Having never been to Butlins before we didn't really know what to expect. I'd heard from a few people that its great for kids and as we have a soon to be 4 year old we thought we'd give it a go.
We booked online and were pleasantly surprised by the price, £130 odd for 4 nights standard self catering room at Bognor. We um-med and ah-red about choosing a standard room but thought we'd spend more time out of the room than in it and as long as its clean it would suffice.This choice of accommodation however turned out to be a poor one!
Obviously I can only tell you of our feelings and experiences but I would urge other "first timers" to consider things before going for the cheaper option of a standard room.
My first impression on opening the door to our room was that it looked rather tired and neglected, nothing major just the signs of dodgy painting, bodge job repairs and stained carpets. After the initial disappointment my wife and I decided that while it was a bit drab it was actually clean and so in light of what we had payed it would do the job for our 4 days.
This was however until I decided to do a dummy run of transforming the sofa into a double bed and was greeted by a mattress cover that looked like it had been thrown out of a hospital, it was disgusting, covered in what I can only imagine to be large blood and urine stains!! I immediately went to the accommodation service room where a member of staff took our room number and without apologising for the state of it, said someone would come to sort it asap.
True to their word a member of the accommodation team turned up about 30 mins later but to my confusion was carrying another mattress?! We decided to take the new mattress as it looked a lot cleaner and we thought 2 mattresses would only make the bed even more comfortable......How wrong we were!!
That night my wife managed around 30 mins laying on the sofa bed before retreating to the other single bed in with my son. I on the other hand stuck out the full night despite the bed squeaking every time you move and always rolling you into the middle as it was misshapen.
Needless to say the next morning I felt like I'd been sleeping rough and that was the end of the sofa bed. The next night in desperation we pushed the two single beds in the bedroom together and me, my wife and son all shared those. This made night times a little more bearable but unfortunately brings me on to my next point - THE NOISE!
The noise was a big issue at night and I'm not referring to building noise that others seem to have suffered but that of surrounding rooms. The rooms are laid out in a 2 story row of apartments and the walls are paper thin. Our biggest gripe unfortunately, and in fairness its not Butlins fault, is the constant banging of apartment doors. With such a high density of rooms in rows you constantly hear doors banging as people go out for a smoke or come back late from the bars, you can accept it at 9 or even 10pm as you're on holiday but at 1 or 2 am when you are trying to sleep it gets a little tedious to say the least!! Like I say this is not through fault of Butlins but just bear in mind that not all people are as considerate as others and with so many people visiting Butlins there are some who think nothing of banging doors, shouting and letting their kids run up and down the corridors in the wee small hours.
To summarize as I realise I'm rambling a bit. Butlins for us was a holiday of two halves, fantastic by day with all of the free entertainment, great swimming pool and many rides but a real stress in the late evening with uncomfortable sleeping and constant noise disturbance.
We would definitely visit Butlins Bognor again as like I say it makes a great family break but we would definitely NOT stay in the standard self catering apartments again. In my opinion it really is worth paying the relatively slight price increase to ensure that your evenings are as enjoyable as the day time.
Like I say that was our experience and our feeling of the holiday, others may have had a far better experience of the standard accommodation and associated noise. I'm just putting our experience out there for anyone who's interested. Oh and I wish I'd known about this website before I booked our holiday!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bognor Regis is officially one of Britain’s sunniest locations, sitting right on the West Sussex coast. Within just a couple of hours drive from London, Butlin's Bognor Regis is the perfect getaway. Known as a traditional seaside town, we’ve given it a modern ‘twist’ with two funky hotels - the Ocean Hotel and the Shoreline Hotel. There’s a relaxing spa (ideal for grown-ups) and if you feel like discovering the area around the resort, the South Downs National Park and heritage sites are right on your doorstep. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Butlins Bognor Regis Hotel Bognor Regis
- Butlins Hotel Bognor Regis
- Butlins Resort Bognor Regis
- Butlin's Bognor Regis Resort West Sussex