So half term is upon us and we have packed our car and shot up the M5 to Minehead for a 4 night break in Butlins as one of their Ambassadors. Rather than write a stupidly long post at the end of the break, having forgotten most of what has happened in a super busy week, I have decided to write a post a day for the length of the break.
We had a relatively stress free journey with only one traffic jam on the M5 and as we pulled up to Minehead sea front where Butlins is situated we came to a stand still. The boys could see Butlins and were literally bouncing in their car seats but we had no where to go. A member of staff came out to inform mass of waiting cars, what was going on and we were told that the car park was full so we were being diverted to the bigger one. Knowing that it is half term and how many guests they were expecting I would have thought that something could have been in place to ease the congestion especially as it impacted on people that were only trying to exit the beach car park to go home! By the time my parents had arrived they were told that they were only allowed to park near the main entrance which is the other side of the resort to the Silver Bungalows where we are staying. They had to walk through the whole place with trolleys full of luggage. I was glad at this point that the car park had been full earlier in the day because that walk with three kids and enough stuff to last us the break would have been a killer! We arrived in Minehead at 3pm and in hindsight we should have arrived earlier as we could have used the facilities from noon and checked in at 1pm but as the room wouldn’t have been ready until 4pm and I didn’t want to leave everything in the car for hours on end.
When we walked into our bungalow we were quite impressed with the size. In a Silver Bungalow to sleep 4 adults, 2 children and a baby we have 3 bedrooms (one double, two twin) a bathroom, kitchen and living room. It’s nicely laid out with decent furniture and all the basics that you need. However after about 5 minutes I noticed that Spike’s socks had turned brown. He honestly looked like he had walked through mud. I quickly picked the baby up off the floor and went to find the Hubby who was setting up the travel cot provided by Butlins. The travel cot hire is £10 for the break and I was extremely disgusted by the one in our room. It was covered in mould and STANK of cigarette smoke. We decided to go for dinner and visit Guest Services afterwards but the Hubby found a piece of paper in our room informing us that we could text different people depending on the problem. There were numbers for Guest Services, House Keeping and Maintenance. I text Guest Services about our problem and received a reply saying it would be dealt with. We had to eat so left the bungalow and still visited Guest Services afterwards. We were informed there that it had already been dealt with so we went back to see how the new travel cot was. It was replaced, it isn’t sparkling but it is clean and doesn’t smell. The whole place smelt nicer when we walked in and we soon discovered that the carpets had been washed. Unfortunately this was discovered when both me and the Hubby skidded across the kitchen floor! So it was resolved but a wet floor sign or even a note would have been beneficial! I am pleased at the speed in which our problems were dealt with and we were never made to feel like we were wrong to complain, the staff at Guest Services were friendly and very apologetic. We did also have to text them about the lack of batteries in our TV remote, this is probably down to the previous guests rather than Butlins though!
We have the premium dining so we headed to The Yacht Club and The Deck restaurants for dinner. We were informed that The Yacht Club is an English menu and that The Deck was an international menu but that we could go between the two. We were left to get on with things ourselves and I did notice a lack of Red Coats compared to the restaurant in Bognor which was a bit disappointing because when I wanted to find the baby food I had to track down somebody that was cleaning on the other side of the restaurant. The boys went up and chose their food but bypassed the children’s section which is stocked with food choices designed by Annabel Karmel. The food choice was very good with at least 5 or 6 options including a pasta station where you can have it as you like it and they make it for you. The salad bar was impressive and there was a lot of desert choice and plenty of fruit on offer. The baby jar choice was ok, Dot is fussy though so there was only one that she would have liked and I was pleased about the access to a microwave and disposable bibs. The Hubby and I both had fish and chips which was absolutely delicious, the fish was very good and my parents had a Chinese option which neither particularly loved but it filled a hole.
We didn’t get to experience much of the planned entertainment today but the boys LOVED walking around the arcade area and playing with all of the machines so they will probably cost Pops a small fortune over the next few days! We enquired about Bowling but walked away swiftly after working out that it would cost us a whopping £28 for us to have ONE game! The boys enjoyed the soft play area and we were impressed that it was supervised with a member of staff on the top level as well should children get stuck.
*Disclosure – As a Butlin’s Ambassador we received a 4 day break with premium dining for review purposes*