AD | Butlins provided us with a dining plan during our stay
When booking our holiday to Butlins way back in 2019 I opted to stay in the Shoreline Hotel. At the time of booking, this hotel was a good price (with a discount) and it looked perfect for us as a family. We were originally due to stay in 2020 so Erin would have been 4 however, Covid meant that she was actually 6 when we finally got our holiday.
From the time of booking, right up until our arrival date, we were given emails and notifications to let us know that check-in would be from 3pm. However, as we were allowed on site from 12pm (officially) we decided to get there a bit early and use the swimming facilities. Before we did this though we headed to the Shoreline Hotel just to see if, by chance, our room was ready early.
Although our room wasn’t ready at the time (1:30pm), we were given a choice of waiting for our room or seeing if they could find a different room that was available. Having arrived by train, we had nowhere to store our luggage (although there is somewhere else at Butlins you can do this). I opted for a different room just so we could get ourselves sorted.
We were given a room on the same floor we would have been on anyway, just the other side of the building. This meant that instead of overlooking Billy’s garden we were on the side of the car park. This wasn’t an issue for us but we could have said no and waited for our original room if it had been.
Columbus Quarters with Patio
Our first impressions of our room were fantastic. The room was extremely clean, well laid out and had a really fun nautical theme. Although I initially thought it might be a bit too ‘young’ for her now aged 6 instead of 4, Erin immediately went around finding all of the cool things around the room.
The main room
I was really surprised by how spacious the main room was. The entranceway had loads of space which meant there was somewhere to put luggage and shoes without them being in the bedroom. There are also hooks on the wall so you have somewhere to put your coats!
The room was very well equipped with storage for clothes with a mixture of an open wardrobe, open shelves and a few drawers as well. You’ll find an iron and ironing board in there too so you don’t have to worry about anything being creased from travelling. Things like this make life a lot easier as a family. All of the storage also meant it was really easy for us to organise our clothes for each day in advance without piles of things everywhere.
Our room had a double bed although you can also have this set up with twin beds if you want as well. The bed was incredibly comfortable and I slept so well during our holiday. There’s also a large sofa in this area, along with a sort of games board for young children on one of the walls.
It took me a while to find the mirror, which was hidden in the wall near the TV and drinks area. I think it would have been better to have left this open for new arrivals just so people know it’s there. Another small issue was the number of plug sockets in the room. There were only two underneath the TV which, when you have things to charge or hairdryers etc. to use, isn’t really enough. However, I did take an extension lead with us but otherwise, I would have struggled.
Children’s sleeping area
One of the main reasons why we chose the Shoreline Hotel was that it had a separate sleeping area for Erin in the room. Usually, we’re stuck with her having a sofa bed in the same part of the room as us and it can make evenings and bedtimes difficult.
The children’s sleeping area is just to the side as soon as you enter the room and is closed off by a curtain. This is great for parents as it means your child gets some privacy but you can also listen out for them easily without them being shut behind a door.
With bunk beds in this area, up to two children can sleep in here. You don’t need to worry about a bed guard either as the side of the top bunk is quite high with only a gap for climbing up from the steps. The room also has storage for clothes (although no hangers) and a TV, which Erin was really excited about.
This hotel room comes with a bathroom equipped with both a bath and shower (over the bath). The bathroom was really lovely, again with a fishy theme and a cool mural on the bath wall. When you’re travelling with children I think it’s important to have a bath so I’m glad that this was thought about.
When at somewhere like Butlins you’re bound to go swimming but you’ll need somewhere to dry your towels and swimming costumes. The bathroom has a small heated towel rail which was really helpful in getting things a bit drier every day.
As I mentioned earlier, our room also had a patio but I’ll be honest, it was quite disappointing. Really, we had a couple of slabs on the ground with a plastic table and four chairs. There was really no privacy at all as we were next to a fire exit and on the other side was only a small partition. As well as us being on the car park side of the hotel, I didn’t feel like I wanted to sit out there much when we were using the room and I think something like a balcony might have been better for us.
Our overall stay
Staying at the Shoreline Hotel is a bit unlike staying at a normal hotel. Reception is only open for limited periods of time (usually 9-1 but longer on check-in days) so if you need anything you’ll struggle outside of these times. Butlins does have Guest Services which are open during certain hours but not during the evening. Our welcome pack gave us a number to call if we needed something out of these hours however, there was no one to talk to which wasn’t helpful at all. Erin needed her bedding changed during one night of our stay and as you can imagine, not being able to get anyone to help during the night was frustrating.
Aside from that issue, the Shoreline Hotel did work for us as a family. We had plenty of space in our room and Erin loved having her own room with a TV. Everything was really clean and comfortable which is exactly what we want when we’re on holiday. Would we stay there again? Yes, I think we would.