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Lovely Lalandia

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What is it? A half-term family holiday at Lalandia, a Danish-style Center Parc that is very similar to its British counterpart although it doesn’t offer bicycles for hire.

Where? About a two-hour drive from the Danish capital of Copenhagen right near the town of Rodby, on the Danish coast.

Description: [lalandia.jpg]It’s renowned as Denmark’s most popular holiday resort, a place where families can get together and relax. Wendy Sloane and family visited Lalandia and found it to be much like a British Center Parc, albeit with loads of herring and pickled remoulade – and no bikes

To enjoy a relaxing break in an unspoilt part of the world with plenty of things to do for the kids.

Lalandia offers many activities for kids of all ages. The Waterpark is free as is Monky Tonky Land, an indoor play centre with a large LEGO area, while everything else needs to be paid for, often in advance. Activities include mini-golf, archery, badminton, bowling, bungee-jumping, ice-skating, tennis and more.

Lalandia has several decent restaurants which cater for families, as well as a few bars. It also has a nightly children’s entertainment programme and a disco and family karaoke evening. The pool facilities stay open usually until 8pm and some of the more expensive cabins have onsite private saunas. Our children also loved the arcade, which is open until late.

Unlike holiday resorts in the UK, Lalandia has no Kid’s Club or its equivalent. “We Danes like to spend family holidays with the family,” explained a Lalandia spokeswoman. You could probably get a babysitter for an hour or two, but it would require a bit of advance planning.

Lalandia has its own spa centre where you can book massages and other treatments. The Waterpark has a Turkish Bath, Sauna and several hot tubs, while the pricer cabins have their own saunas.

Local activities: If you tire of things to do within the confines of Lalandia, there is plenty outside its hallowed gates. Knuthenborg Park and Safari, northern Europe’s largest safari park, is not far away, and neither is The Living Glasswork. You can take in 18 holes of golf, visit a Russian submarine or go on a train ride on the Museum Railway. There is also shopping in Puttgarden, Germany, accessible by ferry.

Wish we had known: That we should have brought swimming towels with us. We were only given hotel-style bath towels, which we had to take into the swimming pool and then re-use. Luxury towels were on sale in the supermarket – at about L30 a pop.

Our top tip: Danes seem to be much more self-sufficient than us Brits – and they are treated as such. You must pick up your own bedding and towels from the Service Centre and figure out how the sauna, dishwasher, telly, washer, dryer etc work on your own. Don’t expect to have it all handed to you on a silver platter.

Kids say: “I loved the bowling the best,” said Tilly, six. “Swimming was better,” added four-year-old Clementine. “Why is everyone here so blonde, and why are none of the telly programmes in English?” asked Josie, eight.

Getting There: SAS has daily departures from both Heathrow and London City airport, visit www.flysas.com Although a train is available, we drove about two hours to Rodby with Europcar, where a three-day rental starts from roughly L140, and a weekly rental is about L310. Lalandia offers special discounts throughout the year, so visit www.lalandia.dk/English/Holiday+Homes/Prices+2008#frames. A cabin for four people starts at about L288 for three nights, Thursday – Sunday. For more information about Denmark and Lalandia, as well as advice about how to book, visit www.visitdenmark.com.

About our stay: Not everyone thinks of Lalandia when they think of Denmark. In fact, virtually nobody does, unless you live near the small town of Rodby on the country’s Baltic coast. But all that may soon be about to change, as Scandinavia’s own version of Center Parcs works to revamp its image as Denmark’s most popular holiday resort. Like the vast majority of foreigners, we arrived in Lalandia with virtually no expectations. Our short flight to Copenhagen was uneventful, and the drive to the coast was pleasant enough, barring the non-stop chorus of “When are we there?” from our three young daughters. Luckily, their mouths stopped working (for about a nanosecond) when we arrived at our holiday cottage, a Comfort Plus that sleeps up to eight people and has three bedrooms and a utility room as well as its own whirpool bath and sauna. Even The Duncan was impressed. “Can we go in the sauna now, Mummy?” Josie begged, not realising it takes at least an hour to warm up. “Please?” My other two girls, four-year-old Clementine and Tilly, six, were just happy to jump on the beds and run around. Until, of course, we walked to the main complex and they caught a glimpse of the Waterpark, located underneath a large geodesic dome. With special pools for small children, several water slides and a newly built outdoor area, complete with steaming hot tub, it is, indeed, a small child’s idea of heaven. We spent the next four days taking in all of Lalandia’s activities, reserving swimming for late afternoon before we retired for dinner. Tilly loved the bowling the best while Josie loved both the indoor ice skating and the bungee-jumping, which is available for people aged 2 – 60. All three liked Monky Tonky land, the indoor play centre with climbing frames and a large LEGO area, as well as the children’s entertainment programme, which took place in the form of a Danish-speaking clown and a bevy of balloons. [lego_lalandia.jpg] Unlike Center Parcs, the food at Lalandia isn’t half bad. We had one meal at the LA Diner, which served incredibly large portions of well-cooked American fare. Another meal was at the Steakhouse, where about L4 got me an all-you-can-eat salad bar that even had baked potatoes and homemade vegetable curries. If you want to cook at home, the onsite supermarket is well-stocked but pricey – and you can even buy frozen escargot. Just thaw, cook and stick the shell back on and voila, a delicious yet chewy meal. The most bizarre thing we ate was Danish remoulade, a garnish originally intended to complement meat but which is used to accompany almost anything, especially chips. Fluffy and yellowy-green in colour, it contains cabbage, pickled cucumber, mustard, mayonnaise, sugar, cayenne pepper and other ingredients. The kids hated it, I found it an acquired taste I eventually managed to acquire. Lalandia is probably best visited during the warmer months, as it has its own sandy beach and each cottage has outside eating areas to enable visitors to make the most of the weather. Still, we managed to have a good time despite a bit of cold and mud, spending an hour playing with the resort’s resident pygmy goats (nobody could explain why they were there) and a few hours at the playground. [goat.jpg] When the weather is bad, however, there is always the Waterpark – and a cinema complex that is being built as we speak to upgrade the facilities. By next summer, there will even be a second Lalandia in Billund near Legoland to visit, with 5,000 beds that should be ready to accept visitors in June. Until then, we’ll just have to make do with remoulade and escargot on the coast.

Created: 2008-11-03 12:08:15.780

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