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Butlin’s: cheap vs expensive accommodation review

I’ve been taking the kids to Butlin’s resorts for several years now. They’ve always had a reputation for quality holidays at reasonable prices, but they do offer a variety of accommodation options. From the ultra-basic “standard rooms” to the “Gold apartments” you’re spoiled for choice. You can even stay in one of the three Butlin’s hotels at the Bognor Regis resort, which are very much a premium option. (The Shoreline and The Ocean and The Wave.) In this video I’m reviewing and comparing the Silver rooms at Butlins Bognor Regis to the sea view balcony rooms at the Wave Hotel. The differences are eye-opening – and the prices reflect that!

TRANSCRIPT

PREVIEW
Is that a rat? Or a mouse?
These apartments will flood during heavy rains.
Look at how dirty this corner is?
The carpet here. Absolutely disgusting.
Definitely not been cleaned in many years.
These beds do have weird little stains.
Hope it’s not what I think it might be.
Incredibly poor quality.
So you see all these dirty marks? Really disgusting.
A lot of insects all over this bathroom.
Look there’s spiders up there again.
Which is absolutely disgusting.
I won’t be staying in a Silver Room in Bognor again because this is horrible.


You see that? Is that a rat? Or a mouse?
That looks like a mouse to me.
Yeah it’s a mouse.
So I’m at Bognor Regis Butlin’s.
And we’re here for a week and I’m staying in two different types of accommodation.
One is very cheap.
One a lot more expensive.
So first up let’s go and see what the cheap offering is like at Bognor Regis.
As you’ve just seen, there’s a mouse wandering around.
This is Oyster Bay and I’m staying in Barracuda Place.
So Oyster Bay, Barracuda Place.
That’s where I am.
First thing you’ll probably notice is…
I’m going to try to be quiet. People are sleeping.
There are sandbags all over the place.
And I I think that’s because these apartments will flood during heavy rains.
And we have had heavy rains over the last few days.
So that’s what these sandbags are all about.
But, yeah, these are the Silver Rooms.
And, yeah, there you go. More sandbags.

So this is my room and…
First problem that I came across the moment I arrived is this. Let me try and get into my room.
Nope. Nope. Nope. This might go on for a while.

I don’t know how many tries that was but it was about 15.
I called up and complained, and they told me:
“Oh yeah, some of our cards are a bit defective and you just have to keep trying”.
Cheap room. Anyway this is number 11 Barracuda Place.
Let’s have a look inside and see what it’s like.
OK, so we see a little bit of a floor mat entrance.
And inside two single beds.
What you might notice straight away is there are no side tables whatsoever.
Literally nothing to put your phone, or watch, or anything at night, on when you’re about to sleep.
So… problem. Not insurmountable, just an annoyance.
There is storage here, where you can keep stuff.
They do provide tea and coffee.
Which I have now finished.
Two cups… or mugs.
And inside the kettle, nice and clean, very good.
TV is actually a decent size given the room.
However, you’ll notice there’s only two plug sockets for the whole room.
Now one of those sockets is going to be used for your TV.
So really you have one plug socket and that’s it.
Luckily I brought a multi-charger so I can charge multiple devices like my phone etc. at the same time.
But, generally, very disappointing.
Also, cleanliness is an issue.
These beds do have weird little stains like that.
I have no idea what that is and I hope it’s not what I think it might be.
But that’s why I bring antibacterial spray and spray everything.
Floor has lots of nasty little marks here and there.
And this.. ugghh. Look at how dirty this corner is.
The carpet here is absolutely disgusting.
Hasn’t been cleaned in a while.
They provide this thing, if you want to dry out some of your clothes.
You’ll notice there’s a door there and you might wondering:
“Hey, can you hear the neighbours?” YES.
Yes you can hear the neighbours.
And I do hear their crying children constantly throughout my stay.
You you can literally hear conversations word for word that your neighbours are having.
And you can hear their TV you can tell what channel they’re watching.

Anyway, nice floor length mirror, very good.
And storage wise… here a few cubby holes where you can put things.
Ironing board and a steam iron that they provide.
Which is quite nice.
Bathroom… basic. Basic to say the least.
So one bar of soap that they provide.
They provide these two incredibly poor quality toilet rolls.
Which is why I went out and bought some of my own.
Because this.. this is just… this it’s just awful.
It just tears apart in your hand if you have even slightly wet hands.
They don’t provide you any other toiletries.
Just that one little bar of soap.
And that one little towel.
So this towel is one that I brought from home.
And, of course, they have a towel rack for you.
On the back of the door, there’s somewhere to hang your toiletry bag and dressing gown, if you bring one.
A little heater here, which I’ve never managed to get working.
I don’t know why.
But they do have a ventilator, which has definitely not been cleaned in many years.
I’ve never tried that light. I wonder if it works.
Oh, yes it works. Good.
Now this is something that really, really annoyed me.
This is the shower and if you look inside…
it took a while to work out how it works. But it does work.
That’s fine. Weirdly, this doesn’t quite fit in this hole.
It’s slightly too big for that gap.
So that’s annoying, but not the end of the world.
What is really disgusting is that if you run this, the shower,
for two minutes or more it doesn’t drain quickly.
So, you see all these dirty marks?
That’s because it starts rising up and flooding.
And so you have to shower very, very quickly.
Otherwise you’re going to flood the bathroom.
Which is absolutely disgusting.
Oh, also, a lot of insects all over this bathroom.
Constantly having to get rid of them which…
Yeah, look there’s spiders up there again. Not happy about that.
So cleanliness is not the best.
So this is the cheap option.
The ultra cheap option.
And I paid… well, our family paid,
about £500 for a week in this Silver Room.
I won’t be staying in a Silver Room in Bognor again because this is horrible.
This is absolutely horrible.
I mean, if you’re someone who’s willing to slum it and you can put up with it that’s fine.
I’m a germaphobe and for me staying here a couple of nights has been horrendous.
So, I’m really glad I’m now moving on to a little better quality accommodation than this.
Because I just can’t. I can’t tolerate this anymore.
Oh, and and this is the view out of your window.
Generally, though, I’m not going to keep my curtains open like this.
Because, you know, privacy.
I did pay extra for the ground floor.
Just because I hate lugging luggage up and down steps.
Yeah, errrr, no privacy when you do that.
Because people are wandering past all the time.
So what do you think? Would you stay here?

So it’s early morning again.
Lots of people leaving today.
I’m going to show you the expensive accommodation I booked at Butlins Bognor Regis.
It’s at the hotel. Or one of the hotels.
This one’s called “The Wave” and it’s not like a regular hotel.
Let’s put it that way. You’ll see.


So… lovely decor. All nautical themed.
They’ve got a cafe that’s open in the morning until about 2pm, I think it is.
Lots of comfy seating.
Little water features on the wall.
And a games room for kids. Arcade games and all.
It’s not open at the moment.
Yeah opens 12:00 to 5pm.
One of the joys, even though I’m on a higher floor, one of the highest, is I don’t have to take stairs.
Because they have lifts, elevators.
More nautical theming in here.
We’re on the sixth floor.

Luckily right next to the elevator.
Room 639.
Let me give you a room tour.
Oh and card always works in this one
Unlike the cheap accommodation, where it really struggled.

Right, so before we get to the room let’s check out the bathroom.
Which is just on my left.
Right so, first things first, you’ll notice a nice big bath with a shower head.
And they keep this reasonably clean.
Lots and lots of towels provided for you.
This toilet paper, although not brilliant, is definitely better than the stuff they give you in the cheap accommodation.
Wow! Big mirror.
Lovely clean faucets and basin.
And, oh as, usual Butlins supply you with Butlins branded soap.
I have no idea why no other toiletries are provided.
But maybe that’s just to tide you over in case you forgot what you needed.
And you need to go to the shops, but that’ll keep you going for a little bit.
But, yeah, lovely bathroom.
And a little step stool over there.
That they provide for the kids so they can reach up to basin.
All right. Now let’s see the rest of the room.
So we have four coat hooks here. Very useful.
This door on the left leads to the kids’ bedroom.
They’re asleep right now so I can’t show it to you.
But, basically, it’s a bunk bed with two TVs.
One for each bunk.
And, often, the kids will just watch the exact same thing sitting in their own individual beds.
I don’t know why they think that’s amusing but they do.
Right, so let’s have a quick look at the kids bedroom while they’re out.
Two bunk beds. Nice and comfortable.
Each with their own TV which they can control individually.
And, oh, lovely nautical theme again.
And storage for their stuff.

As for the rest of the room…
Now this is obviously two beds pushed together.
But I’ve got to tell you…
this is so much so much more comfortable than what I was staying in with the cheap accommodation.
That was horrible. That wasn’t nice to sleep in at all.
This is firm.
As you can see, some lovely accent lighting above.
And the TV here is exactly the same size as it was in the cheap accommodation.
But you’ll notice that it comes with this fancy panel which means you can connect various different devices.
Sadly, and this is very annoying, only two plug sockets there.
That’s okay though because they also supply some more plug sockets in other parts of the room.
You can even connect your USB cable into here to charge your phone if you want to.
Huge huge improvement on what I had in the cheap accommodation.
Let’s have a look at what we’ve got for storage.
Firstly, here. Loads of room.
In here, a safe, somewhere to put your clothes.
An ironing board and a steam iron.
Identical steam iron, I think, to the one I had in the cheap accommodation.
And finally, oh!
It wouldn’t be a British Hotel without tea and coffee facilities.
But we also get a mini fridge.
Not a mini bar. Mini fridge.
Where you can keep your drinks cool.
Fantastic, love that.

And the living room area.
So these two funky yellow seats and a little table.
Very nice. I have enjoyed some time sitting on those.
This little… “vanity area” I guess you could call it.
Which has a hairdryer and a couple more plug sockets.
A mirror to preen yourself, if you’re that kind of person.
But here’s the important part…
The view!
This is what you pay for.
So this is this is “The Wave” branding.
But, yeah, it’s fraying a little. This has seen better days.
But look.
Can’t beat that view.
Well, you could with some nicer weather.
You could definitely beat the view with some nicer weather.
But let’s open it up.
Oh this is an effort.
There we go. This is what you pay extra for.
And here’s the view at night.
Not very impressive, I’ll admit.
However, if you open the balcony door…
You can hear the soothing sounds of the ocean.
Which you could fall asleep to if you left balcony open.
But it’s way too cold to leave this balcony door open while I sleep tonight.

Now you can choose your own room in this hotel if you’re willing to fork out an extra £19.
That’s a good way to try and guarantee you will get the view that you want.
This doesn’t look great.
This doesn’t look great at the moment because the weather has been awful.
Ironically, Bognor is supposed to be the sunniest place in the country.
That’s a fact… I keep hearing people say that.
Hasn’t felt that way this week.
But I imagine when the weather’s nice this is an amazing place to sit.
And they do provide you with a table and a couple of chairs.
Which are very wet right now.
So I will not be sitting here.
But there you have it.

In terms of noise, these doors are pretty soundproof.
But because of the way the balconies are shaped
the wind kind of whips along them quite fast
So you do get a constant howling sound at night.
I can sleep through that but I imagine for some people that would be quite difficult.
So how much did this all cost?
Well more than twice!
More than twice what the poor people accommodation cost.
This was £1200 for the week.
That’s just for the accommodation.
The extras, like choosing your room and paying for food etc. that’s all separate.
£1200 is just for the accommodation.
And I said this wasn’t quite like a regular hotel.
Firstly, no toiletries are supplied.
Secondly, the maid does not come and clean every single day.
I think it’s two or three of the days in the week
where the cleaning service will come in and clean up for you.
I’m fine with that.
I’m a generally clean person.
I mean, I’ve slept in this room last night.
Look, it looks fine.
I’m not a particularly messy person.
But for some of you that might be something think about.
So tell me what do you think?
Which would you choose?
The “cheap” accommodation for £500 for a week?
Or this gorgeous hotel room for £1,200 on its own?
Let me know in the comments

[Music]

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