I never like to announce when we are going on our holibobs, I don’t think it pays to tell the world that our house will be empty for any length of time so please excuse me the lack of build up to our Butlins break. This time last week we were almost at our destination, Butlins Wave Hotel in Bognor Regis. Sadly the weather wasn’t with us, it was pouring with rain for virtually the entire journey and it didn’t stop all day. This was to be our first time staying at the Wave Hotel and we were excited, we had obviously looked it up online and the children were beside themselves with the promise of a TV/DVD combo at the end of each of their beds and we liked the idea of doors on the bedrooms to shut them away at bedtime and know they will fall asleep. Unfortunately on our arrival we were told that the hotel car park was already full which was a little disappointing. It’s worth noting that of all the Butlins’ sites, Bognor Regis is the smallest and so there is limited car parking space right outside the hotel although there is plenty in the overflow car park at the back of the site nearest the beach. We parked up at the doors to the reception area and unloaded as much as we could onto luggage trolleys and then I checked in whilst Hubby parked the carand made a final trip with the remaining bags (we have never found out how to travel light????).
The hotel check-in was crazy with families arriving all the time but the reception staff worked very efficiently to get everyone booked in as quickly as possible with a smile on their face.
We were on the third floor in Dolphin Interconnecting Rooms with a view of the Resort/Sea. I love the decor in here, it’s right up my street with the bright yellows, blues and greys. Check out the little video/photo montage below to see the room/views for yourselves. This setup worked perfectly for us. We let the Beans all choose their own rooms, unsurprisingly Little Bean went for a top bunk with Beanie Boy choosing the bottom bunk in her room, Curly chose the twin room and we placed Jelly Bean’s travel cot in the other Bunk room. Note: It was a tight squeeze but we were able to assemble his travel cot once in the room (it wouldn’t fit through the door fully erected). Having two bathrooms was perfect for getting two adults and four children ready each day and night as we didn’t have to wait for the shower to become free we just divided everyone up. It also meant that we had double the wardrobe space, Hubby and I shared the wardrobes in our double room, Curly had the hanging space in his wardrobe with Little Bean and Beanie Boy each having shelf space in Curly’s spare wardrobe, then in each of the Bunk rooms we were able to hang Little Bean’s dresses and there was ample shelving for shoes, books, toys, games, nappies, wipes, baby food etc. Also in each of the rooms were an ironing board with iron, a safe, a refridgerator, tea/coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. Once unpacked it was time for our break to begin . . .
Our first stop was The Deck for our evening meal. We were on Premium Dining which meant that we could have all of our meals in The Deck or The Yacht Club. This is buffet style dining which for many families is great but for ours, not-so-great. Regular readers will know how picky Little Bean is when it comes to food, well now my dear little Beanie Boy is following suit so whilst Curly marched up and grabbed himself a plate of food, I sat waiting patiently with Jelly Bean and Hubby trudged around the food choices with Little Bean and Beanie Boy who refused to try any of the food and came back to the table with a bread roll each. I spoke to one of the Chefs and they kindly made the fussy Beans a cheese and tomato pizza but they did say this wasn’t something they should do really. For Jelly Bean I paid a visit to the Pasta Chef who cooked him up a fresh dish of Pesto Pasta which he devoured in minutes. The problem for us with buffet style restaurants and small children is that you don’t really get to eat as a family because whilst one has to stay with some of the children, everyone eats a different time so some people have finished their meals whilst others are just starting. Mealtimes are never our favourite times of the day no matter where we are so this was no different to any other day.
Once the stress of tea time was over, we walked the twenty or so paces to the Skyline Pavillion to join in the entertainment. The children sat/danced happily along to Puppets Go Live whilst Hubby and I enjoyed a glass of wine/Beer and worked our way through the entertainment planner to see what we all fancied doing throughout our break.
It turned out our money was burning a hole in Little Bean’s pocket as she was itching to get onto the slot machines so we spent the rest of the evening in the arcades where she won two keyrings (and gave one of them to Beanie Boy). At around 8.15pm we took the smaller Beans back to our room to sleep whilst Curly checked out the Games Port which is a really cool Games room in the Wave opposite reception where they have all manner of gaming to keep the children (and ‘big kids’) amused until 9pm. Curly thought this was amazing as it gave him a little time away from the little people and he had the opportunity to make some friends who he would hang out with for the remainder of our break.
At 9pm he came back up to the room and the three of us watched a bit of TV and hung out whilst the little Beans slept soundly in their beds ready to start day 2 . . .