Sunday 24 March 2019

Review of a weekend at Butlins Minehead

If 5 years ago (about a year after I had my first child) someone would have suggested that I would be going on a break to Butlins I would have laughed in their face. I'll be honest and say that it never appealed to me even when I became a parent and that their name/old reputation had put me off. It was recently when my children would watch the TV advert and beg us to take them there that we finally caved in and booked a 3 night stay over February half term.

We had booked a basic accommodation with no dining package but Butlins kindly offered to upgrade us to one of the West Lakes riverside view chalets along with a dining package which including breakfast and dinner.

We arrived around 7.30pm on the Friday night so it was quite late in the day. We were greeted by friendly and welcoming staff at reception who made checking in swift and stress free. They gave detailed instructions of how to find our chalet, where to park and a brief overview of the resort which was very handy.

I have already reviewed our chalet in a separate blog post which you can read by clicking through here, West Lakes Chalets at Butlins Minehead. Spoiler alert though, we thought it was fantastic.

Our dining package included breakfast and dinner at The Deck restaurant which was a buffet. I'm not sure why but whenever I think of a buffet I automatically think it's not going to be great. I couldn't have been more wrong here. Both the breakfast and dinner had so much choice.
First up the staff were wonderful. There was never a problem getting a table and there were a couple of drinks stations so you were never far from anything.
Breakfast consisted of lots of different things from hot to cold. You could also have freshly made omelettes, pancakes/waffles and also a hot sandwich (which was one of my personal favourites). There was also fruit, yogurt, cheeses etc.

There was a coffee machine which served various coffees and hot chocolate. You could also have water, squash or juice.
Dinner had something that everyone would like. There was Chinese, indian, British food, Roast Dinner and more. The kids also had a good choice with plenty of meat and vegetables plus chicken nuggets, burgers etc. Drinks were the same as what was offered in the morning.

The only complaint I had with the meal plan was that the dinner service finished at 7.30pm which sometimes was a bit too early for us. The night we arrived we couldn't use our meal plan as we didn't get there in time as we checked in late in the evening so we had to buy ourselves a meal instead at one of the restaurants.
If you don't have a meal plan there are quite a few restaurants you can choose from so there's plenty of choice available. 

The entertainment was fantastic. There were things going on throughout the day and the evening. There were meet and greets with characters and children's shows in the day. Littlest loved the Teletubbies show.
In the evening there were various shows such as concerts, comedy and more. On our last night we went to the silent cinema which was a great concept.

There are lots of activities on offer for children every day. The majority of them are included in your stay but some are payable. My girls went to a few crafting sessions and archery.They loved both. During the crafting sessions was the quietest we'd seen them all weekend.

There are plenty of parks dotted around the site. There was also crazy golf, a climbing wall and a high ropes area. 
We also hired a family bike type thing (sorry I have no idea what it's called). It cost £10 for 1 hour. The kids had a great time but I didn't think it was worth how much we'd paid for it.

Swimming Pool
The swimming pool was great. There were slides, plenty of swimming space, toddler areas and a wave machine. There was often very big queues for entry when the pool first opened in the morning so we tended to go in the middle of the afternoon when it was less busy and crowded.
The only thing I didn't like was the communal changing rooms. This is down to personal preference rather than there being anything wrong with them.

One of the best bits of the whole trip was the fun fair and the toddler fun fair. We all had a great time and both areas are included in your break so you can ride everything as many times as you liked.

The toddler funfair is inside which is ideal if the weather isn't on your side. There was also a soft play area which we didn't get around to using.

One thing that I've been wax lyrical about is the staff. Every single member of staff that we encountered from the cleaners to the red coats were wonderful. They were all happy, approachable and professional. They couldn't do enough for you. It's testament to Butlins as a company as they all seemed very happy in their jobs.

To sum up I am a Butlins convert. As a family we loved every minute of it so much so the girls cried their eyes out when they realised we had to leave. We've already been pricing up future breaks as we are desperate to return.

*Disclaimer - We had already paid for a Butlins break but they offered us an upgrade in accommodation and a dining package in exchange for our review. All words and views are my honest opinion.*

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  1. I really want to take Erin to Butlins before she starts school next year. We don't drive though so a bit hard to get to.

  2. Butlins certainly seems to have changed so much since my childhood. It looks very modern now. I have happy memories of Butlins and would love to go back soon.

  3. you guys look like you had a lot of fun ! i also love the hotel decor and food looks sooo yummy

  4. I have been to the Butlins in Bognor a few times but would love to go to Minehead. It looks fab

  5. I have never been to Butlins before, it sounds great for young kids and I think my 4 & 5 year old would have a blast x


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