United Kingdom

Home cinemas and hot tubs: Park resorts entice buyers with posh lodges

You can imagine something called Vogue Classique and Dreamcatcher cutting through the waves on the high seas but not, perhaps, standing on a park resort.

Yet holiday-home manufacturers are giving their high-end lodges exotic names and packing them with the latest tech to entice buyers.

'Without doubt, luxury lodges are becoming a new second-home alternative,' says Silvano Geranio, director at Prestige Homeseeker (prestigeparkandleisurehomes.co.uk), which manufactures The Glass House and The Hampton lodges. 

Lakeside: Lodges at Retallack Resort and Spa near Padstow in Cornwall, which has benefited from a £50 million redevelopment programme

The top-of-the-range models come with wet rooms, walk-in wardrobes and designer kitchens.

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Businessman Mike Molyneux, 60, and his wife Susan, 59, bought a three-bedroom Glass House lodge at Silver Bay Holiday village (silverbay.co.uk) on Anglesey for £375,000 and have no regrets.

'You could buy a good-size detached four-bedroom home in Manchester for that price,' says Mike. 'But it's the best decision we ever made.'

An open-plan kitchen and living room, white shutters, wood floor and wine fridge make it resemble a stylish bungalow.

'I relax from the moment I get there,' Mike says. 'I've had it for three years and it looks brand new. It's well made and doesn't creak in the wind.'

Fully equipped: A kitchen at Shorefield Country Park in the New Forest 

Of course, a park home doesn't go up in value like bricks and mortar. Mike says: 'It's a mistake to think of it as an investment. I am investing in time and quality of life.'

The top-end lodge market has been boosted by a post-lockdown surge of people wanting a retreat in Britain that needs no maintenance, according to Aria Resorts (ariaresorts.co.uk). 

Boutique barns at its Retallack Resort and Spa, near Padstow in Cornwall, have been selling fast after a £50 million redevelopment programme. 

Designed by Notting Hill-based House Nine Design, the barns have black larch exteriors and floor-to-ceiling windows.

A single-storey two-bedroom barn starts from £225,000. For £475,000 you can buy a two-storey, four-bedroom home and soak up views of the lakes from a hot tub on your roof terrace. 

Aria has 14 resorts across the UK, 12 of which offer ownership from £17,995. But its barns have been popular, helped by the stamp duty holiday on homes priced up to £500,000.

Lodge manufacturer Willerby Holiday Homes (willerby.com) has a wide range of upmarket models, including The Berkeley Manor, The La Rochelle and The Dreamcatcher. The two or three-bedroom Mapleton even has a media lounge with mood lighting.

Buyers are upgrading and are younger, too, with Willerby seeing a rise in the 25-to-34 age group.

In the New Forest, retired police officers Marie and Bob Pocock own two homes on 100-acre Shorefield Country Park. 

The Pococks upgraded to an ABI lodge in September. 'We may even upgrade again if we decided to spend more time here,' says Marie, 64.

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