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“Too Cold”

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Butlin's Bognor Regis Resort
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Bognor Regis
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Too Cold”
Reviewed 6 March 2014 via mobile

Went for a weekend with our grandson. Gold apartment was good and used a text service to sort our a couple of issues and these were very efficiently sorted. For children this place is great - there is everything there for them. For us the main issue was that it was just too cold. The changing area in the pool was ridiculous and must have been below any required standard. Also in the skyline and reds everyone seemed to have there coats on - heaters were on in the skyline but just not enough of them. This would put me off in future. Staff were great especially the redcoats
Good weekend but only marked as average due to the cold

Stayed March 2014
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Thank TonyDingwall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bedfordshire
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76 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2014

We stayed in the Ocean hotel for a weekend 4 adults and 2 kids. Really needs to extend its parking many cars not in proper spaces and extra spaces could be made on some of the grassed/garden areas. The rooms were very good clean modern grandson loved the mood lighting, nice balcony and sea view. Ate breakfast in the buffet restaurant Kaleidoscope there was a long queue and wait to get into yet on entry at least 40% of tables were free but not cleared more staff are needed to clear and relay the tables, once in food was very good selection and quality. Deck buffet was very good food excellent selection and also enjoyed the Beachcomber Inn, All staff in all the restaurants were friendly and helpful. Swimming pool had huge queue on the Saturday but better on Sunday. the changing rooms are crowded and freezing and I'm not a cold person it physically hurts your feet on the floor, the pool itself water temp is ok but air temperature again is very cold it could easily pass as an outdoor pool. Activities available for the children were good, they loved the fencing and the circus skills sessions, staff were brilliant. children enjoyed the adventure play area, shows, amusements and the fair outside. Would visit again but not in cold weather.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2014 via mobile

Wow, my two young daughters couldn't have enjoyed themselves more. Next year we will stay for a week. We stayed at the wave hotel which was first class in all aspects. But it was the shows and red coats activities that won over my young daughters. As former holiday rep, I was especially impressed with all the red coats and entertainment staff, they were constantly customer focused, always friendly and approachable and always popular with children of all ages. Thank you Butlins for a much needed holiday. PS, the new ice cream parlour is fabulous.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank ollyolly1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
colchester, essex
Level Contributor
49 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014 via mobile

Myself & my husband have just returned from a 3 night stay at the Ocean hotel, Bognor. We were pleasantly surprised with our king bed compass room on the 5th floor of the hotel. It exceeded our expectations, clean, tidy, and very comfortable bed making for 3 good nights' sleep. Hotel staff helpful & our request for extra pillows was dealt with promptly.

We were room only and ate our evening meals at the beachcomber pub which was very acceptable pub grub & reasonably priced.

We were a couple on a family weekend so as expected the clientele was mainly families with children, so entertainment was mainly for this group.

However we saw Badness which were an excellent Madness tribute act in centre stage, and The Overclones who were also very good.

We escaped the families with late night drinks in the Rosso lounge which after 11pm becomes over 18s with a really good vibe & good tunes.

One negative, centre Stage does smell like damp dog. I came here a year ago on an adults weekend and it smelt the same then. Come on Butlins sort this hygiene issue out.

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank thebrownpants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
141 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014 via mobile

We have 2 boys, nearly 6 and nearly 4. We took a last minute decision to visit Butlins for the weekend because we wanted to spend time splashing and swimming with the boys to improve their swimming skills and confidence. We've never considered butlins before but have enjoyed centre parcs before our kids were born - we thought we would give butlins a try knowing it's lower cost and a different product ethos to centre parcs.

We arrived friday night around 17:00 and checked straight into the wave hotel without any wait or fuss. Wave hotel was impressive, modern, funky, spacious, clean and has the feeling of a good 4 star hotel. Our room was a real surprise - EXCELLENT - spacious and nice modern decor with funky touches like mood lighting and a 'den' room with fitted bunk beds for the kids - the den was themed like the inside of a submarine and the boys fell in love with it - they wanted to move in and live there. Each bunk had its own flat screen TV/DVD which would have been fantastic - BUT MOST OF THE CHANNELS DID NOT WORK! It was like the digital TV aerial had fallen off the roof or moved because the screen kept going blocky and then going blank. This affected both the 'Den' TV's and also the TV in the main/bed room. It was dissappointing that there were only standard digital TV channels - not even an onsite kids channel playing cartoons - so once Cbeebies finishes - which is early on terrestrial digital TV - there was nothing for the kids to watch. BRING YOUR OWN DVD'S FOR YOUR KIDS.

Lack of content was also a pain in the evning for us as with young kids you end up back at the room fairly early and due to the poor TV signal and only basic digital TV content - there was nothing to watch. I was amazed that butlins would have spent a small fortune installing and wiring up 3 TV's in our room, and then failed to connect them to any decent content or 'system' !!! I've never stayed in such a nice looking and feeling hotel and suffered nothing to watch in the evening - it was bizarre.

The rest of the wave hotel was also nice with a great kids digital games room offering a wide range of video games and hand held devices to use for free.

We were surprised that the swimming facilities close at 17:00 and don't open until 09:00. Our plan for half an hour splashing around when we arrived at 17:00 was foiled and the kids were dissappointed about that.

We soon realised that the whole ethos of this place is designed to move people around to encourage you to be where they want you when they want you there. Actually that's fine once you understand it - and as this is such a massive site with so many different venues and nooks and crannies it must be impossible to staff everywhere all the time - so I guess the staff are targetted to certain areas at certain times and the schedules and opening/closing times of various things are co-ordinated in line with that plan.
As a result we were VERY IMPRESSED with how many staff there were on hand wherever we went. They were bright and friendly and always took time to stop and interact with the kids - even if they were just going from A to B on a concourse - a real credit to the team and to whoever manages and trains and motivates them all.

We paid for the RED WRIST BANDS to jump the queues - good move. We jumped a queue of over 500 on friday night waiting to enter the centre stage ballroom for the Scooby Doo show. The show was good BUT THE BALLROOM SMELT. It was that wet dog on carpet smell. It did not spoil our evening and was not overpowering but it was prominent enough to be 'always there'.

We paid extra for the DECK buffet and it was on par with any decent hotel buffet I've had anywhere in the world. I was impressed with everything - a grill cooking to order, a pasta station cooking to order and plenty of fresh crispy salad items and generally a good range and choice. The only let down was the veg - ALL SOGGY AND ALL FROM FROZEN - TURNED CARROTS ETC... I did not expect anything more for the price - but seeing the efforts they had gone to with every other aspect of the food I was surprised that the veg would be so flacid and anemic.
Overall we felt the food was VERY GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY. The place was modern, clean and felt hygenic. All the staff were neat and tidy, professional and well presented. We have some allergies amongst us and staff took this in their stride - cooking mashed potato and veg with no butter specially for us with no fuss.
Toilets in this restaurant were OK but only just and would benefit from more regular visits by cleaning staff. Kids and toilets equals mess and not all parents clean up after their accidents so regualr inspection and cleaning is a MUST.
Breakfast was also good with everything you would expect for the price as well as lots of fruit, kippers, and a grill cooking eggs to order if you want.

The kids loved all the various organised activities mainly because the staff were all so bubbly, engaging, enthusiastic and really made the most of everything. Well done team red coats!

NOW FOR THE ATTROCIOUS PART - THE SWIMMING
This is what we came here for - and how dissappointing. We walked in to uncomfotably cold changing facilities. Freezing cold air was blowing out of the large white pipes that run round the ceiling. The cubicles were small but that's always the case - even at centre parcs, but these felt grubby and we had to move a couple of times to find one we were prepared to tollerate. This was a surprise as we were one of the first in so it looks as if they had only been given a once over since the previous day. MORE THOROUGH CLEANING REQUIRED TO GET RID OF THE BLACK GRIME IN THE CORNERS AND CRACKS.

We hurried up as our 2 boys were shivering and complaining of cold. The air temperature in the pool area was uncomfortable and you had to get into the pool for any warmth - sadly though the water was only just warm enough to stop a feeling of cold setting in and as 95% of the water is only waist deep we spent our whole time with cold shoulders or trying to keep our bodies submerged to stay out of the cold air. We found ourselves and quite a few others searching for 'warm patches' where the water felt half a degree warmer which was really noticeable. Waiting in line for the water slides felt cold and this put us off.
After an hour we had to leave as we were all getting chilly - and i'm no runner bean - i've got a few spare pounds to keep me warm. The communal showers before the changing rooms were dissappointing and several did not work and those that did stopped after 3 second so you had to keep your hand on the button all the time - most of the buttons were too high for even our 5 year old to press so the whole thing was a real pain. The shower water felt quite warm and our kids jumped back. I think it was just because our bodies were so cold though.

THEN WE WERE PLUNGED INTO SIBERIA - returning to the lockers and cubicles was unpleasant. There were young children shivering and crying. Our 2 were shivering before we got to the lockers and it's only a few feet! By the time we got our towels from the locker we were really uncomfortably cold and miserable. There were no cubicles free and the looks on our trembling kids' faces forced us to return to the pool area for some warmth. Ironically it felt 'warm' in the pool area by contrast to the freezing changing rooms - but that feeling did not last long.
There was actually freezing cold air being blown down from roof vents above where you enter from the pool into the showers - so you get an unwelcome blast of what's to come as soon as you enter.

THE TEMPERATURE IN THE CHANGING ROOMS WAS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE - SHAME ON YOU BUTLINS - WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? I think it's unacceptable to operate an environment where small children are wet and cold AND THEN BLOW FREEZING COLD AIR ON THEM - IT WAS LIKE SOME SORT OF TORTURE - EVER HEARD OF PNEUMONIA?

We plucked up the courage to try swimming a second time on sunday - in case we'd been unlucky or maybe the thermostat was set wrong or something. But sunday was as bad and we could only tollerate 45 mins before we were forced to leave due to being cold. The changing room temp was even worse on sunday and the sounds of kids crying through chattering teeth due to the cold and seeing my own 2 shivering with unhappy faces was more than I could stand. I found someone who looked senior and asked why there was freezing air being pumped into a dangerously cold changing room? He explained that they had problems with the heating for the past week. I said OK but turn off the aircon then! He said that if they did that then there would be condensation as the air needs to circulate. I said we only booked less than 7 days ago and I was upset we had not been advised that the site's main indoor/winter attraction - the water park - was malfunctioning and unpleasantly cold. He said it will be fixed by next week. THAT'S NO HELP TO US AND OUR FREEZING AND DISSAPPOINTED KIDS!!!

If we had known our swimming weekend was going to be spoilt by an unusable main attraction we would not have come.

The saving grace was that there were plenty of other things to do BUT we came here to improve the boys' water skills and confidence - not to pay a few hundred quid to see happy clappy kid's shows and dress up as pirates.

Well done team red coats - if it was not for your enthusiasm saving the day I would be talking to my lawyer.

BIG LESSON LEARNT - always ask at time of booking if there are any issues, problems of failures with any aspect of the site - because they won't tell you about any failures.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank woodielisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2014

My wife and I visited Butlins in Bognor Regis last week for half term (17-21 Feb 2014) with our two sets of twins, aged 2.5 and 9. We are seasoned travellers within the UK for family friendly holidays and often visit hotels in Cornwall, CenterParcs as well as Butlins for which this was our 3rd visit to Bognor (the last one being 6 years ago), but we also went to Butlins in Minehead for the first time in August 2013, the kids loved it and we were also very impressed with it, which is what prompted us to book the half term break in Bognor.

Unfortunately, our excitement was dampened quickly and we realised that Butlins Bognor is vastly different in quality, cleanliness and organisation to Butlins Minehead. This is a pretty long review, but I hope you find it useful in choosing your next Butlins break.

Accommodation
On arrival in our 3 bed ground floor gold apartment, the carpet in the lounge area was dirty and clearly had not been vacuum cleaned in a while. I found that there was a crisps wrapper next to a couch, a lemon pip in the middle of the floor (which one of my two year olds could easily have put in their mouth) and 3 other objects - a toy, half a packet of sweets and a feather at the front edge of one of the couches. I really think that on changeover days much greater care could be taken to thoroughly clean the accommodation to a higher standard.

The bed linen was also dirty and marked, and for some reason the bottom sheets didn't to fit the mattress on most of the beds - it would be nice if the mattress was not visible. We put dirty towels that had been provided originally on the shower floor to be changed, only for them to be folded and left with us or removed and not replaced despite being visibly dirty. There seem to be no quality standards with accommodation cleanliness, which was very disappointing. And started to make us feel uncomfortable after a few nights. Towards the end, I started having thoughts that perhaps the bed linen isn’t changed/washed on changeover days due to the marks I could see on the bed covers that hadn’t come from us!

We had a few Butlins housekeeping people visit our accommodation on the first day to do quality control checks and so we fed back to them regarding the cleanliness; they took it on board but no improvement was made during our stay. It’s great that they do the checks, but would be better if they actually did something with the feedback given to them!

Finally, despite there being lots of cupboards in each room, there was virtually no shelves anywhere so for a family of 6 staying in a 3 bedroom apartment, there was pretty much nowhere to put clothes except inside bedside tables, which left nowhere to put everything else that wasn’t clothes!

Swimming
The floor of the changing room area in the swimming pool was absolutely filthy – even at the start of the day, and by midday you can only imagine how grim it was. There's no reason why this can't be cleaned throughout the day, but having taken my kids swimming three times throughout our 5 day stay and used different changing cubicles each time, in all of them the floor was dirty and unhygienic. It's also freezing in the changing room with a distinct lack of heating when you come out of the pool, it almost feels as if cold air is being pumped in.

No matter what time of day - either in the morning, 1pm or 4pm, the use of the swimming pool was frustrating due to overcrowding, seemingly without any restriction on numbers entering the pool – some time management would be better, such as use of coloured wristbands to restrict the time people can stay in the pool (Butlins in Minehead does this, and it seemed to work well). The fast moving river part of the pool had a height restriction on it which meant that my 9 year old twins who are both good swimmers and could easily touch the bottom of the pool were told they couldn't use it....further restricting their fun as the other areas of the pool were so crowded. Given the sheer volume of people onsite, the pool size is just too small, there needs to be a larger pool area for general swimming/playing and with a kids/toddler area in a larger separate section.

The water slides are actually pretty good, my kids enjoyed them but the section of the building where the stairs are to get to the top of the waterslides is very old and there are gaps in the wall panels (leading to the cold outside air) plus no heating, so in February, having just got out of a pool, and only wearing swimming trunks, it was bitterly cold. This area could do with some urgent modernisation, insulation and heating.

Kids Clubs
The kids club or crèche for toddlers has now closed and become a staff only childcare facility. This was very disappointing for us, since the crèche at Minehead is superb and we were looking forward to having some quality time with our bigger kids whilst the younger ones played for a few hours under supervision. For me, it hard to believe that there’s not demand for supervised play sessions where there are several thousand people onsite with pre-school age kids throughout the year.

Entertainment
The weather was mixed during our stay but we did notice that there wasn’t a huge amount to do on rainy days except go to the overcrowded swimming pool, waste more money on the arcade games or wait for one of the skyline shows to start – we also noticed that the skyline gang shows were not on until later in the day when younger kids may be going to bed, so we never got to see one. It would have been better if these are scheduled for earlier in the afternoon; and if the Butlins were able to be a little flexible to provide more to do for when it’s rainy/windy weather outside.
For info, at Minehead, the pool is larger, there’s a toddler club, cinema and the skyline pavilion is larger with much more to do inside.

We didn’t go to any of the live shows (except for the kids character show) but we did find that when everyone was queuing to go into a show, the queue was so long that it was impossible to make it through to enter the skyline, particularly with a double buggy! There needed to be better queue management so as not to block the entrance.

Funfair
Butlins claim that Bognor has a refurbished funfair – this really is somewhat misleading! The areas around the funfair rides have been refurbished – i.e. the paths, trees, bushes, signs etc. are new or have been tidied up. It looks very presentable but there are no new rides, the rides all look like they were installed when Butlins first opened decades ago! There are also empty spaces in the funfair where you would expect further rides to be, but there are none!

Presentation
General presentation around the site is not very impressive. Everywhere we looked there was rubbish on the ground, wrappers, fag ends etc. We got the opposite impression in Minehead, where we frequently saw people picking up litter or cleaning the facilities. In Bognor, we never saw anyone taking care of the place, except some painters at the entrance to the Skyline Pavilion.

Restaurants
We paid extra for the premium dining for breakfast and dinner. The food was adequate and the kids generally ate well despite a lot of the time eating chips! My only personal disappointment was the lack of mushrooms at breakfast on any day…I asked the staff and they said they don’t purchase mushrooms for use at breakfast! The restaurants onsite are good, and we were impressed with the service and décor. Papa Johns is very good value (although desperately needs new chairs as several are worn through); and the ambience, very help staff and food was good at the Beachcomber Inn (pub).

Summary
Since our last visit to Butlins in Bognor 6 years ago, a hotel and apartment building have been built. Not much else has changed besides some landscaping and a few extra outdoor activities. With the dramatic influx of additional people onsite, we really felt that that the facilities and entertainment provided were not adequate. Perhaps this would be different in the summer when there’s more going on outside. Our visit to Butlins in Bognor will definitely be the last, but I would consider returning to Minehead as we felt the whole Butlins experience was far superior there.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank LegoManLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Neath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2014

I booked a weekend break in a silver apartement for me and my family, just before our break the resort phoned and offered us an upgrade for £20 pp to stay in Wave hotel instead im so glad we did. The hotel staff were brilliant only down side was bath a bit grubby but what can you expect with such a huge turnover hats off to them and the towel animals lol. The upgrade included premium dining and the food was fantastic i cant wait to book my next one it was just what we all needed. The entertainment was great especially on our last night so glad we didnt miss it thank you Butlins see you again soon.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tanith B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ButlinsResorts, Butlins Customer Care at Butlin's Bognor Regis Resort, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
Thanks for taking the time to review your recent stay at our Bognor Regis resort.

I’m pleased to read that you had a fantastic time whilst staying in the Wave hotel. I’ve forwarded your comments on to the team at the Wave Hotel.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Kind Regards,

Danny.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Butlin's Bognor Regis Resort

Property: Butlin's Bognor Regis Resort
Address: Upper Bognor Road, Bognor Regis PO21 1JJ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > West Sussex > Arun District > Bognor Regis
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Bognor Regis
Hotel Class:4 star — Butlin's Bognor Regis Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 200
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, Butlins 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

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