny sink) and bathroom (big sink, shower and tub with telephone shower, and the obligatory, super awesome, why do I keep forgetting to have this installed where I live radiator/towel rack), and bedrooms. Two bedrooms with two twin beds shoved together and made up separate (bottom sheet and duvet and pillow). One bedroom with bunk beds, built in Efteling game and adorable little light to go with it. That bedroom also includes one of those net-sided on the floor not-a-crib things the name of which I have forgotten.

There are hooks, a short rod and a mirror in two of the bedrooms. All three bedrooms have shelving (with doors or without) for clothes storage. It actually works out really well. One of the bedrooms has a safe built into the shelving, which is a little lame as it takes up a lot of space.

Theming is close to Disney-quality, and the layout is very convenient. The cost is also drastically lower than DVC. On the other hand, there is no laundry! At all! You'd have to go to Tillburg or something to find a laundromat or while-you-wait place, or use the front-desk hotel-style take a day and charge you by the piece facility. (Which I did.) OTOH, there is a tub, and the rack; we did wash kids clothes the old fashioned way.

Picnic table outside will figure in the Day of Small Thefts post when I get to it.

If you like theme parks, and can fit Efteling into a larger vacation, you're making a mistake to miss out on this. It's hard to know if it justifies a dedicated trip. _We_ spent a week there and had a blast, but YMMV.
Tags: trip report

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