2 adults, 2 kids (5&7yrs), last minute booking into a silver room (double+twin).
Checkin was easy... we arrived at about 1230 and the guys on the gate were super efficient and friendly, directing us on where to park and how to checkin. We waited about 5mins in checkin line, then it took 1min to receive our keys, etc. We went to our room a couple of times prior to the stated 4pm availability time (just to see if it was ready) but it wasn't ready til 4, which was fine and expected.
We immediately set about visiting the kids indoor play/rides which were great and we had a chill/coffee adjacent... could see the kids at same time. Some other times during our stay we had a snack/pint while the kids played. For a 3day trip the rides are great/varied, though most of the time we were there the outside rides were flooded or shut due to wind/rain.
Evening ents in the 'Center Stage' are very professional, though sometimes rather boring for the kids... a whole hour of Blues-Brothers tribute on New Year's Eve did drag on a bit! There are other options on where to go, but the awful shortness of seats mean you can't switch and change and expect to get back in again.
Our only real problem was that despite the HUGE centre-stage showbar, we consistently struggled to get a seat... on the first night (Dec30th) we got some chairs (but no table, partly due to some people having reserved literally TEN tables, with only one person guarding them!) around 630pm, but then left to see a kids show in the pavillion (nowhere to sit there either). When we returned to the centre-stage at about 8pm there was NOWHERE to sit. We were luckier on Jan1st as we were about 15mins before a big rush, so we did get a table somewhere near the back. On New Year's Eve itself there was a queue for hours before the doors opened (530pm), and we we in it somewhere from about 5pm. We did manage to get 4 chairs that night but no table, which is a bit of a pain with kids/drinks for 7 hours.
This over-filling does seem a bit daft... they know how many people are there yet the entertainment doesn't seem to be able to cope with that at full capacity. I suppose that maybe some other bars were more empty, but I have heard that more accommodation has been built quite recently without adding to the facilities, so it does seem obvious that some things will be crowded.
Our room was great for a last-minute, budget room. Clean, and spacious, with the kids in a room to themselves. Where we were (end of a long terrace in D101) we got no passing traffic and all was quiet... it does seem that the walls are paper-thin though so I suspect that our neighbours were just quiet/sensible people.
Swimming was good, though the main flume was shut when we went (maybe always?). The others flumes were good though and had only small queues. Water was a bit cold to be honest, but not too bad. When we went it was busy but no queuing to get in, but as we left there was a big queue of people waiting to be allowed into the pool.
Had planned on leaving the site to visit Brighton/etc but didn't bother in the end, partly because of the hideous weather, but mostly because there was plenty to do, and the kids were happy to spend hours on the indoor play/rides whilst we chilled with coffees/beers. We were also so stuffed from buffet meals twice a day, that we struggled to move much :)
Meals were not posh but perfectly pleasant and wholesome... suitable for all the family, with reasonable choice and huge quantities if desired. This is definitely a bonus of this kind of holiday, except that one is tempted to cram it in and then be uncomfortably full for hours... must - stop - eating!
Overall, great, and if it weren't for the weather limiting our enjoyment of the outside (and cancelling the fireworks), and for the stupid seating issues in the showbar, it would have been PERFECT for a cheapy.
Will look into it again next year.
- 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