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Butlins - Bognor Regis. Would you? Have you?

(14 Posts)
HappyAsEyeAm Tue 12-Mar-13 17:00:10

I am thinking of booking a midweek or a long weekend for me, DH, DS1 (5yo) and DS2 (10mo), but I'm unsure.

A bit of background on the type of holiday we usually go on: we've done center parcs (new style woodland lodge - nice and modern) a few times, luxury houses with groups of friends in the U,K and houses with private pool and garden in France, Portugal, Spain etc on our own and with friends and their DC. We like having our breakfast in our pyjamas, you see, rather than "going down to breakfast" smile

DH is quite snobby, and I don't know if the accommodation at Butlins is for him. I just know that DS1 would absolutely love the entertainment, play facilities and most of all, the pool. And I think that if he is happy, we can all easily be happy for a few days.

Do you think we'd enjoy it? What type of accommodation would you choose? We like DS1 to have his own room, and ideally we would want DS2 in his own room, but it would be ok for DS2 to come in with us. DS1 always goes to bed between 7 and 8, even when we're on holiday, as he gets really overtired otherwise. So we need some space for DH and I to retreat to, otherwise we would be whispering in the dark smile.

lizardqueenie Sun 24-Mar-13 21:54:40

Bumping for you as I'm am thinking the sane thing about Bognor. Anyone been?

FantasticDay Sun 24-Mar-13 22:03:13

I have. Spotlessly clean. Worth paying extra for premier dining (standard is a bit school dinners-y), loads of activities (almost all free), kids love the shows. Redcoats are brilliant. Been to all three and Minehead is best imho - but spa at Bognor is good. Check out the website. Have a great time x

MartyrStewart Sun 24-Mar-13 22:06:26

It's fab if you think of it as a holiday for the DC.

We went about 2 or 3 years ago and my two still talk of it with fondness.

Plus there is a pub with a fenced in adventure playground which is ace in the evening smile

lizardqueenie Sun 24-Mar-13 22:18:53

Thanks ladies. Sorry to hijack- def thinking of it as a hols for DD but we have friends down near Bognor so could do some visiting on the way there/ back too. Have either of you stayed in the hotels?

LadyLech Mon 25-Mar-13 09:52:21

I'm off there today. Going for a girlie week with my friend - let the children run riot whilst we drink wine and gossip!

When I first with dh, the hotel is definitely the best place to stay in. The rooms are cleverly designed so that although you're in the same room, you can still watch tv of an evening and not disturb!

I have done all 3 sites and my preference is for Bognor. It is slightly further to get to, but I think it it is better laid out etc. It is definitely a holiday for the children and you'll get to sit and relax all week. Or follow your children around, depending on how old they are.

Personally, I prefer Centre Parcs, but my children prefer Butlins (x1000%), so often we do both.

Although, it has got a chavvy reputation, and sometimes some of the other people there can be a bit choice, it does take all sorts. I have friends whose dc go to a very expensive boarding school, and they've been several times.

LadyLech Mon 25-Mar-13 11:21:19

Forgot to say, but if you download the Butlins app, it will tell you what's on for that week. So you can look at the type of events, what's free etc and get a clearer idea as to whether the activities are for you / your kids.

FantasticDay Mon 25-Mar-13 11:36:19

Haven't stayed in the hotels (usually go gold or silver apartments), but my sil has and was very complimentary. If you like Centreparcs then things you might like at Butlins are the pools (which are amazing), the Greencoats nature walk on the beach, high ropes (small extra charge) and climbing wall, and (at least at Skeggy) you can hire bikes with maps and go offsite. The kids entertainment is brilliant and the adults bands etc are fun (Great ABBA tribute and fireworks NYE). I'm firmly of the 'It takes all sorts' camp, but my dh is also a bit, shall we say - ahem - 'class conscious' and I dragged him there against his will. He was impressed to be able to get a Guardian (although they did say they didn't sell that many!) and real ale, and has since been back four times.

lynniep Mon 25-Mar-13 14:16:50

We stayed in the hotel and were very impressed (in the ocean). We took a toaster so were able to do breakfast without leaving the room (they have fridges in there).
The kids loved it.
The only drawback I found were the evenings. Yes we had a little balcony to sit out on, but couldnt leave the room because of the kids (although we could watch tv once they were asleep due to the separate childrens room) and the spa shuts at 6pm. I was very disappointed when I realised this. (it may have changed - please check!) We did take turns to wander about the site, but there was nothing for us to do. I'm not interested in slot machines and there was little else to do.
There is a big Tesco a short drive away which is very useful.

HappyAsEyeAm Mon 25-Mar-13 14:38:09

Thanks for the bump - finally some replies!

Fantastic I think you're the only poster who has stayed in the apartments. We are thinking of staying in the apartments too, as that's more our thing - we like the flexibility. Any tips as to which apartments are a better standard? I am going to have to sell this holiday to DH, and I think the standard of accommodation will be a key part of that sell. Have you stayed at the Bognor one (as that is the closest one to us)?

lizardqueenie Mon 25-Mar-13 15:10:42

Thanks all for your top tips.

Wishfulmakeupping Mon 25-Mar-13 15:22:31

The hotel is fantastic by al accounts and the resort is spotless, we're going next year smile

FantasticDay Mon 25-Mar-13 15:57:05

I have stayed in the Bognor one. I went for the Gold apartments which I found to be spotless and have everything you need (including a dishwasher if I remember rightly). Have stayed in Silver in Skegness which was also fine (but worth upgrading to premium dining if you do!). Only thing to watch is powerfully spring loaded doors around little fingers. My bil and sil once stayed in standard accommodation, which they found to be a bit noisy and LOT more basic.

Lynniep- I have quite enjoyed the evening entertainment (admittedly I quite eighties cheese - particularly liked 'Wham Bam Duran Duran' :-)
- and tribute acts. And Alvin Stardust who played one time). The comedians not really my scene, but it is worth saying that my dh complained that a comedian had made a comment about the 'East Europeans having all the jobs', which we thought was offensive, especially in the context of some very hard working East European Butlins staff who made everything run like clockwork. The entertainment organisers promptly apologised, thanked him for mentioning it (said he wasn't the first person to complain) and said the comic had never worked there before and wouldn't again.

When the kids were younger I used the evening nursery (7-11pm) to go out in the evenings, but not sure whether this still operates?

HappyAsEyeAm Mon 25-Mar-13 16:17:27

Thanks Fantastic. I will start working on DH.

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