We stayed in the Shoreline hotel with our ninth month old baby. We had been to Butlins years and years back, and had stayed in a standard room in Minehead, but it was rather were basic. However the entertainment was first class and the facilities on site were great.
The idea of going back to Butlins seemed appealing when we discovered that they had opened hotels. The website seemed to imply the hotels were high quality, but I was rather skeptical. However it was a bit of a surprise. The hotels look impressive from the outside. The receptionist were efficient and checked us in quickly and before the official check in. They explained a few of the unique features, the main one is the character breakfasts. The lifts are disco lifts with weird lights and music, which my son loved and were a nice touch.
The room itself was large with a comfortable bed, large window looking out to the sea and site below. There is a children's section in the room with a bunk bed, it is not exactly a separate room as there is not a door but it does have a separate TV in the children's area. I felt the room certainly had a better feel than a Premier Inn or Holiday Inn. It is clearly aimed at families, and it works rather well.
The breakfast was very pleasant and the redcoats were dressed up as cartoon characters - Bob the Builder, etc. It was a buffet style help yourself affair. The food was pretty good, much as you might find in a mid-range hotel. The differentiation comes with the characters, children love them.
The rest of the site has great entertainment especially in the evenings with lots to do during the day. The shows are good and take place throughout the day and evening. Another highlight is the huge swimming pool complex, with various slides and flumes. A downside is that the central area has a lot of arcade and fruit machines, with older children I can imagine this might get expensive.
There are lots of places to eat out. We quite liked the Papa Johns restaurant which had an all you can eat buffet, it also does takeaway. A bit of a disappointment was when we ate dinner in the Ocean hotel restaurant. It was a buffet, but it was rather expensive and there was not a huge selection of vegetarian food. It felt rather expensive for what it was.
Bognor as a town is not really that exciting, it is a small town set on a pebble beach. I am not sure there is a lot around to do, but I guess the site has quite a lot of activities and my guess is most people spend a lot of time onsite rather than exploring the area.
The main plus is all the staff - cleaners, receptionists, waiter, redcoats, etc are all very friendly.
I found this to be a great value break. It cost us £180 for three nights. That would normally not get three of us a hotel of that standard, never mind all the entertainment and swimming. The prices seem to fluctate wildly with deals ending and starting every few weeks. So it is quite hard to know exactly when to buy and the lack of clarity on pricing is something of an issue for me. On the other hand I guess it allows them to ensure most rooms are filled, but I do wonder if anyone books at the full price.
I am not sure that I have heard of a hotel that is as family friendly and so it really stands on its own as best in a class of one. If you like the idea of Butlins, but don't fancy a chalet then it is certainly worth a look.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Come and enjoy a luxury short break at the stylish Shoreline Hotel right in the heart of the beautiful seaside resort of Butlins Bognor Regis. Plenty of features designed to keep you and our younger guests happy and by taking care of all the details, you'll be sure to have a relaxing and enjoyable break. Beautifully light and airy rooms with floor to ceiling windows, comfy leather furniture and flat-screen TV. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Butlins Shoreline Bognor Regis
- Hotel Butlins Shoreline
- Butlins Shoreline Hotel Bognor Regis, West Sussex