Being a picky kind of parent very few family orientated holidays ever fulfil my expectations. If it’s not the amenities letting the side down, it’s rude staff, bad food, or hyper inflated prices that leave me wishing we’d stayed at home. Recently I had begun to think that maybe you just can’t have it all, then we spent five days in Butlin’s and at last I found a family holiday that’s actually family orientated.
I don’t quite know what I was expecting (though the kids did as they love the Butlins advert on TV) but it certainly wasn’t in the words of my five year old “A place I’d like to live in forever“.
For a start we stayed at the new Wave Hotel, a place that would put most five star hotels to shame. Aside from a very spacious room, it had wait for it..a separate kids room within the room!! Which meant no chatting quietly in the bathroom as the kids slept and no kids jumping on my head at 5 am.
As for food, the sheer choice available meant even my two year old non eater found something to eat, while my never-full husband gained about 5lbs.
However, all that aside it was Butlin’s wide selection of activities and entertainment for kids that blew my mind. On recent all inclusive holidays I have always found that the under 3’s weren’t really catered for but here my 2 year old son was awash with choices for messy play, soft play, character meets (Fireman Sam and Thomas – his heroes) and rides. While my five year old was in seventh heaven at the waterpark (completely amazing for all ages including adults and teens), at art classes, and dancing to all the shows with the redcoats.
As I said to a travel editor I know, why does no one ever tell you to reassess where you go for a holiday when you have young kids? In recent years I have wasted money on beach holidays that were completely unrelaxing and all-inclusives that just didn’t cater to families. So now I know if you want a family orientated holiday, go to places that actually like families.
A final word on the subject – I have never seen both my kids smile so much and whinge so little in the entire lives, which for me and I expect most parents makes Butlin’s a break made in heaven!