After the festivities and happiness of December, we tend to suffer from the post-Christmas blues in January. For that reason we try to have a short break away after New Year before the kids return to school.
The park is shut for winter but there are activities and entertainment within the hotel itself. We were aware it’s part of the Merlin group, and we had a fantastic stay at the Alton Towers hotel in 2016, so we were hopeful it would be as good.
After passing the smoke breathing dragon on the way in, we made our way into the reception area. With it still being the beginning of January, there was still Christmas decorations both outside and within the reception area. It looked and smelt amazing. The scent of cinnamon and Christmas spices added to the festive effect and we had no doubt it must have been magical had we visited over the Christmas period. Maybe next year!
We arrived shortly after 10am and were informed that whilst we couldn’t have access to our room until 3pm, we could use the hotel’s facilities. We were given a temporary key card to allow us access to the rest of the hotel. Within the hotel reception area was a huge Lego pit for the children to sit around and build, along with a Lego shop.
We decided to explore the rest of the hotel and found more Lego to play with on the upper levels, along with a 24 hour Playstation 4 room – with Lego games obviously! On the same floor was the Skyline bar and Bricks restaurants, the latter only being open for breakfast. We presumed during busier periods that Bricks will be open throughout the day. There was an outdoor play area if the weather was nice enough to enjoy it – it wasn’t while we were there!
When it was time to check into our room we discovered we were on the 4th floor – all adventurer themed. Other floors were pirate themed, Lego friends (VERY pink!) and knights. Our adventure themed room was full of little touches, an Indiana Jones style Lego hat on the wall, Egyptian pictures and scorpions. This delighted my eldest son who has just studied Ancient Egypt at school.
We were massively impressed with the size of our room. The room is designed so it has a half partition between the main bed and the kids bed bunk beds. This meant we could watch TV and leave the light on our part of the room, while the kids could have their lights turned off to sleep. We loved this! How many times have we sat in the dark waiting for the kids to fall asleep, too scared to move or talk?!
The bunk beds actually had a roll out bed beneath which was could have used for A but we find she settles better in a cot when the room is unfamiliar. There was plenty room for the cot due to the great size of the room. Our bed was huge, and comfortable too which isn’t always the case when you’re sleeping in a strange bed.
The kids part of the room had a separate flat screen TV and a noughts and crosses style game. On arrival they found a list of instructions to find their own hidden treasure. There was a treasure chest with a number code lock and their challenge was to answer the clues and work out the code. The boys loved this, plus it kept them entertained while we unpacked the suitcases! They cracked the code and won a pack of Lego each which we thought was a really nice touch.
The bathroom was just pure luxury for me! It was huge and had a massive bath with a powerful shower. Even this room had fun little Lego touches, from the scorpion on the wall, to the Legoland toiletries. We were provided with plenty of towels for the five of us, and they provided more for pool use down in the swimming area.
The toilet was also child friendly in that it had two different seat options – a small one for children that could be lifted up to a regular sized one for adults.
There were two flat screen TVs in the room with the usual freeview channels. They also had a special Lego channel which delighted the kids! There was Wifi available throughout the hotel and it was actually very quick for a shared service.
After we had settled in we decided to head down to the pool. We were informed upon check-in that the pool was only open 3pm-8pm and booking a time slot was advisable. We booked for 4pm and it wasn’t overly busy but I can imagine it would be during peak season – hence the need to book. There was also a gym that was open during the same hours but we chose not to use it!
The swimming area consisted of a main larger pool, and a children’s pool perfect for little ones. It had slides, water guns, shooting water fountains – plenty to keep the kids entertained. Our two year old particularly enjoyed the slide. The larger pool was perfect for adults and for teaching the kids to swim.
In terms of meals we tried the Skyline bar but found it to be quite expensive for what it is. £15 for an adults meal and £8 for a children’s which wouldn’t be too bad if the choices weren’t so limited. We chose to eat our evening meals off site.
We did however eat our breakfast in the Bricks restaurant as it was included in the price of our stay. Breakfast was served between 7.30am and 11am and we chose to go early. The kids wake up with the birds so no point hanging about! We were really impressed with the choice. They had everything from cereal, to pastries, to a fully cooked breakfast. It was served buffet style meaning it was a relaxed experience where you could take your time.
There was entertainment in both the morning and the evenings. Every morning we were given a daily list of activities. In the morning there was a meet and greet with a Lego character during breakfast which excited my youngest two.
After that was an opportunity to build with the entertainment staff which then led to a treasure hunt. In an evening there was a variety of activities including disco, magic show and Ninjago ninja training.
There was also a daily Lego building competition down on the mezzanine floor. We didn’t win but the kids (and my husband!) had a great time taking part.
The hotel was just a short drive from Windsor Castle if you fancied exploring. We visited the castle last year and the whole purpose of the trip was to relax so we stayed put! I think we chose a good time to visit. Due to the park not being open, the hotel was quiet so we could enjoy the facilities more. We loved the little touches from the talking lifts, to the Lego decor throughout the hotel.
We all loved this hotel and wouldn’t hesitate to come back.