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We're sorry. This lift has temporarily run out of magic
Alton Towers Hotel (England)
Member Name: phypher
Alton Towers Hotel (England)
Date: 11/07/01, updated on 11/07/01 (4610 review reads)
Advantages: Exclusive Ride Time, Cool Lifts, Cashless if you want
Disadvantages: Seems to be in middle of nowhere
This was the sign that greeted us on one of the lifts on a recent trip to the Alton Towers Hotel. Lifts breaking down are not a problem, it can happen to anyone, but normally you get a big Out of Order sign stuck up. Not the Alton towers hotel!!
"We're sorry. This lift has temporarily run out of magic" it said. And magic is what you get. These are no ordinary lifts. Get in them, and they go dark, lights flash, loud music plays (it can be the nemesis or oblivion music too). Great, although our baby got a tad scared, but was fine after a second or two.
The lifts fit in nicely with what is a great hotel. We stayed in an Explorer room, and the people with us stayed in one of the Garden rooms. These two styles of rooms are the standard ones and were the cheapest at £109 a night. The themed rooms such as the Chocolate room or Coca-Cola room were about £250 a night, but also hold 2 adults & up to four kids, where the standard rooms hold 2 adults & 2 kids.
The rooms were functional. We had a cot in ours as well (supplied by the hotel, just like we asked for), so space did become a bit limited, with a double bed, and bunk beds too. The explorer room is decorated as you would expect with pictures of flying cars and various other things (these pictures follow the theme around the whole hotel of Sir Algernon's, I think, travels around the world). it also had a pirate boot lamp which my boy loved. The Garden room had a watering can lamp.
If you have kids with you, you get a quite simple treasure hunt when you check in, and the kids can do that (it is within your room) while you unpack. My 4 year old solved it quite easily and was rewarded with quite good treasure. Adults can have treasure in the room as well, because when you book, you get a brochure of things to have in the room on arrival like a teddy for a loved one, a single rose, champagne etc. They cost and are not particularly cheap, but they are a nice tou
ch. You can also pre-select the message on the TV screen on arrival, which was a message from Barney for our kids, exactly as we had put on our booking form.
The rooms were clean, the bathroom was well-stocked (you can even buy the range of bathroom products they supply from the Hotel shop), and the view was excellent. We had a waterfall under our window, looking out to the pond and fountain, and the giant chess set on the patio.
Breakfast (continental, extra £4.95 for a cooked one. Incidentally, the token you get if you pay the extra £4.95 is great, and different. i wont spoil it for you though) (and lunch i think, we were never there for lunch) was included in the price, but we had to pay for dinner. The restaurant is nice as you are welcomed by a giant talking/laughing tree, and on our first night the service was first class. The second night wasn't because the girl was obviously new, so we had to cut a bit of slack, since we all have to learn somewhere.
The menus follow the travel theme, as they unroll like treasure maps, and the kids menu is a pirates hat.
The food was good, but considering we had no idea where to go for food anywhere outside the hotel as it seems to be in the middle of nowhere, it was quite expensive. Our meal on the first night was £115 for 4 adults and 1 child with 2 carafes of house wine, so about £20 to £30 a head is what you should expect. the quality of food was good, and was served pretty quickly.
You need to make sure that you book Dinner, and Breakfast as soon as you can though, as they get busy.
You can enjoy your stay cashless if you require. You are given a Charge Card on arrival, which you can even use in the Hotel shop, and then settle your bill at the end. Alternatively, just have it so you pay cash. it is up to you.
There was enterainment at night,, consisting of a comedic character (man in a dress) and some singers who were OK. The alcohol
flowed freely, but again wasn't cheap. The soft drink machine was set at £1.10 for a bottle of coke as well, which was a bit dear.
Tere is a kids club, a games room with arcade machines, and a pool. We didn't use the pool as they restrict the numbers, and you have to book.
As part of being at the hotel, you can get slightly cheaper Park tickets ( about £1 cheaper) but more importantly you get XRT. This allows you entry to the park at 9am instead of 9.30, and allows you to ride either Oblivion or Nemesis before other people come in the park, which is great. Word of warning though. If you choose Nemesis, the woodland walk (you go by monorail to Oblivion) is a lot longer than you first think, but as a plus, it takes you past the building site for SW5 (the new rollercoaster for 2002) so you can try and grab a wee view. Remember and book an early breakfast though if you are taking advantage of XRT.
Hopefully, this will give you an insight into a fun packed place, where a bit of thought has gone into making somewhere different, and making it worthy of being the official hotel for what is arguable the best theme park in the UK.
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