Ok I'm going to admit this from the start I was threatened with a near death experience on the Saturday night if we didn't take the kids on holiday over the half term break starting on the Monday......we live in cornwall why do we need to go on holiday you may ask however apparently visiting the same beach for the last 8 years is apparently not cutting it and a change of scenery is called for!
Due to the fact I was looking at a serious arctic winter shoulder much internet emergency browsing ensued and finally mainly due to the terror of facing a damp and cold caravan ended up getting a bit of a bargain late booking 50% off a hotel at the well known Mediterranean hotspot known as "bognor butlins" and 4 of us visited over Easter....well kind of Easter it's two weeks to go but everyone has been urged to have compulsory fun/break early this year as the schools want the kids back still scoffing on half a ton of chocolate!!!our party comprised of me (age 39) the better half (age classified but a clue is 1 year nearer to 30 then me!) and two girls (10 & 6)
Firstly the good bits before you all stop reading this and think here we go another trip advisor moan by some miserable old bugger. The hotel was great (ocean) great sized room, balcony and sea view which incidentally we didn't pay the £45 to guarantee and just got lucky. The fair was great and not big queues so my oldest daughter took great delight in jumping off the dodgems and racing around to get str8 back on...she drove so often I'm debating whacking her in for her driving test but bearing in mind at 10 years old her insurance would probably be about half a million quid she might have to save a bit longer!!!
The evening entertainment was good in particular the circus de hilarity which was top class we did have trouble getting a seat so stood at the side by the bar whilst the kids sat on the dance floor so we were near the bar and the girls were near all the action...winner! Some of the evening entertainment can be hit and miss as the panto wasn't great but most of the music acts were good quality....the Robbie Williams tribute act might need a bit of a reality check though in the words of maroon 5 he may move like jagger but sings like my aunt megan :)
Now to a couple of the negative bits...the swimming pool is a bit of a disgrace, changing rooms are stinking and could do with a bit of a revamp and the pool itself was overcrowded and looked tired and dated....I suggest butlins could do with a timed (45min peak times) coloured armband system to limit numbers and maybe a dry in wet out system in the changing cubicles....both my girls love swimming so in past holidays it is quite a central part for us and this time has had to take a proper backseat.
Smells! Their are some real beauties in the skyline and main entertainment venue a kind of cross between damp and humming feet.....I put this down to the fact we are all far to healthy for our own good and the smoking ban has allowed it to happen as cigarettes used to mask the variety of delightful fragrances we used to be able to ignore!
Bognors central location has meant trips out have been good with a fun visit to gunwharf quay in Portsmouth for shopping, cinema and food and on a separate day a trip to the new forest to use our mountain bikes which we had the foresight to bring to butlins even though we left them strapped to the bike rack on the back of the car in the butlins complex as you can't really ride them about
and finally I'm happy to say due to the proximity of bognor to london the girls ended up getting the swim of their dreams in the end.....not at the butlins pool but from the trek up to london to use the London Olympic aquatic centre pool right on the Friday right after checkout.....maybe not the direct route home to sunny cornwall but an opportunity to good to miss!
so to summarise use bognor for the hotel and evening entertainment but don't feel as though you have to stay on the complex because quite frankly you would be driven insane over 5 days but use it as an opportunity to get out and about too :)
- 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
- Butlins Bognor Regis Resort West Sussex