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New Model Review: The Regency

Although the 40ft x 20 Omar Regency is an entry level  model on price, it lacks nothing in terms of construction standards, layout, décor and overall flair. Anne Webb reports

The RegencyIn all aspects of our lives we are constantly looking for bargains, or trying to save money. True, just about everything costs more this year than it did last, but it is good to see that a lot of companies are recognising this fact and attempting to deliver excellent value for money at prices that are ‘affordable’.

Affordable is a strange word, as what is ‘affordable’ for one person might not be for another. However, we know what Omar means when it says that its Regency models are ‘affordable’ because we are aware that, in common with other park home manufacturers, Omar is always endeavouring to give its customers the best possible value for money, without sacrificing quality or style.

With the new Regency range, Omar has certainly achieved that aim. There are ten floorplans of the Regency from which to choose; these include utility rooms, en suites, walk-in wardrobes, studies and three-bedroom layouts. The model reviewed here is a 40ft x 20 with cross-lounge and en suite shower room and walk-in wardrobe to the master bedroom.  

The lounge and dining area are in an L-shape arrangement with the kitchen separated from the dining area by a door. Although open-plan lounge/dining/kitchen areas are popular in leisure homes, it seems that in residential models purchasers prefer a closed off kitchen. Could this be because when families are on holiday they use the kitchen less, tending to eat out, or rely on take-aways and ready meals?. Read more...

New Model Review: The Valetta

This 40ft x 20 three-bedroom model from Tingdene is well designed, fitted and equipped. Better still, it carries a very attractive price tag!

The ValettaWhen you set out your list of priorities for owning a leisure lodge, what comes at the top? It ought to be the park itself and it is vital to ensure that it’s not too far from home (you don’t want the prospect of long drives to put you off using it to its maximum). You also need to ensure that the park is in an area that you like and that there are plenty of things to see and do in the neighbourhood to ensure that boredom never sets in. And then you come to the home itself – you will want it to look nice both outside and in, and have enough bedroom accommodation for your family and friends. You’ll also be looking for well-fitted and equipped kitchens and bathrooms  – all at a price that’s not going to break the bank.

Price has become a very important factor in lodge purchase, particularly when a family is embarking on its first venture into this type of holiday accommodation.

It is important to ensure that you are going to get full value out of your purchase (ie use it as long as the season allows) or let it out when you can’t use it to offset some of your original expenditure.

Tingdene’s ‘starter’ lodge is offered in several sizes, the smallest being a single unit (40ft x 13) but we are reviewing the larger version here (40ft x 20 with three bedrooms - a two-bedroom version is available, too).

All sizes of the Valetta are built to BS3632 and therefore don’t attract the five per cent  VAT rate which is levied on holiday caravans and lodges not built to this standard.. Read more...

New Model Review: The Grand Symphony

Anne Webb steps inside a model from Prestige that has had a lot of interest from customers across the UK since its launch

The Grand SymphonyWe often refer to ultra-luxurious park homes as being show stoppers when they are launched at exhibitions, but quite often those homes don’t go into production or are available only to special order.

Fortunately, that has not been so in the case of the Prestige Grand Symphony which was launched to great acclaim in 2012 as being the largest park home ever to be exhibited at a public show. That version was a massive 65ft long and 22ft 3in wide and we forecast at the time that although incredibly impressive, it would not be a huge seller.

Now we must eat our words – partially at least, for although few parks have space to accept a home of those proportions, Prestige has been both amazed and gratified at the amount of interest in this particular model and has built scores of similar, but smaller, versions of it for customers up and down the country.

So, following this huge success, it was not surprising that Prestige took the decision to show off the Grand Symphony again at this year’s World of Park and Leisure Homes Show at Stoneleigh. However, this time it was a 50ft x 20 version which took the limelight and received the same acclaim that its big brother had enjoyed a year previously.

It looked just as spectacular and luxurious as its larger brother, but would undoubtedly be a more suitable size for most parks.. Read more...

The Loft

A single unit luxury lodge from Country Homes is targeting a new market – couples who want to spend quality time together in luxurious surroundings...

The Loft

The name of this fantastic leisure model from Country Homes – The Loft - puzzled us for a long time. Was it going to look like an attic? Would it have a sloping roof or restricted headroom? Of course not! And now that we’ve seen it we understand. Country Homes and the client for whom it was designed, see it as a step up from the traditional caravan and have given it an elevated name.   

What’s in a name anyway? The fact is that this single unit has broken new ground in the lodge market. It measures 42ft x 13 and is the first of its kind from Country Homes.

The design came about because park owners Neil and Peter Morris, of Elm Farm Country Park, near Frinton-on-Sea, in Essex felt they had identified a gap in the market.

They had found, through their experience of selling both lodges and holiday homes, that there was a need for a lodge to be used by a couple rather than a family, and without compromising on luxury.
The brief given to Country Homes by those park owners was for a spacious single-unit lodge with a bright, modern feel allowing in lots of light. When these park owners visited the Country Homes’ factory to work on the specification, they happened to visit a local bistro which provided the inspiration for the lodge’s décor.

. Read more...

New Model Review: The Omar Sandringham

The latest version of this Omar home has some bold new décor and a practical layout featuring two good size double bedrooms in addition to generous living space

The Omar Sandringham

It was in 1986 that Omar first launched a home called the Sandringham and at that time it was a single unit home (10ft wide but a massive 50ft long). How times have changed. Over the years there have been many revisions in the look of this particular model with a twin unit version now being standard, and the latest – a 40ft x 20 layout - was exhibited to popular acclaim at both the Newbury and Stoneleigh exhibitions this spring.

What makes the Sandringham such a distinctive and popular model? Firstly, its unusual exterior look with French doors on the front wall (leading from the dining area) extending forwards, with the possibility of creating a patio area outside. Although such an arrangement is more often seen in lodge-style accommodation, this layout obviously has plenty of benefits, including the opportunity for diners to have drinks before their meal or coffee afterwards ‘out on the terrace’. Curved windows adjacent to these French doors make the dining area very light – and bays on the front and side walls of the lounge add to this airy and bright feeling.

. Read more...

New Model Review: Cambrian Cottage

A new twist on the second-home theme comes from Cambrian with its Cottage

Cambrian Cottage

Whether it’s a main residence or a second home, a cottage in the country has great appeal to all age groups, but especially those nearing retirement. Sadly, those types of properties are seldom within the average person’s financial reach, so the cottage in the country dream is usually qualified with the words ‘if I win the lottery’.

However, Cambrian Park and Leisure Homes has come up with an alternative – a leisure home with an interior that has all the hallmarks of a country cottage. And that’s what they’ve called it – The Cottage.

Exterior
Naturally, it’s not possible to create cottage styling on the outside, and the Cambrian Cottage looks like a fairly traditional lodge when viewed from the outside with Canexel cladding, wood-look uPVC-framed windows and doors and roof gable features. However, as soon as you step through the double French doors at the front, you enter a living area that combines olde worlde charm with modern conveniences.

. Read more...