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“Welcome to the pre-millennium!”

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Butlins Minehead Resort
Ranked #4 of 14 Hotels in Minehead
Nuneaton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Welcome to the pre-millennium!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

As I write this from the Pavilion itself I can tell you this, don't believe everything you read in reviews (this one included).
I arrived for a Monday - Friday trip and have so far writing from experiences up to Tuesday evening.

Prior to arriving I paid £15 for access to the wifi (you get 15 minutes for free, but as a gadget addict, 15 minutes minutes is not enough) system, expecting it originally for use to only in the Resort Buildings (Pavilion, Pubs, Splash Zone etc.) I found upon doing a quick scan that they have installed outside transmitters for wifi in and around the apartments - brilliant I thought so I could use my iPad in my bedroom, to check it was all working I logged on via my phone which was a huge mistake! The company that controls the wifi (Arqiva) logged the individual IP address of each device and once logged on is locked onto that device - it doesn't allow you to share the connection with another device. I tried asking if I could swap licences with Arqiva over a pay phone (they don't have offices on site) and had instead to pay for another to connect my iPad.
Problem Solved I hear you say.....Nope!
The wifi signal in the rooms although claiming 2/3 strength are very temperamental one second it will show up with your required connection (Butlins Wifi - not to be confused with Butlins Team, which is the redcoats wifi package) the next second it won't exist or if it does stay available to sign on, it may not always connect. I have spent over half an hour to try and secure a connection in my apartment to no avail, when I do get one it's because I'm pressed so close to the outer wall of my bedroom I start to crush my arm holding my iPad.

The apartments - well what can I say, if your using them as a base which the intention to either blown every penny in the resorts clubs and diners or for day trip excursions then you'll be well suited, if you intend to stay on site and remain largely in your apartment you will be bitterly disappointed!
The TV only picks up 6 channels (Butlins own promo channel (on 1), BBC 1 (on 2), BBC 2 (on 3...), ITV, CH4, and CH5.
I was horrified considering all television transmitters now only broadcast in digital but Butlins only provide the equivalent of terrestrial. It's a further ploy to force you out of your homes to reap more of your hard earned cash.
The windows in all the properties are SINGLE PANE windows, that are so thin you can clearly hear anyone and anything on the outside of the apartment, and they leak! (The wind whistles through them without a problem) in some instances you hark for the hard plastic rubbish you get in caravans.
The latches on these single panes do go right back to the knotholed lever system which is pointless as the cold air already comes into room anyway - but one disadvantage/advantage is all the windows are of knee height meaning in cases of a fire (which considering the structure of these apartments maybe a good thing - to start again I mean) you could step out of the window to the outside, but if you leave a window open there is nothing really to stop someone coming into your rooms and pilfering anything without meaningful detection as there is no CCTV in the apartment buildings.

The Bathroom is very small (as all WCs are) with a standard shower cubicle and a toilet and hand basin squeezed in, the only mod con you could say that is equipped is a heated towel rack, handy but doesn't quite get hot enough to properly dry damp things.

The kitchen is adequate to cook in (assuming the last occupants hadn't stolen or broke the equipment as those in my apartment had - we didn't have a frying pan, grill pan, can opener or paring knife for vegetables nor oven gloves)

Lets move on to the entertainment -
I am not fond of kids entertainment and their entertainers (I guess it's the forced amusement they need for the little darlings - makes me cringe), I like children but only if I'm in their presence for as short a time as possible - so needless to say I tried to avoid the kids entertainment.
Grown Up Entertainment - Minehead does have a large 'Sports Bar' a glorified Wetherspoons with a few more shoddy fruit machines and a bowling alley (not included in the park price) and a number of smaller pub/restaurants to cater for families - since I neither drink much and detest most sports I avoid both if I can help it.
Now I must say I do like a good game of Bingo which Butlins do provide in the 'Jumping Jaks' but what I was not happy about what the price and consequentially it's prizes.
For a family holiday park I don't expect to pay £18 for a 6 ticket book of 8 pages and 3 strips of 6 ticket flyers - to me that is the premise of Gala or Mecca. After the shock of the price, the games they play were awful, rather than playing the standard format of 'One Line, Two Line, Full House' (Whether this was the Redcoats whim or the illogical nature of it) they played on one page 1 Line, once that was called we started a new game on the next page for a Full House, after that on the following page another Full House, only on the three flyers did we get a modicum of normalcy with One Line and Full House Prizes, of which the prizes were an abomination. Main Booklet Prizes were: £12 One Line, £20 Full House and the flyers £22 One Line, £55 Full House
I went on the Monday night and I swear there must have been at least 50 - 75 people playing bingo so Butlins raked in that cash there and in this was squeezed into a space of 1 hour
(I would have preferred a low stake game - say £5 - £10 for the night and played £2 1 Line Prize, £5 Two Line Prize, £10 Full House on the 8 page booklet only - no flyers)
Needless to say I shalln't be doing that again but it really spoilt my evening so much I felt like destroying something (I didn't but could have).

There is a large arcade in the Pavilion at the rear with a wide selection of 2p pushers and a multitude of Skill games for either prizes or tokens - yes Butlins has a Ticket Booth selling tat to one and all - for 100 tokens you can get a small magnetic travel game or box of cheap dominos (worth £1) for 1,000 tokens you can get some slip-on furry slipper booties (worth £6.99 from most markets) and what the average hoard from the multitude of games 5-10 tokens per £1 (unless your very skilful) Butlins has however brought a compromise to those who like the 2p pushers on some of the 2p pieces they have attached a star sticker, if you collect 3 stars you can exchange they at the Token Booth for items equivalent of 50 Tokens - if you use the mega-collection book (collect 47 stars) they'll give you 3 stars for three meaning your book is worth 500 Tokens.
So even 2p's can't get you good tat.

I have so far found one redeeming feature that is included free of charge in your park price - the funfair (if its open) a small selection of thrills and spills including a pirate ship, a sky walker, waltzers and a carousel for those who like things a little slower. You can have as many turns as you want (queue size, time and weather permitting - the staff really don't like the rain so when they close for Health and Safety reasons they're actually happy for it)

But all in all, unless you've got young children (10 and under) this place is ideal, those with older children and those with shallow savings then the amount of things you can do that are included in the price is minimal to almost non-existent.

To Butlins I would strongly suggest the following:
1. Either lower the prices of those activities you provide, or include in each family check-in pack a number of Free Activity Voucher sets (3 Free Activities - worth £12) [1 Free set for Standard, 2 Free Sets for Silver, and 3 Free sets for Gold]
2. (i) I would also strongly suggest a new wifi package (and provider) that is an semi-open network - e.g. Pay £20 per trip for access to the Internet for your unit (So you can connect an iPad, phone, kindle or other wifi enabled device under the same licence)
2. (ii) Rather than having outside Internet router transmitters, install some cheap shortwave routers to be kept in the maintenance closet in each property to use a strong signal available to that unit.
3. Upgrade all buildings ASAP to Double Glazing Windows or higher (will cut down on heating costs in the long term) and provide Freeview Channels in all living rooms - not all families choose to use all the facilities and came to Butlins purely for a change of scenery.
4. This one is probably the cheapest to do - place net curtains on all windows to stop nosey and potentially annoying guests peering through your window to look at your unit whether your in or out.

And now...we'll return you to your regular reviewing public.

Room Tip: No room is any better than any other - you will still hear anyone and anything on the outside whethe...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Slytherinshare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,383 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (785)
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English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

You can judge by other peoples reviews on the accommodation and facilities etc but my review is what to expect if you book a BIG WEEKEND.

Think Club 18 to 30's, think Stag parties, think Hen parties, think large groups of young people partying, think Malia, think Magaluf, think plastic pint pots serving average beer, think chanting in the middle of the night, think of people trying your door several times a night presumably in a confused state, think elephants in the room above you, sounds good ehh! It is what it is and some people will love it. Maybe for you but not really for me. I wish I'd read my review before I went.

Happy Holidays

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank stayedhereand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

Colleagues of my husband assured us that Butlins was "nothing like it used to be", so we paid for Gold accommodation, plus the premium meal plan and took our children (age 6 and 7) for a 3 night break. I purposely didn't read the Trip Advisor reviews (silly me) and went with an open mind. The "gold" accommodation is right in the middle of the standard "chalets" which was a bit disappointing. We were rather surprised to find our "gold" accommodation consisted of camp beds and a thin sheet (no mattress protector) straight on top of a plastic waterproof mattress. I have never slept on such a cheap mattress - I felt every spring. Basically I did not sleep for 3 nights. I hadn't expected the extras for the "gold standard" to include 2 large patches of dried blood on my 7 year old sons duvet cover AND someone's old elastoplsat/sticking plaster still attached to the duvet cover!. I was nearly physically sick. Although the reception staff were really apologetic and it was changed straight away, it completely wrecked the rest of the holiday for me. I also couldn't believe it when I looked round to see a mother let her son wee in his potty at the side of the table in the main entertainment area/ skyline infront of the stage. She then picked the potty up and plonked it on the table (where people eat and drink off) before then making her way to the toilets (only a few feet away) - sloshing the contents as she went! NICE. That just about summed the holiday up for me. The free activities consisted of a 1960s fairground with 6 rides working, a swimming pool (fantastic but crowded and massive queues for the slides), an air pillow, soft play and archery lessons. All the other activities you need to pay for (including things like crazy gold and the climbing wall. Absolute rip off. The entertainment was really good such as the pantomime, the Sesamae Street show, the shows on the skyline stage. Circus was great (but need to pay extra). Surprisingly the food was excellent - huge choice and good quality. Butlins was not cheap - in fact incredibly poor value for money when all you're getting is a camp bed, plastic mattress and blood stained duvet cover, a few fairground rides, and very little other activities. Needless to say we won't be going back again - with the money we paid we could have gone to a really nice hotel, and spent the rest of the money on good day trips and entertainment. There should be a law against the standards of hygiene.

Room Tip: Don't go!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank ED2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Minehead hotels

1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

Just returned from a boys weekend at butlins. Couldn't have been better we stayed in the gold accommodation more than enough room. Music was great beer was reasonable no more than you'd pay at club. Will be back next year.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Newportboyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tavistock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

We went as a family with our 14 month old son, and immediately upon checking into our chalet (silver) I was disappointed, the bathroom and kitchen were modern and clean, which is a bonus, but everything else was basic and dated, the beds and sofas were very uncomfortable! We paid for the housekeeping service who didn't seem to do much until day 3, apart from plonk mouldy towels onto the bed! One day we asked them just to change the bins and not clean (no point hoovering anyway- brought in more stones than they hoovered and the man got cross and barged past my husband, who had to assure him we weren't being rude- our baby was asleep)
We went to a toddler swim session which was fantastic, I cannot fault it at all, my son adored it. The shows were lovely, although we only watched the ones aimed at toddlers.
There wasn't a huge amount to do with such a small toddler but he loved it- he spent his time running around the pavilion and loved the lights in the carpet!
Bob the builders yard seems fantastic for slightly older children though the softplay was a let down!
We chose not to go for a dining plan, and we ate the sun and moon, which is lovely, brilliant atmosphere and lovely staff.
We have chosen to go back next year, but in a gold apartment with patio, and a premium dining plan as we'll have a 4 moth old with us too!
I would recommend, but I think the accommodation could be better, the fairground was a huge let down and I'm upset that we didn't really see any staff!

Room Tip: Silver is nice but basic, we are trying gold on next visit.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MrsHawkins2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013 via mobile

We booked a room for a big weekend event to see Peter Andre. The room was very basic and the bed was a lightweight metal camp bed with waterproof mattress. Not very comfortable to sleep on, however the food court was ample with lots of variety. It was worth the uncomfortable nights to see the concert and not have to worry about driving home after and enjoy the other fab entertainment. Sometimes you have to let things slide to enjoy the more important aspects, so we would return if there was something else on that we wanted to do/see

  • Stayed November 2012
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Helpful?
Thank KarenzaM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merthyr Tydfil, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013

didnt actually stay in Butlins, our kids and grandkids were there and we went to visit them on a day ticket. we stayed in the Waverly guest house. very friendly and tidy. breakfast was good if a bit limited. it is a 3 star so we were not expecting a lot. we were pleasantly surprised by the very nice people and facilities
would,nt want to stay in Butlins but ok to visit

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Chasrudan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Butlins Minehead Resort

Property: Butlins Minehead Resort
Address: Warren Road, Minehead TA24 5SJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Minehead
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 14 Hotels in Minehead
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Butlins Minehead Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 559
Also Known As:
Butlins Minehead Hotel Minehead
Butlins Hotel Minehead
Butlins Resort
Butlins Minehead Resort Somerset

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