How To Choose Your Butlin's Accommodation and Understanding The Different Types

We stayed in a 3 bedroom Seaside Apartment at the Bognor Regis Butlin's in June. When booking I found it really difficult to find the differences between accommodation types. It was only when we nearly due to go that they sent a link to a handy guide which shows the main differences. While this guide is specifically for Bognor Regis, the other sites are very similar.

two children looking at the Butlins Bognor Regis Resort Map showing where all the different accomodation is
Checking out the Bognor Regis Resort Map after arriving at Butlin's



The Different Accommodation Options At Butlin's

Butlin's accommodation is divided in to four levels using “B-ratings” to help you compare the different types at a glance (the price doesn't always reflect the rating when there are offers).

B - Basic Accommodation is the budget choice with basic rooms, for example Silver Rooms.

BB - Value Accommodation has a little more space or self catering facilities as well as a lounge space. Examples include Silver Apartments and New Style Silver Apartments.

BBB - Moderate Accommodation is described as having “thoughtful touches which create a cosy and relaxing place” eg towels and hairdryers are included. Examples include Gold Apartments, Seaside Apartments and Wave Hotel Rooms.

BBBB - Premium Accommodation has more space, better furnishings, a more peaceful location (although that will depend on your neighbours), towels and dedicated parking.

Double bedroom in Seaside Apartment at Bognor Regis Butlin's showing double bed, decor and wardrobe
The double bedroom in a Seaside Apartment (Bognor Regis Butlin's)


What Is The Difference Between Butlin's Apartments and Hotel Rooms?

There are some things you can expect in all Butlin's accommodation: you get bed linen (with the beds made up), wardrobe space, heating, a bathroom, iron and ironing board, tea and coffee facilities (including a small supply of tea, coffee, milk and sugar), television and free essential wifi (which we found pretty good so unless streaming a lot you might not need to upgrade to the paid for wifi). In all accommodation, except for silver hotel rooms, you get a fridge which is in the form of a mini cooler in the hotel rooms.

The access to activities is exactly the same regardless of which accommodation you book meaning you always get free access to the fairgrounds, swimming pool, softplay, shows and activities. Prebooking is required and there are also activities you can book for a small additional fee.

The big difference between hotel and apartments is that for most of the hotel based accommodation you don’t get self catering facilities so you will need to go to the restaurants or food court to eat. The exception to this is there are a few apartments inside the hotels which do have self catering, but this is not the case in the hotel rooms or suites. If you want to stay in the hotel or don't want to prepare meals buying a dining plan might save you money on meals compared to paying as you go. At Bognor Regis for adults these currently start at £20.75 per day going up to £31.95 per day, children's plans cost less than this. 

Currently (and this may change as COVID restrictions are eased) there is no housekeeping during your stay in any accommodation. While you can request clean towels and bed linen if you want it they will leave these at your door.

Location Of Accommodation

At Bognor Regis all accommodation is a short walk from the Skyline Pavilion. The longest walk is from the Seaside Village to the Swimming Pool, but that still only takes 5 minutes (if you don't get distracted) so which ever accommodation your choose you will be near to the activities.


What Do You Get In Butlin's Self Catering Apartments?

The self catering facilities vary slightly between apartments, but they will all have a kitchen and dining area with oven, fridge and kettle. The table will have sufficient seating for the apartment size, but if you want a high chair you will need to bring one from home or hire one.

In our Seaside Apartment kitchen we had: an electric hob and oven, toaster,  microwave, kettle, sink with very small draining area, chopping board, basic cutlery, crockery and equipment for cooking (see my separate post for what to pack when staying at Butlin's).

In some accommodation (like Gold Apartments) there are dishwashers.

In our 3 bedroom apartment we had 2 rooms with twin beds and 1 room with a double bed. In the room with a double bed there was a dressing table, large mirror, hairdryer and safe. There were wardrobes and drawers in each bedroom.

The front door to the apartment had a security chain on which was out of the reach of our toddler. Given the number of times he unlocked the door and tried to go out this was a very welcome addition.


view from the living area in the Butlin's apartment towards the kitchen and dining area
The kitchen and dining area in our Seaside Apartment at Butlin's Bognor Regis

Colourful sofa in the Seaside Apartment at Butlin's
The living area in our apartment had a sofa, television and small table

One of the twin bedrooms in our accommodation with 2 beds with white bed linen and towels
The twin bedrooms in the Seaside Apartment

Second twin bedroom with similar facilities as the first
The twin bedrooms in the Seaside apartment had a cloud "night light" on the wall.

The bathroom in the Butlin's self catering apartment with shower
The bathroom had a shower, toilet, sink and heated towel rain, but is quite small.

Paying for Accommodation Extras

Depending on your type of accommodation you will be given the option to pay a little more to specify extras these include: choosing your floor (there is a premium for ground floor apartments and top floor hotel rooms) and balconies. 

If you don’t upgrade you may still be lucky enough to get these extras, but it will depend on what they have available. Our apartment was on the first floor and didn’t have a balcony, the apartments next to us did and they were regularly out there smoking. Generally people seemed to use their balconies as a good place to dry their swimming costumes and towels, but we hung ours on the towel rail in our apartment.


Hiring Additional Items for Your Stay At Butlin's

For convenience, or to save space when travelling, you can arrange to hire various items you might need during your stay. For children these include: high chairs, bed guards, baby baths, bottle warmers as well as outside items like scooters and bikes although what is available varies between resorts. You can arrange this in advance or when on site by visiting the hire shop.

Towels

Towels for use in the accommodation (not for the beach or the pool) are provided in all Bognor Regis accommodation except Silver Rooms, Silver Apartments and Standard Apartments. They were small and thin, but perfectible usable. You can hire bath towels from the hire shop if not provided.

A child looking at an apartment door at Butlin's showing it is sealed before entry
Various Coronavirus restrictions and changes are in place at Butlin's


Coronavirus Restrictions and Changes At Butlin's

When Butlin's were allowed to reopen after lockdown they introduced a number of changes. They have recently announced that after 19th July some of these will be staying. This is the current understanding on the main changes around booking activities at Butlin's and Coronavirus restrictions as of July 2021.

Limiting Numbers

Butlin's have been limiting the number of people on site and reducing the number of people in venues to help social distancing. They are closed to day visitors as part of this and most activities and sit down meals need to be booked in advance. There are dedicated apps for each Butlin's site to book activities through or you can book activities online. The booking window opens anywhere between two weeks and a few days before your stay although they may get more consistent on this. You will receive an email when you can book, although it opens slightly before the emails are sent out. 

When we visited in June they had limited prebooking to only one splash pool session during your stay and only a certain number of other activities per day. This meant everyone should have been able to book something. You can get to do more activities, see more shows or more pool sessions by checking availability on the day. Butlin's said additional bookings could be made each day from 9am, but I booked a pool session around 8am. You can also queue up in a separate queue outside venues and they will let you if there are spaces. 

Butlin's have announced on their Facebook that when restrictions are lifted on 19th July pool sessions will no longer be bookable and session length won't be restricted. They are increasing the capacity for their shows and although you will be able to just turn up for Skyline shows the others will still be bookable. Booking of shows will be staying long term, however they will be announcing what the plans are to allow people to stay in a venue all evening to watch multiple shows soon.

Table Service

By downloading the B serve app you can order drinks and food to your table in all the venues. It also allows you to order and pay for take away food (eg from the fish and chip shop or Papa Johns) for collection at a specific time.

Accommodation

Accommodation is cleaned and sanitised before you get access and sealed to show this is the case. Housekeeping is not available during your stay.

Face Masks

Currently face masks are required in all inside areas for guests aged 11 and older. This includes the swimming pool until you are changed and some undercover fairground rides like dodgems. When masks are no longer compulsory I expect them to no longer enforce this.

Cleaning etc

They say they are cleaning more and there is hand gel at the entrances to inside areas.

We found the restrictions mostly worked in our favour as everywhere was quieter than it would have been. The pool session was limited to 75 minutes and we would have stayed in their for longer, but because there were less people the queues for slides were probably shorter than normal. I was worried about not getting in places, but we went swimming everyday and did everything we wanted to.

How to choose your Butlin's accomodation

All details are correct to the best of my knowledge at the time of publishing, but contact Butlin's if you have any specific requirements you need help with.

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