Which Butlin’s hotel is best? Which hotel at Butlin’s Bognor Regis is best for children?
In my opinion, the answer to both those questions is the Shoreline hotel – though admittedly we had the best room – the Nelson Stateroom.
There are, by my calculations, eight such rooms, and they are well worth the extra cost (though we got a real bargain!). The hotel is roughly a rectangular shape with most rooms facing either into the resort or over the car park and towards the swimming pool; the short ends face either the restaurants on the resort or out to sea. The state room has the best sea view with floor to ceiling windows and a panoramic view and an extra wide balcony – much wider and longer than the balcony we had at Ocean hotel.
There are more rooms with a sea view in the Ocean but your view is across the car park and resort and then the sea, so it’s further away. The Shoreline is on the edge of the Butlin’s site so we looked out over a little bit of garden then the promenade then the beach, which was amazing. We were on the third floor and you wouldn’t get a very good sea view from the ground floor though.
The floor to ceiling windows do mean the room gets very hot so we had to put the air con on or open the doors out to the balcony, as it wasn’t actually that hot outside when we visited in April – but the sun was bright so it made the room very warm. Something to bear in mind in the summer and you might want to keep the curtains closed when you are not in the room!
The main room was very spacious, with a corner sofa, a TV unit and television that swivels so you can watch it from the sofa or in bed, and a double bed at the other end of the room next to a wardrobe and small dressing table. We had the same kind of mini fridge that we had in the Ocean hotel which had plenty of room for a litre of milk and some drinks.
There was a panel on one wall with some things for children to play with, which I thought was a nice touch, though it was hidden behind the living room door whenever the door was open, which didn’t seem the most sensible place to put it. The doors are heavy fire doors that slam shut abs are too heavy for young children to open so we kept them propped open using our bags so that our daughter could come and go from her room into the living room. I had seen an octopus themed rug in pictures of the state room but that was missing from the room which was a shame. Otherwise I really liked the decor of the rooms and everything was very clean and in good condition.
The bathroom was much larger than in our Ocean hotel room and my daughter loved the fish mural on the wall of the bathroom and also of her room, which contained bunk beds, each with their own TV screen. She slept in the bottom bunk as she wasn’t confident enough to climb up to the top bunk on her own – just like me when I was a child and had bunk beds at home with my sister!
The hotel itself has a nautical decor throughout and the corridors make it look as if you are walking along inside a ship which is nice for children. There are two lifts (which were always working) and a microwave on each floor by the lifts you can use to warm up baby bottles etc.
It was nice to find that reception was operational once more as it was closed last year when we stayed in the Ocean hotel. Check in is now in the hotel rather than at the drive through entrance and even though we weren’t supposed to be able to get into the room until 3, it was ready when we arrived just after 1 and we were able to go straight up.
The Shoreline doesn’t have it’s own car park but it is right next to one side of the main car park where we were directed when we came in, so we were only a couple of minutes away, which made it very easy to get our luggage into our room.
Billie and Bonnie Bear live in the Shoreline hotel (apparently) and were at the entrance greeting people when we arrived. One evening we also saw a few children following Billie up the stairs – as Bedtime with Billie Bear is back! I had read about this in reviews pre-covid and hadn’t realised it had started again, and apparently neither had the reception staff! After we saw it (but didn’t take part) on the first day, I asked someone in the hotel the second day who said he didn’t know, but read afterwards on Facebook it had taken place. The next day I asked at reception who said they were waiting for confirmation and would put up a sign on the reception desk if it was going ahead. When we left the hotel at 5 for dinner there was no such sign, but when we came back at 8 after having watched a show we did see a sign but we had missed it. So it seems you have to be lucky to actually take part but it sounds like fun – the receptionist told me that the children and redcoats try to put Billie to bed but he spends more time out of bed than in it (sounds a lot like bedtime in our house) and creates chaos, even throwing the redcoat’s shoes out of the window! My four year old daughter was excited to see Billie and Bonnie bear from a distance but a bit nervous up close so she probably wouldn’t have wanted to do it anyway but I did think it a shame that we kept missing it and not knowing about it in time.
The big advantage of the Shoreline for me as well as the size of the room and the view is its position on resort. It is right next to the restaurants (opposite the Diner), about two minutes walk from the Skyline pavilion and a couple of minutes walk for the swimming pool. That would have suited us better than the Ocean hotel last time when we visited with grandparents, who found the 10 minute walk to get to the restaurants a bit arduous in one case and it means if you need to nip back to the room it’s only a couple of minutes (plus ten minutes to get into the room as we were on a higher floor at the far end away from the lift) whereas the Ocean hotel was a 20 minute round trip plus getting in and out of the room. It also meant we didn’t have to leave quite so early for breakfast as we had specific times booked on the Dinearound plan.
Overall I was really impressed by the Shoreline hotel and recommend it to anyone visiting Butlin’s Bognor Regis with young children.