Our comparison of the apartments, chalets, rooms and hotels at Butlins Bognor, Skegness and Minehead in 2022
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Choosing accommodation at Butlins is a bit mind-blowing at first.
There are a whopping 19 different types of accommodation. Thankfully, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
For a start, some accommodation types are only available at one of the three Butlins resorts.
Here’s our guide to choosing the best accommodation for your money at Butlins in Bognor, Skegness and Minehead. We’ve included some advice on which upgrades we think are worth the money and which are not so important.
The basic summary of different types of accommodation at Butlins
The first decision you need to make is whether or not you want a kitchen with your Butlins accommodation.
If you don’t want a kitchen they you can get the absolute cheapest accommodation available, or you can upgrade to posher rooms with lounges attached ('suites'). However, you’ll either have to eat Pot Noodles all week or buy a dining package where all meals are included.
If you want a kitchen then you’ve got a big choice of apartments, lodges and chalets. The basic ones will probably work out cheaper than the most basic room + meals package. The most expensive apartments, lodges and chalets can be twice the price of the most basic ‘room’.
When we checked, a dining package for a four day holiday with two adults and two children at Bognor Regis in mid July 2022 was £130 for the 'food court' or £173 for the 'premium dining plan'. The cheaper option works out at about £8 per person, per day for breakfast and an evening meal. Personally, I think that's pretty good value.
What’s the difference between the different grades of rooms and suites at Butlins?
If you decide that you just want a room without kitchen facilities then you need to decide what level of luxury you want.
The choice looks like this, roughly in order of price:
To give a rough idea of price, we searched for a four night break for a family of four in mid September 2022. The cheapest standard room was £157 whilst the most expensive room was £273.
So what’s the difference the seven different options above?
Options 1 and 2 are the cheapest. You get a bed, a shower and a TV but you don’t get any living space at all. You get a kettle, but you don’t get any tea bags, coffee or a fridge. You get bedding, but you don’t get towels. Thankfully, you get Wi-Fi (phew).
The difference between standard rooms and silver rooms tends to be that silver rooms are a little bit more modern.
Honestly, I wouldn’t go for a room only option unless you also plan to buy a fully inclusive meals package. You won’t have a fridge so even doing a basic breakfast is a challenge.
If you buy the meals package and get out and about constantly then this option will do the job nicely.
Upgrade to a suite, sir?
The next upgrade option is to a ‘suite’ which means you get a lounge as well as a bedroom. You can only get these are Minehead and Bognor.
Besides the extra space, you also get a mini fridge which is useful for making cups of tea. The main difference between a ‘deluxe suite’ and a ‘silver suite’ is that the deluxe option comes with towels and housekeeping. The other differences are minor things, such as whether or not you get a hairdryer (for my wife’s benefit, I’m not saying that a hairdryer is a minor thing, just that you could bring your own).
In our price comparison, it cost £30 extra to upgrade from a silver room to a deluxe suite with a lounge and towels provided at Butlins Minehead for a four day break in mid September 2022. Of course, the increase is more if you’re staying for a week during school holidays.
The final upgrade option is to stay at one of the three onsite hotels at Butlins in Bognor (Wave Hotel, Shoreline Hotel and Ocean Hotel). These are a big step up in price, but they are much plusher and more modern than the basic rooms.
The bedroom facilities that you get at each hotel are very similar. You get a mini fridge, towels and housekeeping, a few free toiletries, TVs and Wi-Fi. In our price comparisons, they all cost about the same (there was £10 difference between them on the dates we checked in September 2022). However, the Ocean Hotel tends to be a bit more expensive than the other two on most dates.
The main difference is that each hotel is aimed at different age groups.
One other upgrade worth mentioning is that you can get a ‘Shoreline Hotel State Room’. It’s similar to the other hotel rooms, but you get an extra bit of living space.
What’s the difference between the different grades of apartments at Butlins?
If you decide you want a kitchen, there’s a big choice of apartments, lodges, chalets and bungalows. We’ve counted a total of 12 different ones, but some are only available at one or two of the Butlins resorts.
To keep things simple, we’ve split them into three categories of cheap, mid-priced and expensive (Butlins refers to them as ‘value’ ‘moderate’ and ‘premium').
I’m referring to them as ‘self catering’ but you can add on a meal plan so that you won’t need to cook for yourself.
What’s the difference between the cheap apartments and bungalows at Butlins?
The four cheap options for self catering at Butlins are (roughly in price order):
So what’s the difference between these four cheap options? The actual facilities with Standard Apartments, Silver Apartments and New Style Silver Apartments are not very different at all. Each one comes with a TV, lounge area, bedding, a kettle and free Wi-Fi. None of them come with towels or housekeeping. You also don’t get a hairdryer.
The Silver Bungalows are only at Minehead but they are good if you want to be on the ground floor.
The difference in price between these options is a bit confusing. On a couple of price comparisons we did, the Newer Style Silver Apartments were actually cheaper than the ‘Silver Apartments’. I personally wouldn’t pay a huge amount extra to upgrade between these four options.
What’s the difference between the mid-priced apartments and lodges at Butlins?
The four mid-priced self catering options at Butlins are:
If you upgrade to one of the mid-priced self catering options at Butlins then the most notable upgrade you get is towels and daily housekeeping. You also get a hairdryer, but I wouldn’t upgrade just for that reason…
The mid-priced accommodation is also a bit more colourful and interesting. For example, the Seaside Apartments have a multicoloured seaside theme whilst the Fairground apartments have wobbly mirrors and star shaped lights.
With the deluxe lodges you get your own dedicated parking space, which you don’t get with the others.
Of course, you also get all the other facilities and extras that come with the cheaper accommodation such as free Wi-Fi. (Top tip...don't take teenager on holiday without Wi-Fi. It will end badly.)
What’s the difference between the expensive self catering options at Butlins?
If you want to push the Butlins boat out, then there are four ‘premium’ apartments, lodges and chalets at the Butlins resorts:
These upgrades can be pretty pricey or they can be quite reasonable, depending on the time of year.
For example, in our price comparison you’d pay £427 for four nights in a Wave Hotel Apartment in mid September compared to £232 for a Standard Apartment for the same dates. That’s about £200 difference.
However, in mid-July 2022, the difference was more than £400.
So what are you getting for nearly doubling the price (in some cases)?
At each of the ‘premium’ options you get parking near to your accommodation. At standard apartments you park in a large car park at the edge of the site and walk to your apartment with the help of a trolley.
In the posher accommodation you get a few little upgrades, such as a TV in the children’s bedroom, a safe and a few free toiletries (it varies a bit – for example, you don’t get the extra TV in the Seaside Lodge or the West Lakes Chalet).
You also tend to get a bit of outdoor space or a balcony with the more expensive accommodation.
For example, the Bayside Apartments at Minehead come with a sea view and balcony, which is a worthwhile upgrade in my opinion. The West Lakes Chalets don’t have a sea view but they have a modern style.
The Wave Hotel Apartments are pricey but they will appeal to families with junior school aged children. You get a modern hotel décor as well as space to cook and a balcony. The hotel also has a games room so the children can make new friends who they can’t bear to leave despite having only known them for three days...
If you’re looking for a cheap holiday, I would either go a standard room/silver room if you plan to sign up for the buffet or see which is the cheapest apartment when you want to visit. Check if the new silver apartments are cheaper than the older style apartments, which was the case when we searched.
If you plan to spend your evenings watching TV rather than exploring the resort, then you will probably want a lounge. That means upgrading to a suite (without a kitchen) or an apartment.
If you plan to self-cater or you want the option of cooking the occasional meal then you’ll need an apartment or a hotel room with an apartment. Personally, I would make my upgrade decisions based on a) the time of year and b) how much time I plan to spend at the accommodation.
Off peak, the difference in price between the cheaper and more luxurious accommodation was quite modest. During school holidays, you’re paying a lot more.
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