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“80's Big Weekend at Bognor!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Butlins Bognor Regis Resort

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Butlins Bognor Regis Resort
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4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Upper Bognor Road, Bognor Regis PO21 1JJ, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 9 Hotels in Bognor Regis
london
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“80's Big Weekend at Bognor!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

We have just returned from an 80's themed weekend at Bognor. We stayed at the Ocean hotel which was lovely. A good sized room with small lounge area, comfy double bed with 'ambient' lights and a small second twin room with full size singles. The bathroom was small but funky! We had a good sized balcony overlooking a car park but sea views in the distance which was a nice touch. There were tea and coffee making facilities, a small empty fridge and an iron and ironing board plus TV's in each room. The spa was lovely but small. Breakfast was ok - fairly small selection of stuff but adequate.

We ate at Turners - nice food and in The Deck. Food at both places was good and plentiful. Alcoholic drinks were extra.

The music was great! - There was a wide range of ages - lots of hen and stag parties but considering the amount of people and the amount of alcohol drunk, we never saw any fights or unpleasantness the whole weekend. Almost everyone was in fancy dress on the Saturday night and it was a great atmosphere. However, the carpets were sticky and the chairs a bit grubby! Soul night legends fantastic, as was the Blondie Tribute Band.

All in all a great weekend for £150 including food! Don't expect anything too classy but keep an open mind ...

Room Tip: If on a Big Weekend, it is quieter on the top floor!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (574)
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English first
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

We Stayed at the Bognor Regis, Wave Hotel from the 27th December until the 30th December 2012. It was our first ever family trip to Butlins, with our two children aged 5 and 2.

Upon trying to check in at the hotel, we had to wait one hour and told that they were repairing some things in our room. With two young children and after a long journey, we were not impressed.

The room seemed well furnished, but it was not spotless. The walls had marks on them, that had not been wiped and the beds had no mattress protectors on them. You could see the striped mattress through the fitted sheet. I called room service and asked for extra sheets so I could remake the beds with extra sheets at the bottom.

On our first night we settled our very tired children to sleep. At 9pm we were woken by the Smoke alarms, which were obviously very loud and piercing. The children were incredibly frightened, as we had to evacuate the building from the 5th floor. We were told it was a false alarm by other guests as we waited outside (no staff to be seen!) We went back in and amazingly settled our frightened children back to sleep.

On our final night we experienced the Fire Alarm extravaganza. The fire alarm sounded at midnight. Once again we had to wake our very tired and now frightened children to evacuate the hotel (once again from the 5th floor via the staircase). Again we were told it was a false alarm by other guests. Upon returning all the way to the 5th floor, the children did not want to return to their beds and were panicky and screaming. Just as we were calming them down, the alarm sounded again – this was at around a quarter past midnight.

My husband went down to the reception area, whilst my children and I stayed in our room. He said it was chaos and everyone was angry and complaining.

Following this third alarm, our children did not want to sleep alone and eventually at 2 am we all fell asleep in the same bed. I personally, was ready to leave and only stayed at the Hotel because my husband said it was too dangerous to drive home through the night.

Our children were distraught with fear and we tried to convince them the alarm would not sound again. We were very wrong, as at 8am the following morning we were all woken again by the fire alarm. I was very glad to be leaving that morning. Infact, the alarm sounded a second time that morning - 15-20 minutes after it stopped.

In total the fire alarm system at the Wave Hotel sounded 5 times over the 3 nights. 2 of our nights stay were blighted by this system failure and completely ruined our stay at the hotel.

We wrote a complaint letter to Butlins about our expensive and ruined break at The Wave Hotel. They admited there was a fault with the smoke alarm system, but we were not given any compensation for our shocking experience.

We would never return to Butlins again. It was a huge waste of money on what was supposed to be an enjoyable family break. The staff at The Hotel could not have cared less and the Butlins Customer Service team had the very same attitude.

Be warned!!!!!!

Room Tip: you may want to sleep in your car for a better nights sleep.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

I deliberately didn't book Butlins for years because I presumed it was expensive but when I relented about ten years ago I was pleasantly surprised. The overall price was high but it did include so much that most holiday centres don't such as fun fairs, and the half board option reduce the food cost, by far the biggest expense on family holidays.

Recently though sneaky charges keep creeping in and things that were included in the price suddenly are not, such as drinks with the half board option (used to be unlimited soft drinks and tea now a bar service so 5 Cokes £8.75 x 7 nights = £61) or housekeeping (you can now have you’re beds made and a new toilet roll if you pay £15 per stay extra). The very reasons we chose Butlins are now gone making us think twice before booking in the future. I don’t mind paying a bit more before we go to reduce the expense when we are there but it is now a case of paying a bit more before we go and paying a bit more when we are there too!!! The entertainment is also going down the hill. They used to put on quality in-house produced shows which were entertaining now they seem to favour a quick ten minute slot by some loser off X Factor followed by lots of padding before some rubbishy tribute band does a late slot murdering Madonna or UB40. The idea that it is a relaxing break is also a myth as everything at Butlins involves a long queue. You queue to get into the half board restaurant, you queue to get you’re starter, queue to get main course etc……You queue on an evening to get into the venues and then queue at the bar. You sort of expect this as part of the tacky seaside holiday which is fine until the prices start going up. Butlins seem to be rebranding themselves and trying to escape that image but nothing is improving, just the price is going up and it is alienating existing customers. I’m happy to pay more to get more but I’m not getting more. Charging more for food and saying it is now a waitress service in a contemporary Restaurant actually in reality is a Polish waitress showing you to you’re seat, still having to queue for buffet style food and also get charged for a drink. Turn up at a busy time and you queue, turn up later and the food has been sat going cold since the busy time and all the best pickings have gone. Not my idea of contemporary dining.

My recent break was an 80’s adult’s weekend at Bognor Regis. There is absolutely nothing to do in the day on these big weekends but get drunk. The fun -fair was shut, the shops closed, the swimming pool opened for a few hours but every bar in the venue was open. We escaped for a day to Portsmouth because I don’t think my liver could handle 72 hours of non stop alcohol. The entertainment involved a number of 80’s throwbacks but started so late, some days as late as midnight leaving not much to do from Breakfast except getting drunk. The last night of our break we went to the cinema in nearby Chichester as Butlin’s own cinema was closed. The Spa is tiny and you pay when you book but then end up in a crappy slot when you come to arrange an appointment because it is full. I would like to see more daytime activities that don’t revolve around alcohol and more entertainment starting earlier. In general the food situation needs to improve, they need to decide whether they are doing cheap mass produced school dinners (don’t knock it!) or contemporary dining which can’t be a waitress showing you to cheap mass produced school dinners!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

I booked this 4mths prior to going and must admit was very apprehensive about celebrating our Christmas at Butlins. I had gone to Bognor Regis Butlins in 2004 over the xmas period and found the experience mundane.
Now with an extra sibling in tow we rocked up to Bognor early evening via train from London and entered the resort. The first words out of my childrens mouths were "WOOOOOW" .
Butlins had made the resort look like a magical winter wonderland complete with decorations and fake snow, They really did go all out to make it look and feel like christmas.

Due to the extremely high prices quoted to me at the time of booking I regrettably opted to book standard accomodation for our christmas stay under the proviso that we are a very active family and would not be spending much time in the chalet - a word of warning - DO NOT STAY IN STANDARD CHALETS, THEY ARE AN ACQUIRED TASTE!! - AS IS THE FOOD IN THE FOOD HALLS THAT GOES WITH BOOKING IN THIS STANDARD OF ACCOMODATION!!!!
- Taps in bathroom didnt work
- Room hygiene standards were well below acceptable - It was filthy & vile!!!

After a friendly word with management we were upgraded to a Deluxe apartment and presented with champagne, chocolates, nuts and crackers.
Unfortunately we were unable to have our dining plan upgraded as we were told all restaurants were fully booked out.

From start to finish there was just so much to do for both my kids and I have a 2year old and a 10year old.
Santas grotto was brilliant, Butlins had made this a brilliant experience. I was surprised when at the end of the winter wonderland grotto on xmas eve the kids were handed REAL xmas gifts from santa and not just a miniature pack of smarties, Butlins had reallly brought santa to life for my children.
Visiting the real Reindeers was also a lovely experience for the children, so much excitement in one day. The decor and ambience was magical. There were no complaints from my children at all.
The christmas puppet shows at the puppet castle kept my 2year old amused no end and she watched them several times as did I, the repetition didnt disturb me at all as I understand that kids minds benefit from repetitive learning.

The soft play area was open the entire break and both my 10year old and 2 yr old had hours of fun chasing one another around in there and making new friends.
The evening fireworks were great, they weren't the most extravagant display that i've ever seen but they were lovely to watch and the Butlins staff were standing outside giving out hot mulled wine, fortunately the weather was very mild which made the experience so much nicer.

The evening entertainment was excellent, the kids really enjoyed getting dressed up in their party outfits and watching the shows, making new friends on the dance floor and cutting some shapes. It definitely beat sitting at home and watching 20year old repeats on the telly thats for sure!!!!!

The indoor toddlers funfair was brilliant and my toddler enjoyed it very much, my 10year old joined their sibling on a few of these rides as the adult fairground outside was closed due to being refurbished, however they did have a beautiful merry go round outside.

The snowglobe in the Pavillion was great fun, we as a family felt that the photo's were exceedingly over priced at £7 for a keyring, photo or £9 for a real snowglobe and the photos didnt look very professional - we think it would be better for them to offer a discount if you ordered multiples of photos. It was great going inside and having snowball fights with the family, a lovely experience!!!

Arts and crafts with the kids making Rudolph the red nose reindeers was a lovely activity that we could do as a whole family and we really enjoyed that quality time together, the staff were so happy and helpful.

There was lots to do on christmas day which we found really surprising Butlins really had pulled out all the stoppers, however we chose to relax in our deluxe accomodation on xmas day as the previous days events had exhausted us, there is just so much to do constantly that it is very easy to exhaust yourself and become over stimulated by it all.

Little big club shows were fantastic which included Barney, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu, fireman Sam and much more. The entertainers did just that, entertained and kept the kids busy with their dance routines and friendly banter.

Bjorn the polar bear was fabulous and ever so life like and the talks that the keeper gave on the polar bear were factual and informative, a great learning experience for the kids, I was very impressed!! We visited Bjorn several times in the Skyline pavillion.

The boxing day pantomime Beauty and the Beast was very entertaining and once again it definitely beat sitting at home watching repeats of only fools and horses... The children sat through the entire performance and took lots of pictures.

The children and I enjoyed swimming, the water slides and fun and family friendly, the water was warm and the facilities were clean and well kept considering the amount of guests on resort, I was pleasantly surprised.

I was shocked to discover that the cinema had been closed down and that Butlins had not let me know prior to arrival as I was looking forward to using the cinema facilities, I questioned staff about this and was told that its a case of "out with the old and in with the new" The cinema is being replaced as is the fairground with brand new facilities which will be completed by March 2013. This didnt ruffle our feathers as there was still plenty to do on resort!!!

The christmas dinner was absolutely awful, Butlins have not mastered mass catering very well at all, my children did not find the food agreeable and we ended up having Papa Johns stuff crust pizza for our festive feast which actually my children preferred and we had a whale of a time.

The Butlins Bible is FANTASTIC _ Thats the "Entertainment Guide" for all those who don't know... It is up to date and accurate and tells you the times, areas and events happening through out your stay. We kept a copy of this on us at all times and we were never bored. We never got lost and whenever we were unsure about anything we flicked open this little manual and it solved pretty much all our queries.


All in all both myself and my children thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas experience at Butlins and we've booked to go back for Easter and Xmas 2013 23-27th Dec, however next year we will be staying in a hotel and eating in The Deck restaurant!!!!!!!
We are very much looking forward to trying out the new fairground and the discovery facility that has taken place of the old cinema.

On booking this holiday, Butlins is a family resort, it is not to everyones tastes but if your looking for somewhere to spend quality time with your kids or to let the kids have quality time with each other then this is definitely the place to go, although Butlins have not mastered mass catering they have mastered the art of entertainment and are able to see the world through a childs eyes and that is what makes this place so amazing. The looks on your childrens faces and the sense of excitement the kids get from all the experiences is just priceless. I'd rather a Butlins holiday with my kids than a sunny beach holiday in a 5* resort abroad anyday... although after a week in Butlins you do actually need a beach holiday after just to recuperate from all the excitement had at Butlins!!! LOL

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastbourne, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Had great time for daughters birthday weekend music great, food okay, drinks expensive but dressing up and watching the shows was great. Down side some staff need more training on how to deal with customers asked to send email to spa about any cancellations said would come and let me no waited for four hours sitting in room never turned up so waste of day, Bathroom was not very clean bath needs replacing this is in the s/c chalets.
One good thing we had a nice young lad called Ben who was polite at all times and made our mornings at breakfast fun thats what you need when having few days break on our last morning we had new lad called chris who was polite and friendly and made our morning fun.would go back but some of the chalets do need doing up.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harlow, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

After experiencing Pontins (Yes, that disgusting travesty of a hell camp) I was scared of any other holiday camps. Until Butlins. Dear Billy Butlins (Not in person obviously) showed me that a great family holiday can be had in England. For this trip me and my family went to the Wave Hotel, my main area of focus in this review. I've never spent a lot of time in hotels, and this is because I don't go on holiday a lot. However, the Wave Hotel has a very nice, modern feel to it, and has a familiar ocean like Art Deco style. The reception was pleasant and there was even a games room, where children could come and play some family games. I stayed in a room on the fourth floor. The interior was wonderfully designed, and there was a king bed, HD TV, Wifi, a bunk bed and a freaking clean bathroom. All spotless, I'll add. I'll sum up the Wave Hotel in one sentence I think. The Wave Hotel is a beautifully designed hotel that sums up what a true British summer holiday should be about.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Took my daughter here last year for her birthday. I have been here before and it was ok but since they have opened the new hotel its gone down hill.

They have too many people on site and not enough entertainment etc. We had to arrive an hour before the entertainment started in the evening just to get a seat near the stage. When the show started there was standing room only and a lot of very unhappy people as they had young children that couldn't see,

The hotel room was great, tidy and clean. The staff where nice and said hi. They have a great breakfast buffet that is reasonable considering what you get.

The pool was great but we had to wait to go in as too many people where in there. Plus when we got in there it was too full and we ended up getting out. It wasn't good for the younger children as they got crushed in the amount of people.

Price wise... Def VERY OVERPRICED. The funfair is free but old and tatty. Def needs an update. Plus due to the weather they didn't open all the rides on all the days and one ride was broken the whole time we where there.

If you have money to burn and don't care about the entertainment then go during the quiet times. Otherwise you will end up being very cramped!

Room Tip: Stay in the shoreline hotel
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Butlins Bognor Regis Resort

Address: Upper Bognor Road, Bognor Regis PO21 1JJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > West Sussex > 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 #7 of 9 Hotels in Bognor Regis
Hotel Class:4 star — Butlins 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
Butlins Bognor Regis Resort West Sussex

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