As ambassadors, we were lucky to stay in one of the largest rooms Butlins has to offer –
a Nelson State Room in the Shoreline Hotel.The cost of this for 4 nights (during May half term) was £1214.This included housekeeping and free Wi-Fi, along with little luxuries you wouldn't find in other rooms, such as a telescope.The room was spacious and modern with a large
balcony and sea view.As lovely as this
room was, if we visited again we would opt for a lower budget room.The time we spent in our room was limited,
due to the amount of activities on offer and I don’t think we used the room and
balcony to its full advantage – maybe we’d have used the balcony more if the
weather was nicer.
There are often offers on the Butlins website and breaks are
generally cheaper in term time. Looking at a special offer Butlins currently have, the same room for 4 nights in November would only cost £421 - that is a massive difference!Obviously
this isn’t great for families with school aged children now the rules have
tightened on taking kids out of school (not that we ever would have anyway). But if we did a term time break we’d combine a 3 night weekend break with a
Monday inset day – there tend to be a few of those throughout the school year
and the resort would probably be quieter than in the school holidays too.
As I stated in my Hotel Dining Plan post, our dining package would have cost
£264 for a family of four staying for four nights during half term. If
split equally this works out at £16.50 per person, per day for both breakfast
and dinner, which isn't bad at all, especially if you stick with the all
inclusive hotel buffet for each meal.
Approximate costs of any extras we paid for during the week:
Evening meals & drinks after vouchers were deducted - £25
Lunches – Free as we took snacks with us to store in the
mini fridge in our room
Ice creams at Scoop - £15
Candy floss, popcorn & sweets - £4
Archery - £5
Arcade games - £5
Dune Buggies - £2
Bowling - £14
I don’t think £70 spending money is bad at all for a week’s
holiday with two children.We could
easily have spent more than this if we’d given in every time they’d asked for
something, or if we’d had extra cash to spend.We could easily have spent much less than this too, as there is so much
already included in the price of the break – but what is a family holiday
without a few ice creams and games on the arcades?If we’d been spending ‘virtual’ money, using
cards here and there I don’t think we’d have noticed how quickly it all adds
up, but instead we drew out £100 in cash before we arrived and made sure we
didn’t go over this amount.
So, the total cost of our week at Butlins (including all the
extras above) was £1548.Was it worth
This breaks down to £96.75 per person, per night.For everything which is included in that
price I would say yes, it was worth it for a fun, action packed family holiday.If you’d prefer a holiday which includes days
out and sightseeing, then probably not, as you wouldn’t have time to take full
advantage of everything on resort and get your money’s worth.
If we had £1548 to spend on a family holiday then yes, we
would spend it to visit Butlins again.However, in reality we don’t have that sort of money to spend on a
holiday.As I stated earlier, there are
often offers available and cheaper rooms than the one we stayed in.A term time weekend break would be the best
option for us.
What exactly is it that makes us want to visit Butlins
The staff.Everywhere we went we were greeted with a smile and made to feel welcome.Redcoats made sure the children (and adults)
were entertained, even when just wondering around the resort.Restaurant staff always came over to chat and
ask how our holiday was and what we'd been up to that day. Hotel staff came to check everything was ok with our
room on the first day.The friendly
atmosphere of the resort really does make all the difference.
The range of activities on offer.There was so much to see and do that we didn’t have time to fit it all
in.The majority of these activities are
included in the cost of the holiday and you don’t need to leave the resort at
all.There’s also plenty to do indoors
and the poor weather didn’t really affect our enjoyment.
The food.I’ll be
honest, I have had better meals at other hotels and restaurants.However, some of the meals (especially the
desserts) were very good and there were lots of options – healthy and not so
healthy – in the hotel buffet.The
lowered counter was perfect for kids and they loved being able to help
themselves to what they wanted for breakfast.The service in all the Butlins restaurants we visited was fantastic – we
didn’t have to wait long at all to be served and the staff were so friendly.
children were so excited to be at Butlins.They loved sleeping in bunk beds, using the balcony, going to the
fairground, the shows, swimming – we had very few tears or tantrums.The kids didn’t have too many either…
While Butlins may not be my ideal holiday personally, it is my ideal family holiday.There are few places we could take the
children and have such a fun, stress free time while not having to worry about
extra costs and whether they’d eat well (especially the little one who is very
picky).While we all love being outdoors
(in all weather – puddle jumping is our speciality), it’s nice to have a change
and do something we wouldn’t normally.The Princess and The Pickle absolutely loved all the entertainment at Butlins and to be honest, Mummy and Daddy enjoyed it way more than we thought
we would too.And when it all got a bit
too much, we could just pop down to the beach for half an hour, which was
surprisingly peaceful for May half term.
As The Princess said in her own review, “I'd like to go to Butlins again
because there are lots of things we didn't have time to do, like see Amazing
Animals and Dino Babies 3D. I would tell my friends to go because there
are lots of fun things to do like arcade machines, fairground rides, seeing
shows and more and lots of these things are free when you are there. I
had a week packed full of fun!”
Our top ten money saving tips for a Butlins holiday:
spending money in cash and stick to your limit.
2.Take snacks for the week – you won’t need much
for lunch if you fill yourselves up at breakfast and eat early in the evenings.
3.If you don’t want to spend extra on meals, stick
to the hotel buffets which are all you can eat.
4.If eating in one of the other restaurants, some
of the desserts are quite big (such as The Ultimate Fondue in the Diner) and
can easily be shared between two or more people.
5.If you plan to do lots of extra activities, look
into the special passes Butlins offer, such as the All Action or Adrenaline
passes.The Flexi pass would have been
ideal for The Princess as it includes the activities she enjoys, such as
Archery and the Bungee Trampolines and you basically get 3 sessions for the
price of 2.This is something we’d
definitely invest in next time.
6.Use the What’s On guide (or the Butlins app if
you have an iPhone) to plan the activities you’d like to do before you visit –
choose as many of the free activities as possible and if they require booking
make sure you do that on the first day to avoid disappointment.
7.Make use of the free DVD hire from the hotel
reception (refundable £10 deposit is required)
8.Save up a jar of coins in the months before your
break to use in the arcades.
9.Think twice before buying popcorn and drinks for
the shows – the shows aimed at children generally don’t last very long and once
the show starts their attention will be taken away from wanting snacks.
save money on the overall cost of the break by looking out for offers on the
website or staying in one of the cheaper rooms - you'll be surprised how little time you actually spend in the room anyway.
You can see more of my Butlins posts by clicking the button below.
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.