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Definitely went down with a splash
Splash Landings Hotel (Alton Towers)
Member Name: dyllymoo
Splash Landings Hotel (Alton Towers)
Advantages: Clean rooms, good food
Disadvantages: Tacky decor, noisy,
The Splash Landings hotel opened in summer of 2003 and it is Europe's first waterpark hotel. It is owned by the Tussauds groups and it is the second Alton Towers hotel. It is advertised as a "tranquil Caribbean village built around the Caribbean water park "Cariba Creek" the best place to see what's going on in Cariba Creek is certainly from inside the hotel! With huge glass windows and with a beach theme the hotel offers you a very rewarding look over the water park". I certainly didn't find our experience there to be tranquil - it was anything but.
The waterpark in the hotel is called Cariba Creek and looking at it from all angles, it just looked like something that would appeal to children rather than adults. It covers about 40,000 sq ft and has been in operation since June 2003. It takes a million gallons of water to fill the place and it seems like it would appeal to family minded people rather than those into the thrill seeking aspect of roller coasters - although I can't guarantee that there are no thrills to be had in Cariba Creek!
We stayed at Splash Landings on 28th/29th September. I booked the hotel over 1 month in advance and was told that the Alton Towers hotel was fully booked but that Splash Landings would be fantastic. I wanted to pay the full amount and it was taken from my card and I was promised an email would be sent out as confirmation of the booking and with our unique booking reference. I waited for 4 days for this email, and even though the money was taken I still didn't receive any kind of confirmation. I phoned up the booking line and it took 15 minutes for them to find my reservation (which panicked me slightly!) but eventually they found it, and all was well.
We were told we could arrive at the hotel anytime we liked and check in and leave our bags at reception, and that our rooms would be ready around 3pm. This sounded perfect.
Arrival & Check In
We arrived at Alton Towers slightly earlier than planned due to no traffic (a bonus!) but as we were told we could check in and leave our bags with reception we were not too worried. We walked into the hotel and unfortunately the first thing to hit us was the smell of chlorine from the water park, which is situated in the middle of the hotel. Although surrounded by glass, the smell of the water park was overpowering, and not really something I want to smell as soon as I step into a hotel.
We proceeded to check in at around 7.00am and asked if we could leave our bags with reception (this was not offered) and after looking quite confused the member of staff agreed and proceeded to tag our bags. We were given a key card for our rooms in a little holder that contained our name and room number. We were told we could open a tab for any drinks or food we wanted if we wished.
Having left our bags with reception I asked what we needed to do about our tickets to the theme park and I was told that we could collect them at 8am. We had a wander around the hotel for an hour and I must say I was slighyly dissapointed with what I saw.
The Hotel & Rooms & Breakfast
The décor of the hotel is very much a "Caribbean feel", but with a bit of a tacky undertone, and definitely aimed at children rather than adults. I understand the hotel is for "families" and as such is geared towards children, but it did feel a bit cheap, which unfortunately it wasn't. The room was also decorated with a lary caribbean theme, with pineapple lampstands, and very bright duvet covers. The cleanliness of the room was faultless and the bathroom was prestine, which was fantastic. There was a double bed (smaller than a double!) and two bunkbeds which were quite small.
The breakfast in the morning was actually very nice. It was a buffet and was included in the price of the room. There was cereal, pastries, muffins, fruit and of course the english breakfast. I must admit I had a bit of everything and it was very tasty, and not at all greasy. There was a constent flow of food, and it didn't run out at all and was served from 7.30am to 10am which gave us plenty of time to eat before we headed out to the park.
We didn't end up having dinner in the hotel resturant, mainly due to the fact that it did seem increadibly expensive for what was being served.
When I booked the hotel I was told that, because we were hotel guests, we would get access into the park from 9am and access to rides. We were to find out later that "access to rides" was very misleading, and what it actually meant was "restricted access to rides". Obviuosly we aimed to go on the bigger "thrill seeker" rides such as Air and Nemesis, however we were informed, one in the park, that those particular rides, and similar ones were not in fact open until 10am, but that "family orientated" rides were open to hotel guests from 9am. I did complain to someone, and he said that a list of rides open was on the website. I still cannot find this list, and have been told by a member of staff in the park that the hotel has been warned about misleading guests.
The main reason we stayed at a hotel in the grounds of Alton Towers was to have early access to rides, but to be honest I think I would stay at a local B&B or similar next time.
We did take a walk from Splash Landings into the Alton Towers Hotel, and I was quite upset to find that this hotel was far nicer than Splash Landings. It felt a lot more like a hotel rather than a play area and I would have been so much happier staying there.
All in all the hotel was ok, the rooms were clean etc. but not what I would of expected from a top attraction such as Alton Towers. The rate which we paid also seemed quite high considering the décor and general feel of it. If I was to go to Alton Towers again I wouldn't stay here.
Summary: An ok hotel but not what you would expect
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