Butlins Ocean Hotel view

I can’t tell you how sad I am that our 2014 Butlins experience is over. We had such a brilliant time.

Returning to Butlins is like going back to see a very special old friend, one who knows you and your family inside out, one who takes extra care in making sure that everything you could possibly want or need is taken care of.

Bessie meets Misty at Butlins

This is our third year as Butlins Ambassadors and it has become an integral part of the girl’s life. They have practically grown up with Butlins from our very first adventure when we fell in love at Skegness, where we couldn’t get them off the Bob the Builder rides to this last visit where they danced to This is Us the One Direction tribute band, they met Misty the new member of the Skyline Gang and tried Fencing with the Redcoats.

Butlins Misty skyline gang

We asked the twins what was the best thing they did over the Easter break and they both shouted out Butlins! 

Alice with This Is Us 1D tribute band

Nowadays when we tell the girls we’re going on holiday their eyes light up and they ask ‘Butlins mummy?’ full of hope. It’s quite weird to reply almost apologetically, ‘Not this time we’re going to France/Cornwall/Devon’ and see their disappointment.

I think the major thing I noticed this time is how Butlins grows with the girls, they aren’t as interested in the ‘Baby rides’ (their use of word) but were elated to be able to ride the dodgems this time. Growing up has opened a whole new Butlins to them.

Butlins Vespas papa Johns

We watched the panto and a variety of shows in the Skyline Pavilion including dancing with Angelina ballerina, you should have seen the twirling!

We visited Splash Waterworld, a dead cert for the whole family and this year dad tried the Space Bowl chute, no I didn’t – I looked after the girls of course!

We also treated the girls to the Skyline dress up costumes of their choice from the shop, over the moon doesn’t quite explain it well enough. OMG and they now sell Skyline onsies too!

What’s new in Butlins Bognor Regis?

Scoop! What a gorgeous ice cream bar sitting just outside the Skyline Pavilion and next to the pub, a very pink and inviting ice cream parlour awaits with enough scoops, toppings and squirts to fulfill all of your ice cream dreams many times over. I LOVED these fun seats outside :)

Scoop at Butlins

The Helter Skelter is back! We were so pleased as it was one of the favourite rides we tried when it was first there and were so upset to hear it had been taken away. A smoother ride awaits you with all the initial thrills included.

Butlins titan the Robot

Titan the Robot is back! I first saw him at Skegness. Cheekier than ever Titan amuses everyone young and old. Make sure you don’t miss him, I will confess to being ever so slightly in love with him.

What was new for us this year?

Now they reach the requested height we were able to enjoy more rides at Sir Billy’s FunFair ground, the dodgems became an immediate favourite.

Butlins dodgems

This Is Us – One Direction tribute band. A top hit

Butlins this is Us 1D

We tried a craft class at the Beach House with the Redcoats and made some gorgeous Easter bonnets.

Butlins easter bonnet making

Ocean Hotel – the last hotel for us to try so I treated myself to a lovely manicure too in the Ocean spa.

What’s coming soon at Bognor Regis?

There is a fabulous new diner being constructed, we found this great bus outside

Butlins the big red

I heard a rumour, and it hasn’t been confirmed by any Butlins staff, BUT a birdie told me that the Splash Waterworld at Bognor Regis will be undergoing a complete makeover in the next couple of years. It’s only a rumour, don’t go getting excited yet.

Which hotel at Butlins Bognor Regis?

Having tried all three hotels at Butlins Bognor Regis we pass on our thoughts and tips on which hotel to choose on booking.

Shoreline Hotel – our favourite. The views are spectacular and it is perfect for small children who adore Billy Butlins. The food on all occasions we have eaten there was superb. Shoreline gets the Weekes top marks of 10 out of 10.

Wave hotel – This is perfect for kids that little bit older as there is a massive games room full of Wii, Playstation, XBox and so on, each bunk bed has it’s own tv screen = no arguing over what to watch! The reception has consoles to lend out and there is a lovely airy feel to the downstairs area. Food is eaten in a different building across the way – The Deck Restaurant so if it’s cold you’ll need to take coats and bags with you if you intend shooting off afterwards to see a show. The food however was excellent and plentiful.

Ocean Hotel – Comfortable rooms and nicely decorated. It also has the spa onsite to enjoy. The restaurant seemed smaller, the buffet seemed smaller than the previous hotels and the queues were longer but the food was still excellent.

The staff in every hotel has always been super friendly and excellent at doing their jobs. Everyone bends over backwards to please you.

There’s only one last thing to say and that is ‘We LOVE Butlins’

Butlins Easter bonnets

Disclosure: We spent a long weekend at Bognor Regis courtesy of Butlins as part of our ambassadorship duties so we can come back and tell you our true thoughts and feelings about their holiday options.

I had the enormous good fortune to be offered a spa session during our Easter break to Butlins Bognor Regis as a wedding gift.

Ocean spa - Butlins

There’s nothing more fantastic for busy mums than a little bit of me time carved out every now and then, I think it’s fundamental to recharge the batteries and make mums feel good about themselves again. The Ocean Spa is the perfect place to spend a little pampering time and just enjoy being you without any ‘Mum!’ demands being made.

For the excellent price of only £19 you can spend two hours in the Ocean Spa which is situated in the Ocean hotel on the  Butlins Bognor Regis site. The spa has a steam room, a rainforest shower and waterfall shower with coloured lights, a snow cave – more about that later, a sauna, a foot spa, an outdoor hot jacuzzi and a huge indoor jacuzzi too.

ocean spa butlins

Two hours are more than enough to get round and use the facilities and there’s also a quiet area with chairs and low set tables with water and fresh fruit on hand and magazines to read.

Is it because it’s normal to enter a room and start to your left? I’m not sure but the steam room is to your left, which I couldn’t photograph – obviously – as the lens would have steamed up! Suffice to say that you enter, it’s hot and wet and there are little lights in the ceiling and soft relaxing music being pumped into the room. I LOVED it.

ocean spa butlins

Next I tried the snow cave because I’m a devil like that plus I’ve never tried one before. Big heavy door and the first time I entered bare foot; you step onto snow, you close the door behind you and there is silence. It is dark with only light coming from the window in the door and the ceiling is covered in pretty icicles. It is -16C but it is a wicked experience.

snowcave ocean spa butlins

I tried the sauna – take your dressing gown in to sit on –  and it brought back memories of my trip to Finland where the family I stayed with had their own sauna and after 15 minutes or so mum led me out to the snow covered garden.

So of course I went straight back into the snow cave to continue my reminiscing and it was much better (for me) with dry skin – ie from the sauna, than with wet skin from the steam room.

BLISS pure bliss I loved every moment.

I tried the outside jacuzzi and not sure if you remember but at Easter it was bitterly cold, I sat in there chatting with other spa-istas listening to the noise of the fairground in the distance and loved every minute of it.

jacuzzi ocean spa butlins

If you are body conscious DON’T let this stop you, I spoke to a number of women in there and they ALL had issues with getting their kit off but once in the spa you’re in a different world and no one cares.

There is a menu of treatments and if you can do go for one, I chose the Tranquility Shiatsu Deep Tissue Massage because it sounded nice. Little did I know I had chosen the most vigorous of all on the menu! My masseur was BRILLIANT but my goodness did she work those knots in my neck! I yelped in places but all is well that ends well and I was left feeling oh-ever-so-good

On a more recent visit I had a manicure – witch’s blue which you can see on my Instagram feed.

If you’re going to Bognor Regis and you can steal two hours or more – go for it and I promise you won’t regret it, it would have been the ideal hen weekend but of course I climbed Snowdon instead!

Butlins Bognor Regis

Our Easter holidays started with a fabulous trip to Butlins Bognor Regis this year.

As a Butlins Mum Ambassador we were invited to take a short break and our first choice Minehead wasn’t available for Easter as it had been booked up for a music weekend.

Butlins Ambassador badge

Butlins organise music weekends known as Big Weekends/Adult Weekends. These are a really cool option for adults wanting to let their hair down and have some rock and roll fun and know that they won’t be interrupted by children. Butlins family breaks cannot be booked whilst the music/adult weekends are on.

So, no Minehead available we decided to return to Bognor Regis. This time round we chose to sleep in the recently renovated Wave Hotel and it is beautiful.

Wave hotel 1 butlins

Very open and spacious this was the view from our balcony – can you see the new helter skelter in the background? It is so much fun! We did it every day.

Wave hotel Butlins Bognor Regis

I can’t tell you in words the pleasure of having your own bunk bed with your OWN television, we had to make regular trips back to the room just to watch a bit of cartoons!

wave hotel bunk beds

Our Premium Dining Package gave us breakfast and dinner in The Deck restaurant which is enormous but very well designed into smaller areas so it doesn’t feel like a canteen. There are three stations to collect food from and the queue you join is quickly shortened. I can easily say the dining is husbands favourite part of his Butlins holiday.

I love the artwork on the wall ‘Birdmen Of Bognor Pier’ really fun and you must go to the fresh pasta chef who will cook you made to order pasta, I went for the Pescatore (fish sauce) and it was delicious, I could easily have had a second helping but there are so many things to try I stopped myself.

The Deck restaurant Butlins Bognor Regis

Let’s talk about the fairground and the brand new helter skelter, I remember these as a kid so going on one again was a real turn back the clocks moment. Tip – you’ve got to get your slide right from the start, sitting central and upright… 1st time down I was too curved and bumped all the way, 2nd time I lay back too much and Bessie and I shot down with her screaming top to bottom. 3rd time lucky we had it sussed and had a brilliant ride…then she wanted to do it again and again and again!

butlins fairground Bognor Regisand my helter skelter special collage – love the view from the top!

butlins helter skelter bognor regis

This year’s entertainment included Angelina Ballerina ballet lessons – yes they LOVED it.

 angelina ballerina dancing

The Skyline Gang with new songs too and a poorly Rainbow (he’s their dog and his illness is part of the show). We watched Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime and we also went to see Elmo and friends.

butlins evening entertainment

The highlight of the stay for me was our wedding present from Butlins which was actually all for me! A spa treatment in the Ocean Spa. I left Paul with the girls watching Jack and the Beanstalk and off I went for a few hours of pampering. It was so good I’m going to tell you all about it in a separate post!

ocean spa butlins Too much to tell you, the soft play where they’d play for ages

butlins soft play

The Easter Egg trail put on for all Butlins guests over the Easter break and the Easter bunny food left on the bed on Saturday night to sprinkle outside so the rabbit knew where we were staying – what a fabulous thought!

Easter bunny butlins preparationsWe had another brilliant time and still we didn’t get to do everything!

Disclosure: I am a Butlins Mum Ambassador, they offer me and my family a break in any of their resorts in return for this honest review. We LOVED it and I can’t honestly fault it. Thank you Butlins for our superb honeymoon, you really looked after us, Mari x

Our previous Butlins holidays

Skegness

Skegness video

Bognor Regis July 2012

TheBoyandMe's 365 LinkyThis week saw the beginning of the Easter holidays, a freeeeezing bitter cold and our Ambassador Butlins break at Bognor Regis which really succeeded once again in cheering us all up.

I went to buy some net curtains today (Friday) in John Lewis, it was lunchtime and there were a lot of mums with noisy kids, some screaming, some being unruly and my two, well they weren’t too bad considering I was there for over half an hour. Anyway the woman cutting the fabric raised her eyes at me on hearing one piercing shriek (not my kids) and said, ‘I bet you can’t wait for the kids to go back to school?’

I nodded and raised my eyes too but it was a lie.

I LOVE having the girls home with me, I love hearing their chatter all over the house. I don’t mind picking up toys that have been played with and then left behind whilst they move on to the next imaginary game using something else. I love cooking their favourite foods for them, having them slip into my bed in the early morning (maybe too early sometimes) but the hugs are priceless. I love the relaxed attitude that a school holiday brings with it but I couldn’t be bothered to tell the shop assistant all of this, she maybe would have thought I was mad?

Right here we go – I’m taking it from last Friday, Good Friday as that’s when we left for Bognor Regis and the fun started, it’s very difficult for me to choose a couple of shots from Butlins when I took about 300 but I daren’t bore you

Friday – Arrival at Butlins and this was our room, a beautiful honeymoon welcome which really made us and the girls smile. They played with the swans. We wathch the Skyline Gang in the Pavilion and eat late, poor Bess falls asleep at the table :( and we cart her off to na’nights.

Wave hotel butlins bognor regis

Saturday – Bessie is VERY under the weather but determined to leave the room. She is desperate to try out the brand new Helter Skelter we’ve been talking about. She does incredibly well and even manages to see a show but after that we’re off to bed for a good night’s sleep.

butlins kids fun

Sunday – Bessie is still not 100% but a little bit better. We decide not to try out Splash Waterworld (although daddy is definitely trying his best to convince me) I have the enormous pleasure of trying out the Ocean Spa as a wedding present (thank you once again Butlins) I opt for the Deep muscle shiatsu full body treatment envisioning total relax and wafting in the lap of luxury …. little did I realise it’s the toughest on the menu and one footballers use! It was good, painful in places, the knots in my shoulders were very stubborn but overall a beautiful experience. Thank you Butlins x That said, next time I’ll go for a more gentle massage ;)

ocean spa butlins

Monday – Splash Waterworld, a last trip on the Helter Skelter and then homeward bound. A very good journey but boy is the house cold when we arrive. Whack up the heating and get the girls on the sofa under covers

butlins funfair bognor regis

Tuesday – Paul back to work, the girls sleep in till 8.30am – unheard of and the lap of luxury. I wash two loads and hang them on the  line but it’s bitterly cold out there and don’t dry completely. I buy the girls a hopscotch game from the supermarket and they love it.

hopscotch

Wednesday – Another 8am start (Bring it on!) we try to do some Bug Club but the site is down, we read, the girls play, I iron with my brand new Panasonic super dooper iron which I have yet to tell you about and I bake bread in my Panasonic breadmaker – chocolate and orange bread recipe to follow

chocolate and orange bread

Thursday – What day is it? What happened? Oh yes it snowed!!! It snowed on and off all day long. We went to see my grandmother and we talked for ages about my great grandfather and his wife, my late grandfathers parents. Nan mentioned how much she misses her parents. She’s 93 this year and yet she says she can remember being back in her home in Winsford, the wallpaper, the smells, how her father was dressed, so clearly. I realise it must be difficult getting old.

snow in april

Friday – Net curtains, chicken Bhuna curry plus the Panasonic vegetable curry again. The girls decorate their micro scooters with the accessories that have been sent to us. We manage to eat another couple of Easter eggs and now we are left with only 10 more. I swear next year to speak to the aunties and try to cut this out. As I close the girls curtains I am greeted with this spectacular sunset so I run downstairs to capture it before it changes

micro scooters

 

Isn’t it great? There’s something about a fairground that always excites me and Butlins know this. We have enjoyed the Skegness and Bognor Regis rides time and time again because once you’re on Butlins grounds you can go on the rides as many times as you like for free. Run from the Dodgems to the Carousel or choose the chairoplanes and fly through the air as you watch all over the Butlins site.

butlins carousel

I can’t tell you how excited we all are that Butlins have introduced a Helter Skelter to their fully refurbished Bognor Regis fairground. The Helter Skelter was possibly my favourite ride as a child and I can’t wait to take the girls on it.

In fact thinking of our next Butlins trip, I know we still won’t be able to get everything done that we want to do. You see, you never tire of a Butlins holiday; the all day entertainment, the Splash Waterworld swimming pool which is out of this world, the fairground, the kiddie rides, the excellent accommodation and delicious food. PLUS it’s a resort that grows with your kids. Over our past stays we’ve played in the Bob the Builder area which the girls adored but as we approach the grand age of 5 we can move on to craft sessions with the Redcoats and a whole new world of attractions open up to them. In fact every age is catered for.

Billy Butlins

There’s even a spa ;) You hear what I’m sayin’?

How many more sleeps to my next Butlins holiday? Come on!