Romeo’s birthday is the 20th August so I was concerned if I did him a whole class party that most people would be on holiday. We gave him the choice of having a party or he could stay in a hotel somewhere.
He first of all wanted Chessington hotel but once he heard there was a new CBeebies hotel and they had a show including Andy’s Dinosaur Adventure there was no going back.
The hotel only opened at the beginning of July so it’s the most expensive out of those on the resort. I was wondering whether he would be too old for it as it is essentially aimed at preschoolers but you can’t enjoy the entertainment in the CBeebies hotel if you aren’t staying there. So as much as the splash landings and main hotel are over £100 cheaper it wouldn’t have included Andy!
When you check in they give you lanyards to wear to show you are staying there and so others can’t come in for the entertainment. The kids get slapbands to wear which they can keep…these went down very well! We mentioned his birthday and he got a certificate plus a pop badge.
Some of the slots earlier in the day/evening are for 15 mins then there is a 15 min gap. But the ones after 6 are for half an hour filling the whole session. The hardest thing was to try and time dinner at a slot when they would be happy to miss the entertainment but you can hear it all going on from The Windmill restaurant and if there is a character you want to see they are happy for you to pop out and see them. We missed Bing’s sleepover and tot’a disco as this seemed the best ones to miss for us.
The Windmill restaurant has really mixed reviews on trip advisor. It has a salad bar very similar to harvester which I couldn’t fault. It’s all you can eat so we didn’t have a starter and the kids had several bowls including pasta which filled them. The mains aren’t exactly 5 star dining BUT it’s a restaurant aimed at preschoolers so it’s good they want to eat. Mine ate all of their dinner so I don’t really care if it’s basic for me as long as they are happy.
They have a pizza menu and the kids can design their own pizza with stickers and the recreates it.
They also have a sharer menu that’s suitable for a family of 2 adults and 2 kids. We went with this as knew the kids wouldn’t eat much after the salad bar anyway. We had the Sunday roast and to be honest for £28 it would have been a lot as it was as if it was all made by Aunt Bessie! But we get a merlin pass discount so it only cost us £21.60! We had tap water to drink as we had cocktails at the bar so £21.60 for a family of 5 to eat out wasn’t bad at all.
We told them it was Romeo’s birthday so they put the birthday music on and brought him a muffin with a candle surrounded by sweets. He was thrilled. There is a package you can pay £35 for to get a cake, balloons and teddy in the room when you arrive, I wouldn’t pay for that when the staff are so generous anyway!
We could have gone to the other restaurants in the other hotels. The one at Splash Landings is a buffet all you can eat and we have been before. It’s great food but for the 5 of us even with the discount we were looking at £66 before drinks.
The rollercoaster restaurant is another option but it’s back in the park. We went there for lunch the next day. It’s a novelty having your food do a loop the loop as it arrives but it is pricey. It’s all very fast service too so more suitable for lunch than dinner in my opinion.
You need to book the restaurant in advance for both dinner and breakfast. Breakfast is buffet style and the same as all the hotels at the resort. It’s included in your stay and you can only eat at the Windmill restaurant.
The area they do the entertainment has a bar at the back with cocktails…they know what mum’s want whilst their kids are being entertained! The cocktails were all priced at £7.50 each but that was £6 with our discount…it’s definitely cheaper up North!
We had a CBeebies bug room as the themed rooms are a lot more expensive and I can’t justify the cost just to get Octonauts on the wall paper! The room has a separate area for kids to sleep with their own tv. It is all kitted out for babies and toddlers with a baby bath, nappy disposal, bottle warmer etc not that we needed any of it!
Lottie is 6.5 and she loved it but I think it is aimed more at those under 6.
The way they do the meet and greets is very well done. Being exclusive to hotel guests there are a limited number of people and it isn’t crowded at all. There all the favourite character and interactive.
The kids were shattered at the end of our stay as they wanted to stay up til the end but they also didn’t want to miss seeing Bing at 7am the next morning so we had to set an alarm to be up and out early!
It isn’t cheap to stay but we got a discount with being annual pass holders and it was Romeo’s party and present so that’s how we justified the cost. I would definitely recommend it to families with children the same age as ours.