With a CBeebies obsessed 3 year old, taking the family away for a mini-break to CBeebies Hotel was an enticing choice for a family mini-break. So with the hotel booked, and our passes to hand, we were all ready for staying at CBeebies Hotel. With prices starting at £354 per night for a family of 4 is it worth the cost?
Staying at CBeebies Hotel in a Nutshell
A hotel designed for young children, from the explosion of colour and the CBeebies bugs all over the place to the themed rooms, it is a magical experience for the kids. Meeting their favourite characters and having loads of entertainment in the hotel. The Windmill restaurant is great for meals for kids albeit a bit pricey for an evening meal. Mixed with a visit to CBeebiesLand your children will be in their element. We enjoyed it too, watching the kids have so much fun and being able to sit and relax. Here is a breakdown of our second experience.
Parking just outside the hotel, the first thing you notice is the colourful rainbow and bug in an aeroplane. There is a short distance between the carpark and hotel via a path which did make me relieved, as should your child make it past the front doors when playing, they won’t step straight out in the carpark.
Stepping into the hotel it’s an explosion of colour, not a magnolia wall or ceiling to be seen. There is someone to greet you at the door (and stealthy check you should be in the hotel, which was reassuring.) As soon as you enter the foyer, it is instantly obvious that the hotel was designed around children. With an interactive wall on one side, and a check-in desk with steps on the other and at key check-in and check-out times you may get to say hello to Little Monster or Ubicorn.
Check-in is officially at 3pm, however, you can pre-check in earlier, to make the check-in later quicker. We pre-checked in at 9am so we could then go and take advantage of early ride access. (More about that later.)
When booking you there is a variety of rooms you can choose, the bugbies is the standard room, or you can choose one of the themed rooms;
- Postman Pat
- Something Special
- In the Night Garden
This was our second time staying at CBeebies Hotel, both in an Octonaut themed and the standard bugbies room. Both rooms had wall to ceiling CBeebies decorations. With bugs, flowers and rainbows in the bugbies room and an underwater adventure in the Octonauts room.
There is a kids section with bunk beds and a play-wall for the kids, as well as a wall-mounted TV that allows the TV to be viewed on all of the kid’s beds. There is also a pull out bed underneath.
Creating a divide between the children’s sleeping area and the parent’s area is a well-designed bathroom, with a smaller seat built-in to the toilet seat, step, nappy bin and a very colourful bath wall. They also provide child-friendly soap which they encourage you to take home to reduce waste.
Opposite the bathroom door, is a clothes rack and luggage storage, The parent’s area has a quite comfortable bed, TV, coffee and tea making facilities. (they don’t skimp on the tea, coffee and milk so you can make a few cups which I liked.) There is a small fridge in the cupboard, as well as an iron, ironing board, cot, baby bath and hairdryer.
The rooms were very spacious and I have to say one of the best-designed hotel room I have stayed in.
The Hotel and Entertainment
Like the rooms, the rest of the hotel is wall to ceiling colour, the hallways are brightly decorated and Ro enjoyed following the musical notes, stars and rainbow colours on the carpet. To go up in the lift you need to use your keycard and the lift is full of sensory stimulation with cute animals on the walls and lights and sounds. (The lights and sounds feature can be turned off with a press of a button to reduce sensory overload.)
The entertainment area is decorated as a big tree, with the children’s entertainment on one side of the room and the Adults on the other( the bar!) This area is all open planned so you can keep an eye on the kids while ordering a drink.
They have a range of entertaintment throughout the day for the kids, something happening every 30 minutes and some of thier favourate charactors making an appearance throughout the day. My kids loved the entertainment but wouldn’t get their photos taken with the characters. There is also a library area for the kids to listen to bedtime stories.
Wifi is also available throughout the Hotel and Alton Towers theme park with the cloud. The speed was fair, good enough to cope with social media and website browsing.
The Windmill Resturant
Like the name suggests, there is a windmill in the middle of the restaurant and themed sections. The CBeebies bugs have invaded into the restaurant as well. It is very child-oriented and the staff really put focus to make sure to include the kids. Breakfast comes as part of your booking, but it is advised to book a timeslot as it fills up fast. We also had our evening meal there, although an expensive option we wanted the full experience.
The Evening Meal
The food for the kids is fun and packed full of hidden veg, they have a menu of a starter, main and dessert or can choose a custom pizza and to challenge the chef. Mixing fun with the food tricked my fussy eaters into cleaning their plates. The adult meals were nice but pricey.
They had colouring pencils and sheets on the table, and on the first visit, the children were given Cbeebies chef hats when the chef came and asked how our meal was. The second time the children were given balloon animals. The atmosphere was relaxed, a restaurant where the kids could be kids.
I have to say the breakfast on offer is the best I have had at any hotel, with a range of healthy breakfast options as well as full English. As standard, they cater to different diets without the hassle of having to ask. With things like almond milk and gluten-free options around the windmill. They have a range of juices, pastries and yoghurts also available.
Included in the price is a visit to Alton Towers theme park, which has Cbeebiesland. If you are a Merlin Pass holder there is no discount for staying at this hotel, however, you can select bed and breakfast only which makes the stay slightly cheaper. We paid £298 for our stay.
When staying at the hotel, you can take advantage of early ride times for a number of rides at Alton Towers, some rides that open early are within CbeebiesLand. This enables you to enter the park earlier and join the short or non-exisitent queue for some of the rides. Making the most of your time at the park. ( this isn’t included in October as no early ride times.)
You’re given Cbeebies Hotel lanyards which you need to wear during your stay to identify you as a guest (and can keep your keycard safe), the kids get branded snap bracelets. You can then take them home.
Free parking is also available for the duration of the stay, in the hotel carpark. The monorail is about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. On check-out, we were offered a premium parking which allowed us to park close to Alton Towers entrance which would normally cost £16.
Staying at Cbeebies Hotel Verdict
With prices starting at £354 for a family of 4 it was a lot of money for a night, but was it worth it? I have to say Yes (and seeing as we went back again this year should tell you something.) Leaving both times, I didn’t feel the same about the cost as when I arrived, it felt worth it. With the hotel opening back in 2017 and so much colour, it would be easy for things to fade and look tired but this wasn’t the case.
With J being 8, he still enjoyed the atmosphere and watched the shows in the entertainment area. He was happy he could watch CBBC on the kid’s tv in the room.
The staff were really good with the kids, you could just let the kids be kids so reduced parents stress. They do a Christmas Sleepover which I know the kids would love. I am hoping to make the finances stretch so we can take them. I’ll let you know if we can.