Saturday 17 November 2012

Butlins - Fantastic family holiday or dodgy old camp?

So I say to you Butlins and you think.......?

Go on be honest, what images does the word Butlins conjure up for you?

I asked that question to about 15 different friends and work colleagues this week and only one of them had actually visited Butlins in the last few years.  I was not at all surprised to find people talking about Hi-de-hi , the sit-com that aired back in the 1980's (Oh how I loved that program as a kid).  There was also lots of mentions of red coats, old wooden chalets and bingo.

OK, I can honestly say these people have the wrong idea.

JJ quite a few years back when he was still excited to meet Billy the Butlins Bear

My family have been to Butlins at least once a year since 2004, some years it has been as many as 3 times. As the children have grown older and we have to go in the school holidays it has become more expensive and as such we have had to cut down, but in the early days when we just had JJ and he was under 2 we stayed in Deluxe accommodation, half board for a 5 day/ 4 night break for under £200 for us all.  Butlins is superb value for families with young children who are happy to stay term-time.

Then here we are nearly 10 years later and I just did a quick search for a half board room from 20th May (so the weather should be nice) in Skegness for 4 nights for two adults and a one year old and it is just £213.34.  Fantastic value.  'What do you get included with that along with your food and accommodation?' I hear you ask. Everything you could want to be honest - splash waterworld, children's funfair, adult funfair, children's activities like puppet shows, softplay, evening entertainment - the list goes on and on.

'Ahh but what is the accommodation like?' I hear you shouting now, 'there must be a catch' you think to yourself.  But no, there is no catch, what you see is what you pay and you get all the fun included. I won't lie to you, some of the accommodation is basic, if you book a standard room you will not get anything glossy but it does what you need it to, it is clean, the beds are comfy, there is an equipped kitchen (if you have booked an apartment) and there is a TV.

We have stayed in standard, silver and deluxe accommodation over the years and I have been perfectly happy with them all.  Different times have demanded different things.  One type of accommodation I have never yet stayed in are the hotels at Bognor Regis, there are three of them nowadays, all just a bit different from each other.

I'm very excited to say that next May in the half term my family will be staying in the newest hotel at Bognor Regis, the Wave Hotel. This is very exciting as we are staying there as Butlins Ambassadors and we will be testing out the hotel and the rest of Butlins fully.  Please do not be fooled into thinking that because I am a regular Butlins customer that I won't be as honest as possible. I will be. I always believe that when I am given the responsibility for reviewing something it is extra important to be as honest as possible.  You will find a number of reviews on my Honest Mummy Reviews blog which demonstrate this point quite well. I will always be balanced and fair, giving a full and honest account of what we have seen and experienced.

Take a peek at the hotels at Bognor Regis -


I look forward to sharing my findings with you early next summer, for now why don't you take a peek on their site and see if there is anything that interests you.  I just did some random accommodation searches on the site and found that many breaks are better than half price in March next year.  I got a 5 day holiday up for £250.63 half board for a family of 4. That works out at just £15.62 per person per night - how can you quibble with that???

Leave me a comment and let me know your experience of Butlins, good or bad....

Butlins Goodies - Stocking Fillers Giveaway
As a little extra, I thought I would give away some nice Butlins goodies that have been sat in my cupboard since I won them at BritMums Live in June. My kids have too much already!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I am being provided with a break for 6 people next May, half board in the Wave Hotel for the purposes of honestly reviewing Butlins and its facilities.  I have not been instructed what to write and as always I'll remain honest.
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