Location: Minehead, TA24 5SH, Somerset, England
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Value for money
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I have heard so many mixed reviews of Butlins Minehead and had just seen a review on mumsnet as it's a feature of their family friendly initiative. Seeing their website I thought, hey maybe things had changed since I went as a teen with a friends family. Oh how wrong was I, in fact things seem to have gone down hill.
We arrived early on site to access the facilities. On checking in, things seemed okay, but driving around to the car park, which was in poor condition and over half being developed into new accommodation, we started to have our doubts. We parked in a half empty car park at 1pm, we got our swimming bags out and headed for the pool, we found a family cubicle and proceeded to get ready, the lights went out just as we were mostly undressed. I quickly got my cossie on and went off to find an employee, who didn't see a problem 'oh, it happens every intake day, just a powercut, the water's alright though. We go poolside to see an attendant hooking poo out of the kids pool, so we went around to the big pool with the beach. It was rather lacking, as of course no features were working, no slides, splash fountains, wave machine etc. the kids pool reopened 10 minutes after we were in the pool, I was reticent to let my two littles in there as our local pool has a stringent 24 hours to clean the pool after an 'incident' policy. We spent an hour with our children playing about and thought we would get out and head for a coffee and cake before play area and heading to our accommodation. The changing rooms were still dark, changing two small people in the dark after swimming was hell.
Wander around to pavilion to find that water is off onsite, but their is power in the pavilion now. no coffee though, as that would need water. However we could have picked up a pitcher of beer pretty cheap, as it seems everyone else had. My daughter needed the loo, so we headed off to find them. The loo's at Glastonbury were cleaner than this! No water for flushing, but a chap on hand with a bucket of water to slosh in the pan and no handwashing facilities. Just grim.
We went off to the fun fair for a bit. I had checked my daughter would be tall enough, a petite 3 1/2 year old, but it seemed to all be based on age. However as it turned out she was too short for all of them. Was not impressed as we had been given the illusion of something being suitable for her.
By then we could check into our accommodation. So off we went to our car. To find the car park not only full, but people parking anywhere and blocking people in. We couldn't find any trolleys anywhere. So we got out the buggy, loaded the littles and some luggage on their, my husband pulled along the suitcases. it was chaos trying to find our location, the map we had, showed a different layout to the board map, finding the number to our accommodation was harder than it at first seemed. After we found it, we were disappointed with how it looked, after hearing and seeing different on their website. The accommodation was tired and though clean was just poor standard for what we paid. Within five minutes of being in our room, we noticed the 'neighbour's outside our ground floor window all having a cigarette, and as it was hot, the smoke was coming in our windows. Still no water on site, so no water to drink or to wash/flush.
We played a few games with our little ones in the apartment before heading off for lunch. We paid for a premium dining experience, so when we walked past the restaurants we were a little confused that it had the name of where the premium package was. It was understandably busy with a queue going in. Hand sanitising stations were set up all along the queue and on each door in/out, as though this was a regular occasion dealing with no water on site. We found a seat and my husband went off to grab a plate for him and one of the littles, he came back empty handed 10 minutes later with a worried face, he sent me up to check out the offerings. I understood his look immediately.
The Annabel Karmel endorsed child menu was the most grim looking burgers in a huge stack, a large bowl of chips and some stale looking buns. The alternative option was a sweet and sour pork with saffron rice. I have never seen more disgusting glop in my life. My little ones would not eat this, so I headed to the salad cart to pick a few things up there. The ham was just grim [remember that teddy bear ham... in a premium dining experience!] the cheese was bland, everything else was smothered in mayo and just not great. I ended up getting a jacket potato with cheese for them.
For the grown ups there were all sorts of stations for food, Italian, carvery, noodle bar, grill station etc. Sounds glam, but the quality of the food was awful. At the grill station was chicken, that had not been grilled, it was pale and floppy and had been run over repeatedly until it was 1/4" thick! noodles were cold and really quite horrible, the carvery was vile, the Italian on option was pasta twirls with a cheese sauce, tomato sauce or bolognaise sauce, all looked unappealing and the pasta was cold. no soup on offer. the only hot vegetable on offer was baked beans. we had a little of all of it and didn't enjoy any of it. Pudding was just as bad, it was a crush to get anything with people coming back repeatedly to help themselves. we ended up with an apple/grapes. There was still no water on site, the option for drinks was poor, orange juice or apple juice that took forever to come out into a cup, I've eaten better food at Asda's restaurant. the quality and standard was unexpected for a premium dining experience.
I was so emotional by this point, I had ruined my family's holiday by choosing this hellish location, I was heading to customer services to make a complaint. I joined a long queue of people who were also there to complain, some of the complaints I overheard made up my mind for me. When it was my turn to speak to the customer service advisor, I asked for a refund as I wanted to go home now. no quibbles, processed immediately, in 30 minutes we were off site with the promise of a full refund. It was an hour and a half home, but was the best decision I made.
This was not the experience I expected and certainly not for what I had paid for. I've been to Haven and had a great experience for half the price. I've been to a Hoseasons woodland lodge, which was huge and had a private hot tub for less than this holiday cost.
We did get a full refund. I will never ever go to Butlins again. I will never ever recommend Butlins to anyone.Read moreLess
"Absolutely fantastic time at 'Just for Tots' Week…"
We stayed at Butlins Minehead from 23rd-28th of June, and were lucky enough to be upgraded to Blueskies Apartments. Wow. Just Wow. Dishwasher, washer/dryer, massive balcony, free wifi, sea views, two bathrooms (both with baths and showers) This was Butlins like you've never imagined, and was spotless too!
The staff were brilliant, dd(3) particularly liked the Skyline Gang, and there was something suitable for her age range from 9am til bedtime every single day. Most activities were free, and there was constant entertainment in the Skyline Pavillion, plus a free toddlers funfair and of course the splash park and pool.
The whole resort was exceptionally clean and tidy, particularly the restaurants. We had the Premium dining package, so I can only speak for The Deck and The Yacht club, but the food choices were as good as I've had at 5* all inclusive resorts abroad, if not better.
My only, very slight criticism would be that the shops (but not the Spar) on site were very expensive, but otherwise I absolutely can't recommend it enough.
Photos to followRead moreLess
"Terrible , Dreadful , Money Before Human Life…"
My family and i have just returned from a weekend away to butlins minehead , my partner has been holidaying at butlins minehead for 10+ yrs, we have only been together for 13 months so it was my 1st time and was my last, I am 6 months pregnant with my 3rd child and had to take it easy over the weekend, The reason i am writing this SHOCKING review is because an experience i had on saturday afternoon , my partner told me that in the past butlins has let disabled people and pregnant woman priority entrance into the centre stage & reds venues , however over the past 18 months they have introduced this new B-LINE pass system in which you PAY for a pass and are let into the venues 15 minutes before the other general public, now considering the we had 8 guests on our party and the passes are about £10 each ( i think ) it would have been EXPENSIVE to purchase them, so we had to wait the general public line , upon the doors opening there was a MASSIVE rush to get to the seats upstairs and a MASSIVE queue was building for the lift so i decided to brave the stairs , as i climbed the stairs i was shoved from behind and sent crashing to the ground, my partner who was forced up the stairs by the onslaught of people only found out about this when i managed to get to my feet and tell him about it at the top of the stairs, after i had had a set down for 10 or so minutes and assured him i was fine, we went straight to complain to the guest services , who took down his mobile number and rang him about 20 minutes later , upon telling the female what had happened she was sorry ( of course) but said that there was NOTHING SHE COULD DO, my partner was angry that nothing could be done as butlins only ALLOCATE 300 B-LINE passes for each holiday and they had all gone, he was then asked to hold the line a minute, she came back on the phone as was AMAZED SO BE TOLD THAT WOULD HE LIKE TO " PURCHASE " YES PURCHASE 4 B-LINE PASSES THAT HAD BEEN RETURNED, TO ENSURE THAT IT DIDNT HAPPEN AGAIN.
I,M SORRY BUT IF BUTLINS PUTS THE POUND IN FRONT OF A HUMAN LIFE THEN THEY SHOULD BE DISGUSTED WITH THEMSELVESRead moreLess
4 people found this review helpful.
"great family fun…"
as a family wanting our holiday to be about the children and us having family fun in one butlins is where we holiday every year its great for younger children i have 3 kids under 5 we allways find butlins has lots to do included in the price swimming shows tots disco etc their extras but you require to pay for the evening shows are very good entertainment the accommodation i suggest go for silver or gold standard is very basic and generally not as nice the redcoats are cheery and happy to entertain what i will say is if your self catering go to supermarket off site take snacks and juice the shops on resort are expensive but it can be a budget holiday if you want it to be overall ive given 4 stars only due to the overall cost of stuff on camp great fun thoughRead moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"We have a 7 year old boy and we thought…"
We have a 7 year old boy and we thought what does he like doing the most and what kind of holiday to take him on. Well he loves sports and swimming, so what better place than Butlins, which has free sporting activities arranged each day and a super free swimming pool with lazy river and wave machine, plus numerous chutes and activities for young to old. The evening entertainment is fantastic with acts from the X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, plus there is a Bob the Builder free ride area, as well as an Adventure Play Area by the Pub so we can relax whilst our son is enjoying the play area. They also have another play area where there is a zip wire to play on call the Fruit Shaft. The crazy golf was Pirate themed which you have to pay a nominal fee for, or you buy a specialRead moreLess
3 people found this review helpful.