How wrong was I ! All this time my family and I have been missing out.
This weekend I had the opportunity to take the family to Butlins Bognor Regis and to drive there in a brand spanking new Kia Cee'd car (more on this later) all thanks to the totally hugable Sally Whittle. Sally organised the bloggers Tots100 Christmas party weekend for an unmissable price of just £100 for two days in the Ocean Hotel for a family of five. Over the years I have stayed in some amazing hotels including Disney hotels in Florida and the Ocean hotel more than holds its own.
You are met by cheerful, red coated staff as you drive into the complex. The ocean has its own car park with ample car parking, although at the weekend its probably best to arrive as early as you can. You can't officially check into your room until 12 noon, but you can still take advantage of all the facilities if you arrive early.
Although I was there for the Tots100 bloggers Christmas Party I thought it was just too good a deal to pass up for the family, so we arrived on Friday to make the most of the weekend.
The Ocean Hotel
Truly a room with a view - our balcony view
How thrilled were we when we saw all the space we had in the family rooms
The children's twin bedroom was funky and perfect, even had its own tv !
You can have coloured disco lights that change colour above and under your bed and in the bathroom or if you prefer just normal white ones. Guess which were a hit with us. Lying in the bath watching the bubbles change colour kept me amused for hours !
The boys were desperate to get to the Splash Water world but sadly when we popped over there at 4.30 it was just closing. I will say this was one of the only disappointing things about the complex. The opening and closing times. Most shops, activities, Splash Waterworld etc don't open until 10 am. Now if you have children, which the majority of people I would imagine do have, you need activities available from about 8am and certainly breakfast. There were long queues for the hotel restaurants first thing, so I would highly recommend you take your own breakfast cereals, fruit etc and remember to take bowls and spoons. saves lots of money and hanging around.
Most of the activities on site are included in the price, which really helps, but you do need to plan and book early. Most of the popular events get booked up quickly. We still managed to fit in lots of fun stuff. The funfair, the playpark, the beach, The splash waterworld was the biggest hit, lots of great water slides and plenty of space to play. Slightly over cautious on height restrictions for smaller children but apart from that it was the biggest hit of the weekend for the boys.
Lots of great shows and entertainment
Bjjorn the Bear was a massive hit and a real wonder to see .
So much to see and do we can highly recommend you book a break at Butlins. Thank you so much to Sally for the opportunity and to all the amazing staff at Butlins for making our weekend so fab!
Onto the point of the weekend, about 35 bloggers met up in the afternoon for coffee, cake, mince pies and a little highly competitive, fighting and present stealing (yes I mean you Mrs Shoe Blogger ) , sorry I mean tree decorating competition. Our team didn't win, even though we decorated our tree in reds and silver and made many references to Billy Butlin. Hey ho, those judges had NO TASTE ! Sorry for lack of pictures, I forgot my camera, but you can see our teams and trees on the TOTS100 facebook page
The evening kicked off in bar Rosso with lovely cocktails and trying desperately to put faces to blog names ! Then onto Turners Restaurant for dinner. I sat with the totally gorgeous Kate who blogs at WitWitWoo Wendy from InsideTheWendyHouse and her equally lovely sister Paula from QwertyMum a lovely evening of laughs and some unease when I tweeted about the stroppy waiter to then find Butlins are so hot on twitter the restaurant manager came out to tell us the waiter had been told to cheer up ! I was mortified, so much so I went into the kitchens to give him a big hug, visions of him being sacked running through my head. Oh dear, wine and twitter Nooooooooo !
We had a wonderful evening and it was so lovely to sit and chat with these lovely ladies. Once again, many thanks Sally for all your hard work, you put on a great event.
We were also really fortunate to be offered a Kia Cee'd for the weekend. It arrived promptly at 9.30 am on Friday morning, brand spanking new, sparkly clean and delivered by the nicest smiley man ever ! After a quick familiarisation and packing of the boot we were off.
What a dream of a car to drive, after years of driving a petrol guzzling old banger this was heaven on earth. A diesel car, it was delivered to us with 3/4 tank of diesel and when we handed it back on Monday morning after a 320 mile round trip it still had a 1/4 tank ! amazing fuel consumption. Really made my husband and I see how cost effective this car would be for us as a family. It was spacious and felt like real quality inside. Not at all what I expected. You really feel like you are driving a luxury car. There are all sorts of extras take a look at the specification We were totally blown away by this car and if we could afford a new one we would seriously go back to this one.
Thank you so much to Kia UK for the opportunity to drive this car, we loved it.