We had a wonderful half term week staying in the Shoreline Hotel at Butlins, Bognor Regis. Our third floor 'State Room' had a lovely view of the sea, was spacious and clean, with bright and modern decor.
The entrance hall was a good size and if you have young children you could easily store a pushchair here. On the right was the bathroom, straight ahead was the children's room with crossover bunk beds and next to this was the main bedroom and a lounge area. The sofa could also be pulled out to make an extra bed if you have an older child. There was also a large balcony, spreading the length of both the main room and twin room.
The room had plenty of storage space, including a large wardrobe/shelving unit in the main bedroom, plus more hanging space in the children's room and drawers under the bottom bunk bed. There was also a mini fridge which was big enough to keep all our picnic lunch bits, fruit and snacks for the week.
The room also had a good sized flatscreen TV and DVD player (plus another TV, DVD player and PS2 in the children's room), coffee table, dressing table with mirror and hairdryer, kettle and mugs, coffee and teabags, boxes of tissues, robes and slippers for the grown ups and last but definitely not least, a telescope! There was also a small selection of toiletries in the bathroom.
We had chosen to stay in the Shoreline as it is aimed at younger children and so we thought it would have more child friendly features than the other two hotels. We were pleased to see there were corner cushions on the furniture, safety covers in the unused plug sockets, a step stool in the bathroom and even a rubber duck for bath time! Each day when the room was cleaned, The Princess and The Pickle's cuddly toys were either tucked into bed, reading books or climbing on the rails of the bunk beds!
As guests of the Shoreline, a character breakfast (with Billy and Bonnie Bear) was included in our stay and we were also able to go and see Billy Bear at bedtime, to help tuck him into bed and sing him a lullabye. He was quite naughty most nights and wanted to bounce on his bed or play hide and seek with the covers, but once he was asleep all the girls and boys could kiss him goodnight before going off to bed themselves. I thought this was a really nice idea because the little ones would know it was bedtime when Billy Bear went to sleep and so they wouldn't think they were missing out on anything!
Other hotel exclusives included tickets to two afternoon shows (rather than having to take young children out to the evening shows), plus a hotel only swim session, where the pool would be much quieter than any other time.
The hotel staff were friendly and helpful and the reception area was very welcoming, with comfy chairs and sofas for the little ones to sit and watch cartoons while parents were checking in or asking for information from the reception desk. Behind the hotel was a sand and water play area which was usually quiet and we often popped in for a play on the way back to the hotel.
I was generally very impressed with the housekeeping, particularly the towel animals which were left on our bed each day. On the first day there was even a leaflet left to show us how to make our own! When we first arrived at the hotel, our room was ready two hours earlier than the check in time stated on the website, which was very impressive! Around half an hour after settling ourselves in, a member of staff came to check everything was ok with our room - again, very impressive. There was a pillow missing from one of the bunk beds, but a spare one was brought to us straight away.
The only thing we did notice about the housekeeping is that the balcony unfortunately wasn't cleaned as thoroughly as the rest of the room, as there were cigarettes littering one corner (to be fair we only noticed them ourselves halfway through the week, so they could have been missed when cleaning, but a decent sweep of the balcony should have solved this). There was a little wear and tear in the room too, such as a crack in the bathroom sink and tatty edges on the sofa. However, as the oldest of the three hotels I was never expecting it to be perfect and you have to allow for a little superficial damage with the amount of families staying there. My only other issue was the metal edge on the top bunk bed. I (rather stupidly) banged my head on this after bending down to pick something up and it really really hurt! This could be so easily solved by adding a strip of cushioning, the same as the corner cushions on the rest of the furniture, to prevent little ones from doing the same (if they happen to be as silly as me!)
One of the best things about the Nelson State Rooms are the large balconies with fantastic views. There are sun loungers out there as well as a table and chairs so you can sit out with a coffee in the mornings or enjoy the sound of the waves and the pretty evening skies. If the weather had been nicer we'd have sat out there for lunch too, but The Princess wasn't going to let the rain spoil her fun and often enjoyed a spot of rainbathing!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Shoreline Hotel and would happily recommend it to families with young children. Yes, there are a few things which could be improved and updated but I was generally very impressed with the accommodation and the general atmosphere within the hotel. We hope to stay with you again soon, Butlins!
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We were invited to stay on a 4 night break at Butlins as part of my role as a Butlins Ambassador. All opinions are my own.