We were recently invited on a 4-night family break at Butlins, Minehead for the purposes of review. It was our first holiday as a family of four and we are hugely thankful for the opportunity. We visited during the February half term and enjoyed the most wonderful time.
We arrived on a lovely sunny day to one of the new style chalets at the West Lakes Village. This was not what we were expecting to find at Butlins.
We had a spacious single-level, two bedroom chalet with its own parking space directly outside the front door. The entrance hall had plenty of hanging space and all rooms were accessible from there.
As you can see from the floor plan below, the chalet had a twin bedroom, a double bedroom with en-suite bathroom, a separate toilet and a large open plan living / kitchen area.
The living area was spacious, light and airy. There was plenty of comfortable seating and all of the home comforts you could need whilst on holiday. The decor was fresh, bright and tastefully bursting with colour.
The Kitchen had plenty of worktop space, storage cupboards and just about every utensil known to mankind. Appliances included a microwave, oven and hob, fridge and dishwasher.
Each day, we were provided with a fresh supply of tea, coffee and sugar, plus washing-up liquid and dishwasher tablets.
Jack (2) and I, shared the double bedroom whilst Trevor shared the twin room with baby Hudson (7mths).
Both rooms had dressing tables and plenty of storage space, whilst the double bedroom housed the iron, ironing board, hairdryer and safe facilities. The double bedroom also had its own TV and en-suite bathroom which was equipped with towels and toiletries.
The image above shows the twin bedroom and the separate toilet facilities located next door.
From our balcony, we were greeted with this beautiful view of one of the lakes and of the Skyline Pavilion. Each of the Lakeside chalets had an outdoor decked balcony and a set of table and chairs. I loved watching the sun go down over the chalets opposite.
Butlins Premium Dining Plan
We were provided with the premium dining package which included breakfast and evening dinner in The Deck Restaurant or The Yacht Club. Both restaurants were great for choice and had plenty of seating available but we chose to use The Deck Restaurant.
The buffet area was huge! It had plenty of space and the separate food stations meant that there was never any queues for food.
The buffet always had plenty of breakfast, dinner and pudding options, and catered for all ages and dietary requirements. The food was constantly being topped up which meant that it was always lovely and fresh.
Each morning, the food area is set up for breakfast. Options include fresh pastries and fruit, porridge, soup, cereals, yogurt, meats/cheeses, english-breakfast options, fresh omelette and pancakes. Honestly, I could go on and on.
Even babies are taken care of with a selection of baby food pouches to choose from.
By evening, The Deck Restaurant is set up for dinner and opens from 4:30pm. A separate child-friendly selection is served at low-level and offers a nice variety of meats and veg, fish fingers, burgers and so on.
I was in food heaven with the dinner options. The variety on offer is endless. Fresh salad, carvery, meat and fish options had us spoiled for choice. The live cooking stations included Grill, Wok and Pasta options and offered freshly cooked food on request.
I definitely miss the luxury of not having to cook and without a doubt, would recommend paying that bit extra to include the dining package.
The desserts were to die for. A variety of hot puddings with custard, cold puddings with cream, fruit tarts, fruit, jellies and such like, sometimes meant that having two desserts was the only way forward.
Hot drinks, fresh juice and squash was always available at the drinks station, along with the unlimited ice-cream factory. You really do need some strong will power to step out of the restaurant without wanting more.
The staff in the restaurant were fantastic and always happy to help. The turnaround of food and seating areas was brilliant and most importantly, always clean.
Be prepared for some serious fun at Butlins. There are endless indoor and outdoor activities to entertain the whole family, no matter what your interests. I’m pretty sure you could spend a couple of weeks here and still not cover it all.
All the traditional favourites; The Waltzer, Carousel, Helter Skelter and such like were free to ride at Sir Billy’s Fairground. In addition, there were plenty of games stalls too.
There was also an indoor Mini Fairground with teacups, ladybirds and a mini train for guests under 5. Unfortunately, Jack was limited to what he could ride on because we were unable to accompany him on some of the rides.
For younger children, there is a huge soft play activity centre, the amusements (which Jack was drawn to like a magnet), Splash Waterworld, a Puppet Castle, childrens play areas, The Arts and Crafts Centre and so much more.
Aerial Adventures, Adventure Golf, The Hire Centre, Driving School, Laser Quest, play areas, sports courts and activity gardens are available to entertain the older children.
Daily entertainment and shows take place on the Skyline Stage, at Reds and at Centre Stage. Hudson was totally mesmerised by The Teletubbies, whilst Jack was amazed by the T-Rex show.
You would be mistaken in thinking that Butlins is just for children. There is also plenty to entertain us grown ups too. Sports bars, pubs, amusements, Cinema and sports courts to name a few.
There are many food outlets available onsite for those fancying something different and also, a Spar shop for all your convenient needs.
The Butlins Store and other merchandise shops have lots of variety and therefore, plenty of gift and memorabilia options to take home.
Our final thoughts
We were lucky to be able to share our break with dear friends too, which made it extra special. Stevie over at A Cornish Mum is a Butlins Ambassador and stayed in a chalet opposite to us with her family. Si and Trevor (our partners) are the best of friends since childhood and so it was lovely for them to spend some time together too.
Their children are quickly approaching their teenage years. Our boys absolutely adore them and clearly enjoyed having them around.
Every day was fun-filled and seemed everlasting. My stupid quote of the week, was without a doubt, ‘Today seemed to last all day’. It brought plenty of chuckles but I knew what I mean’t, plus I was exhausted!
Both boys slept through every night for the first time since they were born. Butlins well and truly wore them out, and us adults too.
We were totally blown away by our visit. It was fantastic and we are already planning our return. Thank you Butlins, you made our first family holiday totally unforgettable.
Lisa and family x