Friday, 21 April 2017

Butlin's West Lakes Village Minehead

I have fond memories of Butlin's holidays as a child and it is lovely being able to re-create them with my own children.  The only difference is Butlin's has gone very upmarket since my childhood; I really LOVE the stylish chalets found in West Lakes Village.


It can really transform your experience staying at Butlin's; they have excelled themselves in terms of entertainment for a long time but now have the accommodation to match even the most discerning of visitors.

Location

Minehead is a great destination on the Somerset coast; you have the beach on your doorstep and a lengthy promenade.

  
We also found the pretty Blenheim Gardens.


With so much to do onsite at Butlin's we didn’t venture further a field but you have plenty of options if you have the urge to explore.  It can be an ideal base to see places like Dunster Castle, Torre Cider Farm (for cider tasting!) and Tropiquaria Zoo.

Accommodation

West Lakes Village is such a tranquil location with ducks and moorhens enjoying the lake and little bunnies hopping around on the green.


There is a small park that is much quieter then the other ones on the resort.


We found sitting out on the veranda quite restorative after a busy day, the place looks beautiful lit up at night. 

I have made a little video to give you a tour around our comfortable and modern accommodation.  



As it was Easter weekend, the boys liked that the toilet roll had a little happy Easter sticker on it and the towel on our bed was shaped like the Easter bunny – great attention to detail Butlin's!

The accommodation had ample storage; I really liked the space under our bed to store two suitcases.  It freed up so much floor space.  Other highlights were the powerful shower, the complimentary toiletries and of course the daily maid service (to make up our beds and even do the washing up!).

The dedicated West Lakes Village Reception had Little Tikes scooters and a comprehensive list of board games available for hire.

Food

We were provided with premium dining and the food was plentiful.  We found the staff to be very friendly and accommodating, they were especially polite and courteous when tidying dishes away.

A special mention goes to Flavius and Garry who the kids thought were great, they always found time to give them a nice welcome and a high five on our way into the restaurant.

There was plenty of choice and we all probably left a few pounds heavier!  For breakfast you could have whatever combination you liked of cereals, fruit, yoghurts, Danish pastries, freshly made pancakes and omelettes and a traditional cooked breakfast.  As it was Easter they also had hot cross buns available, yes Butlin's really do go over and beyond to cater for everyone’s needs.  For the little ones you can even request Ella's Kitchen pouches.

There was ample space to sit which meant we never had to wait for a seat regardless of the time we were eating.  When food ran out it was quickly replenished.  Having premium dining really enhanced our stay - no cooking or dishes to face, just a proper break!

Facilities

The traditional fair was a pleasant way to wile away a few hours and the queues were manageable.  


If you have younger children they will like the Little Stars Fairground, but children go on the rides here as long as they are under 1.5 metres, so my boys did both have a little look and try a couple of rides (for research of course!).

Splash Waterworld was understandably very busy being Easter weekend; a coloured band per family was allocated to give you a set amount of time in the pool, which seemed a very fair system.  Although there was a queue at the entrance we did not have to wait long to go in.  Eldest and I went on the water slide, Master Blaster, which was really good fun and worth the wait.  The only issue we found was that the changing cubicles seemed in short supply.

Whilst your walking around the site don't forget to take the all important deckchair pictures!



The boys liked the boats and pretending to set sail for an adventure.



Entertainment

Make sure you check your welcome pack on arrival, the where and when guide is invaluable to make the most of your stay!  It includes all the information you need like the times of the shows and activities, some of which you need to pre-book so make sure you head to a booking point to reserve a space. 

My boys are 8 and 9 and there was plenty to keep them happy, they liked watching the Danger Mouse Show, making Bath Bombs in the Science Zone, seeing the Baby T-Rex and the very funny Sam and Mark on the Road Show – although eldest and I ended up being on stage for that!  Eldest liked getting extra points for wearing the golden underpants; I just wish I had managed to score a point in the music quiz!!!

During your stay there is the opportunity to have photo shoots with your favourite characters.


We had B-Line passes, which made a huge difference getting a decent seat at our chosen entertainment venue.  The 15 minutes priority access to the venue also meant we had no trouble getting the first drink at the bar!  I think they are a worthwhile investment at £20 per person (for 3 nights over the school holidays), because with such incredible entertainment on offer you want to get a good spot to make the most of it.  My only regret is not squeezing in the Whittington Rocks show but the boys were keen to go swimming then.   

The boys attended football coaching, it was lovely hearing the boys talking tactics between matches and learning more about their team mates, part of being at a place like Butlins is making friends.

They completed the Easter Egg Hunt and were over the moon to collect a Billy & Bonnie Easter Egg for their efforts.


With so much included in the price of your holiday you do not have to spend much on site if you don’t want too.  Although my boys both got hooked on the arcade machines trying to collect as many tickets as possible to exchange for sweets!  You can also pay extra for the Adventure Golf, Go-Karts, Laser Quest and to hire bikes or a family fun kart.

Overall

I would definitely return to Butlin's Minehead in the near future, it was a very clean site, customer service was exceptional and both the entertainment and our accommodation at West Lakes Village were first-rate.  


9 comments:

  1. Great review and video. It looks a very pleasant place to stay with plenty to keep the kids occupied

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  2. Awesome review, I hadn't realised Butlins was so good, definitely looks more upmarket now! Great tip on the entertainment passes!

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  3. Oh my goodness Butlins has certainly changed! It looks fab and has definitely left behind it's old hi-de-hi image! Loved the look of the new accommodation and some lovely touches with the little packs of bathroom and kitchen necessities. We might give the new look Butlins a try ourselves with the girls.

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  4. Wow this looks amazing, such alot for the kids to do, we have done holiday park holidays with the kids but never Butlins so think we definitely will now, accommodation looks good too. Great pics

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  5. We went to Butlins Minehead over ten years ago and the children had such a wonderful time although I must admit that I was not overly impressed with the accommodation so I think that having read this post, I would consider going again. We do love the Butlins experience and it sounds like that is as good as ever.

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  6. This looks fantastic. What a wonderful place to visit. Looks like the boys had such a great time. I have never been to Butlins since they moved from Scotland, many moons ago x

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  7. We've been to Butlins several times and just love it! The Redcoats are so friendly!

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  8. Looks like a great place for a holiday. I haven't been to Butlin's for years

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  9. My kids love Butlins but we have only ever been to the Bognor one. I look for afar from a steam train at Minehead though

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