Parkdean Resorts is one of the most popular options for an Isle of Wight holiday park. They've got four resorts on the Island, including Landguard and Lower Hyde in Shanklin, Nodes Point in St Helens and Thorness Bay in the North Wight.
You can read our comparison of the resorts here.
When you book a Parkdean holiday on the Isle of Wight you'll be faced with a big choice of accommodation and a big range in prices.
For example, we searched for a week in August 2023 and found that a family of four could paying anything from £909 for a Port Caravan at Thorness Bay Holiday Park through to £3589 for a Sandown Lodge at Nodes Point Holiday Park.
Here's the key bit - there isn't currently a grading system used by Parkdean Resorts across all its resorts for its accommodation. You won't find caravans with the same names at different resorts. This can be a little confusing.
Instead, you need to do a bit of digging to figure out what you're getting for your money.
So what are you getting if you pay four times as much as the cheapest accommodation?
Location is a factor - Thorness Bay Holiday Park tends to be a little cheaper than Landguard, Lower Hyde and Nodes Point.
However, my advice – whether you’re staying at Landguard, Nodes Point, Thorness Bay or Lower Hyde is to look for these 10 things when you’re choosing your caravan.
What should I look for when choosing a Parkdean Resorts caravan on the Isle of Wight?
1. Age of the caravan
Parkdean Resorts provide a useful bit of information on the booking page when you search for prices. Look for a green rectangle that says either ‘new this year’ or ‘new on park’.
‘New This Year’ is the best thing you can see. As you probably guessed, it means the caravan is very new and shiny. Personally, I prioritise the age of a caravan over the facilities.
‘New On Park’ is a caravan which has been added within the last three years. That’s not quite as good, but it’s still new enough that they’ll be looking very decent.
If there isn’t a green square then the accommodation has been there for more than three years. That’s not necessarily a big problem, but a shiny new caravan is worth paying a bit more for.
When we checked, all four Parkdean Resorts on the Isle of Wight had two or three grades of caravan listed as ‘new this year’. We also know that in 2022, seven new caravans were added at Nodes Point. There have also been 32 caravans which have been upgraded across the four sites in the last year and 11 of the lodges at Landguard have been refurbished.
2. Caravan width
The number of people that a caravan can accommodate is important, but the width is also worth checking if you don’t want to spend the week falling out with each other.
Look for the phrase ‘extra wide’ in the caravan description which means it is 12 foot wide or more (that's the same as two average male adults lying down).
If you don’t see 'extra wide', then you can assume that it’s probably a standard 10ft wide caravan which will be cheaper. If you're going to be out and about a lot then a couple of feet isn't a big deal. If you're a family of six, including four teenagers, then a bit more space will be welcome.
Lodges at Parkdean Resorts are considerably wider than caravans. Most that I’ve seen are about 20 foot wide, which is double a standard caravan width.
3. An ensuite toilet or a bath
One of the big upgrades you get with more expensive caravans at Parkdean Resorts on the Isle of Wight is an ensuite with one of the bedrooms.
When we checked, en suite facilities were only available in about 1 in 4 of the different types of accommodation at Thorness Bay or 1 in 5 at Lower Hyde and Landguard. Nodes Point has a lot more ensuite facilities – about two thirds of the different types of accommodation have an ensuite.
Also, note that a lot of caravans just have a shower rather than a bath. If you need a bath, you'll likely need to pay for somewhere with a bit more space.
Of course, remember that a quick dip in the sea is as good as a bath whilst on holiday (Ed: are you sure about this?)
4. Sea views
A sea view is worth paying for if you can afford it, in my opinion. We’ve found that if you have children, it’s nice to be able to spend the evening outside on the veranda.
Landguard and Lower Hyde are both inland, so you won’t get a sea view there. Thorness Bay is next to the beach, but the layout means that the accommodation is set back from the beach.
The only Parkdean Resorts accommodation which is advertised as having a sea view is at Nodes Point and is called the Sandown Lodge. My guess is that these are the ones which have the best sea view, as there are quite a few caravans at Nodes Point with at least a 'sea glimpse'.
5. Hot tubs
Hot tubs are available at all of the Parkdean Resorts holiday parks on the Isle of Wight. However, if you do have one it bumps the price up considerably as they need a lot of maintenance (and they’re very popular). They are only available with lodges, rather than caravans.
The cheapest Parkdean Resorts accommodation on the Isle of Wight with a hot tub in August 2023 was around £2000 when we checked, compared to about £900 for the cheapest caravan. Both of those were at Thorness Bay Holiday Park.
You’ll find hot tubs in one or two of the different types of lodge at Thorness Bay, Lower Hyde, Landguard and Nodes Point.
6. Washing machines and dishwashers
Washing machines and dishwashers don’t come as standard in Parkdean Resorts caravans on the Isle of Wight. It tends to be the more expensive lodges which have them. Of course, a lot of people eat out and there’s a launderette onsite you can use if you need to clean your pants.
7. Double glazing and central heating
Central heating and double glazing are pretty much standard in Parkdean Resorts holiday parks on the Isle of Wight. I only managed to find one grade of caravan which didn’t have double glazing (it was at Lower Hyde).
Of course, that makes a big difference if it’s cold but it also makes some difference in regulating the inside temperature if it’s very hot.
The more expensive accommodation at Parkdean Resorts has a veranda, which is worth paying for in summer but less important if it’s cold.
At Nodes Point, verandas are quite common which makes the most of its location overlooking the sea. Verandas are less common at Thorness Bay, Lower Hyde and Landguard. I would start with Nodes Point if sitting outside is important to you.
Towels aren’t provided as standard at Parkdean Resorts on the Isle of Wight. I wouldn’t upgrade just to get towels provided, but it’s something that you get with most of the lodges rather than with the cheaper caravans.
10. Number of bedrooms
The number of bedrooms certainly affects the price, but it's not as significant a difference as you might think. We regularly see deals where an eight person caravan is only a few pounds more expensive than a similar six person caravan.
As you may know, a lot of two bedroom caravans are listed as being for six people. That includes two people sleeping in the lounge which is not ideal in my experience. It’s fine for a short break but after a few nights it’s a bit annoying!
Whatever you choose, you’ll get bedding provided and use of the facilities but it's worth understanding that there are notable differences between the accommodation.
A Tick Box Exercise
One top tip is to use the filters on the Parkdean Resorts booking page to narrow down your options rather than trying to read every description. The information with each caravan doesn't always say what is included, but the filters give much more information.
Here's an example of the filtering options from Thorness Bay Holiday Park.
My favourite trick is to choose the factors which are most important to me and then put the accommodation in ascending price order.
If you're really keen, you might like to do what we did and put our 10 factors into a table to make the comparison easier.
We've picked out the cheapest caravan at Parkdean Resorts Isle of Wight for a week in August 2023, as well a mid priced option and the most expensive lodge we could find.
Which upgrades at Parkdean Resorts Isle of Wight are worth the money?
If you can only afford a modest upgrade then my advice would be to seek out the caravans which are listed as 'new on park' or 'new this year'.
The difference in price between older and newer caravans can be quite minimal.
For example, we searched for a week in August 2023 at Thorness Bay and found that it was only £40 to upgrade from the cheapest caravan (£909) to one which was 'new on park' (i.e. less than three years old). To upgrade from the cheapest caravan to one which was new this year was an extra £250.
An upgrade to a slightly more expensive caravan tends to get you a bit more space and an en-suite which are both big plus points if you are filling up a caravan. They probably aren't worth paying for if you have a small family.
Upgrading to a lodge with a hot tub requires a much bigger increase in your budget. The cheapest we found for our comparison week in August 2023 was £2089 for a Harbour Lodge at Thorness Bay - more than twice the price of the cheapest caravan at the same resort.
It's also worth thinking about the location. I would say that a veranda is more worthwhile at Nodes Point - which overlooks the beach - than it is at Landguard or Lower Hyde which are a mile inland.
Also worth considering is the time of year you are visiting. An off peak upgrade is much cheaper than a school holiday upgrade. You may decide to go for the cheapest accommodation in summer, because you'll be out all day and can spend the money you've saved on eating out. If you visit in mid October then you may spend more time indoors and getting a hot tub or a wider property won't be such a big increase in price.
What does 'Standard' 'Superior' and 'Premium' mean?
You may have noticed that Landguard Holiday Park grades its accommodation into Standard, Superior and Premium. In summary, that means:
This three tier system is useful, but there isn’t a published tick list of facilities which determines the grading so it's hard to know if an upgrade is worth it for you. I prefer to use the filters on the booking page, as shown above.
For example, one of the most important things for us on holiday is a dishwasher as we usually self cater rather than eating out. It's not immediately clear which of the three grades would include a dishwasher but you can figure that out with the filters.
Thorness Bay, Nodes Point and Lower Hyde don’t yet use this three-tier system so it's hard to compare like for like between resorts.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog