We arrived at 2pm on 19th May 2014 for our 4 night break and were surprised to see how few people there were on camp. Normally by this time the place is buzzing with families and kids running a mock. Not this year.
We went to the check in desk and there was no queue. We got our pack and went to Bar Rosso for a drink as we couldn't get into our room till 4pm. We thought maybe people would turn up later but by 3.30pm the check in desk was just one desk with a few envelopes left. It was going to be quiet. When looking at the families we noticed that there were a lot less school aged children than normal but just as many pre-school kids. Maybe the threats of a fine for taking kids out of school is beginning to frighten parents.
When we booked we had a double room with shower, with Premier Dining and B Line Fast Track Wrist Bands. We were surprised, and delighted, that we had been upgraded to a 2 bedroom apartment within Oyster Bay. The room had recently been painted and new carpet. The other thing we found was that we were less than 100 yards from the dining room and we were within 200 yards of the Skyline Pavilion.
We've been regulars every year at Butlins for the last 5 years. We've done the same week every year. Things change, but most remains the same. Our biggest annoyance this year was that only Centre Stage was open and not Reds. Normally we get a choice of entertainment for the night but this year, for the first time ever, it was like it or lump it. Last tear at Minehead we had the B Line Passes and were so grateful for them. Getting in 15 minutes early and getting the best seats, so we saw them as a real god send as people queue for the best seats hours in anticipation of the doors opening, and with only 1 venue it could have been a nightmare. And we thought that even though it's quiet the B Line Passes would be worth it. How wrong. This year the queue for B Line was BIGGER than the normal queue. Even arriving at 7pm you could still get a good seat. £24 wasted. Refund? No!
So 2 shows a night. The first night was The Panto; Snow White. Oh dear, it's the same production, and jokes we had 2 years ago in Minehead. But the second show was better; Ray Lewis, who was one of the lead singers with The Drifters. Good sing along and well presented show. Tuesday we had The Redcoat Gameshow - another repeat. Followed by The Ragdolls, who did a tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were fantastic. Wednesday brought us Blues On The Move. Yet another repeat from last year and Freddie - The Music of Queen. A great production and well staged. Our last night, Thursday, brought us Scooby Doo live on stage. This show was in 2 parts of 50 minutes each but could have so easily been made into a 1 hour show. The second half was slow and became pantomimish with Shaggy and Scooby making Hot Dogs and making an absolute mess. Totally unnecessary. This was followed by a Beatles tribute act. Started off well, but quickly descended into Karaoke and some of the songs were ludicrously fast.
The other thing that Butlins reneged on was that they had been pushing that premium diners could eat in The Deck restaurant or The Yacht Club with a wider choice of food available. That didn't happen. Not enough guests. So what was the point of paying extra for Premium Dining when, in essence, we only got a couple of more choices than standard and posher tables and chairs. I eat the food not the table and chairs.
Every year something changes. Every year it appears that we are losing out. Every year the price rises. In 5 years we've seen the price rise from £175 to £300. Maybe it's losing it's appeal. maybe it's time for a change of brand.
- 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