Monday, 17 June 2013

Our Stay at Butlins Bognor Regis

"Can we go on holidays far, far away again pleeeeaaaasse? Back to where the big splash pool is, where we played golf, saw Elmo and the Skyline gang, went to the funfair, climbed in the gym, played Death Storm Pirates, rode cars and flew in a rocket.. Can we? Can we? Please, please, please.. purlease Mummy!"


It's now nearly two month since our trip to Butlins and so much has happened since, including the twins arrival, yet I hear this from Ben (or some similar variation) nearly every day. He has told me he wants to go and live in Butlin's and considering he had so much fun there, I can't really blame him. 

Our stay

Over the Easter holidays we headed to Butlin's in Bognor Regis for a three night break as part of the Ambassador's programme. It was everything I thought it would be and more, it is the ideal place for families of all ages to visit with such a vast and varied array of activities and entertainment on the go for the kids and their parents too. There certainly is no danger you will have any bored children there and you can be guaranteed they will fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow, if not before, as in our case when Ben fell asleep in his dinner on more than one occasion.
We saw a lot of this happy, excited expression while at Butlin's

First impressions

From the very second we turned the corner and entered Butlin's, there were lots of "Wow's" and "Yay's" coming from Ben in the backseat. There was an instant happy feeling with cheerful Butlin's staff there to merrily greet everyone and be as helpful as they possibly could, giving us directions and imparting information and advice readily. We arrived just before 3pm which was the check-in time at the Shoreline Hotel where we were staying, and although it was busy, the staff were super organised and we were sorted out really quickly with our welcome pack and set off to our room.

Accommodation

We were saying in a Columbus suite in the Shoreline Hotel which consisted of a comfy double bed for us, armchairs to chillax in and take in the view of the sea, a mini fridge, TV, DVD, hair dryer, ironing facilities, plenty of hanging and folding space for clothes and separate cabin-like area for Ben which he loved complete with bunk beds and his own TV and DVD player.

Bunk beds rock!
The room was nicely decorated and every day after housekeeping visited we had a new towel animal which was such a lovely touch, Ben's favourite was the easter bunny.

How cool is this Easter Bunny towel? Love it!

The bathroom was perfectly family friendly with an inbuilt mini toilet seat perfect for little ones (such a clever idea I wish we had one at home), a little step and even a rubber ducky to make bath time more fun, not forgetting the complimentary shampoo, shower and bath gel etc.

Yes, I know it's rather strange to take a pic of a toilet seat but I thought this was really clever for families with young kids.

Activities

There was so much to do, we were really spoilt for choice. The great thing is you can pick and choose the activities you like the sound of and tailor it to suit your family. At the time I was heavily pregnant with the twins so it was fantastic that we had this opportunity to take Ben somewhere where he had an endless supply of activities to keep him busy, yet I could do as much or as little as I wanted.

View from our room of Billy Bear's Playground where Ben had lots of fun

Before we went I downloaded the Butlins iPhone app which is a must do. It gives you an up-to-date listing of what's on now, a map and details of restaurants and activities which is fantastic. It allows you to select your favourites and create a mini itinerary which is such a clever idea as believe me, there is an endless selection of things to do.

Splish Splash and other fun

Splash Waterworld is in Ben's words "awesome" and "sooooo much fun". He would have easily spent all day, every day in the pool splashing about. The great thing is there are areas which are suitable for young and old alike and even jacuzzis for the adults to relax in, if I hadn't been pregnant I would definitely have taken advantage of that little luxury as I love jacuzzis.


We also played crazy golf, Ben burnt off energy in the soft play area and Billy bear's playground, we went on the carousel and various other fair ground rides, played arcade games and saw a fantastic Sesame Street show which had us all singing along and reignited my love of Bert and Ernie, Big Bird and co.


Food

We had the hotel dining package which meant we had breakfast included and an evening meal in a choice of restaurants up to a certain amount for adults and children. Breakfast for us in the Shoreline Hotel included every possible breakfast option you could think of including continental delights such as croissants, meats, fruit, cereals, yoghurts, all the components of a fry up, kippers and omlettes and pancakes made on demand. It certainly set us up well for the day.

Ben's favourite breakfast option of croissant

All the restaurants are family friendly with great food options which means you will find something for everyone. While there we ate in the Beachcomber Inn, Turners and Papa John's. We had hoped to dine in The Deck as I had heard great things about it, but left it too late as they stop food at 7.15pm and it was 7pm when we arrived but it's definitely one to add to our list for next time.


Inside the Skyline Pavilion you will find a host of other cafe's, bars and stalls serving food and drink including Reds, Hot Shots, The Skyline Cafe, Burger King and Rosso Lounge amongst others. There is also a Spar shop near the Pavilion where you can grab snacks and essentils or if you are pregnant like I was at the time, the things to satisfy various cravings and every pregnant woman's essential of heartburn remedies.

Overall

We had a wonderful holiday and Ben's reaction to going home along with his continuing reference to his holidays ever since is a testament to how good our stay was. The staff are all so helpful and pleasant it really makes you feel welcome and their good moods are infectious.

As it was Easter when we were there we were lucky enough to get a visit from the Easter Bunny and the staff really pulled out the stops leaving a 'Stop here' door hanger and Easter Bunny food in pouches to be sprinkled outside the door on the Saturday night.

Next morning an Easter egg magically appeared on Ben's bed which is an example of the special touches you will find in Butlin's.


Butlin's is a brilliant place to holiday for families of all ages, it is well equipped to keep young and old entertained no matter what the weather, their interests or capabilities. Butlin's is a place where fantastic family memories will be made and remembered fondly forever. I leave you with two photos, the first was taken on the last morning in Butlin's when Ben thought we were staying another day and the second was just after I told him we had to go home. I think this sums up how much fun he had and shows just how much he didn't want to leave.
Happy face, Sad face

*Disclaimer: As part of the Butlin's Ambassador programme we spent 3 nights for free in Butlin's Bognor Regis. All views and opinions expressed here are my own and completely unbiased.
 

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