Newest Review: ... see in the Thomas episodes. We took loads of photo's of Little Man at various displays in the foyer! There is a shop located in the foy... more
Lots of Fun at the Thomas Hotel!!
Drayton Manor Hotel (Birmingham)
Member Name: Lbird99
Drayton Manor Hotel (Birmingham)
Advantages: Lovely Hotel - Lots of Little Touches for Thomas Fans
Disadvantages: A bit pricey in all areas
I booked our room via the website www.draytonmanorhotel.com. I put in the date I wanted to stay and the site brought up all the available rooms and packages. As it was Little Man's birthday I decided to book a Thomas themed room, which was an astronomical £220 including a character breakfast. You could also book dinner and park tickets with your room, but I already had Tesco vouchers for our entrance and wasn't sure what we wanted to do for dinner so just stuck to the room booking. I secured the booking on my credit card, but this was just in case we did not turn up. There was also a warning when I booked that the Thomas rooms were for families, and if there was not at least one child staying in the room then the booking would be cancelled.
The hotel from the outside is quite bland looking, but has turreted towers to make it look a bit like a castle. It has its own car park, but as the hotel offers conferencing facilities it can get very busy. We managed to park but were unable to get a disabled space so it was a bit of a struggle to get Little Man out of the car, but this was not a major problem.
The inside of the hotel was a real surprise compared to the outside. The foyer is light and bright with a huge Thomas themed carousel which the children can make move at the touch of a button. There are 3d models of the trains carved into the walls, and statues of the people that you see in the Thomas episodes. We took loads of photo's of Little Man at various displays in the foyer!
There is a shop located in the foyer too, however like the one in the theme park it is extremely overpriced with about 30% mark-up compared to the high street. There are wooden train tables dotted about the hotel, but they do not provide trains as they go walkies so I would bring something from home if you can. There is also a small amusement arcade and an outdoor play area accessible from the foyer.
We were in the theme park until about 15.30, and there was two receptionists checking guests so we only waited a couple of minutes to be checked in. As we had booked a Thomas themed room, Little Man got a gift pack with a book, stickers and crayons. He also got a dvd for the night which he could swap as many times as he liked during his stay. I had review all my details I had given when I booked and fill out our car registration number, then we were given two key cards and directions to our room which was on the second floor. You needed your key card to access the lift to stop people who aren't guests nosing, about but bizarrely you also needed them to get down which I couldn't understand!
The Thomas rooms are located at the end of each corridor, and as you approach them the carpet changes to train tracks which delighted little man wheeling along in his chair! The track carpet continues into the bedroom stopping at the foot of the Thomas bed.
The room was large with a large window making it light and airy. It was a T shaped room with the bathroom of the entrance corridor, with a large king size bed to the left and Thomas bunk beds to the right with a large desk with the fridge in the middle. Our bed was really comfortable with a big puffy duvet. There was a large LCD television mounted on the wall in front of the bed with Freeview channels. On the other side of the room is the Thomas bunk beds with personal DVD players mounted on the end, and a lovely Thomas mural painted on the wall. The bathroom is a good size with a bath with wall mounted shower, basin and toilet with soft close lid. There are also wall mounted shower gel and soap, and a complementary bottle of Thomas body wash which you can take home.
There are 150 rooms including the 15 Thomas themed rooms, and there is something to suit any budget from a standard room which start from £49 out of season, to the three presidential rooms in the turrets which I have never found available so can only imagine what they cost! All rooms come with flat screen television and mini fridge and from the pictures on the website all appear to be of a decent standard.
As the car park was so busy that we decided to leave the car where it was and eat in the restaurant. We both had the rib-eye steak with jenga chips, and it was really nice. The main courses were £19.99 which I thought was a bit pricey but was so nice I can't complain. Little Man had a 2 course children's meal which was the minimum you could order. He had garlic bread to start (which we ate), and chicken goujons which he picked at. The puddings were all ice cream based which he won't eat (strange child!) so we didn't bother with dessert. His meal was £7.99 and two courses was far too much for him, so I felt there should have been a smaller option on the menu (which I did feed back to them). The bill for dinner came to almost £60 including soft drink, and although the food was nice and the service was excellent, it was not much better than a beefeater but for double the price. Next time I will risk not being able to park and find somewhere in Telford.
Breakfast was included with the room and was very good. There was lots of breads and rolls, a great variety of cereals, continental meats and cheeses, as well as fresh and canned fruits. The full English breakfast was excellent - the sausages were great chunky herby bangers, I think you can tell a lot about the quality of a cooked breakfast by the sausage! For me the star of the show was the fresh warmed croissants, and as it was a buffet you could eat as much as you liked (so I did).
As we had the Thomas room and it was school holidays we got to have a themed breakfast. You can upgrade to this, but I really wouldn't bother! The only difference was you got bothered by the fat controller and his assistant every few minutes, and if you ate all your breakfast you got a certificate at the end. If I went again I would just sit in the standard breakfast area and eat in peace!
Check-Out was at midday. As we hadn't ordered room service or charged anything to our room checkout took just minutes. All I had to do was hand back the keys and the DVD, and confirm they could charge the card I booked with for the room - although I could have opted to charge another card or pay cash. We asked if we could leave the car in the hotel car park while we went back to Thomas Land, as there was an entrance gate opposite, which was fine.
So would I return?
Yes - but only if I could get a good deal! Although the Thomas room was lovely it certainly wasn't worth what we paid. However I don't think having stayed in one I could stay in a standard room! I did like the fact that Little Man had a proper bed, as every time we have stayed in a hotel with a sofa bed it has been a complete nightmare, and here he slept through until seven. Little Man absolutely loved his birthday treat, and still talks about going to the 'Thomas Hotel', so I guess it was worth it. If you are coming a long way to visit the park then regardless of what room you book you are likely to have a comfortable stay, and if you book early enough then it is no more expensive than a Premier or Holiday Inn and at least you won't get lost finding it!
Summary: A nice hotel, especially if you can get a good deal on the room
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