THE original Retreat burst onto the scene seven years ago. I saw it for the first time at an Earls Court show and was impressed. Architect-designed and with a radical look totally different from anything else then available in the mobile home market, it had the Wow! factor and more...
Since then the Retreat has had its ups and downs, and the original company – which never had its own manufacturing facilities – failed. But the rights to the name and designs were acquired by Alan Rooke, formerly of Lindera Lodges, who has now adopted the Retreat name and put his own lodge-manufacturing skill and experience to work. Customers now know that alongside the unique style of Retreat, their home is not only designed, but actually built by the company whose name is on the product, and they can be confident they will get good back-up.
At the Cottingham Golf Club this year, visitors had the chance to see a model that embraced the original Retreat style, but with a subtle variation. This was a version designed for couples who want to get away from it all in luxury – and don’t intend to take anyone else with them!
Based on the two-bed Retreat N footprint, with a front, centrally-placed decking area, the N VIP was a one-bed lodge measuring 33ft x 20ft. And that one bedroom was the centre of attention...
Furnished with an elegant modern four-poster double bed, it also featured an open plan bath and shower area unique in the lodge market – even the Wessex Hideaway didn’t merge bed and bath so organically.
The ‘main’ entrance is a single door on the side elevation, towards the back. You step into a small lobby with heavy-duty matting and directly to the left is the dining area. Beyond that is the lounge, occupying one ‘leg’ of the N (think lower case ‘n’ rather than a capital!), furnished here with an oak-style coffee table and a leather ‘L’ sofa facing sliding patio doors that open onto the deck. The whole lodge has oak flooring and white tongue-and-groove style panelling on walls and ceiling.
At the end of the lounge, on what is effectively a ‘front wall’, are two full-height, fully-opening windows. Between them is a wall-hung cupboard on which stood a flat screen TV (though this could presumably be wall-mounted). Behind the sofa was a large radiator, and above it, on the ‘end’ wall, a large letterbox window.
To the right of the entrance lobby is an L-shaped kitchen, with the 11/2 sink on the longer area against the back wall, with letterbox window above and cupboards and dishwasher below. The shorter area has the integrated four-burner gas hob and single oven/grill, with integrated ex-tractor and microwave, plus cupboards, above.
A door from the kitchen leads into a hallway linking the two legs of the ‘N’. There is a spacious wardrobe, and a WC with a Velux window in the ceiling and the boiler cupboard.
Beyond is the the second leg of the ‘N’, with the open-plan bedroom/bathroom. The stylish modern bath sits at an angle in the corner, with a chrome ladder radiator beside and a sill behind. In the other corner is an alcove with a wall-hung basin and large mirror with inset lights. The spacious shower cabinet faces into the bedroom, with a drencher suspended from the ceiling (though no hand-held shower attachment).
The four-poster, with pale yellow fabric above and behind, faces a patio door and like the lounge there are two tall, fully-opening windows to the front. Tables with single drawers sit either side of the bed, and between the windows is an open box shelf and TV point. There is plenty of room for your own additions, if you feel the furnishing (ie for clothes) is too minimal.
Lighting throughout is by inset spots in the flat ceiling. Retreats are available with pitched roofs if you prefer – but I feel the flat roof better suits this design. A hot tub was to be fitted on the deck once sit was sited at Ribblesdale Park.
The N VIP is the lodge equivalent of a luxury hotel suite, but with the advantage of knowing you have the same privacy you would expect in your own home. It is just the right size, with everything you need if you want to spend your time in seclusion, rather than out and about. Practical, attractive and excellent value, it’s perfect for couples who still prefer each other’s company to any alternative.
By the way, Retreat was filmed in May, and again in November for two TV programmes on the Home Network called My Flat Pack Home, which features presenter Amanda Lamb (A Place in the Sun). They follow a customer’s journey through the design, build, delivery and final ‘move-in’ of their home. Hawkshead Hall Lodges in the Lake District features in the first show and Scampston Hall in the second. The first show aired on Tuesday November 1 but will be repeated frequently. Keep an eye out on Sky Channel 246 and Virgin 265. The second show will air in spring.
HomesKirkbride Airfield, Kirkbride, Wigton, Cumbria CA7 5LF
Tel: 01697 352033
Twin unit lodge home
33ft x 20ft
• Solid timber cladding
• Oak plank flooring
• Built-in decking area
• Open plan lounge, kitchen, dining area
• Open plan double bedroom, bathroom, shower room
• Separate WC
• Four poster bed
• L-shaped freestanding leather sofa
• Dining table and four chairs plus coffee table
• Integrated hob, oven/grill, extractor and microwave
• Integrated fridge, freezer and dishwasher
• Hot tub to decking area
• Pitched roof
• Sheep’s fleece insulation
• Moss sedum roof
• Photovoltaic and/or solar water heating roof panels
This feature was published in the December 2011 issue of Park & Holiday Homes. To order a copy of Park & Holiday Homes please click here
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