When I was little, my Mum, Dad and I (with either one or both of our dogs) piled into a campervan that my Dad had borrowed from his cousin and drove down to West Sussex for a very wet holiday in and around Chichester and Arundel. I don’t remember much other than thinking how much it rains in the UK and is this what holidays were all about.
Fast forward some 30 years and I’ve been all over the world from our honeymoon in Bora Bora to Christmas in Prague but I’ve resolutely refused to even consider spending my precious holiday time in the UK, clearly scarred from those earliest memories of feeling trapped and miserable, being dragged around against my will. I’ve been in full-time employment since I was 23 and love nothing more than to spend our hard-earned pennies by seeing the world.
Lately though as I’ve been getting older and especially now we have Maddie, I’m realising that there is more to the UK than soggy chip dinners and amusement arcades. We’re all fortunate enough to live on an incredibly beautiful island which has so much to offer and nearly 2 years of life with a Springer Spaniel makes you realise that you don’t even mind crap weather so much any more (although seriously, I’ll never choose wellies and anorak over bikinis and tropical islands, just so you know). Last year we decided to take her down to Devon and Cornwall for an absolutely idyllic week in September and loved it so much that we’ve booked to go back this September and I’m already looking forward to it.
The holiday industry in this country has also come a long way. I grew up with Hi-De-Hi and holiday camps and Pete tells me that his family spent many holidays in Hemsby enduring holiday home parks but it’s just how things were back then. Now there’s everything from glamping to luxury hotels and back again and the possibilities are endless – nowhere more so than with holiday homes.
Last weekend I was invited to attend Grand Designs Live (heaven!) to meet The Dream Lodge Group who were unveiling their latest lodge, The Lago Lodge, at the show and so we hopped in the car and drove across to Excel to check it all out. I have no idea how it is that it was my first to Grand Designs Live AND Excel, but as always London keeps me on my toes.
The Dream Lodge Group is one of the UK’s leading luxury park operators and is passionate about and dedicated to customer service being a family run business for more than 50 years. They have 8 different locations around the UK from Cornwall all the way up to Norfolk, all in peaceful countryside settings AND are pet-friendly too so you can enjoy some blissful time away with your furry friends. It’s not just about holiday homes though, if you wanted to make a more long-term investment it’s perfectly possible to purchase a lodge in a park of your choice and then rent it out to earn additional income so there really is something for everyone.
It was easy to find the lodge, located in a prime position in the Gardens section of the exhibition and we made our way inside to explore. I must confess that I had several pre-conceived ideas of how a holiday home would look but they were all very, very quickly blown away and now I’ve very much decided I want to move in.
Here’s a little bit of information about the Lago lodge and it’s inspiration:
The Lago Lodge has been designed in an exclusive collaboration with world-renowned Italian designers LAGO. With roots that can be traced back to the late 19th century, LAGO now has a global presence with 400 selected stores across Italy and Europe, including an exquisite showroom at Harrods.
LAGO’s sumptuous interiors bring together design, functionality and comfort with a modern approach. The Lago Lodge is the combination of Managing Director Simon Moir’s journeys across the Italian Riviera and its beautiful scenic coastline, and LAGO’s signature aesthetic. The result is a very special ilk of holiday accommodation that takes luxury lodge design to new heights, and the creation of the new genre of ‘Super Lodges’.
The spacious 3-bedroom lodge boasts chic, modern and minimal interiors that are synonymous with LAGO’s signature aesthetic. Stylish interiors come fully equipped with high-end, eco-efficient appliances, and combine pastel shades with clean natural wood finishes and modern lines. Designed with entertaining in mind, the lodge features a vast outdoor decking area synonymous with a Mediterranean approach to living – including integrated seating, gazebo and a state-of-the-art hot tub.
Inside, there is a large open plan dining and living area with large retractable doors which truly bring the outdoors inside. The master bedroom features a super king size bed with a spacious en-suite bathroom and a personal spa space complete with couples sinks. Two additional double bedrooms feature a shared walk-in wardrobe and bathroom.
Having seen it with our own eyes and as you can see from all the images, the above description is not embellished in the slightest and there were plenty of visitors to Grand Designs Live who were also checking out the lodge and exclaiming it to be better than their own homes. I’m a self-confessed lover of attention to detail (that’s why this home renovation project of ours is going to take forever!) and I’m the type of person who goes around opening cupboards and drawers to make sure they have soft-closing functionality, inspecting radiators and checking sealants around baths. I’m not even ashamed of this OCD-ness when it comes to homes and realise I’m particularly fussy about things that most people wouldn’t even care about.
On chatting to the Head of Marketing after we’d had a look around, he filled me in on what’s involved in actually exhibiting such a high-end and large-scale project – the lodge splits in half for the purpose of transporting it to the show but it’s just a shell that arrives and everything from construction to styling then needs to be completed once it’s in situ in just two days before the show opens. Everything from cushions to cupboard doors all happens there and at any one time there were up to 30 people working on the lodge to ensure it was finished to those exacting standards.
For The Dream Lodge Group it’s not just about “somewhere to stay”, they’re very much selling the lifestyle which is why they place such an emphasis on that high-end finish and there simply wasn’t one thing I would have changed about it, imagining myself with a cocktail in hand settled into the hot tub for the evening.
So if you do like holidaying in the UK and are looking to get away from the busy-ness of life then I’d definitely recommend checking out The Dream Lodge Group whether you’re a couple like us or have a large family, you’ll certainly find something to accommodate every requirement with just that little bit of added finesse too. Bye Hi-De-Hi, Hello Glamour.
Thank you so much to The Dream Lodge Group who provided 2 complimentary tickets to Grand Designs Live. The show continues until 8th May at Excel in London and you can find The Dream Lodge Group on Stand G425. All words, thoughts and images are my own unless otherwise stated.