Friday 30 May 2014

Review of Deluxe Suite, Butlins Bognor Regis

We have stayed at Butlins loads of times now but the last time we stayed in Deluxe accommodation was when my twins were 6 weeks old, they are now nearly 7.  I can promise you quite a lot has changed in that time but not everything!

Deluxe is the highest (and most expensive) grade of accommodation at Butlins with the exception of the hotels at Bognor Regis and Blue Skies at Minehead.

For our holiday this time we were staying with a premium dining plan so as half-board guests you would normally just book a room (or rooms if there are many of you) but this means that if you want to relax and watch some TV in the evening you have to do it in your bedroom. This is where the Deluxe Suite is fantastic as it has a separate lounge.

I'll walk you through what you get for your money in a Deluxe suite -

These are situated in Atlantic Bay and this basically means they are on the side of the main entrance, sadly they are across the car park away from the rest of the resort. It is not far to walk but this of course does not provide for a good view to the front, which is a shame as you do get a private patio area and some chairs for sitting out.

You also get a dedicated parking space, which in a resort like Bognor where space is scarce that is a great thing.

Entrance area -
Basically you enter the accommodation via either a normal door or a large patio door (you have both) and you have a tiled sort of entrance area where you can hang coats, leave shoes, put your washing to dry.  You also have nice thick black-out curtains which you can close over so the whole passing world does not stare in at you!

Lounge -
The lounge is a good size with 2 leather sofas which seat 2 or 3 (depending how big the bums are), a coffee table, a good size fridge in a cabinet with coffee making facilities on top and a flatscreen TV and DVD player in a shelving unit which has plenty of tumblers, wine glasses and mugs for you to use. There is also a variety of lighting options and we found the lounge comfortable and very useful.

Downstairs bedroom - 
Behind the lounge is what used to be a kitchen/ diner area but has now been made into a very spacious twin bedroom. This bedroom had two standard size single beds with a good comfy mattress but I'll be honest the pillows and duvets were not great. I do think for accommodation that is being billed as Deluxe Butlins need to look at their bedding. It is the same as you get in a standard room and is not even as good as a Premier Inn. I was also surprised to find there were no extra pillows or blankets in any of the wardrobes, I have no doubt if I had asked for more they would have come quickly but really I just wanted better quality to start with.

The wardrobe is a very good size with hanging and folded clothes space, there was a spacious dressing table and mirror area with a stool and one bedside cabinet. There was also an iron and board in this room. I believe there should be something like voile in the window of this room, as it is a big window and it looks straight out onto the staff accommodation, which is not very attractive.

I think Butlins missed a trick when they took the kitchens out, this twin would be ample big enough to have been the master bedroom with a king size bed and shower room en-suite.

Upstairs -
One of the downsides of this accommodation is the staircase, it is so creaky, even the smallest of people walking on it means it creaks and groans very loudly.  It needs fixing.

Bathroom -
There is nothing wrong with the bathroom, it has a bath with a shower over it, sadly this is just a mixer tap one and whilst it worked fine, I had to do the mixing to get the right temperature as it was quite temperamental and my 10 year old could not manage it. When the price of Deluxe accommodation is pretty much similar to the hotels I expect the same standards and I know the hotel bathrooms are to die for. There is a heated towel rail which is useful but no hook on the back of the door and we were missing our toiletry pack.

Towels were provided every day and these were all nice quality and there were no stains.

Master bedroom -
This is a good sized room and it has a door which leads onto a balcony, this is a nice touch and on a hot day would be very welcome but it's still that car park view. The bed is only a double and I do feel Deluxe should have a king bed like the hotels do. Again the wardrobe and dressing area are perfect and there is a good variety of lighting. There are two bedside cabinets, a safe, a hairdryer and small TV for watching in bed.  We actually let our 10 year old have this room as my husband and I preferred the mattresses downstairs and he thought all his birthdays had come at once and was super happy.

Twin bedroom - 
This is a bit more cosy size wise but is still perfectly acceptable and especially for kids, they had 2 full size single beds, a wardrobe, smaller dressing table and a bedside cabinet. Both girls were really happy in their room but both commented to me that there was only one pillow on each bed. (well a scatter cushion too, but I assume you are not supposed to sleep with this).

Decor and styling -
The styling of the Deluxe accommodation is very nice, the curtains look a really decent quality and the dark furniture and glass shelves make it look nice. I think these units must have been decorated fairly recently as the paintwork was excellent, no marks at all.

Cleaning -
I found the whole unit to be very clean and even things that get missed in many hotels (like dead flies in light casings) were nice and clean. We had someone come in each day to service the suite and they made the beds, changed towels, left extra loo rolls, emptied bins and washed up our cups. We found their service to be really good. One night one of the girls had an accident and I reported it in the morning and by the time we came back later the bed had been stripped and we even had a new mattress.  Good job Butlins, great service.

Overall -
We enjoyed our stay in the Deluxe Suite and there is nothing that is a real issue. I just think the accommodation could be even better and especially when the price is on a par to the hotels. The big bonus for us and the reason for choosing it was that as a family of 5 we did not want a child sleeping in the same room with us and thus not being able to easily get to sleep if we were watching TV on an evening, so the lounge makes a real difference. Having said that there was nothing in this Deluxe Suite that I could not get in a silver apartment for less money and if you look at my review of a silver apartment you will see how good they are. I can live without an early check-in, DVD player, housekeeping and dedicated parking space to be honest.

Things we really liked –
  • Dedicated car parking space
  • The d├ęcor and styling – really modern, fresh and appealing to the eye
  • 3pm check-in
  • Having 3 separate bedrooms and a lounge, so much space!
  • The social aspect of being in a chalet. The four closest all had kids and by 8am each day our girls were outside playing with the others and having lots of fun
  • Great housekeeping - towels replenished regularly and tea tray very well stocked
  • TV in the master bedroom
  • Lots of room for coats, shoes and swimming accessories in the entrance area

What was not so great –
  • The bed linen needs updating and to be better quality
  • Very creaky staircase
  • Bod standard mixer shower and toilet that was hard to flush, especially for the kids

Why don't you also check out my reviews of - Gold apartment, Silver bungalow and The Wave Hotel

Disclosure: I am a Butlins Ambassador this year and as such we were provided with a 4 night break for 5 people for the purpose of undertaking a review. I have not been told what to write and I remain honest.
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