A few months ago I got one of the most exciting blogging emails ever - we had been chosen as Butlin's Ambassadors in the vlogger category! So last week we packed up the car (and I mean that literally haha) and headed off to Bognor Regis for a Just For Tots break. I daily vlogged our whole holiday, but wanted to share some pictures too.
Neither Jack or I had any experience of Butlin's. I'll be very honest and say I wasn't sure what to expect. I had visions of dingy rooms, run down buildings and I dread to say it, but I thought it would be... tacky?
But honestly, I take back every thing I ever thought! It was fantastic, and far exceeded our expectations. I'll probably even go as far to say it was one of the best weeks away - even with a trip to the hospital with Parker (he's fine it was just conjunctivitis so he needed to see a doctor).
We stayed at The Wave Hotel, one of the three hotels at the Bognor Regis resort. Despite arriving before check-in we were able to get our room keys before 3pm, and just played in the games room until our room was ready. The hotel was modern, beautifully decorated (the theming was fab) and so bright and airy. Our room absolutely blew us away too - there's a full room tour on my YouTube Channel, including our first reactions.
We stayed in a Wave apartment; a two bedroom suite with a wrap around balcony that gave you a view of the whole resort and the sea. The kitchen had all the amenities you could ever need, including a dishwasher (a luxury for us!), kettle and toaster. There was also a little welcome package that included washing up and dishwasher supplies. There were also tea and coffee supplies that were replenished everyday.
All the rooms had TVs with built in DVD players, there was Wi-Fi throughout the whole hotel (although this never worked on our phones it was very fast on our laptops), and even a little wash bag full of goodies in the bathroom! It was a lovely home-from-home; amazing to relax in during the day, and especially nice to wake up to the gorgeous sea view. I will also say the housekeeping team were AMAZING. Always so friendly, polite and very good at their job. They went above and beyond and even loaded our dishwasher for us (including Parker's bottles!), something we did not expect at all.
The food was something else I worried about. A lot of places only offer chicken nuggets and chips for kids and don't even think about babies at all, but Butlin's have it right! We were on the Premium dining package, so got breakfast and dinner included in our break - as well as unlimited soft and hot drinks with each meal.
Our restaurant was called The Deck and served buffet style breakfast and lunch. It's not your average buffet restaurant though, as there's also 'live' stations where you can get made to order burgers and pastas at dinner and omelettes or bacon triple layer sandwiches at breakfast. There are starter and pudding sections, and LOTS of fruit - a big tick with us.
Kid's have their own section, where the counter is lower to the ground so they could serve themselves. Of course they had the usual chips and chicken nuggets, but they also had more unusual dishes, and they can obviously eat from the adult buffet too. Plastic plates were provided, and every highchair had a bib, plastic cutlery and napkin in when you arrived at your table!
Babies had their own room which provided jars and pouches by Heinz and Ella's Kitchen, as well as a microwave and bottle warmer. Although Parker doesn't eat jars both kids loved the fruit pouches! Both kids loved the food and ate so well all week. The staff were also fantastic and one even told Jack of for tidying up Parker's mess!
As part of our dining package we had the option to dine at a number of other restaurants on site. We just spoke to reception and they provided us with vouchers towards our meal - £15 per adult and £3.95 for Indiana (Parker as a baby didn't receive anything). We thought this was fantastic as it gave us some variety, as eating buffet style all week could have got boring. We tried out Papa John's which was lovely, and the vouchers covered all four of us eating, including drinks with loads to spare!
We stayed Monday to Friday and still don't think we covered everything we wanted to! There is literally SO much to do, there is absolutely no need to leave; although the beach is right on the door step if you want to. Everyday there are shows in the Skyline Pavilion - featuring characters such as Thomas The Tank Engine, Mike The Knight and Bob The Builder. We didn't actually watch many of these as Indie doesn't really know the characters. The ones we did catch she loved though (the magic show featuring the Skyline Gang was a favourite), although for me they were WAY too loud, and I find it odd that the floor where children sit to watch is hard concrete, a carpet would be nice!
We also watched a couple of shows on the Centre Stage - Buffalo Billy, Treasure Island (with Sid and Rebecca from CBeebies) and Aladdin Rocks. Every one was fantastic and well put together. Jack and I laughed so much at Aladdin (it was definitely made for the adults that one), and we all danced and joined in. Indie even got to meet Sid and Rebecca which made her day! Of course they didn't let you take your own pictures so we bought it. £10 for one photo I do think is very pricey, especially as the quality isn't fantastic, but it was a memory we definitely wanted to remember.
The Skyline Pavilion was also home to arcade games and penny machines, an older games area where you could play bowling or watch sports, a number of shops and places to eat, a huge soft play (and a dedicated one for babies), the toddler fairground rides, face painting, and one of our favourite places the Usborne Cosy Book Corner - a comfy spot full of books and bean bags! We spent a lot of time here, and although busy it never felt too crowded.
As well as the shows there are activity sessions held every day in the 'Beach Hut' (located just outside the Pavilion near the shops). We missed the Play-Doh one and the music and movement class but did make it to the craft activity! Indiana had loads of fun making her funky fish and was extra excited when the Redcoats added a stick and tissue paper tails. All of these sessions are completely free and run at different times throughout the day.
This area was also home to a range of shops, a theatre (this is an extra charge), restaurants, a Spar and Billy's play park. There are also plenty of seating areas dotted around if you need a rest! Butlin's have also made the resort a smoke free area (a HUGE positive for us), there are of course smoking areas, but it felt so good to wander round without having to worry about the kids and smoke.
Just around the corner was the Funfair. Unfortunately Indiana was still a bit too short for most of the rides, but it was still fun to explore. She did manage to go on the helter skelter one day, although was refused the next day. She loved the carousel too, and we all loved playing the fairground games!
The fun didn't stop there though! There's mini golf (extra charge), a sports ground where the little ones can learn football, climbing walls and the Little Tikes Town. Even Parker got to have fun on the Little Tikes toys - a range of cars, scooters, houses and more. We didn't spend as much time there as we would have liked, there's just so much to do it's hard to fit it all into a mid-week break.
Even when there wasn't a show there was always a little something to amuse the kids. I spotted the 'Emergency Entertainment' team a few times who were great! They came and played games with the kids and talked to you when you queued for the Centre Stage. Indiana especially loved the pirate that did some magic with her while waiting for Treasure Island.
We visited Splash Waterworld a couple of times on our trip too. I was expecting a little pool with a couple of slides, but it's absolutely huge! They had special tots sessions in the morning (the wave machine is off and they hold swimming lessons), and it was always quite busy in there. Indiana loved it though and was up and down the slides with so much confidence by the end.
They had lots of toys and floats that you can play with free of charge and a number of slides. Jack and I both noticed larger slides but these appeared closed throughout out holiday. The viewing area was not so great! It was hotter than a sauna up there and I had to basically strip Parker down to nothing to stop him over heating. I understand the pool is heated, but I'm not sure why it had to be so hot in the viewing area!
There is so much more I could write about Butlin's but I think our vlogs captured it all - and this post would be far too long if I did haha. We had the most amazing week, and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to visit. Thank you Butlin's for all the fun, we'll definitely be back!
Disclosure - We are Butlin's Ambassadors so received this holiday and dining package in exchange for an honest and open review. All opinions are my own.