I took our son to Butlins Bognor Regis as a day visitor for a convenient treat (we live a few miles away), before he started school last September. Having never been to anywhere like Butlins, I really didn't know what to expect - something like hi-di-hi I suppose!
And, I guess there is a whiff of hi-di-hi, but I came to the realisation that is what it is all about, Butlins are proud of their family holiday heritage and that is exactly the way it should be. Judging by the number of happy faces and families enjoying time together, Butlins has got to be a good thing.
The campus here is much bigger than I ever realised, and I must drive past it at least once a week. You can see that they continually move with the times adding different attractions and facilities and here they seem to have significantly invested in activities and attractions to keep teenagers occupied - always a tough audience to please. Lots for younger ones too, the water spouts in the garden area were a great hit with every 3 year old upwards - all ended up soaked!
Lots of dining options including fast-food, traditional pub grub, fish n chips & upmarket dining. We tried Turners restaurant which was a lovely environment with professional service but a little overpriced for what it actually was but there are plenty of options, don't forget the new hotels there have dining options too. Talking of the new hotels, they really looked rather nice, we had a quick look inside and they offer family accomodation in one entire room, with special 'dens' for kids, a great idea!
The Splash Waterworld was well run but pretty manic - personally I wouldn't want to be in there in high season - it must get packed! However, very good, as ever catering to all ages.
There is a small but functional shopping mall and overall nothing is at rip-off prices, the end-of-pier style gaming facilities are reasonable and I never felt as though we were being overcharged or taken advantage of.
As we left around 6pm, I was surprised to see an enormous queue for the evening show - for people staying at Butlins and wondered whether that was really necessary, why do we Brits always have to queue for everything? Surely seats could be allocated by room or similar to save people being herded and leave them more time to enjoy their stay, perhaps for a pre-show drink?
We had one incident whilst at Butlins when one of their automatic sliding doors closed on my son and they were right on the button, with sincere concern, not the usual 'oh no are we going to get sued for this' approach. Several staff appeared, helped me comfort him and assess any injury and then took him to tell the doors off, I think they gave him a balloon or some stickers.
So, definately worth giving a go, a good break for all the family.
- 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