Review: Villages Nature
Just outside of the Chessy circle and adjacent to Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch you will find a new vacation resort; Villages Nature. This resort which is a cooperation between EuroDisney SCA and Pierre et Vacances Center Parcs Group opened on September 1, 2017. As we were heading to Disneyland Paris for a birthday weekend we choose to stay at the resort and experience all that is new. You can read all about Villages Nature including more information on the different accommodations on our special page.
Country Premium One-Bedroom
For our trip, we selected the Country Premium One-Bedroom for 3-nights. We chose this partly for the style, room size and price. The Clan cottages looked too playful for the two of us and the Cocoon was a little more in price. We were able to check-in online before arrival and had the option to select a specific room (for a fee) or accept the room they assigned. We went with the room which was assigned at no extra cost.
When we arrived to the park at the gate, we provided security with our QR code for our booking via the app. The guard was very friendly and provided us all the information we needed to get around and explained how the bracelets are our key to the park and our room. He even confirmed our keys were activated, but when we arrived to our room, our key didn’t work. Fortunately, our room was close to the Welcome House which is where you can go for any concerns or questions. From there they checked our bands but still didn’t work. They directed us back to our room to wait for someone to come and look at the issue.
We were not the only ones with this issues as some older ladies who were on the fourth floor also couldn’t get in. They were quickly moved to another room because the elevator was out of order. The woman helping us was very apologetic and tried to resolve our problem as soon as possible but this was not the way we were hoping to start our trip. It took us from arrival, 1.5 hours before we could actually get into our room.
Now onto the actual room and experience. As we entered the room, we saw what was displayed on the website. A beautifully decorated and designed space. The living room has nice green and wood accents with a country table and mix of chairs to accompany it. Outside offers a table and lounge chairs to enjoy a tea in the morning and look out to the nice views.
The kitchen nook is perfect for two people and houses plenty of cooking tools and tableware. The refrigerator is a good size and holds a small freezer for ice cube storage. A toaster, coffee maker and water cooker also sit next to the electric stove. As well as a dishwasher which is found underneath the stove.
Through the sliding door at the entrance, houses the bathtub/shower and sink room, separate toilet, closet and bedroom. The bedroom includes a queen size bed, two nightstands with power outlets and side lamps. One side has a wall of cubbies to store your items and the other is a medium size window to view the lovely outdoors. A small flat screen TV is also supplied here.
The bathroom was nicely setup for a small room, and has a shaded window to let cool air in. It is quite the standard French hotel room bathroom, but still nice and has decent storage, a extendable clothing rack, heated towel rack and two power outlets.
Overall, the apartment was great for two people and the design is so quaint and blends in with the feel of the country and nature.
However, we noticed many things were poorly executed, like paint marks, scratches on the wall and wood planks that they didn’t use being hidden behind the sink or sitting in the closet. There was also an odor permeating outside our room and in the piping from the bathroom and toilet room. It lessened during our stay but we constantly hearing water gurgling from the sink in the bathroom throughout our stay.
There are many dining options to chose from when deciding what to eat. You can select from a variety of organic, local and fresh food options from French to Italian, there is something for everyone.
Lagon Café is located at Aqualagon in the big dome. We thought we would grab a drink around 6:30 but it had already closed before closing time. Again, a big disappointment as we wanted to sit down a moment before continuing our evening at the pool. From what I could see, they had drinks, coffee and a few snacks.
Chez Meunier Bakery
Chez Meunier Bakery at the Lakeside Promenade was not opened when we visited. The bakery is scheduled to open at the end of September. Signs indicated to visit BelleVie Farm at Les Délices de la Ferme. We walked over to Les Délices de la Ferme and were able to see a cart of delicious looking breads to pick up and bring to your room. Once the bakery is open, there is the ability to purchase fresh bread to take out or enjoy the tea room.
Les Délices de la Ferme
Les Délices de la Ferme offers breakfast and lunch options with freshly made crepes both sweet and savory. We went for breakfast on our last day and had a breakfast set for 9,90 eur that included a fresh squeezed juice, warm drink and pastry. We enjoyed our breakfast with the fresh apple and orange juice. Coffee was also good but an automated machine with beans. The pastries were delicious and had us wanting more to take home with us.
Cépages Restaurant and Wine Bar
Cépages Restaurant and Wine Bar located at the Lakeside Promenade is home to many organic and local wine and products from France. We had the chance to visit our first night and knowing it was quite late at night but needing a little snack, we came here and enjoyed a glass of wine and a tapas place of meats and cheese.
Service was good and the overall feel of the store and the quality of their products was impressive. The price point was also not too high and if you visit early, they were offering Happy Hour until 7pm.
There is a large wall with all the wines you care to try but you can also enjoy a bottle at the restaurant or take away (see prices on bottle). We wish we had time to enjoy more of the menu but this was a highlight of the trip.
PUR Etc. situated at the Lakeside Promenade is a great breakfast, lunch and dinner place that fits well with the overall nature theme. They offer seasonal dishes as well as organic, local and fresh ingredients when possible. You can even pick up some items in glass containers and return them. They have a great recycling system at their store.
We came for breakfast and had their breakfast set which included a warm drink, juice and pastry. All the pastries they offered us was sweet and as much as I like that I was hoping for a croissant or scone. We ended up with a lemon loaf and cheese scone. Although good, not what we were craving. We also ordered the supplemental egg dish which was organic and delicious.
On the weekends PUR offers a breakfast buffet at 22 EUR including drinks. If you don’t feel like dining in, you can order your meal online and they will deliver.
Vapiano is a German chain providing Italian-inspired fast fresh casual meals. There are multiple food stations where you can get made-to-order pizza, pasta, salads.
We have eaten at the Disney Village location on several occasions but decided to end our evening at the Lakeside Promenade before retiring to our room. It’s a beautiful location and also great layout. When the weather is good you can sit outside near the lakeside edge. It was very quiet when we had our dinner and the service was very good.
The Strike is located at the Bowling Alley at Lakeside Promenade and offers snacks such as ice cream, organic popcorn and specialty drinks. We were unable to visit as the bowling alley was only open two hours a day. We do have a feeling that it wasn’t open yet since we saw many items covered up and being setup.
Fancy cooking your own meal at your cottage or buying some gear to explore the outdoors? The park has all that you need to enjoy your stay.
Fanprix Supermarket located at Lakeside Promenade has everything you will need for your cottage or apartment. It boasts an assortment of home goods and food. There is a good selection of organic and fair-trade items as well as specialties from the region. If you don’t feel like cooking, there is a salad bar, fruit bar and hot dishes to pick up.
We were quite impressed of the variety they offered but the prices were all over the place. For some items it was quite reasonable but for others the upcharge was double or triple the amount compared to the grocery store down the street.
We’d recommend to buy most of your things before you arrive, but do indeed check out the grocery as there are some unique items that might peak your interest. Also, if you don’t want to carry all your groceries to your apartment or cottage, they offer free delivery.
BelleVie Grocery located at BelleVie Farm next to Les Délices de la Ferme was not opened when we visited but it looked very nice and I wish we could have shopped all the goodies we saw. The Grocery sells regional products, toys, gardening tools and more.
Nature & Découvertes
Nature & Découvertes at Lakeside Promenade provides all you need for your adventures at Villages Nature with hiking gear and clever travel related items, you can find something new or interesting to discover the great outdoors. I was so impressed with the store and wanted to buy everything. There were organic teas from around the world, essential oils and diffusers, yoga mats, gear travelling and much more. This store definitely works for this location and the overall theming of the resort.
Recreation and Activities
Villages Nature separates their activities and lands into fives different worlds.
This is by far the crown jewel of the resort. You can’t miss this structure as it sits at the edge of the lake. The unique structure houses the large wave pool, water play house for the kids and multiple water slides.
The outdoor water area includes a small slide, play area for kids and plenty of space to swim around. There is even an infinity pool looking out onto the lake. Lounge chairs hug the edge of the pool area where guests can enjoy the sun and view of the lake. We really enjoyed the lagoon and all it had to offer.
The slides were so much fun and they had a variety available for both thrill seekers and those that want a more mild slide. We were disappointed because not everything was up and running. The large indoor pool is a wave pool but it was calm and wasn’t working. There were also a few slides not operating and the children’s water slides and play area was also closed off.
As mentioned earlier, we tried to have a drink and maybe a snack at the Lagon Café. But when we collected our wallet and walked over to the café it was already closed. Aqualagon is open until 20.45 but for some strange reason the café was already closed at 18. When looking at the app or the time table, no separate times were listed for the café.
The other negative is that we didn’t plan to bring towels and we asked the information desk about it and they directed us back to the Welcome House to rent a set of towels which was 7 euros. Quite a steep price for towels. And why no towels to rent at the location itself? We wasted so much time going back and forth and were not happy about it.
Nonetheless, the facility itself was nicely laid out, we could use our bands to enter the changing room and locker area and found it clean and spotless.
This is a very unique and fun area all focused on the farm life and enjoying the gifts we receive from the harvest. Here you can find stables and farm houses with horses, pony’s, cows, rabbits and chickens. Each stable and farm house can be entered, giving you a peek at how these animals live.
There is a stage in the middle that offers presentations on farming topics. Next to the stage you find Les Délices de la Ferme and BelleVie Grocery. The farm also houses a special activites room currently for the children’s play area while the Lakeside location is currently under construction.
There is also a room for the bread workshop where you learn about bread making and you can bake your own bread. Next to this room is the garden area and a greenhouse where fresh veggies are growing. We were unable to take the organic farming class but I would imagine it would be located here.
Forest of Legends
Forest of Legends is located between BelleVie Farm and Aqualagon. It’s a forested area where kids and families can enjoy discovering the play structures and follow a map with clues. It looked like this area is still in construction, but the play structures they had set up already were so nice and we saw many families enjoying the area.
Extraordinary Gardens sits between Lakeside Promenade and the Country Premium Apartments. Another area to explore, this man made nature park has four gardens based on the elements, Earth, Fire, Air and Water. Each garden focuses on different elements by means of plants, water, trees and vegetable garden.
Within each garden are activities that children can play with different artwork on the ground, but we noticed many of the games that were painted have already faded. We are quite concerned how everything else will endure as the season gets worse.
Nonetheless, this is a place where everyone can enjoy walking through the gardens and enjoy the horticulture and seeing all the colors. It is a beautiful spot to visit and there is something for everyone.
Lakeside Promenade is the main hub of activity for restaurants and shops. This is also where the Welcome House is located if you need assistance with excursions or have questions or issues during your stay. The promenade is still in progress and some things were not opened.
Although the bowling alley was scheduled to be open two hours each evening, we never saw it actually opened. The bakery as mentioned opens the end of September and the Kid’s Club was still being setup with the temporary location at BelleVie Farm.
The promenade is a great place and reminds me of the Boardwalk area at Disney World. There’s plenty to do and when the resort becomes busier, it will have a similar feel and activity.
In addition to the five areas of the park, there are also recreational trails, fitness classes, gardening classes, pedal boating on the lake and much more. Some include a fee, but you can check on the website or app. We recommend installing the Villages Nature App available for iOS and Android. Here you can login to your account and view the hours of all the activities during your stay. You can also book directly in the app or if you have more questions, you can always go to the Welcome House at the Lakeside Promenade.
Villages Nature is located just 15 minutes from Disneyland parks. There is no official Disneyland transportation to the park. However, you can use bus 47 from the Marne-La-Vallee station to the park. Villages Nature has their own web platform providing information on all transportation options to the park as well as any other trip planning or transportation you may need during your stay. Once on property you can freely move around by following the paths or trails, renting a bike or scooter, or by using the internal electric shuttles.
The overall concept of this resort is great and I cannot fault them on that. However, I can fault them on delay of their opening and subsequent flaws. The park was scheduled to open in August, but many guests received notices or found out that their booking was cancelled just before arrival. We were quite concerned as we were arriving at the beginning of September, but they did announce on their social media sites that everything, at least the major things, would be open September 1st.
We can say that the park is definitely not complete. There were areas that we were told we had to go the other way, barriers all over the place, doors closed, glass on buildings already broken and poor paint jobs. Hopefully this will all be fixed in the next few months, as this park has great potential and offers a unique experience for the nature and eco tourist lovers. One thing we were surprised about was the lack of solar panels and other eco tools to provide for the modern living person. There were plants on the side of buildings to help control temperature and products for cleaning are eco focused. We did expect to see even more actively eco living examples being used.
If you plan on making a longer trip to the Ile-de-France region, we would recommend this resort. This park allows you to be more independent where you can cook your own meals and feel at home. You will likely need to rent a car but this allows for more freedom to explore the area. Public transportation is also an option however, depending on the size of your group the car is a better idea. The Welcome House also provides travel excursions and can help suggest activities to do during your stay.
Booking your stay
To book your stay, you can book through Disneyland Paris website, but be aware that they only provide Monday (4-night stays) or Friday (3-night stays) arrival dates with a minimum one-day park ticket included in the price. If you prefer, you can book directly with Villages Nature Paris and you can select a minimum 2-night stay with varying arrival dates. We suggest booking directly with Villages Nature if you plan on doing activities outside of just Disneyland. This way you are not tied to a meal-plan or park tickets. Always make sure you compare the pricing on both sites. The Disneyland Paris website may have a promotion in your favor.