Butlins Bognor Regis was our staycation of choice recently. It was our first time at the Bognor resort, and it won’t be the last. In recent years, we have chosen to stay at Butlins Minehead, so it was nice to try somewhere different. If you are considering a family trip to Bognor, check out our honest review…
Butlins Bognor Regis
The Butlins resort, is located in the traditional seaside town of Bognor Regis, down on the south coast in West Sussex. Located directly on a pebble beach, and bordering the South Downs National Park, the resort is perfectly situated for those who love an outdoor adventure too.
Butlins has everything to offer. From the Great British seaside, traditional arcades and fairgrounds, live shows and entertainment, family activities, right through to great accommodation and food options. It’s all there.
We had only booked our break two weeks previous to our stay, having stumbled across a fantastic 40% off deal. Our Monday to Friday stay (including Food Court Dining) cost us £375. We used £145 in Tesco Vouchers (which we accumulated over a year) and so only had a remainder of £230 to pay. Personally, I think that’s an awesome deal.
Butlins Bognor ~ Wave Hotel accommodation
Our holiday started early on the Monday afternoon, when checking-in at the Wave Hotel. Both clean and modern looking, we were impressed with the nautical themed hotel. The hotel offers free parking, daily housekeeping and a 24 hour reception team. To the side of the reception, there’s a Café with a large lounge area for relaxing and games room directly opposite.
We were really pleased with our room which was located on the 2nd floor. The room offered plenty of space and had everything we could possibly need; bath/shower, tea making facilities, iron/board and hangers, hair dryer, mini fridge, Wi-Fi and a personal safe.
The boys were super excited about their room, and spent 20-minutes in there whilst Trevor and I unpacked all the luggage.
To keep this post as honest as possible, unfortunately I feel the need to share our findings come bedtime. We had all had a very long first day, and the boys were all too happy to hop into bed.
I pulled back all the bedding on the bottom bunk and found a used plaster on the underneath of the duvet. Grossed out, I called down to Reception. A cleaner was sent up immediately to rectify the issue.
Between calling down and the cleaner arriving, I also checked what would be Jacks pillow. The pillow itself (beneath the cover) had an unpleasant looking stain on it and so I asked the cleaner to change that too. She tried telling me that the pillows are routinely washed, and I questioned how that had made it back into circulation. I had to be quite stern in my request for a new one as the cleaner was adamant that is was clean.
To be fair, that was the one and only problem we faced on our holiday. Overall, we found the Bognor site to be very well maintained.
Butlins Deck Restaurant ~ Premium Dining
When we booked the holiday, we paid for Food Court Dining but on arrival was upgraded to Premium Dining. Thank you Butlins! The site didn’t seem overly busy, so I guess it was a business decision to operate just one buffet style eatery. Nonetheless, a very welcomed upgrade.
Both the Premium Dining and Food Court options include breakfast and evening meals. The Deck Restaurant offers buffet style dining, including a roast carvery and two live food stations. The food stations are manned with chefs who will cook certain foods to your request (grill/omelette AM and grill/pasta PM).
There are plenty of food choices available which rotate each day. The food is plentiful, fresh and topped up constantly. Jack is fairly fussy, and there was always something on the menu that he could enjoy. Jack and Hudson both enjoyed choosing their own food from the children’s food area. The kids food is served at a lower level and therefore perfect for little ones.
Butlins Daytime Entertainment
Whether your family are the adventurous type or a little more easy-going, the Butlins entertainment schedules are filled with fantastic family shows and activities. You’re guaranteed to find something for every member of the family.
Most of the entertainment onsite is included in your holiday price, and only some activities are chargeable (ie some Fairground games / Pottery painting / Driving School / Spa etc).
At check-in, a schedule of activities is provided along with some tickets to certain evening shows. There is a booking office where the staff can help you find suitable pre-bookable activities during your stay. We chose to do pottery painting (£8 per child) and Mini Bows (archery style fun for 2-4 year olds) which was free, and fantastic!
We genuinely had the most brilliant time from the moment we arrived, as you can see…
Butlins Evening Entertainment ~ Live Shows
As always, Butlins pull out all the stops for their live performances. From the entertainers to their costumes, the stage, sound and lighting effects, everything is done to perfection. We saw three shows on Centre Stage throughout the week and each one was absolutely fantastic.
First of the week was Paddington Bear. The show is full of upbeat fun, and of course involves a Panto baddie and all the ‘He’s behind you’ classics.
Sleeping Beauty, another classic family favourite was a brilliant pantomime. Full of amazing costume changes, a fire breathing dragon and some hilarious panto wit.
The Jersey Quartet are a fantastic tribute act to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, featuring performers who have been in the musical The Jersey Boys. With end to end smash hits such as ‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Beggin’ ‘, and ‘Working My Way Back to You’, they had the crowd singing and dancing throughout.
Away from Butlins ~ Things to do off site
You literally step out of the Butlins car park, and straight onto Bognor Beach. We visited the beach a few times, and although it was a bit chilly for a dip in the sea, we still had loads of fun. Pebble tower building, pebble skimming, shell collecting, and wave dodging.
From the Butlins car park itself, you can pick up the land train which takes you up and down the beach, along The Esplanade. The kids loved that! There is a lovely little play area for the kids where the train stops too, along with a Brewers Fayre should you fancy some food.
We also took some time to visit Little Streets in Chichester, a childrens role play centre. The play centre has a variety of themed rooms, scaled down to the perfect size for little ones, and carefully designed and filled with props to offer a creative and educational play experience. It’s brilliant!
Hotham Park is gorgeous and was actually a winner of the Green Flag Award. The grounds are open to the public all year round and include a Boating Lake, Mediterranean and Tropical Gardens, children’s play area, miniature railway (with wheelchair access), putting green and crazy golf.
We also went Geocaching not far from the park, where the boys found their 3rd Geocache.
Our final thoughts
Our holiday was absolutely brilliant, we didn’t want to leave. This was our 3rd family holiday to Butlins within the last 3yrs, but our first to Bognor. The Bognor resort seemed far more compact than Minehead but still included all the same entertainment and attractions. We are about an equal distance from both resorts and I honestly couldn’t say that one is better than the other.
Both boys were old enough (2yrs and 4yrs) to enjoy all of the attractions designed for younger guests. It mean’t a completely different break for us this time, no buggies or bulging changing bags. Both boys were on foot and we only had to carry a small bag of refreshments to last the day. SO MUCH EASIER!
The resort has everything you could ever need and the entertainment was fab with endless stuff to do. The kids had the time of their lives, and come bedtime were definitely ready to recharge their batteries. Us parents, well there was lots for us to do too. But lets face it, when your kids are having so much fun, what else matters?
Thank you Butlins, we will absolutely be back!
*We have in no way been compensated for this review. We had a fantastic holiday and simply wanted to share our thoughts.