Showing posts with label butlins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label butlins. Show all posts

Friday, 11 November 2016

Our Weekend at Butlins Bognor Regis

We had a fantastic weekend at Butlins Bognor Regis over the half term holiday.  It wasn't our first visit to Butlins, we went about two and a half years ago when we only had two children and we all loved it.  I knew that there would be so much for them all to do, although I was a little nervous about travelling with our four aged five and under.  

I remember before, writing about how amazing the staff are and that hasn't changed at all.  There was always someone about and they always had time to answer a question or show us the way.  The guys manning the indoor fairground rides were playing games with the children as they went round, the staff in the restaraunts always helped us out and the red coats kept them all entertained.  

There was so much to do for every age, and I loved watching Finn get as involved as his big brothers.   There is enough things included in your stay that you really don't need to spend much at all whilst you are there and the indoor fairground rides were perfect for my little trio.  There were four rides and despite us being there for half term weekend we didn't have to queue once.  It was the little things like that that made the break special and took away the stress.  The outdoor fairground rides were more suited to the bigger two so we timed it for naptime.  It is worth noting that the dodgems are only for slightly bigger children (Dylan was tall enough at 5 but Archie wasn't at nearly 4) which caused a bit of upset but Archie was easily pacified with a go on hook a duck.

As it was Halloween weekend the whole place was decorated and as well as a huge pumpkin tent where you could pay extra to carve a pumpkin, there was also a coffin scene set up that the boys could play in.  Lots of the shows had a Halloween theme too with the skyline gang in haunted house and Billy and Bonnie the bears having a Halloween surprise.  Butlins were very clear that whilst dressing up is allowed and encouraged, they wanted spooky not scary and there were always lots of children dressed up (no scary masks or pretend weapons). 

We visited the Splash park once and I wish we had found the time to go back.  It was perfect for young children.  My boys are all non-swimmers and they could have played in there for hours.  There was so much shallow water and a big water works with sprinklers and slides that was perfect for non-swimmers.  There were lots of staff and lifeguards around which was reassuring and there was a wave machine and deeper water for older or more water confident children.  

Butlins Bognor Regis, Butlins fairground

There were lots of shows on, the main one was Braniac Live this weekend but sadly we had to miss it.  The big show is ticketed so you are told which one you can attend but if you want to sit near the front you have to queue for a couple of hours and if you want to sit at all you have to queue.  There was no way we could stand in line for too long with all four and ours are too little to really get anything from it if we were sat or stood at the back so we decided to skip it.  The show was aimed at Dylan's age upwards so we weren't too bothered and we watched some of the others in the centre including the Skyline Gang and Fireman Sam.  These ones fitted with their concentration spans a bit better and we could turn up just as the show started and still find a space. 

Butlins Bognor Regis, Butlins puppet show

There were a couple of outdoor parks which we really appreciated.  My boys need to run off steam sometimes and we usually followed a show with something outdoors.  There was one park aimed more at preschool children and that was Finn's favourite.  I don't know if they are busier in the summer but they were pretty empty in this mild October so there was plenty of space to run and play. 

Little Green Radicals, Butlins Bognor Regis

Many of the areas had something for bigger and smaller children and the soft play that sits in the middle of the tent had an older and younger kids half.  There was also a quieter play area, one half with soft shapes and walkers and the other side with a craft activitiy.  We didn't make it to the set messy play sessions that they run, but there was always something going on and Dylan and Archie made pirate masks whilst Finn zoomed around the other side.  I found it a great place to chill out as each area is surrounded by a low fence so the children are contained and you can easily watch both sections from whichever one you are in.

Butlins Bognor Regis, Butlins play area

We really didn't spend much whilst we were there, we ate huge breakfasts and dinners that were included with our dining plan and then just had snacks for lunch.  We did go on the go karts and the ride on trucks (£5 and £2 respectively, trucks in the picture below) and we had one game of bowling (£14 for the four of us for one game as three and under play for free).  

Butlins Bognor Regis, Butlins racing
We did try out Scoop for ice cream, and then revisit it the next day - seriously good ice cream and you could get all sorts of flavours and toppings (we highly recommend the cookie dough).  They had three flavours of sorbet which is great for Finn who can't have dairy and I love the pink cow bench and tables outside.

Butlins Bognor Regis, Butlins Scoop

Butlins is such a fantastic place to visit with young children and all four of ours had a brilliant time.  There is so much included that you really don't need to spend much but there are lots of things you can pay for if you want something extra.  I made a little video about our visit if you want a better look at what we got up to.

We were provided with our weekend away for the purpose of this review as part of the Butlins Ambassador program but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Butlins for a Bigger Family

We spent the Halloween weekend down at Butlins Bognor Regis and I was really impressed at how well they catered for bigger than average families like mine.  Having four children means we are often too big for one room and many holiday companies seem to be geared up to two child families.  We stayed in the Wave Hotel as they have interconnecting rooms and it meant we had a brilliant space to sleep and relax.  Each room has two bedrooms, a master bedroom with a living area and balcony and then a kids room with bunk beds.  We therefore had four bedrooms between us which was perfect and would accomodate families much bigger than ours.

I loved the size of the room - the kids room is compact but with plenty of storage and bunk beds.  The boys loved that they had a light each and a TV each at the foot of their beds.  The wall was full of shelves for storage and the underwater theme was really fun.

The master bedroom was light and spacious and easily fit a travel cot in for Finn.  There was lots of floor space and we brought toys with us like Cora's playmat to keep her occupied.  Each room has a balcony too which had a table and a couple of chairs on.  It wasn't quite the weather for sitting outside but we did use the balcony for drying swimwear and people watching.  

Each room can sleep up to 5 (with one in a cot) so families of six or more need to book adjoining rooms.

We had the hotel dining package which meant we ate our breakfast and dinner at the Deck restaraunt each day.  It was absolutely brilliant and there was never trouble seating us.  Many tables were designed for bigger families and there were always plenty of high chairs as well as space for the buggy when we needed it.  The buffet style was ideal as we could all eat whatever we fancied and there was no keeping toddlers entertained whilst we waited for food.  There was plenty to suit little ones with a low down serving area full of kids favourites like fish fingers and peas as well as Ella's Kitchen pouches.   Dylan preferred the adult food though and that was no problem at all.

The indoor kids rides were suitable for children under 1.5 metres and adults are not allowed to accompany the children.  Finn on his own would never have ridden on one, but with his brothers he loved it and there is no minimum age.  Lots of them were set up in fours which was great for families like mine.  

Although my children are all still young, they already have different needs and there was so much for each of them to do.  The soft play area had one side for more independent children and then another side for younger ones.  There was also a playtime area with one half specifically set up for the youngest guests with soft shapes, walkers and toys and then the other half had arts and crafts, animals and other toys for older toddlers and young children.  Everything seemed so well thought out and there was nothing there that seemed harder for a larger family.

I am not sure what the official ratios are for Splash Waterworld, but we were able to take all four children in together quite happily and the design of the pool with so much shallow water made it safe and easy to watch all four.

I would really recommend Butlins for a break with a larger family.  There is so much for everyone and it is all so well designed that there is never an issue.  Everywhere is pushchair friendly and despite it being busy there always seems to be enough space.  We definitely intend to take our four little ones back. 

If they could make the giant deckchairs just a little bit bigger though, that would be great!

We are working with Butlins and our visit this weekend was in exchange for a review.  
All thoughts and opinions are completely my own. 

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Three Generational Holiday

Our trip to Butlins was not only brilliant for the children, but it was an exciting and relatively relaxing experience for the bloke and I too thanks to the presence of my lovely mum and dad.  The three generations travelled down in the same car and we were in rooms next door to each other, giving the children the option to spend time with us both as they wished.

The culture of multi-generational holidays seems to be increasing and I can really see why.  Not only do the children have so much attention and more options, but my parents love spending time with the boys, getting to spoil them, read them bedtime stories and see the special moments and of course the bloke and I get some time alone - the possibility of a date, or more importantly a solid 8 hours sleep!

Archie had his first 'sleep over' whilst we were away - the first time I had left him at night but I was reassured knowing he was no furthur away really than when we are at home, but far enough for someone else to be listening out for him whilst I could really relax and enjoy a cocktail or two.

We enjoyed time all together and time seperately.  My parents had time to explore together as did the bloke and I and the children were incredibly spoilt as rather than having to share my attention as is normal during the week, they had four of us to play with, four of us to read stories and carry them and four of us to buy cakes!

Here is what my mum thought of the experience:

"My daughter was appointed a Butlin's Ambassador and asked whether we would like to go on holiday with them as a family. My first thought was yes - it would be great to spend time with our two Grandson's and my daughter and partner of course. My second thought was 'Oh no, I hope it has changed a great deal!' A school visit when I was young had tainted my memory with a dirty chalet, food not to my tasting (although I was fussy with my eating) and the loud speaker every morning telling us to get up!

We arrived at Bognor and were greeted by the Red Coats doing the Macarena and the children were excited. We parked up with a one minute walk to the hotel, booked in and then up to our room. Well what a relief, the room was very well decorated and extremely clean. There was an area that the boys could stay in if their Mum and Dad wanted us to babysit - which we did take advantage of. The rest of the room was spacious and there were chairs so we could sit and read or watch television if we needed some quiet time away from the family.

After a small walk around the site - we didn't have time to go round the whole site as it was so large - we went into dinner in our hotel! Wow, I should not have worried - the choice was fantastic for children and adults alike. We had not taken a cup for Archie but on asking for a straw for him - I was told not to worry by a member of staff  - 'they were here to help so we can relax on holiday'. Onto a show for the children to watch and then an early night.

Day two, after breakfast, which again had a great selection, Becky and her family went to see what was what for the children. We had a leisurely morning walking round and spying out the various restaurants. We found the family and sat down to watch a show while eating some lunch, then onto the rides -  cars, bugs, and aeroplanes. In fact there was so much for them to go on, watch, see,and play it was a pleasure. As the majority was included in the price it was great as you didn't have to say 'No'. Dinner that night at Papa John's was really good but a little too dark for my liking and I was glad I was under the light! The men went off to see the football in the bar!

Day three, a walk off the site down by the beach was brilliant with the boys, a look round the local shops and then back for lunch. Off to the swimming pool in the afternoon. Unfortunately we had not taken in that it closed at 5 and so it felt like we had been cut short. Dinner was in an amazing restaurant - The Deck - the best by far. The choices were absolutely brilliant and the boys were happy too. Becky and Ed wanted to go out so we babysat for the boys but in our room. It was very special having them to ourselves and they slept all night!

Day Four, another family breakfast and off to the swimming pool - it was very busy but still plenty of room. A great time was had by all. Scooby Doo in the afternoon and then back for dinner. Again a glorious choice. Archie is not the cleanest when he eats and when he has had enough it's on the floor. We were never made to feel this was a problem! The boys stayed a second night - not so successful as the previous night but you can't have everything.

Day Five, time for breakfast and to clear our rooms. We were allowed to stay on site till 12 and so we had a leisurely walk round  still enjoying the free rides!

The journey home was very quiet as the boys fell asleep from exhaustion. I may have had a small snooze too. The week was a fantastic experience which we certainly enjoyed. It was brilliant spending time with family at such a chilled out place and whose staff could not be more friendly if they tried. I would certainly recommend any grandparents to to take children up to the age of about 10. There is so much for them to enjoy and so much for a grandparent to enjoy with them!

I don't think we would ever go without the family but hopefully they might invite us again - hint, hint! The answer next time will just be YES PLEASE.

Thank you to Butlins for a great adventure."

Disclaimer:  As Butlin's Amabassadors we were sent on a 5 day/4 night break for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Butlins Bognor Regis Review

I mentioned in my previous post just how much we loved Butlins, but there are so many reasons why that it needed more than one post.  From the accommodation to the customer service, we were so impressed and often it was the little things that made the holiday so easy and enjoyable


Our room in the Shoreline Hotel was on the fourth floor and our floor to ceiling windows looked out onto the skyline pavilion, some shops, the kiddies park and the sea.  It was perfectly set out for parents of toddlers, with a 'den' down one end with bunk beds, plenty of storage and a TV, and the parents end was the other side of the bathroom, with a TV, and some comfy chairs and a table in the window.  We all found the beds particularly comfortable, and the biggest little one couldn't resist testing out the mattress springs as well.  With a corner protector on the sharp edge, a step in the bathroom and a little duck too, the room made travelling with toddlers much easier.  The decor was fresh and modern and we were all really impressed.  

Getting around

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Butlins and Toddlers

Sometimes, my expectations are so totally exceeded that I am not sure where to begin.  As part of our role as Butlins ambassadors, we took a trip to Bognor Regis for a 5 day/4 night stay.  Six of us squashed into one car, along with suitcases, bags and a Trunki and arrived at the Shoreline hotel just before 3 on Monday afternoon.

The boys were fresh from a long nap (as were most of the adults) and we were met by the macarena playing on the loud speakers and some energetic red coats pointing us in the right direction.  Check in was simple and efficient, with only a short queue and we found our rooms up on the fourth floor.  The bloke, the boys and I in one, and my parents in the next.  Our rooms consisted of a kingsize bed in the main section, a bathroom in the middle and then a kids den with bunk beds, storage, a TV and a cot for Archie.  The room was a great size for us and it was easy to put the boys to bed at one end, but stay up with the lights on down the other, and there were two incredibly comfy chairs and a table by the floor to ceiling windows.  In the day we looked out onto the skyline pavillion, some shops, Papa Johns, the little kid's park and the sea, and by night we could see outdoor seating areas lit up and the bright lights of the evening entertainment.  Our room seemed pretty sound proof and we never heard other people and the blackout curtains worked perfectly.

Our week was spent between the arcade machines, the fairground, the splash water world, the stage and the soft play and I was amazed at how little we spent.  With the dining package included, we spent barely a thing as so much of the entertainment was included and our breakfast filled us up until dinner time.

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Butlin's Skegness with Toddlers

As I am away this week enjoying everything Butlin's Bognor Regis has to offer, I thought it would be rather fitting to have a guest post from the lovely Louise at A Strong Coffee about her experiences of Skegness.  Keep a look out for my review of Bognor Regis very soon, and please pop on over to Louise's blog if you want to read more about Butlin's Skegness

Once you have children, relaxing holidays by the pool become a thing of the past. Finding activities to entertain your children take priority. This February half term we headed to Skegness to see what Butlin's had on offer. On arriving I was shocked at how big the site was. I highly recommend that you take a pushchair with you even if your little one likes walking as you will want to explore everything the site has to offer. When it comes to entertainment then there is plenty for your toddlers to enjoy. Inside the Skyline Pavilion, there is a teacup and ladybird ride for the under fives. These are free of charge and we found it difficult to walk past them without having a quick go. In here you will also find the shows. Mike the Knight, Thomas and Friends and Fireman Sam were all enjoyed by my boys. The shows are around half an hour long so they capture the imagination of toddlers without them losing interest.

On a nice day there is nothing better than paddling in the sea and there is easy access to the beach directly from the resort, but Butlin's has it covered if the weather isn't as good as you had hoped. There is a soft play area which will keep them happy and the Splash Waterworld has a great toddler swimming area. There are 3 small waterslides along with sprinklers, which my boys could have splashed around in for hours.

If you are looking for somewhere to eat, The Deck and The Yacht Club restaurants (included in the premium dining plan) offer a great choice for toddlers. There is a special children's station or they can enjoy the other food on offer. As it is a buffet they are able to choose for themselves and juices are also included in the price. 
We had a great week at Butlin's and there was a great choice of activities included in the price. We had to go in half term due to our eldest being at school, but if you only have a toddler then the "Just for Tots" term time breaks may be worth looking into as well

If you want to read more from Louise, then check out her blog, twitter and facebook.  Look out for more posts on Butlin's soon!

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