AButlinsolutely Brilliant!

Some of the recent photos and posts from the latest Butlins Ambassadors made me so envious, I became a little bit obsessed with the idea of going to Butlins too. So when I got promoted at work, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to book us a break there.

wave hotel butlins

I booked the new hotel, The Wave, as it looked fantastic and this was supposed to be a treat after all! Bunny was most excited by the idea of having her very own TV and DVD player on her bed and I liked the fact that I wouldn’t have to endure yet more repeats of Scooby Doo as there was a door to their “den”!

We set off early on Friday morning and dropped the dog off for her own mini holiday at a friend’s house. And then we were on our way.  The journey went smoothly, but the final stretch, through what felt like a roundabout every half mile took a lot longer than I’d expected as there was heavy traffic being Friday lunchtime.

butlins car ride

On arrival though, the smiles and greeting by the car park security guard reminded us of the excitement ahead. The queue to check-in was a little slow, but I knew to expect it, so wasn’t too fussed. After a quick lunch at the onsite pub,  we followed advice given by others, and grabbed our swim things to test out Splashworld for a family swim. Bunny loved being in the water and probably would have stayed all day if we’d let her but we knew there was too much else to enjoy! I took her on one of the slides and then had a go on a flume but didn’t get to try out the MasterBlaster although it looked awesome!

butlins mike the knight

Once we’d got our room key and taken our luggage up, we headed out to explore. The Skyline Pavilion seemed full of wonder for little people, with puppet shows, mini fairground rides, a softplay area and even stage shows with some of their favourite children’s TV characters.

deck restaurant butlins

Around the outside of the Pavilion were eating places offering all types of food. We’d opted for the Premium Dining plan which meant we could eat in The Deck restaurant – an all you can eat, buffet style option for the hotel guests. The food was fine – not gourmet but still tasty; there was plenty of choice and I never saw it run out. It was great for the girls as if they didn’t want one thing, we could just go and get something else. Although, the claim that the children’s menu was approved by Annabel Karmel seemed a little dubious as the offering tended to be sausages, chicken nuggets, chips or mash and baked beans. There were pasta and meatballs, but as my two aren’t too keen on meat (even the processed variety) there wasn’t much choice for them in the dedicated children’s food area. The adult options were fine though with a choice of pasta and sauces freshly cooked to order and vegetarian dishes and salads. The ice cream factory option was unsurprisingly a big hit for pudding though! And it was great to see fresh juice and cold water available for drinks rather than fizzy options.

scooby doo cast butlins

On Friday evening, we watched the Scooby Doo Live show in the Centre Stage theatre which is seated cabaret style on a first come basis. Both of the girls ran to the front to join the other children sitting on the dance floor by the stage to watch and loved every minute. We queued at the end to get their photo taken with the stars of the show (sadly minus Shaggy for some reason) but our own photos didn’t come out very well and we lost the ticket for the official one unfortunately.

Meeting Punch at butlins

After a bad night’s sleep by all (nothing to do with the accommodation and more to do with over-excited and over-tired children) we got up fairly early to enjoy a large breakfast at The Deck before cramming as much as we could into our day. And wow! We really packed it in! We did fairground rides, we did softplay, we watched Mike the Knight, we tried out the play area, we watched a Punch & Judy show and then the highlight of the day: joining the rest of our hotel at an exclusive matinee performance of the Dick & Dom Show. Although Bunny didn’t like it for some reason – referring to it as “those stupid men”. Funny child!

snow white pantomime butlins

On Sunday, we had an early start with an hotel exclusive swim followed by a performance of the Snow White pantomime.

bike ride butlins

Then it was time for more fairground rides, a show by Titan the Robot, more softplay, and a spin on a family bike kart.

scoop ice cream butlins

We even ate delicious ice creams from the onsite ice cream parlour, Scoop.

The diner butlins

And later on, we had a wonderful, fun dinner at the new American-themed restaurant, The Diner.

We ended our trip with a comedy/magic show that Bunny loved so much she wouldn’t let us leave at the interval as I’d planned. We finally arrived home at 1am with two sleeping children but two buzzing mums.

titan the robot butlins

Butlins far exceeded my expectations and was incredible value for money with outstanding customer service from absolutely everyone we encountered. Even my wife (who normally avoids going away) woke up the next morning and said she was feeling sad to be home from it and really wanted to go again. Which is high praise indeed! I’m definitely going back as a good friend is having her hen weekend there next March over the 80s music weekend (and it just happens to be my 40th birthday that month too! Yay double celebration!). And yet, that won’t be enough. The girls are desperate to go again so watch this space. As Titan the robot said “We’ll be back!”.

Disclaimer: We paid for everything on our trip and I’ve received nothing for this review, but had such a wonderful time I wanted to share it with others who may be wondering if it really is as good as the Ambassadors make out: yes it is!

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15 comments on “AButlinsolutely Brilliant!
  1. Louise says:

    So glad you had a fab time. We were lucky to be ambassadors this year and I have since paid for us to go there for a day trip. So much for little ones to do x

  2. It looks fantastic, I’m glad you all had such a good time. I always wonder too if it’s as good as the ambassadors make out. I know I always feel rather jealous when reading their accounts and looking at their pics!

  3. Erica Price says:

    Looks like a busy weekend for you. I’ve often wondered if we’d get enough out of it to justify the outlay. We’d probably do a lot less in the way of shows. Some lovely pics from your visit.

  4. Mummy Tries says:

    Looks like you had a fab holiday! Butlins has changed a lot since we were kids 🙂 #PoCoLo

  5. Great to read an impromptu user review… Have to say I do tend to give them more weight! 🙂

    It looks like there’s just so much to do… My wee boy would be beside himself! One for next year maybe…


  6. Awwww thats so nice! Looks like you had a FAB time there. Congrats with the promotion =) #pocolo

  7. I haven’t been to Butlins since my daughter was a baby and even though it rained the whole time we were there it was brilliant and I would love to go back again now she is older #PoCoLo

  8. Kim Carberry says:

    It looks like you had a wonderful time!! I wish there was a Butlins closer to me 🙂

  9. Have to say I am a huge fan of Butlins and always totally enjoy our trips there, real fun for all the family.


  10. Looks like you had a great time. I always went to haven as a child as butlins was too far away, would love to go sometime!

  11. DannyUK says:

    Sounds like you had a fantastic time. I’m pleased to read a non-ambassador view too! #PoCoLo

    (Hope you don’t mind me asking here. Have you seen the new #FamilyFriday link? – http://bit.ly/1vfrQa6 This post would fit in well there, too!)

  12. As Danny says, it is great to read a review from someone who isn’t an ambassador. It sounds like you had an absolutely wonderful time 🙂 Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

  13. What a fab time away. Lucas is very jealous about Scooby Doo!! Your pictures have really shown me how fab Butlins now looks. #pocolo

  14. kid GL loves says:

    Lucas says – Awesome!!!! Looks like you had an awesome time and Butlins looks REALLY cool 🙂 #pocolo

  15. We love Butlins, we went twice this year x #PoCoLo

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