We've just returned from a weekend at Butlins to see the PDC Players Championship finals and was left with mixed feelings about the whole weekend.
Didn't realise there was a separate reception for Gold guests, so after spending what seemed like forever in the main reception waiting for them to find our reservation the man attending to us eventually read our confirmation and directed us to the Gold Reception, which is around the corner from the main check-in.
The lady in Gold Reception was very pleasant and helpful and the check-in process was a lot more civilised than the masses which descended on the main desk. The main reception leaves a lot to be desired and you wouldn't think you we're checking in at a holiday camp. The carpet also looked liked it was rescued from the 1970's and it smelt damp in Guest Services as we walked through to find the gold reception.
We stayed in Chalet 3 of Elderberry Lodge within Plantation Quay. After reading some of the reviews on here we were both pleasantly surprised when we walked through the door. The place looked and smelt clean. We had a 2 bedroom apartment which were both nicely decorated and had clean bedding. The double room also had a little flat screen tv, which was nice.
The bathroom was also spotless, it wasn't the biggest bathroom and only had a shower cubicle. Which was fine with us but if you rather have a bath you might want to book another apartment.
The main living area was also spotless, the kitchen had everything you needed from a hob and oven to a dishwasher (along with dishwasher tablets). There were plenty of utensils and were even supplied with a dish cloth, washing up liquid and tea towel. The lounge area had 2 leatherette couches, a nest of tables and a large flat screen tv as well as a DVD Player. We chose to have an apartment on the ground floor with a patio area and I'm glad we did, the whole block looked so much better than the rest of the Gold Apartments (without patios and balconies) around us. We also had double glazed throughout which helped with outside noise and we didn't have a problem with condensation.
We went self catering, again I'm glad we did. We heard a lot of moaning about the food. We bought groceries from Morrison's (opposite the site). We had a cooked breakfast in the chalet which set us up for the day and then went out for something to eat around tea time. We did buy 2 pizzas the first night from Pizza Hut but at a cost of £25 we never went back a second time.
We had chose Gold Accommodation for 2 reasons, 1 being we got 'better' seating. Well that was a joke. When we made it to the arena we were shocked to see we were sat at what looked like pasting tables with little wooden benches. I can honestly say we have not sat on anything so uncomfortable. We stuck it out for the evening session but left before the last match as couldn't stand sitting on the benches any longer. For this reason we didn't attend any darts sessions on the Saturday and only went to see one match on the Sunday afternoon and then went back for the final. Everyone around us was complaining about how uncomfortable the benches were and resorted to sitting on mountains of foam fingers to try and make it more bearable. The table next to ours changed their benches to folding chairs but they said even they were uncomfortable but better than the benches. I was starting to think our friends (who booked standard accommodation) were sat in the best seats. I definitely felt as if all of us who paid for Gold and Deluxe accommodation were ripped off. I wanted better seats so we would could see more and due to me having an issue with my legs needed more leg room but the total inappropriateness of the benches on exasperated my condition meaning we stayed at the chalet on the Saturday and watched the darts on tv. I could have done this at home. Also the drinks were dire, £15 for 4 pints of something which resembled lager, bitter or cider. We ended up buying a few bottles from Morrissons and drank them Saturday evening when we stayed in.
The evening of the final we went to our table to find it occupied by people who had blue wristbands and shouldn't have been there. So whilst security were hot on keeping people from chanting, standing, enjoying themselves. They didn't actually do what they were supposed to do and stop those in the standard seats from sitting with those who paid more to sit on tables.
We were pleasantly surprised at the standard of accommodation but it was the actual event and the standards of seating which spoilt it for us. Unless they change what it sat on then we won't be returning. I'm not paying for tickets and accommodation to watch the event on the tv.
- Also Known As:
- Butlins Minehead Hotel Minehead
- Butlins Hotel Minehead
- Butlins Resort
- Butlins Minehead Resort Somerset