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“Fantastic - tips for weekends (Big or Family)” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Butlins Bognor Regis Resort

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Butlins Bognor Regis Resort
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Bognor Regis
Crawley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 291 helpful votes
“Fantastic - tips for weekends (Big or Family)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 January 2014

I've now spent 6 weekends at Butlins. Half of these have been Big Weekends and half family weekends. This is an update to a previous review having now been back a couple more times.

First thing to do is forget any preconceived negative thoughts about Butlins and throw yourself into the experience head first!

Accommodation – I’ve stayed in one of the hotels and Atlantic Bay and Oyster Bay (silver). I prefer the apartments for a bit more space and some basic cooking facilities. However, Oyster Bay is in great need of a work over. The bathrooms are really shabby, smelly and mouldy. Atlantic bay is much better and when I booked there was no difference in the price so Atlantic Bay every time. They are also a bit more substantial and so the sound doesn’t transmit as much as Oyster Bay. In terms of doing it on the cheap I think the best way is to book well in advance and look out for the special advance deals and online booking incentives. I have watched out for last minute deals but not seen many, as most of the weekends appear to sell out. Obviously, the cheapest way is to go in the basic accommodation and have more of you sharing the apartments. A few tips for things to bring with you in the apartments - washing up liquid, bin bags, toilet roll (some supplied but not enough and very expensive in the shop)

Check-In – for the Big Weekends you need to arrive at a reasonable time as by about 6pm they are really struggling for parking. During the family holidays it’s not a problem as a family of four will turn up in one car but for the adult weekends 4 adults may turn up in 4 cars for one apartment. You can arrive from midday on. You can get into your accommodation from 4 pm (3 pm if Premier Club ie you've been a few times before) but it is usually possible to get in a little earlier. You will find wristbands in your packs that identify that you are part of the Big Weekend (and some of the family weekends) and also if you have catering packages. The wristbands are checked going into venues such as Centre Stage and Reds and also the pool. Pack everything in a large wheeled suitcase (including your food/drinks) as the “airport baggage trolleys” are hard to find and usually in the wrong place i.e. at the accommodation rather than the car parks. It seems that Butlins have invested in a few more of these now and so much easier). You may find yourself parked a long way from your accommodation. On Monday morning they do try and move as many of the trolleys to the accommodation. Checkout is at 10am on Monday but many go on the Sunday (less so for the family weekends) which means that you can leave when you like.

Catering – I’ve not done any of the dining packages so cannot comment on these. Papa John’s pizza is great. No thrills but good food and good service. I’ve had to queue during family weekends but never had a problem with the adult ones. If you turn up before 7pm you can do the buffet with as much salad and pizza as you can get down you. The pizza is continually being made – lots of variety and piping hot. Turners is good but you probably need to book before hand. Solid pub food in the pub! So, there’s plenty of choice depending on your mood and taste. It's possible to self cater, if on a budget, with "ready meals" or simple cooking in the apartments - electric hob and oven with small microwave.

Supermarket – this is well stocked but not necessarily cheap. Watch out for the alcohol, as this appears to be excessively expensive to stop individuals buying and drinking in the Pavilions, outside etc. Definitely buy your drinks in advance and there is a Tesco Express on the right hand side just as you are approaching Butlins. Often big queues at peak times as well.

Cash - there are a few ATMs that previously charged a fee but I have heard that they are now free. Most of the venues take cards and offer cash back.

Bars – for the Big Weekend at Bognor it appears to start in the main pub at about 5pm on Friday and then moves into the Skyline Pavilion from 8pm onwards with Reds and Centre Stage starting to fill at 10pm onwards. Great to wonder between all the different venues depending on which bands are on. The drinks are all the same price wherever you are on site and generally reasonable. I’ve had to queue at peak times at the bar, previously, but this seemed better this weekend. Hotshots during the football on Saturday afternoon was a real struggle so if there are a few of you its worth getting some jugs of beer etc to reduce the number of visits to the bar. Bar Rosso always seems to struggle with serving with the staff having little "bar craft". I've often given up and walked over to Hot Shots and brought drinks back to the Pavilion and Bar Rosso. Current prices - £3.50 a pint of Lager, £3.85 for San Miguel. If you want wine go large it is much better value and not far off the bottle price. Small glasses work out very expensive.

Fancy Dress – Friday night had a lot of people in fancy dress but for Saturday the majority entered into the spirit with more that 80% in costume. There was a real mixture and even if it was just a bit of fluorescent clothing it demonstrated a willingness to be part of the party atmosphere. Kids weekends - loads of fancy dress but mainly the kids!

Swimming – open only for a limited time during the Big Weekends. On Saturday there was a pool party from 11am to 2:30pm and then it closed. On Sunday it opened at 12 for a couple of hours. The pool area was quiet but a few queues for some of the water slides. However, a great way to clear the head from the night before. For family weekends this is obviously busy and I've not really found a quiet time. If you have an under five with you, you can get in ahead of general opening from 9am. The pool is open but not the slides. This gives you a head start for the slides at 10am. It's worth doing the wave blaster then as this is the longest queue. Last entry is 4:30 for a 5pm close, though the slides start closing at 4:50. Try not to get stuck in the scramble at the end. There are queues for the showers and changing cubicles and no water pressure in the showers (needed to wash off high chlorine level in pool).

Other Activities – a few of the funfair rides were on some of the Big weekend but not a lot. Hotshots had pool (approx. £6/hour) and 10-pin bowling (£6 a game, second game half price). I understand that the Spa gets booked up during the Big weekends and needs pre booking. Other than this there isn’t a lot else happening but at the end of the day it isn’t needed. For the family weekends there's loads to do. I tried archery and fencing. If you've not done them before it's a really good taster and for £5 very competitive. You should bring trainers for these and make sure you arrive ten minutes before start time. If you arrive late you just the safety briefing and won't be allowed to join in. The kids get a nice medal. At the end of the archery.

Photos for family weekends - there are professional photographers doing shoots all over with characters etc. it's elk worth buying one of the Butlins USB wrist bands for £25. You can then have as many pictures as you like on it for this fee. You can get great green screen pictures done with the family which make great cards etc. they take about 64 pictures which is more than enough for a weekend. You can then use this again if you come back in the same calendar year.

Bognor – definitely worth a wonder into town, which is a five-minute, walk away. There are quite a few pubs on the sea front and if you are lucky to have good weather very nice to sit outside.

Hassle – none at all. Everyone was perfectly behaved. I think this is mainly down to how Butlins arrange everything and also the fact that fancy dress seems to disarm people.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jon_Hobson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (779)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Frome, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2013

After reading many negative reviews on TA my expectations of our forth-coming visit to Butlins Bognor Regis were not great. But I was pleasantly surprised. We took the family for the 3 night Christmas Party break. we booked the Deluxe Room- 3 bedrooms plus lounge which was spacious,clean and tidy. All staff we encountered were helpful and friendly. We ate at the Yacht Club Restaurant -breakfast was plentiful with a large selection of food of good quality. In my opinion B-Line passes were a waste of money- there was always somewhere to sit every evening at Centre Stage. Drinks were reasonably priced-what you'd expect to pay in any bar at home. My daughter and I booked a 2 hour Spa Session and only wished it was for longer! It was great to use the outdoor Hot-tub at the end of December! The grand-daughters loved Splash waterworld,especially the slides. The outdoor fairground was great you could go on as many rides as often as you liked all included in the price. Would definitely consider Butlins again as a family break.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank holidays504128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2013 via mobile

Butlins, went as a kid, heard horror stories recently.

Glad I bite the bullet and booked. Best long weekend with children. So much to do, so many shows to see, so many hours in the pool, so many places to eat.

Will be going on annual trip. This time it will be with a bigger group.

The staff are the real asset.

Stayed December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Paren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
49 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2013

This was our 7th trip to Butlins and we have always had an excellent time with our 2 boys who are now 5 and 8. We chose the wave hotel because of the games room and separate bedrooms. At least 40% of the games room was broken or not being used throughout our stay. This was very frustrating. We arrived early and checked in. We were told to return at 1500 for room key. We returned at 1530 queued for 20 mins and were told room not ready. They would not give us the key and said policy was to queue again? But they could not give us a time for room to be ready?Eventually we received our key….it gets worse…..double bed had not been changed. It had blood/makeup/coffee/after shave on it. We returned to reception who said it would be re-cleaned? I suggested it had not been cleaned. We later returned after dinner and bed linen was fresh….but stale milk and bitter lemon in the fridge. The volume on lower childs bunk tv did not work and was never rectified….. The rest of the Bultins experience was great. Although they are charging for extras that used to be free. Squeezing the consumer from every angle. We have obtained a price for FEB 2014 but it is much higher than expected and they may well be squeezing us to look elsewhere…. Switch on butlins greed gets you no repeat custom which in he long run earns more rave reviews and more money…..

Room Tip: Wave hotel suitable for older children who can use nintendo and playstation if not very little point...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Leeleggs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ipswich, UK
Level Contributor
50 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2013

We stayed here as an extended family group for a 3 night weekend 2 weeks before the Christmas holiday. We stayed in the Ocean Hotel as did one of my daughters and her Partner. My other daughter, son in law and their two children stayed in a suite in the Wave Hotel, while my son and his partner stayed in the standard motel type accommodation.
Our rooms in the Ocean hotel was a good size, very clean, well appointed and quiet at night. Food in the restaurant was excellent with all you can eat buffet breakfasts and dinners. My Daughter and her family in the Wave Hotel were also very happy with their accommodation and meals.
Unfortunately my son and his partner did not enjoy their standard Motel style room. Main complaints were paper thin walls and generally poor sound proofing which meant that they got little sleep the first 2 nights. They also said that the TV in their room was an antique that only received 5 channels and the pictures on these channels were of poor quality. The other grumble was that they were not supplied with towels in the rooms, they had to rent them as extras which seemed rather mean.
The entertainment laid on was mainly aimed at children as you would expect and the resort is very child friendly. Despite My son's discomfort with their room we did all have a good time and enjoyed the break and family time together.
One gripe I did have with the Ocean hotel was the elevators. There are not enough of them and the ones that were there seemed to operate somewhat erratically resulting in long waits at times.
Security at the site seemed good and we always felt safe and the staff do genuinely seem committed to helping you enjoy your stay
Overall I would rate this is a good family resort. Not up to Disney standard but get the impression that they have aspirations in that direction. However they still have a good way to go to match that gold standard.

Room Tip: Stay in the hotel accommodation and avoid the motel style blocks of standard accommodation.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gostling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2013

I have been a Butlins Premier member for years now and have brought my son to every christmas fantasy weekend since birth, yet it will be our last.

Accommodation:

I write this from our room in the newest of the 3 hotels. It is ok, possibly 3 star accommodation though the TV gets distorted reception frequently, the wifi does not reach this room (404 on the 4th floor), the bathroom lacks the details that make life easier such as a dish for the soap, glass for toothbrushes etc, the balcony overlooks the main road and has no net, so it is curtain closed or bye bye privacy. There is also a highly annoying creaking noise coming from the windows that I can only assume is cause by a draft coming in . On the plus side, the bed is firm and comfortable and the temperature perfect.

It is also worth noting that this hotel does not have a restaurant - breakfast and dinner is served at the neighbouring 'Deck' restaurant close to the hotel (but still inconvenient in bad weather).

Entertainment:

Earlier today I queued for an hour to get into the panto. Despite being close to the front of the queue the seats we got were a not great side view because now Butlins rip their customers off more by charging for their early entry 'B' line system. The ticket also advertised that doors would open at 11.45 but they did not until ten minutes after this time. The show was ok, but having been so many times before it is clear to me that the standard is dropping. Entertainment used to be Butlins biggest draw but the choreography is dull, the talent less talented and the script unimaginitive.

The outdoor fair is closed. Golf, closed. All outdoor activities cancelled. The cinema has been closed so there is little to actually do unless you want to spend a fortune in the arcades. I think age of children makes a difference - under about 6-7's will be happy with the indoor rides and puppet shows etc but anything older than this combined with bad weather = nothing to do.

Food - We ate at the Beachcomber Inn which has raised it's prices dramatically since it's refurb. The bill for 2 adults & 1 child (soft drinks only) set us back £50 for what is essentially pub grub. I had the chicken tikka and it was nice, but nothing special. The sirloin steak was very fatty.

We had breakfast in The Deck which was a serve yourself system in a chaotic dinner hall. I far prefer the system in place in the Ocean hotel where drinks and toast are brought to you then you go up to get your food.

Resort:

The resort was pretty tidy and there is a strong staff presence so you feel safe walking around. There is a shop where you can get all the essentials you might have forgotten, though it is quite expensive.

Butlins have stopped charging for use of the cash machines which is good!

The Wave hotel has a games room with several wiis and 3DS's with a range of games. If it were not for this room we may have spent even longer in our room!

Worth noting that despite increasing their capacity year on year the failities have not been expanded to allow for the extra people, so there is always a queue for anything you want to do, and feels like there are just too many people here and the resort cannot cope with it. Overall we are disappointed, not having a fantastic break and probably will not return.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Cally1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2013

I went to a 90's music weekend here last month with three friends for a 30th birthday celebration. The staff were welcoming on arrival and parking was easy.

Our accommodation was in mock-tudor apartments with a student village feel. The apartment was clean on the surface but there was thick dust behind the furniture. The whole place stank of paint and there was dried paint on the sofas. The curtains were up back-to-front so the pattern showed out-side and the seams were visible on the inside. We were on the ground floor and shared an external door with one other apartment. The entrance tot he two floors above were via a metal fire-escape style staircase which was extremely noisy. The sheets had some holes in them but were clean.

We paid to upgrade our food package and were please with most of the food, there was a basic buffet like you find at an all-inclusive hotel with a chef who made fresh pasta to order and another who grilled meat. The orange juice from the machine was horrible but the coffee was good. Breakfast was nice with a buffet and a chef making omelettes to order. The pancakes were awful.

The pool was fun but was only open for two or three hours each day and half the slides were closed for the season. We had a very good fencing lesson for free.

The entertainment was two clubs and couple of bars with 90s bands and tributes. The clubs were cold - I guess this is a summer resort so not heated, and carpeted (very sticky!). Drinks were very reasonably priced.

The resort is right on the sea front but there is a large metal fence all the way along the front - you can exit in one place at the end. It is a five minute walk to Bognor town centre.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Hannah4884
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Butlins Bognor Regis Resort

Property: Butlins Bognor Regis Resort
Address: Upper Bognor Road, Bognor Regis PO21 1JJ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > West Sussex > Arun District > Bognor Regis
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Hotels in Bognor Regis
Hotel Class:4 star — Butlins Bognor Regis Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bognor Regis is officially one of Britain’s sunniest locations, sitting right on the West Sussex coast. Within just a couple of hours drive from London, Butlins Bognor Regis is the perfect getaway. Known as a traditional seaside town, we’ve given it a modern ‘twist’ with two funky hotels; the Ocean Hotel and the Shoreline Hotel. There’s a relaxing spa (ideal for grown-ups) and if you feel like discovering the area around the resort, the South Downs National Park and heritage sites are right on your doorstep. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Butlins Bognor Regis Hotel Bognor Regis
Butlins Hotel Bognor Regis
Butlins Resort Bognor Regis

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