We spent in excess of £500 for a 1 night, 2 day visit for our family of 6 to Alton Towers - staying in a Chocolate Themed room in the Alton Towers hotel.
We arrived in the morning - well before check in time - and parked in our excellent VIP parking close to the hotel and were given our tickets and fast passes for the park - and off we went on the monorail to the park. The weather wasn't great - but we still had a good time. CBeebiesland was RAMMED - but it is the first thing you get to, and had only been open a few days - so we headed off around the rest of the park (we went there on the morning of day 2 - when hotel guests can get in at 9am - and whizzed round all of the rides before everyone else got in - perfect!)
After a tiring day in the park we got back to the monorail and there was a 30 minute queue to get back on - so we made the kids walk the 15 minutes back to the hotel (note, it isn't signed very well to the hotels - but just keep on walking!!)
We then picked up the keys for our room (301) - and it was GREAT! Themed to look like a railway carriage (including sound effects) and there was chocolate hidden EVERYWHERE! We literally couldn't have eaten it all (it's come back home with us!!) There was a large double bed in the main bit of the room, and then a sofa bed and bunk beds - which looked like a train carriage complete with curtains too. Obviously this caused a re-enactment of the Hunger Games between the 4 children as to who was going to have the top bunk!! The bathroom was a little shabby (cracking in the sink, and dirty grout in places) but this was more than offset by all of the chocolate!!!
Then things started to go wrong.........
We went down for a pre dinner drink and there was no tonic for a G&T. I had a mojito instead - and this was clearly made with lime cordial rather than fresh lime. (Admittedly at this stage I am sounding a bit 'Overheard in Waitrose' - but I like people to be warned!!)
We then went through to The Secret Garden for dinner. The wine list had a choice of 3 whites in total - but the Pinot Grigio wasn't too grim! The service was good - and they were really flexible with the kids menus (conjuring up chicken nuggets which weren't on the menu for my fussy youngest 2). The portion sizes were good and quality ok. It was also sensibly priced (particularly compared to outlets in the park).
As we planned to get up early to take advantage of the early access to the park we then retired to bed at about 9pm. However, it sounded as if the covers band performing downstairs in the bar were IN OUR ROOM!! They went on - and on. I am sure if you were watching downstairs with a drink in hand they were highly entertaining - but when you're trying to get 4 children to sleep, they definitely weren't! I called down at 10pm to ask what time they finished to be told about 10.30pm. When it got to 10.31pm, and they were still playing, I was tempted to go downstairs in my pyjamas - but thankfully (for everyone!) they finished soon afterwards. Given this is a family hotel - it seems ridiculous to put the family rooms (and most expensive ones at that) right next to this racket way after most children are (or should be!) in bed! After that I was kept awake by noisy revelers as the doors are so thin - and this room is right by the stairs / lift - but I guess there's not a lot the hotel can do about that (apart from improve soundproofing).
Breakfast the next morning was carnage. Thankfully we were seated quickly - but getting around was a free for all. There were machines to dispense fruit juice (not pleasant) and hot drinks (even worse) which we had to queue ages for - made all the worse by the fact that the drinks emitted were foul. The food itself was plentiful with lots of choice (see, I can be positive!!)
The stay had such promise - but just didn't really deliver. We've done similar hotels at Disney in Paris and the US and they just do it so much better. If we do Alton Towers again - we won't stay at this hotel.............
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This unique hotel is themed around the incredible explorer Sir Algenon, who has made the Alton Towers Hotel his home. There are plenty of fun and quirky features to discover, including his amazing flying ship which has crash landed right in the middle of the Hotel. Wake up in our explorer-themed bedrooms, ready for your next adventure! Our Secret Garden restaurant offers a delicious brasserie style menu, and the evening entertainment is perfect for all ages.Whichever hotel you are staying in at the Alton Towers Resort, you can choose to eat in any of the restaurants and drink at any of the bars. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Alton Hotel Tower