To ask about Butlins...

(134 Posts)
bertiebassett Sat 25-Aug-12 17:47:28

I want to have a short break with just me and DS (aged 4) before he starts school. I noticed that Butlins have some good deals on first week in September...but....
Is Butlins (Skegness) ok? I'm a bit of a snob used to quite high standards...

Feel [embarrassed] to ask this really!!!

DeWe Sat 25-Aug-12 19:29:27

Butlins Skegness is our favourite site, although we go more often to Minehead now, as we need a 6 berth, and at Skegness that means someone sleeping in the Lounge.

Don't go for Silver accomodation over standard. It means you get a toaster and a microwave but little more, for about £200 per week more. You can hire them for about £50 for the week from Butlins confused

It's great for the children. they're Bob the Builder land if they're small, and the funfair if bigger, the sea shore (at Skegness it's private for Butlins only), the swimming pool...

We've been every year at Easter for nearly 10 years now and they all look forward to the next year's visit from the time we leave.

We do our food shop at a local supermarket, which is cheaper than on site.

Morph2 Sat 25-Aug-12 19:35:58

we're going for a 5 night stay first week in sept.... will let you know. It cost £278 for the 3 of us (DS is 2.3) including standard food for 5 nights which is good (booked through the sun). I've got an open mind due to reading varied reviews. A friend i spoke to said she'd gone as a mystery guest and was actually quite suprised. She said for our age kids all of the stuff you would want to do is included in the price

reddaisy Sat 25-Aug-12 19:43:59

I agree about the hotel in Bognor being v nice! But you would still be at Butlins!

birdofthenorth Sat 25-Aug-12 19:46:44

Perfect for a four year old. We go most years. Minehead is nicer -slightly more modern, as well as nicer weather- than Skeggy, but Skeggy is fine too. We go in the Gold Apartments which are nice except for the could-be-comfier sofas. Bring kids and adults DVDs (adults for after dc are in bed obv!). Swimming pool is great, kids entertainment is great, Bob's Yard rides are great for a preschooler. Your DS will adore it. The food is getting better each year, too.

RubixCube Sat 25-Aug-12 19:48:55

I liked Butlins in Bognor.But the chalet was crap it was just a bedroom with little bathroom joined on it from what i can remember and it cost quite a fair bit aswell

McHappyPants2012 Sat 25-Aug-12 19:52:36

The kids enjoyed it, but I couldn't wait to get home for a rest.

ChestyNut Sat 25-Aug-12 19:53:39

We used to go as children to the Skegness one every year and I loved it.
Lots of happy childhood memories made there smile

CrapBag Sat 25-Aug-12 19:54:13

I went to the Minehead one at an adults only weekend this year. I loved it so much I have booked our family holiday there for next year. My kids will love it. It was lovely, not a hole at all. The only thing is I would avoid the basic accomodation. We have got a good deal with the gold apartment.

People are far too snobby on here sometimes. A real hole is Pontins. God that place was a dive. Butlins has had loads of money put into it and it shows.

freddiefrog Sat 25-Aug-12 20:00:12

I went to the Minehead one about 10 years ago.

It was shit.

Other people I know have been since and say its much improved though

WelshMaenad Sat 25-Aug-12 20:06:37

Have you looked at Haven? Golden Sands is near skeggy. I was right snot nosed about haven etc but with small people, we thought we would give it a go, we've been twice now to two different parks in Cornwall and had a great time. It seems cheaper than butlins, and easier to self cater. We have had deluxe/deluxe plus caravans and they've been lovely. For the two of you for 4 nights 3-7 sept at golden sands it would be £169 for a deluxe caravan.

I8toys Sat 25-Aug-12 20:07:02

Been to Skeggie for the last 5 years at Halloween - not longer than 4 nights. It is what it is - kids love it but it is challenging. It is better since they opened the Sky Bar - pay extra to sit and watch shows. You go for the kids not for you - that's all you need to know. Its not a holiday! Don't go catered - do self catered gold. Do not eat with the masses!
Without Sky Bar we would not go - the queues are ridiculous!

lovesmellingthecoffee Sat 25-Aug-12 20:08:14

The children loved it much more that Centre Parcs, and Disney Land Paris. loads to do and very child friendly.
We went to Skegness and Bogner and both were great, family activities such as fencing and archery included in the price. Caberet style shows in the evening, in our four holidays we saw wrestling, a 'Madonna' concert, shaolin Monks. and Peter Andre (he really loves the kids)

EXtremly good value holiday

bertiebassett Sat 25-Aug-12 20:09:35

Wow this post seems to have generated a wide range of replies. I guess Butlins is like marmite then (you either love it or hate it!) smile

bertiebassett Sat 25-Aug-12 20:12:30

So is the food bad then? I wouldn't want to go self catering (I need a break from the kitchen!)...

I8toys Sat 25-Aug-12 20:16:35

It is cheap and value for money and the kids love it, great for pre-school, school age and for teenagers who can go off and spend time at the fair. Adults not so much unless you like the X Factor reject types and pub singers.

Been to Disneyland, Centreparcs uk and abroad and if we didn't go back to Butlins for a weekend this year - the kids would ask why are we not going to Butlins.... I want to see the wrestling etc etc

I8toys Sat 25-Aug-12 20:18:42

Re eating - believe you have fixed times for eating? I may be wrong as I've always gone catered.

Were going Easter next year my younger two want to go and tbh it's about them on that holiday so I'm expected to be tired and bored but long as they are not then I'm happy

I8toys Sat 25-Aug-12 20:19:34

Meant self-catered!!!!!! Sorry watching Lemon Le vida loca and distracted!!

Yes there's a 2 hour time slot breakfast and dinner but we are half board but in apartment ( adapted bungalow ) do means we can eat lunch /snacks

JustSpiro Sat 25-Aug-12 20:21:59

We've been to Bognor Butlins at Easter for the last 4 years.

The accommodation is great, the public areas & loos could do with a bit of updating but have never found them anything other than clean and functional.

The food, even in premium is not that special, but is not bad at all (and the breakfasts are brilliant), but you can self cater anyway.

For a four year old, the entertainment and facilities are spot on - can't fault the Red Coats at all. This year DD lost her teddy bear. The two redcoats at the session it was last seen arranged for a letter from 'Billy Bear' and a foot high Billy soft toy to be delivered to our room the following day to keep her company!

DD is nearly 8 now and we are giving it a miss next year as she is a bit between age groups for how the activities are pitched, but will probably go back the year after when she's old enough for the more 'grown up' stuff.

gimmecakeandcandy Sat 25-Aug-12 20:22:42

The food is fine, if you stay in the hotel do the food option at the restaurant or whatever accomdstion you stay in just do the food, it's fine for a few days. Not top end restaurant class but it is fine!

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 25-Aug-12 20:23:36

I may well have been unlucky but I went for a break from cooking. The food was not as advertised, I should make comment that I took photos, spoke to the restaurant manager and got a food refund as it was so bad.

Breakfast the machine that said orange juice was orange squash, the staff were serving due to a vomiting outbreak and used solid spoon to put heaps of mushrooms in boiling water all over the previously nice looking crispy hash browns, them heaped beans over the top.

Dinner was meant to be many choices. It there was a casserole type thing which was meant to be one meat and I'd put money on it having been another. DS1 is autistic and likes his foods not to be touching. I said no to beans and the women said oh go on he can always leave them and coverd his scampi and chips in them rendering the whole meal in edible. This must be standard policy because when I mentioned - not angry at the time to the restaurant manager he said that special needs need to be addressed prior to booking!

infamousfive Sat 25-Aug-12 20:24:24

Not quite sure how people can call Butlin's cheap. We paid over £1000 for a 4 night stay at Bognor in the shoreline hotel in June. This included breakfast and dinner (2 adults and 2 small childen) so still had to shell out for lunch. Some of the entertainment was included but still had to pay ££££'s for bowling, go-karting, wall-climbing, achery, golf etc etc.

I didn't find it cheap at all. We did have a good time but having just checked how much it would cost to book again for next year I've been put off, over £1200.... Probably cheaper if we went self catering and didn't stay in the hotel but for me a holiday isn't much fun if I still have to cook and clean!

JustSpiro Sat 25-Aug-12 20:26:53

Typical food in the evening - 1 or 2 pasta dishes, salad bar, fish and chips, some kind of roast or similar, stir fry, Annabel Karmel kids meals. Puddings - gateaux, cheesecakes, hot pudding with custard and fruit and cheeses plus a soft ice cream machine.

Breakfast - full English, cereal, pancakes or omelettes, croissants and pastries, porridge, toast, fruit...

To put in another way - my DH is a chef and fairly picky - in four years (1 basic, 3 premium) he has never found a reason why self-catering would be better.

The Ocean hotel in Bognor is lovely.
My nearest Butlins is Skegness, but I prefer Bognor.

I've been going to Butlins nearly every year since I was little. It's much less fun now I'm a grown up, but my kids love it so I have to keep going!

Agree with the Marmite comparison. grin

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