Newest Review: ... anywhere in our letter or welcome pack. Many people were leaving them with security on the way out, so im guessing everyone was clueless... more
Our Butlins break away!
Member Name: abbiej1711
Date: 20/09/13, updated on 20/09/13 (68 review reads)
Advantages: Fantastic food, nice rooms, within walking distance to Ingoldmells.
Disadvantages: Not enough for ages between 17 and 30 if you don't have children.
I have arrived back from Butlins at Skegness today after a 4 night break away. I found many fantastic things, and many disappointing which I can only describe in a review! This wasn't my first time at this resort, however the last time I went I was only 14, which made my experience much different! To round up how I am reviewing my stay at Butlins, I have to point out I am 21 and went with my partner who is 22, so our experience is based on the stay, food, general entertainment and things to do rather than the kiddies activities, as we did not go with a child. I felt for our age group, there just was not anything on which catered for our age group, and because of that, my stay this time around wasn't amazing.
We paid £200 for 4 nights for a room only apartment with a premium dining plan which included breakfast and dinner.
Checking in, getting our keys and finding our room was fantastically easy! We didn't turn up until 3.30pm as our letter stated we could not access our room until 4pm- which I find to be far too late. Rather than wander around skegness or hang around the resort, as it was terrible weather that day, we decided to be sensible, and actually turning up at 3.30pm meant no queing or waiting! We could check straight in, get our keys and were told on a map how to find our room.
Parking however is a different matter, by the time we got around to our area- which was in a bungalow, all of the spaces were taken. We would have had to park very far away from our area if it wasn't for my amazing parking skills and tiny car, as luckily I made my own parking space in a tiny little plot in between two car parking areas! As anyone arriving by car would have to drag all their luggage to their room, I found it really irritating that there were so little parking spaces! Our room I must add was on the opposite end of the bungalows, so we would have had to walk a long way!
Butlins promise to not allow you to enter your room until 4.00pm is true I must add! My partner kept swiping our key card in desperation to get out of the rain, and the door clicked open dot on 4.00pm haha!
We were quite clueless when it came to checking out, all we knew is that we had to be out of our room by 10.00am- they made that clear! So we cleared up our room, got our bits in the car and went for breakfast!
A cleaner pounced into room as soon as we stepped out of our door- no exaggeration! And as we left our room 45 minutes earlier than advised, we were quite shocked to be ushed out so quickly! So I really do not understand why we had to wait until 4.00pm to get into our rooms when checking in? We ended up leaving our keys with the cleaner, as we didn't know where to give them in, and it wasn't stated anywhere in our letter or welcome pack. Many people were leaving them with security on the way out, so im guessing everyone was clueless!
We didn't get any sort of goodbye, not even someone dressed in a dinosaur outfit waving seeya! Nothing! In fact I felt like they were rushing us all out so they could get the next lot of guests in that day!
There was a 15 minute que to get out of Butlins as it led out onto a main road, although as we were kicked out early we decided to gain another day away and spent the day at Ingoldmells before our 2 hour drive back home!
We paid for 'room only' for our stay, as we couldn't be bothered to cook and paid for included breakfast and dinner in our stay.
I must stay, I was pleasantly surprised with our room! As there were only two of us, I expected a tiny little bedroom with a bathroom, but we got much more! Our apartment had a hallway leading from the door, with a decent bathroom with a shower, and two rooms! We had one room with a double bed, and another with two singles, so we ended up using the spare room to store our clothes and bits!
Our apartment came with two wardrobes and one closet for coats, along with a handy iron and a clothes horse. The heating comes on within minutes and heats up the room quickly, and there was a HD tv in our room- which was tiny, but fine for 4 days!
I was dying for a cup of tea when we arrived after my 2 hour drive, so I was very pleased to find a kettle, tea bags, cups and glasses etc in our room!
At Butlins, if you want a maid, you have to pay extra. In fact, if you want anything extra you have to pay. For example, Wi-fi costs £15 per device per stay, which I thought was disgusting.
Bad points about our room- I didn't want to have to put any bad points, as I was pleased with our room.... however, all throughout our stay, my partner had terrible allergies and a bad chest, and it was not until we were tidying up to leave that we noticed our bedroom window frame covered in black mould!!! Condensation had been building up during our stay, which didn't appear to be affecting any other rooms, however the black mould was clearly not just from the last 4 days! You may wonder why we only noticed on our last day? Well the bedrooms have curtains, which have no net curtains, and is directly next to the walk way, so people can walk by and see you in bed! Because of this we kept the curtains closed all throughout our stay for privacy!
WAS FANTASTIC! Initially we only paid £180 for the ordinary food court dining plan with our stay, but were offered to upgrade for only an extra £10 each for the whole stay! If I were to book this on their website, it would have cost £5.50 per person per day to upgrade, so we thought this was a bargain! And the food did not disappoint! There were different meats and different dishes on everyday! With a carvery section, pasta, jacket potatoes and also a fast food section which was either fish and chips or sausages etc.
The puddings were also great! We had a different choice of cakes or fruit everyday, with also different crumbles with custards.
There are staff going around clearing tables constantly as it was always busy, and at times I did get a bit annoyed as staff were trying to take our plates as soon as we'd finished, even with pudding still on the table. I wouldn't mind, but at one point my partner went for a drink and nearly had his dinner taken away! It was a bit like being abroad, if anybody has been away you'll know what I mean! And every member of staff who I came across in the dining area was actually foreign, which puzzled me!
Breakfast in the premium restaurant is 8.00 till 11.00 which was great for us as we aren't early morning people at all!
Dinner was between 4.00 and 7.00, so you get the options to have a early or late dinner, and we were told the meal slots were open longer than the cheaper food court options which was also a bonus!
It's hard for me to comment on the entertainment, as we only went to one of the shows which was the 'live comedy' and to be fair, it. Was. Terrible. The comedian did jokes about kids, which most of the audience didn't get, and people like us who didn't have children were sat lost! The rest of the jokes were rubbish too, I actually felt sorry for the poor guy!
The price of drinks were a rip off! We didn't expect them to be cheap, but we were charged £8.80 for one pint of lager and a coke with a shot of vodka! That didn't really make us want spend the night there!
Every other organised entertainment was either things like music from the 70's- directed at the older generations, or 'meet fireman sam' 'have fun with billy bear' etc- really not for us! We found all the entertainment was either aimed at mature adults, or families with children.
There's a cinema at Butlins... which shows again, either kids movies such as the smirfs, or poorly rated movies which wouldnt be worth wasting your money on.
When we did go into the pavilion to play a game of bowling, we found it would cost us £10 for a game which would last about 15 minutes, so we decided against that!
There are two arcades and grabber machines dotted around with a build a bear workshop, puppet shows, hair braiding and toy shops etc- so really all for kids!
Butlins does have a swimming centre! And I would recommend going here, whatever age you are it is great! With famous slides, even ones which flow outside and stay running EVEN when it is raining outside, it is great fun! There are also areas separated for younger children, but also jacuzzi and fountains. The swimming centre is free during your stay so you can go as many times as you'd like! And I loved that the changing area is one shared room! There aren't separate male and female changing rooms, which is great for families, and we found it much easier to be able to share a locker. I guess many people would hate this arrangement, but I personally found it much more convenient. There are obviously private changing rooms, and in fact there's no room to get changed out in the open so it is quite civilised. Even though the pool was busy, we didn't have huge ques for the slides and never struggled for a locker or changing room, although this may be due to the time we went- as it wasn't the school holidays therefore not peak times.
At our stay in Butlins, we went out everyday. The first day, we spent the evening in Ingoldmells which is only a 20 minute walk in a straight line, or a 60p one way bus fare! The second day we went into Ingoldmells again, but made the mistake of paying for the red bus which comes directly into Butlins. Do NOT catch this bus it is a rip off! They charged us £4.80 for a return to Ingoldmells (a 2 minute journey) and as stagecoach- which run a lot more often only charge £2.40 for both of us return! In fact, we ended up stood in the rain waiting for the red bus and 5 stagecoach busses passed us in that waiting period!
If you've never been to Skegness, I would definitely recommend going into Ingoldmells and Skegness as they are quite different and offer great days out whilst staying at Butlins.
Our third day we went into Skegness, which cost us £6.80 for both of us return. In Skegness we went to the sealife and nature centre- and there are loads of shops!
Butlins is also by the seaside, and there is a back door gate to access onto the sand which I could imagine would be great in the summer! So maybe if we went on a warmer season, we may have had more to do!
We LOVED the food, as it was all you can eat and we didn't have to cook, so for us it was worth the money just for the food haha! We don't feel we overpaid for our holiday, but I wouldn't have liked to stay longer than 4 nights.
It was a nice cheap break away with my partner, but if you don't have young children I wouldn't recommend going to Butlins im afraid. We found it quite boring, and if it wasn't for the surrounding areas, we would have had nothing to do. There's tonnes for kids, and even my partner agreed we'd think about going back when we have a little family, although it would have to be out of peak times as Butlins can be quite expensive during the busier times!
Thank you for reading! I also post on Ciao.
Summary: Wouldn't recommend unless you have young kids, then it probably would be great fun!
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