Between Christmas and New Year we had our first trip to Butlin’s. As Ambassadors we are lucky enough to receive two all expenses paid holidays. This was the first time I’d visited Butlin’s proper. I have been many times before but to the Christian festival Spring Harvest, but Butlin’s isn’t really Butlin’s then. They use the site, accommodation and food venues but that’s the only Butlin’s thing about it. No Butlin’s entertainment and no Redcoats. So I don’t really believe I’d been to Butlin’s before. Not really! And I certainly hadn’t been to Butlin’s Bognor Regis.
From my prior visits to the other sites I knew the kind of thing to expect from the site. But I had no idea just how much fun we were going to have while we were there. This is the first of a series of posts I’m writing to share with you our fabulous experience.
The Ocean Hotel
Before my trip to Butlin’s Head Office I actually had no idea there was a site in Bognor Regis. I also had no idea that Butlin’s had hotels. As far as I knew it was “Hi de Hi” chalets all the way, so it was a nice surprise to find out we could stay in one on one of our holidays.
I did my research and chose The Ocean Hotel. This may seem like a daft reason but it was primarily because it was the only one of the three hotels that didn’t have bunk beds in the kids den. Littlebit is a bit of a monkey and insists on climbing if there’s something to climb, but with her hypermobility she’s also very clumsy and I didn’t want any middle of the night trips to A&E.
On arrival at Butlin’s resort we were greeted by some very smiley happy staff at the gate and directed straight to our hotel. You enter through the back of the hotel (the road and car park side) and yet it is still bright, colourful and welcoming. Clear signage directs you up one floor to the friendly reception staff.
We checked in super quick and were given a welcome pack with information about the hotel, breakfast and dinner and a folding “What’s On” guide for our stay, then we went to investigate our room.
Our room was lovely and big with a nice large bed for us with colour change lights above creating a fun ambiance, a comfortable sitting area, plenty of cupboard space, tea and coffee making facilities and a small fridge. Everything we needed.
A balcony provided some outdoor space with a table and chairs, and also this gorgeous resort and sea view.
A well equipped bathroom with a great powerful shower and colour changing lights, which Littlebit thought were great fun. And then the kids den.
With the colourful decor, under bed storage for the new Christmas toys we’d brought (none of which came out until we repacked our bags to come home – more about that in the Entertainment post though!), her own TV and again a cool lighting scheme, this was the perfect sleeping space for Littlebit and in fact she enjoyed being in there during the little time we spent back at the hotel.
After we’d sussed everything out we went back down to unpack the car, and were greeted by one of the Butlin’s Butlers asking if we needed any help. We declined but he did provide us with one of their luggage trolleys.
This was our first experience of the hotel Butlers but it certainly wasn’t our last. Later that day we went down to book some “out of hotel” evening meals during our stay, a character breakfast and ask some questions about some of the things that were on over the next few days. The Butlers were super helpful, answering all our questions and booking everything we needed. They were lovely with Littlebit too.
That evening we dined in the hotel, the Kaleidoscope Restaurant, which was just what we needed for first night food. A great choice of buffet food where each of us could have something different and get eating quickly, no waiting about for food to be served. More about the food at Butlin’s soon though.
Pros of The Ocean Hotel
The fab light effects throughout our room.
The separate kids den.
The sitting area in the room, and on the balcony.
Daily housekeeping and the lovely towel art that arrived in our room each day, Littlebit was so excited to see what they had left.
The size of the room. There was plenty of space to mean we didn’t get under each others feet. We’d also taken Littlebit’s new bike, which lived in the corridor outside of the kids den, without geting in the way.
The comfortable bed.
The Butlin’s Butlers.
The fact we could book a free character breakfast with Billy and Bonnie Bear because we were staying in the hotel.
The easy and varied buffet in the hotel restaurant at dinner and breakfast.
Having a fridge in the room. We didn’t eat lunch on any of the days we were there, happy with a snack from Costa. But 4 year olds need lunch, so we were able to buy things from the Spar and store them in the fridge, making it nice and simple AND cost effective.
Being able to park right next to the hotel.
Being able to eat at the other onsite restaurants as part of our dining package, and that the Butlers would book it for us.
The whole ambiance of the hotel.
Cons of The Ocean Hotel
There weren’t many negatives about the hotel, and this first one was not Butlin’s fault at all, but we had really inconsiderate noisy neighbours. I guess the rooms could be slightly more sound proof, but these were very noisy people, banging doors and shouting at each other in the early hours of the morning so I’m betting no amount of sound proofing would actually solve it.
I think the kids den could really do with a door to block the sound from our TV at night. Littlebit is in bed for 8pm latest so we had to be really quiet until we knew she was asleep.
I’d also put each room on a separate temperature control. Our room was really warm. Too warm. We did mention this to reception and they were very apologetic about it, but said that the rooms were in blocks of 16 and the temperature was set for them all. It was really cold outside while we were there, freezing every night, so they’d cranked up the heat. This was easily solved by opening the patio doors when we were in the room though.
Lastly a really minor thing, there were no drinking glasses provided. They provide a fridge, which we stocked with bottled water and other drinks, but then had to drink them out of the mugs. Like I say, a very minor thing.
During the small amount of time we spent in our hotel room we were more than comfortable. I loved the ease of going back to the hotel each evening and knowing that every need would be catered for. The ease of just walking down the corridor to the lift and arriving at breakfast each morning was great too.
I’d definitely love to come back and stay in the Butlin’s Hotels again, in fact I’d love to investigate the other two hotels too.
It was a definite thumbs up from the Pinkwellies household for accommodation at Butlin’s.
I am a #ButlinsAmbassador and will be receiving two complimentary stays as part of my Butlin’s Ambassador role, however all views and opinions are my own. I will occasionally share information from Butlin’s which I think will be of interest to my readers.