Our Review of Haven Holidays Hopton
“Whilst sipping a milkshake on the delightful outdoor decking area, I asked my 8 year old if he was perfectly happy right now. He smiled a gentle smile, and simply replied “yes”. What more can we parents ask for?”
Haven Had us at Hello
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you Haven Hopton “had us at hello”. As we approached reception 80s pop anthems floated through the air and I was humming along, immediately uplifted, before I even got to the main desk. I was greeted with a warm smile, the husband was handed a beer, and the boys were thrust a welcoming lollipop: sold at moment one!
If there’s a recipe for fantastic child friendly holiday, Haven has perfected it.
First, a good dash of natural beauty. The site is literally on the sand drenched Norfolk coast and the beach is stunning. May Bank Holiday and we had two days of blissful sunshine. I lay on the super soft beach with the wind in the hair and the sun on my face whilst the boys skimmed stones and went full out into the sea… heaven! The site itself is also very well maintained, there are flowers everywhere, a nature trail which we all thoroughly enjoyed, and a beautiful duck pond whose inhabitants are delightfully tame.
The second ingredient is a good healthy splash of water fun. The pool complex comprises indoor and outdoor pools, a fabulous jungle themed splash park for little ones, a lovely big flume, and a fabulous bubble pool. It is clean, funky and wonderfully warm (like a bath, how rare is that?!). Unlimited splash time is included in your stay, and you will pass many happy hours here. In the evening Haven brings out the big guns and you can experience the delight of aqua gliders, water jets and Splash and Bounce obstacle courses. Our boys took on the obstacle course with undiluted levels of glee and found it absolutely hysterical.
Third in the mix, a good few healthy dollops of planned activity. This, to me, is the secret ingredient of a successful child friendly holiday: having enough to do that you come together as a family in complete flow, with never a chance to get angry, or sulky, or bored. Included in your stay is access to unlimited soft play at the beautiful, new, and spotlessly clean soft play area. There’s a separate section for 0-4s, next to which you can sit down for a well-earned cuppa. After you’ve finished you can head into the arcade, play your favourite computer game, and collect tickets for cool prizes!
The paid activities on offer are plentiful and exceptional, with a good range of craft and sports. We tried Archery, Sand Bottle Making and Segway, and thoroughly enjoyed all of these. Sammy and Harry thought zooming through cones on a Segway was the best thing ever, and were very disappointed when they found out they couldn’t take them home! Activities last for half an hour and cost around £5-10 each, so they are a fantastic, affordable bonus.
Fourth, stir in some fabulous, family friendly accommodation. For me, top-notch family accommodation is well-presented, has separate sleeping areas, self-catering facilities, cots and bed guards for little ones and is quiet at night. Our accommodation fulfilled all of these requirements and then some, it was beautifully modern and stunning, and felt remarkably distanced from my Gran’s old caravan!
Fifth, a good solid helping of entertainment. When we weren’t smiling our way through an activity, we were in the Marina Lounge, which is all shiny and new, and provides constant entertainment. We went to Groove with Groovy the Gorilla in the Daytime, and watched two evening Seaside Squad shows, but, time-permitting, we could also have tried art shows, slime shows and singing shows a plenty. There were film showings, family bingo, and a Papa Johns Pizza and bar, from which you could order food and drinks from an app at your table: so no need to miss anything! The Seaside Squad characters could often be spotted around the club house, if not in the bar then in the Garden restaurant (also lovely!) and they were always ready for a good squeeze.
Which leads me on to the final ingredient… the cherry on top of the cake: the staff. The staff really do deserve their own mention, as they were exceptionally friendly, and asked important, life-altering questions such as “how strong would you like your tea?”! I did not encounter one member of staff who didn’t greet us with the warmest of smiles, and that is what makes a holiday.
When, on our final morning, I asked the boys what mark out of 10 they would give their holiday, they said “9.9, because it’s a bit cloudy today”! I think it’s a winner then. Whilst sipping a milkshake on the delightful outdoor decking area, I asked my 8 year old if he was perfectly happy right now. He smiled a gentle smile, and simply replied “yes”. What more can we parents ask for?
Find out more about Haven Hopton here.
You can find all of our top Haven Holiday Picks at www.bestchildfriendlyholidays.co.uk/Uk-Holiday-Parks