When Britmums invited me on a press trip to a little known theme park called Puy Du Fou in Les Epesses, France I was intrigued.
Labelled as a theme park and rated as the best in the world, I am still struggling to find the perfect words to describe it, other than “WOW!!”.
What Puy Du Fou (pronounced Pwee de Foo) does offer is spectacular, immersive and awe-inspiring shows, rather than rides, that get your heart soaring and spark your emotions and the fun begins as soon as you step into one of their unusual hotels, which promise to send you straight back in time.
There are five to choose from; Le Logis de Lescure – an 18th century lodge, La Citadelle – a medieval castle, Camp du Drap d’Or – a Tudor style encampment that look like opulent tents, La Villa Gallo-Romaine – an ancient Roman villa and The Îles de Clovis where I stayed.
The Îles de Clovis is a middle age lake-side settlement with fifty huts built on stilts, with thatched roofs and half-timbering, that have been eco-designed to recreate the authentic ambiance of a village from the Merovingian period. It is named after the Merovingian king, Clovis, who took the throne at the age of just 15.
The huts are set across nine man-made lakes, which contain a huge variety of carefully chosen plants and wildlife, including very vocal resident frogs, ducks and carp which were chosen to feed on mosquito larvae so you don’t need to worry about getting bitten.
Although a very authentic looking middle-aged lodge, with oak beds, chunky wooden furniture and a stunning granite hand basin the room is packed full of modern facilities that families expect in this day and age.
The lodge sleeps up to five guests, with a set of bunk beds with privacy curtains, a small single bed in the main room with a large king size bed.
On the wall is a large wide-screen TV which shows you how some of the action-packed shows are created as well as international TV channels and all lodges have a strong wifi connection and air conditioning.
The wet room is huge, with a large power shower, sink and hairdryer, plus there is a separate toilet.
The attention to detail is out of this world, the mirrors are designed to give you your reflection as if you are looking at a piece of polished metal as they would at that time, the story of Clovis was artfully written on the wall in the toilet and decoration includes a large shield on the wall and baskets and reeds on the rafters.
In fact, above these rafters is a light which is perfect for leaving on at night for the kids as it gives the room a lovely glow.
The lodge is quite dark without the lights on, but there is a small window at the front and patio doors at the rear, leading out onto a small balcony which do let in some natural light.
There is also plenty of storage for suitcases and clothes plus a safe for your valuables. The only thing missing for me was tea and coffee-making facilities and seating on the balcony as I loved watching the carp in the lake.
Staying at Îles de Clovis costs from €66 per person per night, which includes entry into the park, which I think is very reasonable.
There is a bar next to the restaurant on site, but we only found it open once, so stock up on snacks and drinks to keep in your room before you arrive.
We travelled to Nantes by plane which took just an hour from Gatwick and both ferry ports of Roscoff and St Malo are within easy reach of the park by car, which is set in the Vendee region of France. Transfer to Puy Du Fou from Nantes took an hour and was mostly motorway – don’t forget €5.90 for the toll roads (each way).
I visited Puy du Fou with 6 other bloggers as part of a team of BritMums influencers. You can read posts from the other bloggers, some who stayed in different accommodation, below:
Nadine from JuggleMum: Jugglemum.co.uk/hotels-at-puy-du-fou/
Sarah from Extraordinary Chaos: extraordinarychaos.com/2018/06/staying-at-le-camp-du-drap-dor-at-puy-du-fou