After visiting Butlins Skegness since I was a child, it was time to try a new resort after losing my love for the place. Bognor was my number one choice as it has 3 recently built hotels which I was desperate to try, it was in easier reach than Minehead and Bognor Regis is the sunniest place in the UK!
On arrival it was very surreal as I knew Skegness’s resort & layout so well that Bognor’s layout felt odd as all resorts contain similar restaurants, bars & shops so my mind couldn’t adapt and all week I found myself heading in the wrong direction or just standing there confused while I realise I’m in a different resort at the other side of the country!
We picked the Ocean hotel as our home for the week as it had its own restaurant (which the wave hotel doesn’t) & the Shoreline was aimed at young children, as well as the fact that it looked the most visually appealing to me and had brilliant balconies overlooking the Traditional Fairground. The Ocean Hotel is home to the Butlins Butlers who give tours of the resort, take your luggage to your room plus help plan you day & make reservations at the restaurants. These little things allow your holiday to flow a lot more smoothly & takes the stress off you. Breakfast was buffet style with all the usual full English options as well as muffins, pancakes and omelettes cooked in front of you.
The Hotel & room itself was colourful, well designed & and had little touches such as a mini fridge, disco shower & towels made into animals waiting for you every day when back from a busy day out. The balcony was the cherry on top which I would highly recommend adding on the Sea View facing option which also overlooks the fair. The Sea View is quite hard to spot when on one of the lower floors but the view & sounds of the Traditional Fairground more than made up for it.
Splash Waterworld is great fun & has 4 great slides, but is showing its age and I predict a similar refurbishment like the one of the now superior Skegness Waterworld will come very soon. Sir Billy’s Traditional Fairground lived up to expectations and has converted a tired old funfair into a mini theme park with fitting music & sideshows. All the traditional favourites are here including the Carousel, Dodgems & even a classic Helter Skelter which was fun going round and round many times.
As well as the activities there is plenty of space indoor & outdoor to relax, most of the bars & restaurants have outdoor seating areas with a very good drinks range. Plus, the free Deck Chairs & picnic blankets located around the resort are great to take a break & just watch the world pass by. It’s not a visit to the seaside without an ice cream and scoop offers real italian gelato in over 20 flavours with a choice of toppings.
There is a great choice of restaurants ranging from all you can eat buffet, fast food & restaurant options. We visited The Diner, The Deck & Kaleidoscope (our hotels restaurant). The Diner is a take on the classic American diner but has bursts of Sir Billy (Butlins founder) & Butlins designs. Big portions & delicious shakes are on offer as expected in a diner and also entertainment from the waiters & waitresses, however, this is at selected times which is displayed outside the restaurant, so make sure you schedule your meal at the right time! We unfortunately missed the entertainment and I’m sure it would have been brilliant and added the atmosphere that it lacked.
The Deck & Kaleidoscope all you can eat restaurants had plenty of choice and were nicely designed yet again. I slightly prefer Skegness’s bigger all you can eat restaurants as they seem to have more choice, options & the quality was better on our previous experiences, though there was nothing wrong with these two restaurants & would happily visit again especially as the menu changes every day.
Entertainment was brilliant as usual, top quality acts & productions which wouldn’t look out of place in the west end. Make sure you see the great tributes to iconic acts, the fabulous pantomimes and keep an eye out for Stephen Mulhern & Diversity in the Summer!
To finish off I just want to say the staff are all excellent, everyone is very smiley & friendly and deal with problems quickly & efficiently. You can see that everyone cares that you have a good holiday & it makes you feel very comfortable. Overall, Bognor Regis exceeded my expectations and although being a lot smaller than Skegness, the resort packs a lot in. All the hotels are brilliant and have there own unique style & facilities & I particularly loved the Traditional Fairground. This visit has rebuilt my love for Butlins and made me appreciate my many childhood holidays to Butlins Skegness. Two very different but so similar resorts that both offer the best traditional British Seaside holiday, Can’t wait to visit the remaining Butlins Resort – Minehead in the near future and see what it has to offer.
- Traditional Funfair
- Top Quality Entertainment
- Ocean Hotel